Saturday, 12 May 2012


We finally got finished handling Stella's heat cycle and now Riley is injured.  Arghhh!  The training gods are not being very accomodating to training for a trial I have scheduled for the end of month.

My poor giant dog was not blessed with good structure (long back and straight hind end) and has been "off" for a little while although I didn't think it was anything serious until last week when he got up and was barely putting any weight on his left hind leg.  I'm not sure what triggered this but I'm sure all that air-humping motion didn't help!  We have had a few problems like this over the yearx but this is one of his more severe episodes.  Past issues has seemed to flow more from back issues but this was diffferent.  I was pretty confident it wasn't a knee problem and luckily managed to squeeze into a chiropractic visit the next day.  The chiropractor identified it as a hip issue and said he was seriously "wacked" and of course that had put his whole body all out.  The normal recommendations would be short on-leash walks for a few days and moving up to gradual regular freedoms but this time the doctor wanted no walks and limited activity for at least three days and then only short on leash before seeing him again this week.

Riley is not a dog that appreciates that kind of restriction!

Stella had only just finished her heat and the two dogs wanted to play and romp together.  No such luck :o(.   We did manage to keep him mostly quiet for 3-4 days and then he had a short walk tuesday, 30 min wednesday and thursday.  Thursday I think we did to much because he seemed quite weak later that morning.  He also had a canine massage on tuesday which I think helped a lot.  When we saw the chiro on thursday afternoon he was pleasantly surprised at his condition when compared to last week.   He still wasn't normal but there was much less heat in the area and the adjustment was much easier.  He is still on restricted leash walks for now but hopefully by next week should be back to regular walks.

I am a big fan of holistic type treatments for our animals.  I did give Riley a NSAID (previcox) for the first two days but also gave arnica or traumeel.  I discontinued the NSAID after that but have continued to use the traumeel orally a few times per day.  Traumeel is a homeopathic product that I have had very good results with for my dogs.  It is also available as a cream or gel.  The chiropractor is wonderful with Riley and those sessions really make a difference.  I need to start scheduling a regular monthly maintenance visit instead of only seeing him when he has soreness.  I only wish that he was much closer as currently it is at least a two hour turn around to have a treatment and in traffic can be much longer.  In the past I have also done IMS (InterMuscular Stimulation) which is similar to accupuncture.  We did a lot of that with Lucy but Riley is a little less cooperative and a lot harder to handle so I haven't been doing that as much with him.  We also did therapy swimming with Lucy and that is something I am considering for this winter for Riley.  The massage this week was a first for us but is something I might consider in future.  Unfortunately all this stuff costs money! 

Hindsight would have me taking him for treatment a few weeks earlier which probably would have fixed things before they got worse.  Lesson learned yet again :o) but it feels like he is now on the road to recovery.  Riley is only six years old and he is in wonderful condition other than the occasional situation like this.  I keep him lean and fit and that will be the most important thing for maintaining his quality of life in future years.  I also avoid activities for him that are harder on a dog's body like throwing a ball or doing agility.  He doesn't have a whole lot of self preservation smarts and dives for the ball and goes skidding across the ground head over heels.  I do let him chase the ball when I throw it into water for swimming and on land I tend to chuck it into bushes to have him do an area search.   I definately can't just stand there with a chuck-it but one of the reasons I have dogs is to get my own exercise anyway!

This is more his regular speed!


  1. Hope Riley has a speedy recovery so you & he can get back to training & trialing. It's always a challenge when our dogs hurt to figure out exactly what ails them. So many people don't think that checking dogs' hips or elbows is important, even if they aren't going to be bred, but it does give you a good idea of what their structure is like & whether they can do high performance sports. All the best to all of you!

    1. Thanks for the good wishes Sylvia. We finally have started some limited working this weekend and so far so good.