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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Our Black Lab's Recovery from CUE Surgery - Week 8

Today is our Week 8 update on R's recovery from CUE surgery. In general, he's getting better and better. He's allowed to be off-leash in the house when we're not expecting anything exciting to happen like the UPS man driving down to the house or one of us getting home.

He's also allowed to go for 25 minute walks 2-3X per day, and he's allowed 5 minutes off-leash outdoors per day. That's a wildcard that makes us nervous. Yesterday, he really sprinted during those 5 minutes and made himself a bit sore. However, the x-rays taken last week show that the hardware is strongly fixed in the bones of his elbow so he can't destroy his "new elbow" by running too hard.

R galloping 2 years ago
I've made a video of his gait to show what he looks like now. The hardest part is that he's no longer focused on walking. He feels good enough that he's looking for squirrels and bunnies so he rarely walks at a steady pace or straight! I found a couple of clips when he was walking straight to show you.

I also show his new exercises in the video. He's still doing many from last week but there are new ones now (woe is me!!!). The hardest one is doing a sit-stand-sit transition on the squishy blue disk. It took us about 4 days before he could even sit on it. Then another few days passed before he could stand at all (yesterday was his first "stand"). It's incredibly hard for him but he doesn't give up. I've tried it with Shyla, and she can do it easily so R's difficulties with it are due to his surgery.

Finally, he got a new toy, a giant "peanut", that he puts his front paws on and does various exercises. You'll see in the video that we're not very good at those yet. Apparently, before too long, he won't need me to stabilize the peanut while he works. However, that is VERY hard to believe right now!

If you look in the background of the video while we are working on the peanut, you'll see a GIANT print of R on the wall (the same photo as I showed above). I gave it to the Runner as a gift - but now it's like an inspiration as we toil away at his exercises. Our goal is to have him run like that again!

Here is the video, which you can watch here or at Youtube.

Thanks for watching!!! And, if any of you have experience with teaching a dog how to use a peanut and have hints for me, I'd love to hear them!!! Thank you.

23 comments:

  1. Jennifer, at NeverSayNeverGreyhounds.blogspot.com, has experience using the peanut as her dogs are agility champions and periodically need physical therapy. I'm sure she'd be happy to chat with you. When you go to her website, look at the links on the left side of the page. You'll see "Rehab, Strength Training" which is where she talks about using the peanut. Best of luck to you and R.

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  2. BRAVO!!!! That is for R and you - great work. His gait looks a lot better to us. We bet he has that peanut mastered in no time at all.

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  3. I am totally impressed! I know all of you are thrilled that your hard work is paying dividends. It makes me so happy.

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  4. That's great news, but what a job for you! I'm so happy he's getting back to normal.

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  5. You are doing fantastic, R! We love your smile in the first picture☺ Keep up the GREAT work!

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  6. How awesome for R! He's making the most of his 5 minutes outside, for an active dog it's probably a huge relief after having to take it easy for so long. What a fantastic job you're doing for him!

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  7. it was great to see you walking... I'm sure your elbow will be like new soon. your mom is a super PT, I saw you with the ball, that was pawsome! Can I send my mom too for PT, seems her hellbow surgery wasn't as good as yours...

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  8. he looks wonderful to me and amazing recovery. you both deserve pats on the backs for all this hard work.

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  9. WOW, R, you look grreat walking now! I'm so impressed with your rehab training. You're doing better than I'd do with no elbow problems. BOL. Keep feeling better!

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  10. You both are working so hard!!
    stella rose

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  11. Great work! I"m glad that the rehab is going so well. Barley struggles with balance exercises like ones on the peanut and the disc--she can sit (a little lopsided) or she can stand pretty solidly, but going from one position to the other is a lot more difficult for her despite all of her agility training, so hopefully R catches on quickly and needs less help from you soon :)

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  12. Fantastic R! Looking good buddy
    Lily & Edward

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  13. R looks so good! I bet he's happy to be able to have some more freedom now!

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  14. Well done, both of you!

    BTW, I see the treats elicit what we call "slobbercicles". (I have a dog that drips drool on my foot when I'm putting food in a dish.) Mine's a very slobbery dog. :)

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  15. We can see the improvement each week. Keep up the great work you are doing.

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  16. Oh R, good for you, good for you! It's so good to see you moving around like that, you're super!

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  17. I loved watching the video. You're a good PT and R is a great patient! I have one of those blue discs for balance. R has inspired me to use it. I wonder if Bob would feed me treats if I can hold my balance for a few seconds!

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  18. Good job R !!! Your doing fantastic!
    love
    tweedles

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  19. R, my mom could not sit and stand on that squishy thing. She fell the other day when I was yelling at a horse!! c
    Can you imagine?? You look awesome, dude!

    -Otto

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  20. Crikey ..... his gait looks much better this week. Well done everyone!! Can't wait to see him and Shyla running together again. I guess you can't either, aye??

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  21. Have you done this sort of thing before, KB? You make it look so effortless. Your part, I mean. It's clear to see how hard R is working. No wonder he's getting stronger!
    And I saw Cheerleader Shyla, wagging in the background :)

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