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how to keep my bc on bedrest?


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today harlow had a scary accident....she tore a tendon in her paw and just missed an artery by a hair. after surgery i was able to pick her up and they said to keep her on bedrest for 2-3 weeks. how can i possibly keep a border collie on bedrest that long? she goes for off leash walks everyday for a few hours and i have no idea what to do. any suggestions would be very helpfull

thanks

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OUCH!! Glad she's okay!

 

Crate and kongs, kongs and crate will really help. Take her usual food and stuff it in the kong and freeze it (kibble can be soaked first to make it mushy so it freezes) to make her work a bit to eat it. My dogs will also settle for quite a while gnawing on beef rib bones - I buy a slab of beef ribs, cut them apart, trim the excess fat off and let them chew away.

 

If you don't already, look into clicker training and work on teaching her tricks over the course of the next few weeks - the mental work will go a long way toward tiring her out and helping her settle.

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I agree with Maralynn. Also, did your vet mention anything about rehab? Tendons that have been torn once are more susceptible to re-injury, so at some point I think you'd want to look into physical therapy/rehab to lessen the chances of re-injury. There is a board member who doesn't post much whose dog is now going through rehab for a cut tendon. I can put you in touch with her if you'd like.

 

J.

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I am going through this with Tiga right now and let me tell you it's challenging. It's getting easier as he's pretty adaptable, but we have about 3 months of this ahead of us. He goes for surgery on the 20th. We've been using kongs a lot. It keeps him occupied for almost an hour at a time. We usually put kibble and fat free plain yogurt in it and freeze it. We've been trying to teach him new tricks and trying a little clicker training. In the day time when we're not home we put him in the bedroom with baskets on the bed so he can't jump up. He's never been in a crate so the vet said this works just fine. It stops him from running up the stairs when we get home. Going up stairs, we put a towel around his belly but we don't carry him up, it's just to catch him if he falls. We've been on rest for a little over 2 weeks and we're adjusting. Only problem is we're in the middle of moving. Right now we have carpet but the new place doesn't so that will be a whole new challenge.

 

I wish you the best of luck. It won't be easy, but you'll get through it. Mental stimulation is key. If you come up with any cool things to do let me know. We have a long road ahead and we can use all the help we can get.

 

I think I'm the person Julie was talking about.

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When a dog is on extended rest you do need to watch their weight gain. Since they won't be exercising they aren't working off their food and if on top of that you are adding treats you end up with chubby dogs. We had to cutback on the regular food and actually put our acd on a diet prior to surgery so we didn't have to cutback the food/treats as much afterwards. We learned after the surgery on her other knee.

 

Teach new tricks, stuffed kongs that have been frozen, dog proof the house as best you can. We bought an Xpen to keep Foster in while we were at work or if we decided it was time for her to rest. She was walking on the repaired leg (TPLO on knee) the day after surgery both times so we had to really limit her. And yes we gave her benedryl to try and calm her down a hair. It didn't work :rolleyes:

 

Also check out rehab or find out what exercises you should do to get the mobility back. Tammy this also goes for you. Dogs will start losing their mobility in not just surgically repaired knee but also in the ankle/hock area. You will need to stretch the area and unless you know how to do it then don't do it as doing it improperly can cause damage to the knee.

 

Good luck with good healing.

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I think I would be the friend that doesn't post often!!

 

We are on month 4 of complete rest from a severed tendon during play in the yard. My dog severed her flexor tendon which is just above the carpal pad. Luckily the emergency vet told me that she would definately need rehab for this injury because my regular (just does shots, etc...) vet thought it would be ok with splinting/casting for 6 weeks and then a gradual return to exercise. My dog should return to full mobility and be able to go back to work, but its going to be a LONG journey to get there.

 

Tendons are actually harder to heal than broken or even crushed bones. The reason being is that tendons get minimal blood flow and because of their structure the fibers, which normally go up and down, tend to cross and not grow back the same way because the tendon is basically being held together by scar tissue.

 

My dog started with a cast and complete rest for 6 weeks, during the first 6 weeks she went to the vet and got k-laser, icing and let her leg get air 2x a week. After the inital casting we went on to a rehab/ortho certified vet and she measured and fitted her for a custom brace that slowly allows her to use the joint. She is still getting k laser, theraputic ultrasound and icing 2x a day 2x a week and is just now starting to be slowly allowed to use the leg under vet supervision. I do some weight bearing exercises at home but I am just starting that, along with daily icing and a chinese tendon supplement. Otherwise at home she is on complete rest. In her crate at home right now she has 2 deer antler chews, 3 cow hooves, a treat ball and a kong that gets frozen every night for her. I also placed her crate near a window so that she could see outside some too.

 

The reason behind all of this rehab, which will by the way will go on for ~8 more months before she can return to work, is that in order to heal the tendon they must be immobialized, which wastes away muscle and tendon along with bone. Then if you immediately put weight back on that tendon, it isn't strong enough to hold the joint up, in my dogs case the carpus drops when her tendon has had enough! If I had put her immediately to work her carpus would have dropped and after a time it wouldn't have been able to be repaired.

 

I'm am truthfully glad I found a great rehab vet (and thanks to the e vet for telling me that it wasn't a simple injury) because my regular vet didn't seem to understand the impact of the injury to a working dog....feel free to email me here or at my regular home email if you want more information or support. Believe me, its a long journey.

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thanks to everyone who replied back with their ideas and who also emailed me. they are all coming in handy. what happened was harlow went for her usual off leash pack walk and at the end of it i noticed her foot was bleeding. she had a hard time putting weight on it so i carried all 43 pounds of her to the car and to the vet.

 

the vet saw she tore a tendon right away and did surgery. i had to leave to go to work so when i called to check on her a few hours later the vet said she had 'puppy angels' looking over her that day since the cut missed a major artery by a hair. the park where we walk at to the vet is only a few miles but the vet said she probably would've bled out in that time.

 

thankfully she's scared of change. and it's about the only thing she is scared of. with the cone on her head she rarely moves and i have to pick her up to take her places, including outside. i'm only keeping it on when i cant watch her myself.

 

the vet said nothing about therapy afterwards. i'm just glad i have my girl home and she's ok :rolleyes:

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Harlow,

Not all vets are well-versed in things like physical therapy. For Harlow's sake, you might want to *ask* or check in with a sports vet. You don't give much detail on the tendon that was cut, but the fact is that even if the tendon heals, Harlow may still have problems if appropriate physical therapy/rehab isn't done. And of course, just like with torn ACLs, there is always the potential for the tendon to be weaker and more likely to be damaged again.

 

Kelly's (TimberviewFarm) vet didn't say anything about rehab either, but when Kelly got a second opinion and noted that her dog was a working dog whom she also wanted to trial, the second vet took a decidedly different view from the first vet regarding follow up care for her dog. None of this may be relevant to Harlow's case, but if I were you I'd err on the side of caution and ask, so you aren't surprised and/or disappointed later if you find that Harlow doesn't have normal function in that leg and you could have prevented it. (I don't remember the specifics in Kelly's case, but ISTM that when the support bandage came off Jen, the repaired tendon did NOT support her pastern properly, which is why Kelly sought a second opinion. She can clarify if she comes back to this thread.)

 

You don't say which tendon was damaged, but since the tendons support the foot and leg in the proper position, it's possible that a weakened tendon would not support Harlow's leg and you could end up with a dog whose pastern won't stay upright or similar (again, this depends on which tendon was actually damaged). I'm not saying this to scare you, but you should know that it may not be as simple as your vet has implied (or as you have understood).

 

J.

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thanks, i will get a second opinion as soon as i can. i don't use her for a working dog, only a pet, but i take her on anywhere from a 3-7 mile off leash walk everyday. and she's usually running the entire time. so i will get it looked into.

 

the tendon that was cut was on her left front paw right behind her big paw pad. only one, thankfully. my friends went back to the area and think it may have been old barbed wire that fell during the winter.

 

the bed rest isn't as bad as i thought....all she wants to do is hang out with me and lay on my lap. when i move she moves closer. she's hurt, knows it, and i'm pretty sure knows that i'm just trying to help her

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My dog cut her leg right at the carpal pad which is the pad on the back on the leg but the tendon that Jen cut was her flexor tendon that runs down the leg and into the toes. You may want to ask the vet what tendon was cut so that you can know what you are dealing with. I still do not know to this day what my dog actually cut her leg and tendon on.

 

My first vet didn't say anything about rehab, just said 6 weeks and then we will go from there...luckily I was concerned about how her leg looked after removing the cast and remember the emergency vet saying something about a long rehab for this type of injury (I was to distraught to remember exactly what she said) so decided when my vet didn't seem too concerned about my concerns with how the leg looked to ask for a 2nd opinion. Luckily I have a great friend who is a vet who told me to take her immediately to a ortho/rehab specialist for my 2nd opinion. This is a very uncommon injury so most vets are not well versed in the proper care, especially for a very active dog.

 

I would take all tendon injuries a little seriously unless you have a very inactive dog since they are so hard to heal and easy to reinjure if not cared for properly. The rehab vet tells me that tendons take a year to fully heal. What also really scared me was that a tendon is what basically supports the leg and it takes at least 4 weeks for the tendon to start to close together, so for those first 4 weeks the only thing holding the tendon together is the stitches they put in.

 

My dog has a long recovery but part of that may be because she is a working dog, maybe for a companion dog it would be less time. But I would still be concerned with future usage and would consider a rehab program so that she doesn't have problems down the road. I can only imagine that if the tendon was re-torn it would be very hard to get it to hold together to even start healing

 

Is your dog in a cast? Did they tell you they would only keep her in a cast for 2-3 weeks? Any laser therapy or ice being used?

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