Training while on exercise restriction

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Postby Hundilein » October 7th, 2009, 7:09 pm

Renee started limping a few weeks ago and after a second vet visit today, we have a recommendation to try two more weeks of restricted exercise. So I'm trying to brainstorm about things I can work on with her that do not require her to move around a lot. She's getting bored with not getting walks and regular training, so I am hoping that some low-key tricks or anything else that requires thinking without a lot of movement might help. Any ideas?
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Postby tiva » October 7th, 2009, 8:54 pm

When Vanya sprained his front leg this spring, we had 7 weeks or so of exercise restriction. We played a lot of discrimination games on the bed (where he learned to tell the red bone from the white bone, the blue kong from the red kong, etc). And we worked on learning body parts according to hand cues (so he would place his chin, nose, side of his face, etc, in my hand depending on my cue).
Good luck!
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Postby call2arms » October 7th, 2009, 11:52 pm

What kind of injury is it exactly? I mean I know she's limping, but is it a cut, muscular, tendons?
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Postby Hundilein » October 8th, 2009, 11:12 am

call2arms wrote:What kind of injury is it exactly? I mean I know she's limping, but is it a cut, muscular, tendons?


I don't know. The vet couldn't find anything obvious, so we are sort of trying to rule things out. Rimadyl helped a ton, but the limping came back intermittently when I took her off, so now she's off the Rimadyl, on glucosamine and resting for two weeks. If it's still a problem at the end of the two weeks, the next step is to try a steroid shot (which is why we took her off the Rimadyl) and x-rays. It's very frustrating for me because I'd like to just know what the heck is wrong so I can have a good plan for what to do. I trust my vet, and I'm okay with the current plan, but I still have no diagnosis.
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Postby Pit♥bull » October 8th, 2009, 11:20 am

Trouble started out with a slight limp :(
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Postby Hundilein » October 8th, 2009, 11:33 am

Pit♥Bull wrote:Trouble started out with a slight limp :(
http://www.pitbulltalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=27147


Trust me, that's the first place my mind went. I really think that she just stepped in a hole in the yard or something and pulled something.
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Postby Pit♥bull » October 8th, 2009, 11:40 am

Hundilein wrote:Trust me, that's the first place my mind went. I really think that she just stepped in a hole in the yard or something and pulled something.
Fingers crossed for ya :)

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Postby Malli » October 8th, 2009, 1:44 pm

the younger the dog the less likely it is to be cancer :wink:
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Postby call2arms » October 10th, 2009, 12:37 am

If you have absolutely no idea what it is, I'd stick with boring walks, since you can't tell which kind of movement can trigger pain/further injury. This sucks.
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Postby Malli » October 10th, 2009, 2:52 am

Is she lame on a front or hind leg? Is the lameness obvious or more difficult to localize for you visually? How old is Renee? Does she have any other abnormal pattern of gait or odd walk? If so, for how long?
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Postby Hundilein » October 10th, 2009, 11:54 pm

call2arms wrote:If you have absolutely no idea what it is, I'd stick with boring walks, since you can't tell which kind of movement can trigger pain/further injury. This sucks.


You're right, it does suck. On the up side, Renee is trying to run around like an idiot today, so I think she must be feeling better. I'm going to try to keep her calm for the whole two weeks like the vet suggested, but I may start doing some very short, low key walks.

Malli wrote:Is she lame on a front or hind leg? Is the lameness obvious or more difficult to localize for you visually? How old is Renee? Does she have any other abnormal pattern of gait or odd walk? If so, for how long?


Front left leg. It was obvious at first, particularly when she got up after laying still for a while. In the past week, it's been less obvious, and not all the time. No other oddities to her walk. Renee is almost five years old.

What concerned me more was that she was not wanting to eat, and just laying around a lot. I took her to the vet the first time because she wouldn't get out of bed one morning. And then Monday she hardly got out of bed all day and barely came to the door to see me when I got home, so I took her in again. Last night she ate all dinner and this morning she was looking for breakfast and she's acting much more like herself today, so I think she must be feeling better. It almost makes me think that she was actually feeling bad from something else, like a stomach bug or a cold or something, and I mistakenly thought it was because her leg was hurting her. I didn't see any symptoms, but she had a tiny bit of green snot a week or so ago, but she had just gotten a bordatella vaccine a few days before that, so I chalked it up to that. When I never saw snot again and she never coughed or sneezed or anything, I figured she was fine, but I wonder if she was feeling crappy even though she didn't have any other symptoms and the limp really wasn't any big deal and I just assumed it was the whole problem.

Now, so we don't get in trouble for being off topic...I worked with Renee last night and today on resting her chin in my hand, pressing her nose up against my palm, or pressing her head sideways into my palm depending on where I held my hand. I think she's starting to figure it out, and she stays relatively still when we practice. We also started on some object discrimination with my cell phone and two dog toys. That is not going quite as well, but we're making progress. Every time I think she's figuring it out, she shows me that she's really only guessing.

I appreciate all the good thoughts. I'm going to keep a close eye on her, and we'll go back to the vet if I see any signs that she's getting worse, or if she hasn't gotten better in the two weeks, but I have stopped freaking out quite so much.
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Postby call2arms » October 11th, 2009, 12:43 am

Hmm, that's weird with the not getting out of bed, and the green snot... Maybe she had some sort of higher-than-normal immune reaction to her bordetella shot? :|

X-rays were planned if this didn't clear up, right?
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Postby Hundilein » October 11th, 2009, 1:04 am

call2arms wrote:Hmm, that's weird with the not getting out of bed, and the green snot... Maybe she had some sort of higher-than-normal immune reaction to her bordetella shot? :|

That's what I'm wondering, but didn't put it together when I was at the vet to ask them about it. Perhaps I'll call them on Monday and ask if that could be the case. She did get the nasal vaccine this time, which she has never gotten before (the rescue switched to an injection before I fostered Renee, and my vet in NC used the shot as well). If I remember right, the nasal vaccine is a modified live virus, while the injection is a killed virus. It seems like that might make a difference, but I certainly don't have any kind of a medical background to back that hunch up.

X-rays were planned if this didn't clear up, right?

Yuppers! We were just waiting because the vet thought there was a reasonable chance that an x-ray wouldn't show anything, they are getting a new x-ray machine in a few weeks, and as long as it's not an emergency, it would be easier for me to spread expenses out a little more. I just had Renee in for her yearly exam and vaccines a week before I took her in for the limp, so I've spent a good chunk of change on vet bills in the past month.
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Postby Malli » October 11th, 2009, 2:29 am

hm, do you know what her pain tolerance is?
pain can make an animal very inactive and inappetant...

If it was particularly in the morning or after laying down for a long time this would lead me to think increased pain due to stiffness, wich I would *think* is a muscle thing, but can't be sure.
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