Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rehab Is Never Done

Due to Riley's rear end injuries last year (fractured hock and a punctured P1/metatarsal joint), I will probably never consider her rehab done.  I always want to be keeping her hind legs strong and flexible.  All in all, I think Riley has done very well, but I have seen gimpy warm ups and shakiness when she is fatigued.

For the stiffness, I have finally put Riley on joint supplements.  I do not use them as a rule since it is expensive if you pursue quality and quantity for multiple dogs, but I also have not had many greyhounds that needed it.  Other than Katie, my others have all aged very well and were active up until the end and showed no signs of arthritis.  But Riley is showing some early signs and certainly has had injuries likely to lead to arthritis so I think its time to be proactive and to keep  her joints as healthy as possible.

For the occasional shakiness, I have purchased a FitPAWS Balance Disc.  The shakiness comes from stabilizer muscles in the leg lacking strength and fatiguing quickly.  The Balance Disc provides challenges that help strengthen those muscles.  Riley has to first find the disc with her rear feet which helps her become more aware of her rear end, in general.  Then I can have her pivot and do a turn on the haunches while balancing on the disc.  I also can ask her to sit on it and then stand back up.  It is just a great way to work on strength without wear and tear.