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Unread 10-23-2007, 09:31 AM   #1
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Hello all, I am new to the forum and I am happy to be here. I am hoping someone has had exerience with what we are going through so they can help us a bit.

We have a 6 1/2 month old lab/boxer mix named Osa. About a month and a half ago, she was a doggy day care and came home limping on her right hind leg. We took her to the vet and he thought that she just twisted her knee so we put her on "leash only" exercise (only walking) for 2 weeks. After two and a half week, we brought her back and he gave her a clean bill of health and said the knee felt good. We started increasing her exercise and she is now playing fetch and running again (which she loves). My question is this, every now and again after she has slept for a couple of hours, she is stiff on that back leg. After a good stretch and walking around for a minute or two, she is fine. Is this part of the healing process and we shouldn't worry about it or should we tone it down some because we worked her a little too hard?

This past weekend she played with another puppy and was fine all day and then the next day we took her for a walk and she slept most of the day (she was tired from the puppy play). When she got up she was a little stiff. I just don't want to be doing anything bad to the puppy. Also, is there a massage/stretching we can do for her?

Thanks for the help.

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Unread 10-23-2007, 09:36 AM   #2
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Hi Osabarosa and welcome to the forum.
What you are describing sounds a lot like what I went through over a period of several months with one of my dogs. He would overdo it (usually chasing squirrels ) we would leash walk him only for a week, and then it would start right back up again.
The problem in his case was an inflamed joint, and it seemed like months before we were finally rid of the problem. However, he was already an adult dog. Since your dog is only 6-1/2 months old and is going to grow up to be a large dog, I would be wary of overdoing it for fear of causing permanent damage.
I tend to say that if a good stretch works out the kinks then don't worry about it, but at her age I would try to keep her from hurting herself. Like don't jog with her or try to get her to run as fast as she can.
By the way, did the vet take any x-rays?
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Unread 10-23-2007, 09:41 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome the forum. Great to have you with us. I'd contact your vet again & ask about x-raying your pups hips to make sure there's nothing going on with her joints. Is it possible she's getting too much exercise on certain days? You've mentioned that she has played with another puppy "all day" and a pup her age shouldn't be exercised for extended periods of time. It is generally recommended that a pup get no more than 10 minutes of exercise for every month of age.

In addition to x-raying your dog, I'd ask the vet if joint supplements for you pup are a good idea. Ask specifically about Glucosamine & Chondrotin.

I hope you get this figured out & that there's nothing serious going on with your pup. Try not to worry too much as it could just be growth issues that might work themselves out with a little more time. I would still get double check with the vet to see if there's an underlying joint problem and/or just too much exercise.
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Unread 10-23-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I am trying not to worry but like I said before, I do not want to have problems when she is older.

The vet didn't take any X-rays but he did do some hand tests on her knee and said that it felt inflammed but not unstable (to rule out ACL tear). We did talk about supplements but at her young age, he said that they would probably would not be as effective as when she is an adult. We will definitely put her on the supplements when she is older.

I have not heard of the 10 min per month of age play time. Osa could play all day if she could. She played with the other dog for a couple of hours and then we took a nice slow walk to calm them both down. The play was more play biting/wrestling than running around the yard. We didn't want them running around the yard as Osa would stop and the other puppy would just bowl her over.

We will keep an eye on it over the week. She shows no problems with it during exerice or walking but only shows the little stiffness after she has fallen asleep for an hour or two (when we wake her up to potty before we go to bed). In the morning after a good nights sleep, she has no problem at all.

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Unread 10-23-2007, 01:00 PM   #5
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I think she might be overdoing it. Try to make sure she gets plenty of rest breaks when she had big days of fun. At her age, I wouldn't allow her much longer than an hour of hard exercise. Running and jumping should be somewhat limited until a dog reaches the approximate age of 18 months or joint problems can result.
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Unread 10-23-2007, 04:01 PM   #6
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You know what, and I am not doubting you at all, but I have never heard of limiting a puppies exercies to either age. In the books that I read and in training class, the goal was to train and exercise so the puppy was tired because "a tired puppy is a good puppy". This is the first time I have heard of keeping the exercise limited for a heathy puppy till they reached a certain age.

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