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Cato’s back issues

Crinkly

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Mum:

Well, today has been a revelation!

We had our Chiropractic Appt this evening, then the whole Pack repaired to a nearby pub to discuss the outcome, before the long (60 mile) drive home...

Firstly, the Chiropractor (who is lovely, gentle, and obviously loves dogs) diagnosed Cato has hypermobile joints (stance, flexibility and overextension of joints).  Interestingly, I have hypermobile joints too.  So I know EXACTLY what it is like, the management, and the ongoing problems that arrive with time and age.

She took a very thorough case history, and a very detailed examination, and was fascinated to get the chance to compare him with Little Miss Bounce’s conformation and muscle tone, and joint flexibility.  Then she spent about 25 minutes massaging and tweaking, and doing the percussive McTimony manipulations, while she worked on his issues.

You ready for this?  She adjusted/corrected the following:

- occipital bone (v slight displacement)

- something in his shoulder/left side of neck

- slight kink in spine at lumbar vertebrae (this was causing the recent agony, probably caused by Tara standing/bouncing on him)

- two minor pelvic adjustments, one at sacro illeac joint, and one in same place as previous injury

- a tiny muscle tension kink halfway down his tail 

- something similar at the base of his tail

- a slightly sticking out rib on one side (which has ALWAYS been there!  But now lies perfectly smooth)

- over extension of wrist and ankle joints

Basically, she said that with hypermobile joints, once one thing (probably pelvis) is knocked, then the effect richochets up and down the spine and legs in the form of muscle tension and weakness.  Then any forther impact (slip, trip, fall or Bounce) risks knocking another joint.  She said that she often encounters dogs where the original injury stems from when they were spayed or neutered.  Unconscious, on their backs, strapped out on the operating table.  Very likely this happened with Cato’s pelvis, especially with the hypermobile joints.

he will be sore for a day or two from today’s treatment.

I now feel like the Worst Paw Mum in the world!  All those minor little kinks and displacements...  All tiny little injuries that happened on MY WATCH that I didn’t know about, and that have been causing him anything from minor balance adjustments, to aches, to major pain... and also laying him open to more injury

i feel absolutely awful.

I asked for, and received, a very careful lesson in lifting him.  Apparently, we need to pick him up like a rabbit.  We must reach with one hand from the side, under his ribs, then slide the hand forward between his front legs.  Once there, we lift until he is standing on his back legs.  Then, second hand strokes down over his hips and between his legs.  Then we lift, keeping his spine relaced and straight, and cuddle him securely.

Dad is now scared to lift him AT ALL.

We always thought we were lifting him carefully and correctly.  But no.  Not for his hypermobility.  He needs a Rabbit Lift.

No more long walks.  No more than a mile.  Several days rest while he recovers from today’s treatment, then a gentle work up to his mile, with soft surfaces, where possible.  He is going to go stir crazy with Sniff Deprivation!!!

She was delighted at his diet (raw) and his supplements (probiotics, fish oil and liquid formula for joints) but says we must switch to a harness to protect his spine.  Recommended a 5 point adjustable harness, and advised getting it professionally fitted.  May have to travel for this.

https://www.dog-games-shop.co.uk/perfect-fit-fleece-dog-harness.html

and we must somehow stop the Tara Bouncing, since if it continues, further injury is... kind of inevitable.

 

during our little walk to the pub after the appointment, I was fascinated watching him walk.  Such a difference!  New head angle.  New leg swing.  New stance.  Each very slightly different, but adding up to a more easy gait.  Even sore from the appointment I could see he was somehow more easy.

 

So, my friends, i can buy a harness, lift him and walk him exactly as prescribed, continue to give him the best possible diet, BUT HOW THE HECK DO I KEEP TARA FROM BOUNCING ON HIM???

We have been almost managing it for the last few days, and it is very difficult.  To keep it up permanently... seems impossible.

She needs to Bounce so much that it sparks off her.  The lack of Bouncing this week has built up a pressure of Bounce Steam that is due to explode any second.  And she wants to Bounce on Cato.  She loves him.  She loves to play with him.  It is her Joy. She expresses her love by Bouncing.



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Funnily enough, that thought had crossed my mind!  ?  It took about a millisecond!!! ?

However, how do you ensure that Tara and New Dog play together rather than collectively Bouncing on each other AND Cato...

It all comes back to how to give them each the quality of life they need:

Him - gentle rambles and masses of sniffy exploration at his pace, protected from Bounce Damage

Her - masses of exercise, something to Bounce on, running, jumping, climbing, Pirating and playing with a companion...

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I don't think another dog is a bad idea. But of course I'd consider it carefully. You'd likely need to protect Cato from them when they're playing. It might not be too hard if he doesn't like rough play?

Also, how much training do you do with Tara? I'm not a huge fan of tons of physical exercise to tire a dog out, because as you've found they just get more and more fit and need more and more exercise to get tired out. But teaching obedience commands and tricks and playing brain games--those can REALLY tire a dog out, and they don't seem to build up a tolerance for them. Although of course they do learn, so you have to keep teaching different things. If she's food motivated you could try some toys that require thinking skills to get to the treat, hiding yummy treats around the house so she has to hunt for them, etc. Even putting a treat inside a paper bag or a box can work.

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Thank you.  ?

we have got a bit complacent with training, since they have both ‘grown up’.

That is a wonderful suggestion.  I have just read your post out to Dad, who laughed, and said ‘Only problem is that to do brain stimulating, you need a working brain.’

haha!

But I am thinking that this could be v helpful. 

Plus, Cato DOES have a brain.  An excellent one.  And if he has to have a less active lifestyle, then more brain work could help keep things interesting for him.

?  we will start today!

(meanwhile, i will continue with my covert manoeuvreing towards Dog 3 ;) .  It may be a long campaign.  Dad is v reluctant.)

 

oh, and we have an appt for harness fittings tomorrow at 1pm, 30 miles away.  Which is much sooner and closer than I expected!

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Marlene

Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Crinkly said:

Funnily enough, that thought had crossed my mind!  ?  It took about a millisecond!!! ?

However, how do you ensure that Tara and New Dog play together rather than collectively Bouncing on each other AND Cato...

It all comes back to how to give them each the quality of life they need:

Him - gentle rambles and masses of sniffy exploration at his pace, protected from Bounce Damage

Her - masses of exercise, something to Bounce on, running, jumping, climbing, Pirating and playing with a companion...

Cato could sort of become the "kitty of the family" (don't tell him I said that)............siting in a spot of sun, gazing out the windows, warming a lap, meandering around the yard on a harness.

A new dog wouldn't neccessarily have to be a Tzu (ANOTHER one to groom!) but a short haired toy breed.

Edited by Marlene
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You could also think about "renting" a third dog. Meeting up with someone who has a dog that needs exercise and socialization.  We did that when bringing in our second Boxer Mack after having a bad experience (being uneducated) with a loveable but dog aggressive female.  We literally knocked on doors "can your dog come out and play with Mack?"  Took other dogs with us on outings and bugged my daughter to bring over her dog to hang out. 

I know that makes it more difficult than just heading out for a walk when you have the time and proper weather........but it wouldn't mean bringing in a 3rd dog. 

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Tara and Dad went out for their Route March earlier.

Cato didn't even try to follow. :(

Instead he just lay down snuggled in his bed and went to sleep.

and HOWLED in his dream, calling for the rest of the pack. :( :( :( 

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15 minutes ago, Crinkly said:

 

Cato didn't even try to follow. :(

Instead he just lay down snuggled in his bed and went to sleep.

 

He's ready to be the kitty........

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