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.


houndstooth said...

I think you're wise to be proactive with her. We were using supplements a while ago, mainly for Lilac, and she always knew if they were in her food and refused to eat. I finally gave up and went without, and I think we did okay, but if I had one who'd had a leg break, I'd probably be using it again, too!

gyeong said...

I add human glucosamine/chondroitin to my kids food in the morning. I get the big bottle at Costco, so even for 4 dogs, it's not too bad.

Tarmar said...

I would recommend also having her do some pivots with her front feet on the disc. As greyhounds age and get arthritic, they tend to shift more and more weight onto the front. Working with the front feet on a balance disc forces them to put more weight on their rear.

I use a smaller one for the front. Once the dog is good at both front and back, I will have them do both at the same time. That way they work on shifting their weight back and forth as needed.

I like working these exercises with the dogs. It is just another fun thing to train!

Witty Angel said...

I've encountered the same problems with Luna. She is now on joint supplements, but I also notice shakiness in her back leg. I will try the blue pad too.

Witty Angel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire Krigbaum said...


browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all!

Just trying to get around and visit all my friends I've been missing. Hope y'all are havin' a great day!

Hey cool...great info! Thanks.

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Katie said...

That's probably going to be me with Steve and his stupid groin pulls- rehab forever. We've been doing a lot of work with his Fitpaws Peanut, and he loves it. I wish I had abs like he has.

I've been thinking about getting the balance disc as well- it looks like a fun toy. They use one with him when I take him for rehab, mostly to have him stand on with his hind feet and put his paws up on something (er, me) while she wobbles him around, forcing him to use his core. But there are so many fun things to do with it.