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"Wrist" supports


Lewis Moon
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A while back Cerb pulled limping and it looks like his left carpus (wrist). I've sat on him for the last week and he no longer limps at all, and I'm going to rest him a bit more then gently ease him back into workouts.

Should I use "wrist supports"? I took a look at his carpus pads and they both showed signs of previous injury. Our "workouts" consist of my using a specially stiffened Chuckit to launch balls as far as I can. Cerb sprints like a maniac then, if he doesn't reach the ball on an opportune bounce, he slides aroun until he gets it. This is Arizona so the ground is hard and grass sparce...even on the playground!

Cerb loves this so. He's a BCx and the only time he ever gets in the BC crouch is when he's looking back at me and saying: "Throw the damn ball already"!

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My working dog has carpal supports...well one support. She severed a digital flexor tendon about a year ago, had to have it surgically repaired and we use a medium support just to help her leg. She is just now to the point where in a few weeks she can start back on sheep but she has been doing workouts to strenghten the leg.

The supports I have came from therapaw, there have 2 different levels of support

 

Edited to add:

If it were my dog and he had previous carpus injuries I don't think this is the type of exercise I would be giving. I would slowly start with walking and move up with exercise. Do you know what his previous injuries were exactly and if they are fully healed?

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The previous injuries were all scrapes and small cuts to the carpus pads from stopping, turning and burning. Nothing at all major, just what you'd see from a dog pulling "stoppies"* on hard, sandy to gravely ground.

I won't be running him like I used to any time soon. He has no dimmer switch. Just long walks for a while.

 

*Stoppie:stoppie.jpg

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A dog who slides to get the ball will very likely break a nail, especially on hard dry ground. And I'm not talking a little cosmetic problem, rather wrenching it sideways, off completely, and/or breaking it off under the skin. All possibilities and all things I've seen from just the thing you describe, including in my own dogs.

 

Putting carpal wraps on a dog who slides will just make them slide worse because now they have support. I know - I have two sliders.

 

I would really suggest throwing the ball so it can be caught in the air, off a bounce, or using a large ball he can pick up without pouncing/sliding (like a jolly ball). I'd further suggest teaching another fetch exercise game where the dog doesn't have to pounce/slide, like throwing a frisbee where they can catch it in the air.

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If you can find a hill and throw the ball up the hill it will help with the quick stops and turns that burn the pads. It will still happen but the hills seem to slow them down a little. Plus running uphill is a great work out for the dog. My backyard is a hill so I only play with the ball by throwing it up hill.

 

I agree with Laura though that using supports could cause more sliding and the time you forget or whatever Cerb will slide like he is not wearing them and well more damage can be caused. And yes, toe injuries are common in dogs that stop on a dime and make quick turns going after balls.

 

Yep I have a slider as well. In flyball I wrap his legs since he will burn numerous pads. Playing in the backyard I don't wrap him. He has come in a few times with ripped carpal pads. It heals pretty quick and he is off and playing a couple days later.

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Well it certainly wouldn't hurt. The issue is when a dog is sliding outside, a nail or nails can get caught on the ground as the dog goes sliding past, which wrenches the nail back and breaks it violently. One of my vets warned me about this when she saw how my Border Staffy goes after the ball and sure enough I didn't listen and he broke a nail later on (90 degree break right where it meets the skin); he was out of commission for quite awhile while it healed.

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Well it certainly wouldn't hurt. The issue is when a dog is sliding outside, a nail or nails can get caught on the ground as the dog goes sliding past, which wrenches the nail back and breaks it violently. One of my vets warned me about this when she saw how my Border Staffy goes after the ball and sure enough I didn't listen and he broke a nail later on (90 degree break right where it meets the skin); he was out of commission for quite awhile while it healed.

 

In a nutshell: t = r x F

Longer nails will have a greater moment of force at the axis.

 

Cerb loves running after the chuckit. You should see him when we get inside the gate at the park. He sits and quivers as I take the lead off, runs ten or so steps, turns, puts his head down and waits with eyes that could burn holes in steel. Time to get better nail trimmers.

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I LOVE the picture of the 'Stoppie'. It is an excellent representation of what I consider to be a typical BC behavior.

 

I have a similar problem with Torque. He will go after whatever I throw and do "the slide". Actually, it is more of a pounce into a slide. And because of this behavior, he tore his bicep tendon (75% torn) - which required surgery to resolve. I saw when it happened. After 5 months, we are just emerging from rehab limitations.

 

I concur with several suggestions already offered - throw the ball uphill (if possible), use another toy (jolly ball?) and keep nails short.

 

Mainly, I have tried different strategies to prevent the pounce&slide behavior. I have a torn up cloth frisbee which only has the rim remaining. I try to roll it so that Torque has to keep moving to pick it up - no pouncing and sliding. My rehab vet suggested throwing the ball while the dog is staying by your side (good training for impulse control), wait until the ball stops and then let your dog "get it". I see a bit less of the "stoppie" behavior doing this. Another suggestion is to 'stay' your dog, throw the ball into high weeds (probably not possible in Arizona?), then release your dog. They have to use their nose to find it.

 

Jovi

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