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Gunnar LOVES to play ball. We just moved from the suburbs to a place with some space for him to run and I can throw the ball and he will go chase it until he's totally tired out. Seems like a a good way to exercise him.

Problem is that he's tearing up his hind legs. I've found sores on the back of his hocks. Both legs, different spots where the hair is gone and scabs over the skin.

I think what's going on is he runs full speed, then slides if he misses the ball. The ground around here is mixed sandy soil, low grass, thin weeds, just prairie. I walk around bare foot no problem, so no rocks or hard dried clay.

I'm not real concerned about the abrasions themselves, as they will heal, but he's only 8 month old and I don't want him to do permanent damage while his bones are still growing. Do you guys think we need to quit on this game for a while?
 

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My girl loves playing ball too! They sell doggie boots or wrap up where he's getting hurt before he plays. Most of all, allow him to heal and not do it too soon between plays, perhaps even shorten the plays. I check my girl's paws and stoppers constantly when I'm playing ball with her and stop play once I see the first sign of trouble. Then I let her heal for several days before I play ball with her again. She seems to have built some resistance since. While she heals, I walk her every day.
 

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Maybe just dont throw it so far or you can get some little boots for him so that his skin is protected?

As far as permanent damage, he stops when he's tired right? and it's not concrete, so he should be fine
 

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I would watch it, you don't want torn ligaments or worse as the repair is intense and expensive. Little boots aren't going to help.
There are other ways to work your puppy. Is there anyplace you can take him to swim? Fetch in water is much safer!
 

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I would watch it, you don't want torn ligaments or worse as the repair is intense and expensive. Little boots aren't going to help.
There are other ways to work your puppy. Is there anyplace you can take him to swim? Fetch in water is much safer!
This - we've just been through torn ligaments. We never had a dog that seemed so athletic, but just like professional human athletes, they get injuries.
 

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imho, you need to really slow things down for your pup, aside fom torn ligaments, you might do some damage that will show in later years.
 

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Our puppy that is just a few days over 5 months and also loves fetch. I check his paws frequently. I do play fetch once/twice a day for short intervals and combine it with obedience. He does run full speed when he chases the ball and often slides, twists and tumbled when he was younger for the ball. I have been playing fetch with him since we have got him at 8 weeks. I know our puppy will chase and retrieve the ball to the point of exhaustion.

Nevertheless HD, elbow or joint problems is always on the back of mind. I find the statistics of HD rather frightening. However, I just can’t see not playing fetch. So I keep the sessions short. Anyways I plan on getting a prelim x-ray when he is a year for peace of mind.
 

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I plan on getting a prelim x-ray when he is a year for peace of mind.
I had my pup x-ray'd at 6 months for that peace of mind. Didn't have to send them in for eval, it was evident the hips were ok.
I wanted to know what was going on inside to be proactive just in case(we were beginning in IPO)
 

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I had my pup x-ray'd at 6 months for that peace of mind. Didn't have to send them in for eval, it was evident the hips were ok.
I wanted to know what was going on inside to be proactive just in case(we were beginning in IPO)
Was it a penn hip? I have heard about penn hip but really don't know much about it. One reason why I am also waiting for a year is I head that to get the correct x-rays they may need to be sedated or knocked out.
 

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Not Penn hip. The vet I used was one of the pioneers in developing the hip evals, so his word was good enough.
I was fortunate to have him do the 2 yr films for OFA's before he retired.
They did (ace injection)sedation which wasn't that bad, my dog was back to normal after the 45 minute drive home. I agree, though, don't want to unnecessarily knock a dog out.
 
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