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Pawsed 05-30-2014 09:54 AM

My Pup's Story and A Warning About Forced Exercise
I'm new here, so I'm not sure where to post this. I hope I'm in the right place.

I've seen some people asking about jogging with their puppies, so I thought I would post our guy's story.

I found him on Craigslist. One of those ads that makes you concerned for the fate of the dog. Those we-have-to-get-rid-of-him-as-soon-as-possible ads. I wasn't particularly looking to get another dog. We had suddenly lost a wonderful 3 year old female to cancer a few months before and I wasn't sure I wanted another dog. But I wasn't happy about this ad, so I pursued it. My husband and I met one of the owners at a gas station that was about half way between our homes and we bought the dog, who was 6 months old at that time.

He's long-haired and we didn't realize how thin he was until we got him home. We also didn't realize he was totally nuts about water, and that he was lame, until we got home with him.

I tracked down the breeder, who was livid at the situation, and found that he is very well bred, his mother being imported pregnant from Europe. I wanted to know if any of his issues might have been genetic, since our vet had diagnosed him with diabetes insipidus, which turned out to be incorrect. His issues, however, were all man-made.

We learned that this little guy was owned by a couple who were totally clueless about this pup, and who didn't seek the help they needed. They never increased the amount they were feeding him from the time they got him at 9 weeks. They also didn't know how to housebreak him, so they severely limited his water intake. To add more insult to that, they jogged him 2 miles a day.

After getting his diet and water issues straightened out, and watching him continue to limp, we finally found a vet who specializes in lameness in dogs. We found out that his joints had survived the exercise program, thank goodness, but his tendons hadn't. He has serious soft tissue damage to one shoulder and less soft tissue damage to both elbows. That shoulder is noticeably smaller than the other, with very little muscular development. He's been protecting it for most of his life. The only treatment is rest, and it's very challenging to keep a young dog quiet, as you can imagine.

He just turned one year old and he's still limping with most every step. There has been some slight improvement, and we are holding out hope that he will eventually get over this, but it will take months more.

He is a wonderfully happy dog, except when we have to restrain him from playing with the other dogs. It's heartbreaking, and we feel he is being deprived of his entire puppyhood. Hopefully, he will get through this and can some day run and jump with the others.

I wanted to post this to let others know that it's not a good idea to force your puppy to exercise. There is a chance that the nutritional condition he was in at the time contributed to the damage this puppy is dealing with, but I would not take the chance of jogging with any young dog. It's just not worth the risk.

Thanks for reading this saga, and please wish us luck with this much too long confinement for an incredibly forgiving puppy.

Gretchen 05-30-2014 10:14 AM

Thank you for posting and for your patience and persistence in restoring your dog's health and well being. About a year ago I saw a man running his GSD pup (about 5-6months) next to him on a bicycle. I tried to catch up to him to tell him to stop, but he was too far ahead.

We also had very nice neighbors that were clueless about dog ownership. They had a Rott mix, huge male about 125lbs. They were in their 50's and decided they should get back in shape. I remember one day the husband came home and was so proud he jogged 5 miles with the young Rotty. After a year the humans looked fabulous but the dog was only 2 and his front legs and shoulders were weak and soar from jogging next to his owners. We used to care for him and he could barely get up into my small low to the ground sedan.

Pawsed 05-30-2014 10:35 AM

Thanks for your reply. I hate to hear of other stories like the ones you mentioned. But I suppose there is no shortage of clueless pet owners. I guess we all were at some point. I wish the animals didn't have to pay the price for that.

I know these people meant no harm to this dog. They were very nice folks. But I wish they had never bought a dog, and hope they never do again, at least not without informing themselves first.

carmspack 05-30-2014 10:48 AM

you can feed to repair damage to cartilage and tendons . Provide anti oxidant rich food, anti inflammatory rich food , provide natural Vitamin C and A and omega 3 , bone broth, provide glucosamine and chondroitin (bone broth) , MSM and other sulfur rich foods , l cysteine found in eggs and whey , foods which provide minerals such as magnesium , sources of the B vitamins , clean protein , egg shell membrane , and hydration -- coconut water is excellent .
proteolytic (papain / bromelain ) and digestive enzymes -- collagen (once again from bone broth) or an additional Knox gelatin. However , do read the package for the ingredients in Knox -- bone sourced collagen as in the original Knox is not so easy to find --- lot of it is now sea-plant agar agar based .
a diet can help prevent damage and a diet can help repair ligaments and cartilage .

Pawsed 05-30-2014 11:12 AM

Thanks for your input and advice.

We cook for our dogs and feel like he's on a very good diet. I'm sure there is always room for improvement, though, so I appreciate your suggestions. I will look into those. He's been on a Glucosamine/Condroitin supplement since we picked him up.

It took us almost a month to get him over his obsession with water. He drank all we put out, and then couldn't control himself, even peeing in his sleep when he tried to nap. That would wake him up, so he wasn't getting much rest, and of course, we weren't either. He got upset if he saw another dog drinking "his" water.

We finally had to limit his intake in order to get him housebroken, and to get him to eat, since he filled up on water and refused food. And we were all exhausted, constantly taking him outside, and his not able to sleep. We gave him 3 times the recommended amount of water for his age and weight, spread throughout the day. After 3 and a half weeks of that, when he eventually left a very small amount in the bowl, we were able to fill the water bowls and leave them out. He still drank more than usual, but wouldn't gorge on it like he had before. He now pays very little attention to water, except to play in it.

He's had a tough start, but we are hoping it will only get better from here.

carmspack 05-30-2014 11:33 AM

glucosamine should be paired with MSM .

Bridget 05-30-2014 12:12 PM

I am so glad you have him and are taking such good care of him. Thank you.

Pawsed 05-30-2014 12:47 PM

Thanks for that info. We had him on MSM as well, but our new vet says that it isn't really necessary to combine Glucosamine with anything else. According to him, the current studies have found that the really significant thing is the Glucosamine.

Pawsed 05-30-2014 12:57 PM

Thanks, Bridget, for your comment. I'm really glad I stumbled onto him, for his sake, and I feel like we are the lucky ones to have him in our family. He's a very special dog, very silly and playful, making us laugh every day. Even with all his problems, and the original vet advising us to send him back, we never had any doubts about keeping him. And through it all, he's never been the least bit depressed. He just wants to do it all, with gusto, in spite of his pain. He's a great example for us to try to follow.

Cassidy's Mom 05-30-2014 01:45 PM

Wow, what a sad story. Sounds like he ended up in the right place though. I hope with your loving care he'll overcome the damage done by his previous owners and end up being the healthy dog he deserves to be.

Can you post some pictures? I have longcoats too - love them!

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