Our recent trip took us back to Maryland for a couple of days, and while wrapping things up we decided to go and have some fun. We went to a beach near Annapolis, MD. It was beautiful and Cynthia was able to take a lot of pictures.
For the last couple of months, we have been going back and forth from Maryland to Massachusetts and although I enjoy driving, I think all of us are ready for some quiet time. Alex travels well, but I’ve realized that once we get to our destination her appetite goes away for about a day or two. Dogs thrive on having a routine and when it gets disrupted, for some dogs like Alex, appetite diminishes.
Although it was early evening when we got to the beach, we were surprised to find a few people still enjoying the view and each others company.
Do you know what else we did while in MD? We bbqed. Well, to be quite honest, Cynthia prepared everything, and I was just the helper while Alex was taking a nap. We have wonderful memories of our time living in MD and this was our way of celebrating being together and looking forward to a new life in Boston, MA.
Do you know how Alex is going to welcome Spring? She will start by taking frequent naps specially when we go out sightseeing and/or shopping. She has to have her beauty sleep.
Alex’s naps will be followed by walks throughout the day. She is a senior, almost 13 years old, and as such it is very important that she keeps her mobility, therefore exercise within reason is essential.
Aside from naps and walks, Alex will also be working on some training. She enjoys it as long as the reward is food so that is easily accomplished. How will you and your furry kids be welcoming Spring?
In November 2013, Alex injured her ACL and I was beyond scared. So scared that I was ready to put her through surgery, but my better half, Cynthia, talked me out of it, and even today I am glad we made the right decision for Alex. Please, bear in mind that neither Cynthia nor I are vets nor pretend to be one, but we made the best choice for our furry kid Alex, taking into consideration her age, recovery period, chances of getting full recovery, and expenses.
At the beginning, Alex wore the brace featured in the above picture all the time, except for bed time, of course. She had tons of bed rest and this was easy to do because at the time of her injury she was already 11 years old so she loved to sleep. This is not an easy task to accomplish if you have a young dog.
Nowadays, Alex does not use her brace when she is at home anymore. She wears it only when we go out and when we visit family. Because of her ACL injury I changed a few things in order to help her heal and keep her free of pain. Here are a few of the changes I made for her:
- Walks – I try to get her out 2 to 3 times a day, when the weather is not too cold, for about 15-25
- Diet – Alex eats 75% human food, 25% kibble
- Bed – I got her an orthopedic bed
- Sun bathing – Sunbathing, in moderation, is excellent for her injury
- Heating pad – I put a heating pad on her during the evening. This accomplishes two things: it keeps her warm; and it helps improve her mobility
- Supplements – Omega 3 and Osteo-Pet total joint care
I cannot complain. Alex is doing great and she is about to turn 13 years old in May 5th. I still cannot believe it. My girl is a tough little cookie.
Alex and Bella (L to R)
Almost 5 months have gone by since Alex’s ACL injury, and I am glad that we did not put her through surgery. Well, that is thanks to Cynthia for talking me out of it. Years ago, Cynthia and I took a class in college and our instructor called us, the dynamic duo, and you know what? I think he was right because we have always relied on each other, and this was one time when I truly needed her support and advice.
Here’s a little update on Alex:
- Walks – She still wears the brace during our walks, but her speed and flexibility has greatly increased overtime. She does not wear the brace at home. Alex is walking longer than before, about 25 minutes once or twice a day. But the next day, just to be on the safe side, she takes shorter walks so she does not over do it.
- Rest – She sleeps a lot, she is almost 12 years old, but even at home she is more active. One thing we do not allow her to do at all is run up and down the stairs like she used to do before. Alex is probably thinking, “Mom you are a party pooper.”
- Diet – Since I started to feed her more human food than kibble, Alex’s appetite not only opened up, I love that, but she has not skipped a meal once.
Alex is also taking supplements to help her with her ACL injury, and I am also, little by little, trying different spices to help her arthritis. I can’t complain. My girl is doing fine and she is still active at almost 12 years of age. The combination of bedrest, supplements, walks, diet, etc., has certainly given Alex a new “leash” on life. Senior dogs are amazing.
Posted in Breeds, Dog Equipment, Dogs, foster dogs, Humor, Nutrition, Training, Walking
Tagged ACL injury, arthritis, Bedrest, diet, dog brace, exercise, senior dogs
Three weeks ago, we received the brace featured in the above picture for Alex and Cynthia took this picture minutes after we put it on her.
We got this brace for Alex because we wanted to use the least invasive method to treat her injury and so far this is what we do and have noticed:
- During the first week she was only able to walk 3 minutes inside the house after which she was exhausted
- Now, 3 weeks later, she is walking twice a day for 5-6 minutes and she still has energy afterwards
- We’ve taken her out twice, but the cold weather seems to make her limp more so we stopped doing it
- I started, since last night, to apply a warm compress after I removed her brace and put her to bed, and this morning she seemed to be more flexible
- I have to use a leash to prevent her from running up and down the stairs when I take her to do her business
- She is getting a lot of bed rest, along with a warm compress, small walks, and supplements
- She has been trying to play with her Nylabone, but I had to stop her for she throws it in the air and runs after it
Alex is doing better, but Cynthia and I know that she has a long road to recovery, and we’ll do our best to help her get back to her old hyper self. Have a great week and enjoy your canine companions.
Posted in ACL Injury, Breeds, Dog Equipment, Dogs, Humor, Nutrition, Outings, senior dogs, Walking
Tagged Anterior cruciate ligament injury, Bedrest, dog brace, Knee, Nylabone, supplements, warm compress
Tomorrow, Friday, will be two months since Alex, per her vet’s advice, was put on limited walks and a lot of bedrest. I was hoping that she’d be ready to go for our nice long walks, but a couple of days ago she started to limp again. The limping lasted a couple of hours and after that it went away. I called the vet and I was told to take her back for an appt. next week.
I did a bit of research on pet hydrotherapy and I’ll be talking about it with Alex’s vet next week to see if this would be something that she can try to build muscle around the affected area.
Alex will be 11 years old on May 5th and I am planning to pamper my girl that day, but I also know that she has different needs that a young dog so she’ll stay with short walks until I talk to the vet next week. If you have tried hydrotherapy with your dog(s), I’d love to get your input.
Posted in Breeds, Dog Equipment, Dogs, Humor, Nutrition, Outings, Walking
Tagged Bedrest, Friday, Health, hydrotherapy, muscle, pamper, Weightlessness
Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be 6 weeks of Alex being on limited walks and a lot of bed rest.
Alex seems to be enjoying her bed rest.
Walter, on the other hand, decided that the best place for him to hang out and fall asleep is under the table. I guess he does that because in the wild a den is where they go to sleep, raise a family and to avoid danger. What is your dog’s favorite place(s)?
Posted in Breeds, Dog Equipment, Dogs, Humor, Nutrition, Outings, Walking
Tagged bed, Bedrest, Business, den, Dog, Recreation, thunderstorm