We are slowly (and I mean really slowly) increasing my dog’s activity.
Her walks in the backyard were gradually getting longer as she is improving from her dog knee injury. So, I decided to take her out into the “real world”. We very slowly walked up and down the street for about 10 minutes. She started to pull on the first walk because we went in the same direction that we used to go for her hour long romps through the forest. I have since changed which direction we go and have had to put her Halti Gentle Lead on. I didn’t want another dog to come running out, or a squirrel cruising by to cause her to jump, run, or pull and cause her to go backwards. She doesn’t mind it and is just happy to be outside. So far, I only walk her out on the street one time a day and keep her going out to the backyard for 10 to 15 minute potty breaks every two hours. I would like to see how she does with two 8-10 minute walks a day next week.
It may not seem like much, but she is completely pooped by the end of her walk and lays down immediately and naps. But, there has been no increase in any symptoms and seems to be walking smoother. It is good to see her tired out from activity instead of injury.
We only give her a half of the sedative in the day now and none at night. And, we will be out of them in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping with the gradual increase in activity during the conservative management of her knee injury that she will not need sedation any longer.
We chose to cancel our vacation we had planned for May. We don’t believe Darcy will be fully healed by then and didn’t want to put the burden on our dog sitter. As well as possibly coming back to all of the work we have done being undone. I have read some horror stories on other sites. Since this does take months for her to get back full recovery (or as close as she can get) we wanted to give her that time with our full attention.
I did email Max at the tiggerpoz.com site and asked about stairs and how long we should continue with the towel sling. He was very helpful and positive about Darcy’s recovery. Instead of waiting for us to put the towel around her as she had been doing, she starts to climb the stairs on her own and I was concerned that this might re-injure her knee, but I know that she also needs to build back her strength. So, it sounds like, as long as we don’t let her run or jump up them and she’s willing to go up them and there is no increase in symptoms, we can slowly stop with the towel sling. I have just been holding less and less of her weight up when she goes up the stairs for now. I am trying everything very conservatively and as long as she’s progressing, then I am happy. She is still totally cheerful and has been pretty accepting of all of this. I really believe that conservative management for a dog knee injury is the way to go if you have the time and gumption to take this on. And, I am very glad I chose this treatment option. I want to get her back running through the forest again!