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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Our Black Dog's Rehab from CUE Surgery - Month 6

When we decided to have R get CUE surgery for his congenital elbow dysplasia, I never visualized the amount of time we'd spend rehabbing him afterwards. We are now 6 months post-surgery. He walks with no visible limp. When he's not tired, he trots and gallops better than for the two years before the surgery. The journal articles about this surgery say that he won't reach 100% until a full year post-surgery.

This improvement is because the surgeon put new weight-bearing surfaces inside his elbow. It's also because we've worked so incredibly hard with him on strengthening his body. We also keep him very light to reduce the stress on his joints, as you can see in the photo of him galloping across Hug Hill.

While we did his exercises today, I videoed almost everything. I thought that you might enjoy seeing the range of exercises that he does - and also how much training I've had to do to teach him how to execute the exercises.

As you'll see, some exercises target his left front limb, the one that had surgery. You'll see me holding up his right front limb at times to force him to bear a lot of weight with his left front. You'll also see that some of his exercises are now pointed at strengthening his core and teaching him better coordination of his hind end. The reason is that a stronger core and a stronger hind end will help him to move in a balanced way that protects his surgical limb.

As you'll see in the video, R and I have tons of fun doing his exercises. He "complains", sometimes loudly, about the hard ones. I can verbally encourage him to keep working when he's very tired. He and I have formed quite a bond through doing his daily exercises together.

We've purchased all of his rehab equipment from a company called "FitPaws". Just this week, his stability disc sprung a leak - not surprising after all we've put it through. I contacted the company to ask how to patch it. Instead, they sent me a free replacement disc that arrived within 18 hours! Now that's amazing customer service!

Here's our video. I hope that you enjoy seeing R in action!


  1. I am totally impressed and have great admiration for you and R and your diligent work. And to see how it's paid off makes me happy indeed.

  2. And it still continues with what they call " Due Diligence!!!".Well done to R, and to you for keeping up with it all for so long. R is a real character, and so wonderful to see him able to do all these exercises so well. This could well be a career change for you, rehab training for dogs after CUE surgery!!!

  3. I'm so happy with you that the results are so fabulous!!! wish we had asked your surgeon for the mama's hellbow, there the results are not really great ... :O)

  4. You and R have put in many long hours for his rehab and the payoff is showing. We love the way Shyla is just quietly laying on her bed in the corner to stay out of your way.

  5. I watched this with great interest since I started physical therapy after elbow surgery myself this week. I reached two conclusions. first I must be as disciplined as R so I too can be 100% in a few months. Secondly I have to train someone to feed me cookies during my exercises too! :D

  6. This is so great to watch!
    MR Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  7. Keeping that core strong is central to this old lady's back staying in good shape too:)

    We don't think there is any pup anywhere who has received this much persistent and outstanding rehab!!! Good going from both of you.

  8. That makes us all smile big time! Way to go R!

  9. Amazing. I have a blue balance disc, too. R's encouraged me to keep working on my own balance.

  10. Wow - those are tough exercises, R, but they're paying off BIGTIME! We love watching you and your mom work together!

  11. It was fun to watch this! R has done so good!


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