Yesterday, on the 7 week anniversary of R's CUE surgery, he went to our vet for physical therapy. Our vet likes to call herself a "rain cloud" because she tends to talk about all the "not so good" aspects of a dog's condition. She's a great vet - so we don't mind this habit one bit.
With that background, you can imagine how happy we were to hear her say that R was doing fabulously! He now has a greater range of motion in his elbow than ever before in his life. He was born with elbow dysplasia so his flexibility was inhibited right from the start.
Our vet gave us a new set of exercises to do this week with R, including things like a one-armed push-up on his "bad forelimb", playing tug, and crawling forward and backwards under a chair. Obviously, he's reached a whole new level where we are working hard to bring back the strength around his surgical elbow.
I will soon have a video of his gait and his exercises. The only slightly worrisome thing is that he still has a rather obvious limp but our vet feels confident that it will go away as he learns to trust that limb again.
R's favorite rehab instruction is that he must chew a bone while holding it between his paws for 10-15 minutes per day. This helps strengthen the small muscles around his elbow. Until a few days ago, he figured out ways to chew the bone without touching it with his left paw (that's his surgical limb). As you can see, he finally started using his left paw a few days ago! Another great sign!
He's thinking to himself, "this is waaaay better than one-armed push-ups!".
As a celebration of his great checkup, we walked him up to our "sunset lookout point". He's supposed to do four 20 minute leash walks per day now. Our celebration walk pushed the limit a tiny bit (26 minutes - don't tell our vet). We won't do it again but it sure was nice to have a pack sunset hike for the first time in 7 weeks.
The sunset was incredible!
The brilliant orange clouds spread all across the horizon so I couldn't get them all in one camera frame.
As the bright orange started to fade, the rest of the sky was filled with pastel colors. As we watched the sky, a hermit thrush started singing its mournful and beautiful song. Hermit thrushes are my favorite birds due to their song. They'll sing from now until around the middle of July.