I realized that I haven't posted here much recently, so it seems to be time for an update on my baby, Joshua!

Two months ago I got laid off from my job. The bright side of this otherwise not-so-bright situation was that I'd have lots of time to be with Joshua this spring. I had plans for lots of play time, lots of walks, and lots of trips to his favorite local dog park.

Unfortunately a week later during one of our visits to the park, Joshua slipped while jumping over a big log and hurt his leg! I took him to the vet to get examined and x-rayed, and they determined he had either a bad sprain or a minor tear to a ligament on his knee (they compared it to an ACL tear for humans). The good news was he didn't need surgery - he could recover on his own at home. The bad news...his recovery was dependent on us severely restricting his activity for 8 weeks! :(

So, we're talking no walks, no playing, no running, no stairs, no trips to the dog park, no chasing the cats around the house, etc. Basically we had to keep him calm and as inactive as possible for as long as possible. OMG it was so hard - Joshua is SUCH an active dog! But, somehow, he and I both got through it. We live in a three-story house, so we had to block off the stairs and carry him up and down when necessary, leash him to the bed post at night so he wouldnn't jump up and down off of our bed, only take him outside long enough to do his business and then come right back in, etc. It was really frustrating, but I tried to play with him and give him as much attention as possible. He got lots of toys and treats and Kongs, and he rode pretty much everywhere possible with me in the car since that seemed better than crating him or tying him up in the house to keep him from running or jumping on the couch while I was gone. It was quite a hassle, but luckily I don't think his injury was that bad because he seemed to recover pretty quickly. The vet said we could start doing some short walks and letting him walk up and down the stairs after 3-4 weeks, so it got much easier after that.

Now he's pretty much back to his normal activity level, thank goodness! We went to an off-leash dog park for the first time last weekend, and if the weather is nice I think I'll take him again tomorrow. I'm still a little worried about the way he likes to jump off of the really high agility equipment at our local dog park because I don't want him to re-injure his leg. I always try to discourage him from those jumps, but he follows other dogs up onto the equipment and then just flies off the top to the ground in a split second, before I can get over there to stop him and make him walk down properly. Silly dog!

Anyway, that's been the big excitement in Joshua's world for the past couple of months. I think he likes me being home (I still haven't found a new job) and it's going to be a big change for him once I start working full time again and both my husband and I are gone all day long.

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Comment by Sarah on June 15, 2009 at 6:07pm
I'm glad to hear that Cori healed from his cruciate tear on his own! I think the glucosamine supplement we have for Joshua has MSM in it...I'll have to go check to be sure, though.
Comment by Karen Stasky on June 15, 2009 at 4:10pm
My boy Cori tore his cruciate when he was 3-I chose not to do surgury because he was "over-enthusiastic" and there was no way he was going to rehab quietly-he's 11 now and he's been doing very well-some arthritis, but not bad-he has been on glucosamine and MSM (the MSM kicks in quicker) since his recovery.
Comment by Bev Levy on June 13, 2009 at 8:57am
Sparty does have arthritis. Also, dogs with this injury are very likely to tear their other knee too so be careful. We have just adjusted some of Sparty's favorite activities such instead of throwing a ball for him we toss it to him. He loves to catch it too and it is not as hard on his knees. We are extra careful because Sparty is very anxious so would not make a good candidate for surgery. He throws a fit over just being dried off after a bath so I can't imagine how bad he would be after an operation. Glucosamine is good too. Hope you get lucky and don't have to go through more.
Comment by Sarah on June 12, 2009 at 12:50pm
Cruciate ligament - that's it! I couldn't think of it yesterday and was too lazy to go find where it was written down. We only gave Joshua pain meds for the first couple of days, but after that he seemed to feel fine without them. I am glad to hear Sparty recovered nicely from his injury! I know I will now always be a little bit worried about Joshua re-injuring himself, but we'll just be as careful as we can and hope he stays healthy. Unfortunately, he's a super exhuberant, active dog, and he's pretty young, so there is a chance he could do something like this again. :( Our vet said he will most likely get arthritis pain from this injury later in his life, so we've been giving him some glucosamine supplements to try to prevent that as much as possible.
Comment by Bev Levy on June 12, 2009 at 9:04am
It was probably the cruciate ligament. It is the most common injury in dogs requiring surgery. Sparty did the same thing and after much consultation with the vet we decided not to do surgery. We curtailed his activities and used a very little stint of pain meds(the object is for him not to do too much. Pain meds allow him to get carried away). That was two years ago and he is doing very well but he is not as active as he once was. He is ten. My vet said it probably was a partial tear and has healed enough to support regular activity. We will always have to be a little careful with him but so far so good. My neighbors dog had the surgery and did very well also. Our decision was based on my dog's temperment and the extent of his injury. Good luck.
Comment by Karen Stasky on June 12, 2009 at 8:47am
Walking in water will have more benifits for him than swimming for his injury-dogs don't use their hind legs for swimming, so walk him in water that's about mid-line on his body
Comment by Sarah on June 11, 2009 at 7:13pm
Sam - I should know but I don't recall the technical term the vet used to discribe the particular ligament she thought was injured. She wrote it down for me on my vet paperwork but I don't know where I put it. She described it as a ligament that is commonly torn in injuries like this (it was his back right leg). When he got hurt he was holding his leg up and would not put any weight on it. They xrayed it and did some kind of movement exam to try to determine where and to what extent his leg was injured. They didn't see any fractures and didn't feel much "slipping" around his knee joint, so they decided it was most likely a minor tear or a bad sprain.

Karen - there is a dog park in the area that has a pond the dogs can swim in. We went there for the first time last weekend but he didn't seem very interested in following the other dogs into the water. I have been curious lately about whether or not I'll be able to get him into the water to swim, because like you said, corgis aren't built for it and some of them won't do it. I have gotten him to walk into the water a foot or so at a lake and down at the beach recently, but he'd only go in if I went with him and had him on the leash. I tried tossing a stick out another foot farther but he just stood there looking at it. :) Anyway, I do intend to try to find more opportunities to work on getting him into swimming, because I know it's good exercise. Thanks for the suggestion about walking in sand, too!

Arrow - Actually he was pretty well-behaved, but I think it helped a lot that I was here with him pretty much all the time, so I could pay lots of attention to him, etc. He did chew on an electrical cord once, which was something he hadn't done before, but he hasn't done it since then. He has TONS of toys all over the place and we encourage him to play with them a lot. He didn't have any accidents in the house, or anything. The only real problem we had was, once we started up the walks again after a few weeks, he was SUPER exhuberant about it and pulled and lunged and jumped and tried sooooo hard to get loose and run faster than we were forcing him to walk on the leash. It took awhile to get him re-trained to walk properly on a loose leash (he's not perfect still, but he's back to being about as good of a leash walker now as he was before he got hurt). It seemed to help to put him on a harnass, for some reason. I thought maybe he just didn't like, or wasn't used to, the way it felt on his body, so he was less inclined to run around as much or something. I dunno...he just seemed to walk a little more cooperatively on the harnass.
Comment by Arrow and Pengu on June 11, 2009 at 1:10pm
Wow! Glad to hear he's doing well... did you see any bad behavior due to lack of run time?
Comment by Karen Stasky on June 11, 2009 at 9:38am
glad to hear he is doing well-do you have a place where you can swim him? they do need to learn to swim (they're not built for it)-start by walking him in water-it's a safe way to burn lots of energy and build muscles-also walking him in sand helps too
Comment by Sam Tsang on June 11, 2009 at 9:23am
Thanks for the update, glad you guys are doing well. Where was the injured area specifically?

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