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How to entertain a dog on no exercise regime?

(11 Posts)
iloverhubarb Mon 11-Jul-11 16:13:32

Help. Lola diagnosed with a probable partial rupture to her cruciate ligament in left hind leg. That's one of the ligaments that holds the femur and tibia together. Very important she rests completely, at least this week, and then back to the vets. I get the impression that this may mend if we follow instructions strictly. Garden visits on lead, otherwise confined to one room and ideally in crate some of the time.

So far Sat, Sun and Mon. No walks. 1 year old Springer spaniel. We are slowly going mad. We have increased kongs, tried to do gentle training every hour, DD has even started reading books to her... She (dog) is naturally still full of energy, barking far more than usual out of frustration. Any ideas for stimulation without action?

And anyone been through this? - I do know that a complete rupture is very bad news. And tip for others who may not know much about this condition - I reckon caused by jumping up from slippery laminate floor up onto window seat which is one of her beds - about to buy non slip matting. Crossing our fingers at the mo. sad

silentcatastrophe Mon 11-Jul-11 16:20:59

It sounds as though you are doing all the right things. Is she not chewing her Kong any more? How about putting something different in it? Or a different kind of chewy thing? I have a friend who's dog needed complete bedrest for ages and ages. It's really tough. I don't know if you can give them anything to calm them down? Another friend has used Valerian on her dog under completely different circumstances. If you use herbal tranquilisers, please make sure you get them from a reputable source. Apparently they vary enormously. Is your vet any help? Sometimes they leave you just thinking, christ are you kidding?!

Tchootnika Mon 11-Jul-11 18:12:49

Sounds like you're doing well under the circumstances.
Do you ever play music to her? (I'm serious, here...)
My hyperactive little darling settles really well to a nice bit of Rachmaninov or Chopin (she literally starts purring with gentle ambient joy if I play her C's Nocturnes). Lovely for everyone, and a nice bit of variety. smile

GrimmaTheNome Mon 11-Jul-11 18:19:38

Oh, poor Lola.

How about a big raw beef bone on the lawn, if she's bored with kongs?

iloverhubarb Mon 11-Jul-11 19:19:14

oh these are nice messages. silentcatastrophe you're right about the vets, you do feel like they must be joking, wonder how the hell are we going to manage that. She's not bored with kongs, normally just has a couple a day, with abit of frankfurter and kibble. Vet nurse suggested chappie wet dog food smeared into kongs or inside (empty) marrow bones and frozen.

Bones definitely a good idea. That'll keep her busy for an hour or two. Music! Well I played her some scales today (violin) and she doesn't hide, but I wouldn't say she actually enjoys it... Maybe something more melodic.

Thanks for your tips and sympathy, much appreciated. It really is an unpleasant time, especially when you don't know what the outcome will be.

Kladdkaka Wed 13-Jul-11 15:07:52

My westie had this exact same problem last Christmas. It's the same injury that professional football players get, it caused by sudden weight at the same time as twisting the knee. My girl got it from jumping off the sofa after the cat.

They took an x-ray which confirmed it. The vet gave her some injection to 'help the healing process' and she was absolutely forbidden from running or jumping. He did however say that it was good to take her for slow walks because this would build the strength in the muscle/ligament. He said if she wasn't better in a few weeks, she'd need to have it operated on. I was devasted. I couldn't bare the thought of having to take her in for that.

My dog is a lazy lump and doesn't actually like to walk. She's been walked around the block (15 minutes) once a day ever since.

The living room door is kept closed so she can't jump off the sofa.

In the first few weeks she was also carried up and down the stairs because she's little and tends to jump down them rather than walking.

The vet also recommended adding a spoonful of cod liver oil to her food. Which we've been doing.

Someone else recommended glucosamine suppliments. I'd never heard of them so went to the chemist to see. The chemist told me that glucosamine tablets are the normal, mainstream medicinal treatment for cruciate ligaments. Nothing 'alternative' about them. Here is Sweden I could actually buy specific dog glucosamine tablets, although my professor of chemistry husband says they are chemically exactly the same as the human ones.

Anyways, 3 weeks later she went back to vet. There was a little bit of improvement. He gave her another injection and we continued with the walks, the no running or jumping, the cod liver oil and the glucosamine tablets. She is now finally recovered and is only on the pills until they run out. She has been happy enough the whole time, just limping, which is why we allowed time to make it better.

NunTheWiser Thu 14-Jul-11 11:01:30

You need to keep her mind busy even if her body can't be. Bones to chew on are great time fillers. Putting her dried food biscuits or treats into a puzzle ball that she has to nose around is also good.
You have my sympathy. UnWiseDog (6 weeks post TPO surgery) apparently needs to be confined for another 4 weeks because the joint isn't healing as quickly as the vet had hoped. sad TBH, the vet has given us some sedatives for her if she is particularly frantic, just to give her and us some relief. Could you ask your vet for something similar? UnWiseDog's crate is parked in front of the telly which I have on news or CBeebies because the noise is comforting. Sometimes I look at her spaced out on her comfy mat in her crate watching the telly and think I'd quite like to have some of the sedatives too.... Only Joking I think

Kladdkaka Thu 14-Jul-11 11:13:19

If I put food in a puzzle ball my dog just sits there looking from ball to me, ball to me, ball to me. As if saying 'And? You put it in there, you get it out?'

Bast Thu 14-Jul-11 11:29:56

One of my dogs had to have bed rest from 3 to 6 months sad

One of the games we developed was 'roll it'. She had to lie and nudge a ball to whoever said roll it and we'd roll it back. During this time, I also taught her bark on demand, bark a specific number of times and hand signals for various movements and noises, etc. Then we went on to naming specific toys and she'd have to touch/retrieve the right one from a pile in front of her nose for a treat.

By the time she was up and running at six months, she had an amazing array of tricks under her belt wink

iloverhubarb Fri 15-Jul-11 18:13:36

Kladkaka really good to hear from someone who's been through the same thing. Has she now stoppped limping completely now - and has it really taken till now, 6 months? Glucosamine - will ask vet about that

Sorry to hear about UnWise Dog too, what a pain. Sedatives - another good idea if this goes on for more than another week - L has had moments today of leaping about with all the pent up energy. Obviously contraindicated..

Puzzle balls and tricks. Bast these sound excellent; you must have a very intelligent dog! But how awful to have a puppy confined to bed rest from 3-6 months; guess you and dog just have to deal with it. Puts Lola's problem in perspective (I hope). Do you have a link to explain how to train for the games you mention? Off to try roll it now!

HarderToKidnap Fri 15-Jul-11 18:57:12

Hi, we have the same problem. The cruciate ligament doesn't heal, but your dog will have long periods of completely normal activity followed by a bout of limping. Our dog is an older toy breed, it must be so tough having to cope with a young springer on bed rest! We were advised to do two-three ten minute on lead walks a day, which helped.

Other things:

glucosamine supplements. You can get doggie ones from Holland and Barrett
fish oil supplement (NOT COD LIVER OIL). Cod liver oil bad for dogs. Just get a fish oil supp containing omega 3,6 and 9 from supermarket
Vet put us on a course of Meloxydil anti-inflam and then we had Cartrophen injections
Weight, really important. Our dog put on a lot of weight from the lack of exercise and every ounce gained obviouslyt makes the problem worse.

We are in remission at the moment and back to normal exercise although he is a lot slower then he was. A burst of speed (like squirrel chasing) means he will limp for a few days afterwards. The vet has told me it is a lifelong condition, won't go away and that the ligament will probably eventually rupture completely and surgery required.

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