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Sore 11 week old BC pup


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Hello all,

 

So I have an 11 week old female bc pup who is a joy. She has great instincts and loves herding our soccer ball. She's already learned to fetch and I think if it were up to her she would play like that all day. I noticed yesterday and today that she has been limping a little during and after we play. I examined her and squeezed her legs and can't seem to find any localized pain. I was wondering if anyone has ever had a similar problem or if it is common for puppies to get "shin splints?" It seems to be her front legs causing her problems. I have some anti-inflammatory meds for my lab that I chopped up and gave her a small portion of which seemed to help a lot. She may have to be grounded from ball chasing for a while if it doesn't clear up. Thanks!

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11 weeks is way too young for a pup to be playing hard with a soccer ball. Also, I would not recommend just giving her a chopped up bit of anti-inflammatory. You need to see the vet and then take it from there. It sounds like she is playing too hard, rough, long and needs moderate controlled exercise not ball chasing. She is still developing and soft tissue injury is avoidable with properly structured play, ball induced play is forced play as they won't quit and most owners don't know when to quit either. It's a viscous cycle that is avoidable at this age. Good luck and let us know how she's doing!

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Thanks for the advice, she has a vet appointment in a few days for shots so I'll mention it then unless it progresses. I think I'll restrict her activity for the rest of the week which will drive her crazy but should help. We play with her in a group of dogs so while I may not be throwing the ball for her all the time, she is constantly chasing the bigger dogs. This is something that I'll have to monitor from now on.

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My word of warning: Be very careful allowing a pup (especially) to play in a larger group of dogs who are chasing a ball. Injuries can and do happen. My main work and trial dog has a permanent shoulder injury and is lame off and on (she'll be 8 this month) thanks to a house mate doing just that sort of play with a group of dogs when the youngster was 6 months old. Dogs who are wild for a ball will not pay one bit of attention to the other dogs, and especially not a puppy, and the end result is usually someone (generally the puppy) getting hurt. The fact that your pup is lame is a good indication that you have been overdoing it with her.

 

Puppy play should consist mainly of what the pup would do by itself. That is, chewing on toys, tossing stuff in the air and chasing it, mouth wrestling with other dogs. Anytime you allow a pup to engage in repeated high-impact activities you are risking the pup's structural health.

 

ETA: I have a nearly 16 week old pup. Here's what his daily activity consists of: generally three long walks with the rest of the pack. Time in his outdoor kennel playing with bones and other found objects and toys. Wrestling with two of the other dogs in the house. Playing tug with me or one of the dogs who will play with him. Chewing on cow hooves. Grabbing bits of old fleece (bags of fleeces waiting to go to the dump which he broke open) and tossing them in the air or running around with it trying to get someone interested in a game of keep away. A very occasional sedate game of fetch in the house with whatever he brings me. Short throws, item rolling before he gets to it, and maybe only three of four throws.

 

Remember that if you start your pup out by constantly playing with her and entertaining her, you'll create a dog who wants to constantly play and be entertained. Puppies need way more downtime than play time.

 

 

J.

P.S. Border collies don't herd balls or other inanimate objects. The herd livestock.

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Hi,

 

I have a 6 month old pup who was limping about a month ago. His limp (back left) was possibly caused by a trip while getting into the car. We actually weren't totally sure since he makes no noise when he is hurt- but from what the vet said it was either that or stepping out of a ditch or hole. Anyways, he was swollen at the ankle joint and he held it up. The vet was concerned about growth plate injuries (that was scary) but he ended up healing after a few days and we had him on rest for an additional week.

 

I am a new BC owner, so this may just be common knowledge to everyone- but I really thought that it was up to me to ensure a lot of exercise for the pup. I think I did a lot of stuff wrong like having him do the stairs, long walks, some jump ups and running. I read so much about border collies but for some reason nothing mentioned that exercise should be low as a pup- all I saw was that I need to be a good owner and give him a lot exercise until he slows down. Shiloh does not slow down, he looks to us to set his limits! In hindsight I think he got an injury from too much pup exercise as opposed to the isolated incident. We felt responsible for his injury and really badly for not limiting exercise.

 

We are trying to make it up now with raw feeding, some supplements and appropriate exercise. Shiloh has a lot of energy, so we finally understood that we will just go forever. So now we walk on leash for about 15 minutes, off leash running and training for about 30 minutes and then we bring him home, we do that twice a day and small pee break walks every 3 or 4 hours. Even if he could keep going we give him his space and basically ignore him (after he eats) so he will fall asleep. At home he can play with toys on his own- but we only "play" outside with him and use home time for sleeping, eating and cuddles.

 

I hope this helps-

 

Simona

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