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When I first adopted Nash he moved rather badly, and often stood with his back legs almost crossed. Because of the way he moved and stood, the awesome rescue, Big Dogs Big Hearts, was wonderful enough to x-ray him before I adopted him; his hips and knees looked good. I chalked it up to an utter lack of muscle tone (he was pretty underweight when they pulled him from a shelter in TN). I got him on an exercise regime and he gained weight and muscle. His movement did improve a lot, but was still odd.
Skinny Nash:


This shows his back legs, how they would almost cross when he stood:


A few months ago (2 or 3) his movement seemed to be changing again, it was a slight change, but it was there. He started pacing more, instead of trotting like he normally did, and his movement seemed a bit more "snappier" than usual. He never had smooth, fluid movement, but it seemed a little bit worse. He also just seemed a bit . . . uncomfortable, I guess, when moving. I took him to my vet and she manipulated all his limb joints, said he had full range of motion, didn't have any pain responses to all the poking and prodding. She couldn't see an obvious reason he would be moving odd. I asked if maybe it was his back; I know I move differently when my back hurts; and asked about taking him to see a chiropractor. She agreed it could be his back and said she would send a referral if I needed one, to where ever I wanted.

This picture was taken when I started to notice a change, notice he is pacing (moving the legs on the same side together) instead of trotting and his lower back is roached up a bit:


This one is trotting:


Shortly after that visit we got an appointment with a rehabilitation vet here in Greece (suburb of Rochester, NY). We met with the vet there; the chiropractor was unable to make it to the initial patient visit. The Dr. had the same findings as my vet, that he had full range of motion and no pain responses to his limbs being manipulated and moved all around. She felt his groin area, stating that sometimes a pulled muscle or something in that area can sometimes be an issue, but everything there felt fine. Then we went outside and I walked and ran with him, she videoed it. She agreed he was moving oddly, felt him over again, but was stumped as to why. She said she would give the videos to the chiropractor and assured me that, if anyone could, she (the chiro) would be able to figure it out. The vet showed me how to stretch him out and recommended doing stretches regularly for now and running him over cavalettis. He could not do the cavalettis properly, I had to shorten the distance between them quite a bit because he had so much trouble extending enough to avoid knocking them.

A week later, we had our appointment with the chiropractor, she had watched the videos of his movement and suspected an issue with his hamstrings. She felt them and yep they were not right. She said his hamstrings were not long enough. She also said he was having back pain, but it was because of the hamstrings. He was roaching his back quite a bit when moving to compensate for the pain in his hamstrings when he extended his hind legs. His hamstrings were also why his legs would snap back up, it was like a rubber band being pulled too tight when he extended his legs, and then snapping back. His right was a bit worse than his left.

Worried Nash:


She said she would suspect this to be from being crated or kept confined for a long period of time while growing, not being able to move normally caused the muscles not to develop properly. That went along with what my vet said when his feet had been x-ray (for a broken toe). He has many old injuries to his feet that my vet said would be typical of a dog kept in a small space he was trying to break out of. The chiropractor said if he had gone to an inactive pet home he probably would barely be able to move at this point (not that the rescue would have let this guy go to an inactive home!).

She adjusted his back, which he loved, and recommend therapeutic ultrasound once a week on his hamstrings, stretching his legs several times a day, running him over an A frame every day 10 times or so and twice daily putting a warm rice bag on his hamstrings and massaging them. His first therapeutic ultrasound was on 9/18 and he has had 5 total so far. I stretch his legs 4 times a day, and the day of and day after his ultrasound I try to do 6-8 stretches or more if I can, as well as doing the heat/massage and going over the A frame every day.
Happy Nash:


He had a recheck (and another adjustment) with the chiropractor last week and she was thrilled with his improvement. His movement is so much better. He doesn't roach his back up, he is trotting way more often and his legs are not snapping back up. She said his muscles feel much more normal, in fact, almost completely normal. They did another therapeutic ultrasound that day, another one a few days later and he has one more tomorrow. Then she wants me to start working him on a treadmill at a slight incline, just a swift walk, for 20 minutes a day (we will work up to that) so we can strengthen his hamstrings. Now that he is moving differently, and the muscles are more normal, they need to be strengthened properly. I've also been taking him swimming 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes to help strengthen them (its also just a great way to tire him out a bit).

Swimming is fun!


He will probably need daily stretching for the rest of his life (which is no big deal), but he should be able to move comfortably after all is said and done!

I guess what I learned from all of this is that if you notice something a bit off with your dog, even if it seems little or very slight (I sometimes thought I was just seeing things and being paranoid) pursue it! Nash is feeling so much better now and will have more years pain free than if I had ignored it . . . and he thinks that is pretty awesome!
 

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thats great you figured out what was wrong! i'm glad you have to the time to do all that for him. thats really great. he's definitely got a great home with you!
 

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I don't really have the time to do all that with him (or the money) but we just make it work! (I sleep less and buy less things, lol)
 

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lol 3 dogs and 2 kids i wouldnt have the time. i work almost full time too so i really wouldnt have the time!! i'm anxious for being able to train more exclusively with my dogs in a couple weeks time. Its still good that he found a home that loves him so much!
 

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What a beautiful boy he is. :) I'm smiling from ear to ear, what a lucky boy to have found such a loving home. Well done to you for offering your home and your heart to such a special boy.
 

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you have done a wonderful job with him and he looks great!!!! Chiros can do amazing things and it's obvious Nash has benefited from it:)
 

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Thank you for all you are doing for your beautiful boy! It's lovely to read a happy ending story :)
 

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making it work is really great. i'm glad
your dog is doing well. you're
doing a great job taking care of him.

I don't really have the time to do all that with him (or the money) but we just make it work! (I sleep less and buy less things, lol)
 

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What an awesome job you are doing with him! He's lucky to have found you.
 

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Thanks everyone:) Thanks BDBH for bringing him up here and letting me have him:)
 

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How great for Nash that he ended up with BDBH and then you. He looks like a real character! I'm so glad the problem has been identified and that he is improving. Thanks for taking such good care of him and for sharing his story!
 
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