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Getting Chance to walk - NOT hop!

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Chance, Jul 7, 2009.


  1. Chance

    Chance PetForums Senior

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    Since she broke her leg and it started to heal, she has gone from strength to strength. However, the only thing that hasn't got strong is her (now VERY withered) bad leg, as all the muscle has wasted away.

    If I walk her VERY VERY slowly she will weight bare. Around the house, she does move about and put some weight on it. However, as soon as she sets off, even at a slow pace she simply hops and refuses to weight bare. I suspect she is just being lazy as hoping is easier for her!

    I plan to take her for some hydrotherapy sessions, but is there anything else I can be doing to encourage her to use it? Otherwise I suspect that very soon all my hard earned savings will have been a waste - we may as well have just chopped it off!!!
     
  2. rona

    rona Guest

  3. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Rona beat me to it.

    You could ask one of the nurses to show you how to perfom basic physiotherapy. I do this daily on my dog. Helps with their range of movement, and makes them realise they still have a useful limb.

    It can take awhile for a dog to start using a damaged leg again, and hydrotherapy is by far the best method for getting them back to normal.
     
  4. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

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    My mum's whippet was hit by a car and fractured her pelvis. Xrays had shown it had healed properly but she wouldn't walk on it properly. Then one day she came into season her first suddenly something else was bothering her and she forgot all about her bad leg. She walked on 3 legs for something like 10 weeks.

    I would definitley go for the hydrotherapy or see if they have an under water treadmill. When William had radial paraylsis I use a pet massager to massage the wasted muscles in his shoulder.
     
  5. Chance

    Chance PetForums Senior

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    Thanks all!

    I will speak to the vet about massage/physio next week when she goes back to have the pin removed. The o/h did a bit of massage on her earlier but Chance looked shocked and we just fell about laughing! Must be more serious!!!:eek::eek:

    I have made contact with a local doggie hydropool. However, it is not cheap and I've already 'burnt' a £1300 hole in a budget I didn't have to get this far! I also need to save everything for her transport costs the get her to Australia.

    Still waiting on contact from the Insurance company, and as soon as they confirm that they will payout, then I'll get her booked for hydro sessions.
     
  6. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Hydrotherapy definetly, my friends dog had both hips operated on a couple of years ago and she wouldnt put her leg down, there was no reason why she didnt as the op was a huge success but it felt strange to her the vet said as it was so weak due to muscle wastage, after a few sessions she bagan to walk on it and it was soon back to normal.
     
  7. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    If you can't get to hydrotherapy is there a river she can swim in or someone with a large pool?
    I knew someone with a gsd who hurt her leg and when the bandage was taken off she wouldn't walk on it. Someone Stupidly suggested they strapped one of her front legs up to make her walk on the back leg :( It made her worse! :(
    She wasn't near hydrothrapy but used to let the dog swim in the canal, on a lead until she saved some money to buy one of the family swimming pools out of argos.

    I'm sure Chance will gradually start using it again once it stops feeling odd :)

    x
     
  8. gesic

    gesic PetForums VIP

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    The trouble is a lot of dogs will find it just as easy to flit around on 3 legs after an ortho op. It can be habit forming and it can be psycological as they remember the pain and trauma associated with using that leg so try not to use it.
    Hydro is by far the best way to relax the muscles and support the limb while mobility returns, but yes expensive...hopefully ur insurance will cover the cost.
    Another thing u can do is a mini assault course...jst 2 thing really, cardboard tubes or similer set out like trotting poles and walk slowly over (or a walk in the woods, uneven ground and small obsticals to encourage a step action).
    The other thing would be a small balence board, I dont no what size chance is so am describing for a small dog. Piece of flat wood, tray size (or use tray!), stick rubber matting or old carpet on so to make it non slip.
    What the intention is, the tray is placed flat ground leval with a small object like a small stone under in the middle, the dog then stands on the tray but as it is not leval the dog has to shift the weight from one leg to another in order to stand still.
    Its called a wobble board and is used by a few animal physio's, just make sure the wobble is very slight!
    Ck with ur vet 1st though as to wether they feel these methods would be benificial.;)
     
  9. gesic

    gesic PetForums VIP

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    Just to mention, swimming in lakes etc may not be as fully effective as a hydro pool.
    The water is heated in order to relax the muscles for optimum movement and increase blood flow to that area to regenerate damaged/wasted muscle.
    That would not happen so much in a cold water enviroment.
    Also the river bed etc is very often slippy and uneven so may twist/damage further if not careful.
    Great when fully healthy though:D
     
  10. Chance

    Chance PetForums Senior

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    Trouble is, Chance (despite being collie x lab x spaniel x anything else) is not a big fan of swimming. She won't just jump in a river and swim off. I also have concerns of her doing this as if she did get into trouble I would struggle to assist her.

    Certainly at first I will take her to a hydro pool.

    Thanks for the obstacle course suggestion - I shall try to set this up this afternoon!
     
  11. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    I would go with the hydro rather than taking chance to a lake etc, they are trained people who will tailor the therapy to the type of op/injury chance has had, they fit them with life jackets, put some type of weights on the leg they need to work more and gradually build up the excercise to suit the type of therapy programme needed for the op/injury.
     
  12. Chance

    Chance PetForums Senior

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    Good point HM - I think if Chance was a natural water baby I might be tempted to try her in the local lake. But before I think of doing that I will draw upon the training and expertise of the local hydro pool.
     
  13. Shazach

    Shazach PetForums VIP

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    Agree with this, hydrotherapists use bouyancy aids and the water is not cold like lake water which is not good for an injured joint.
    Dogs are still capable of swimming with three legs and will often not use the injured leg to swim. The hydrotherapist is in the pool with the dog and encourages it to use the injured leg. Without the hydrotherapists intervention there is no benefit to a swim where the "lame" limb is not used.

    Hydrotherapists also usually have other tricks such as jet streams to create extra resistance for the dog to swim against, and safe ramps to get in and out. My hydrotherapist also massages, which Zach is alot more open to in the water than out. She swims Zach and intermittently takes him in and out of the pool to stretch the limb and stop him getting too tired.

    I would strongly advocate hydrotherapy over just a swim.

    Sh x
     
  14. Chance

    Chance PetForums Senior

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    Thanks Shazach - posts like this confirm I am going to be doing the right thing and not just wasting my money. Much appreciated.
     
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