Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fit Friday: Injuries and Pred

I've kind of been missing in action. Not a whole lot is happening around here. Koira is feeling pretty good. She really wants to romp and play, but is still on rest for another 6 days or so while we finish off the prednisone.

Unfortunately, her recovery is going to be long. Really, really long. Not only did she have the neck injury (which needs to be treated carefully even if she doesn't think so) but the prednisone had some pretty severe side effects for her. There is the normal constant hunger and the drinking excessively. Which means extra peeing and pooping as well. But Koira has also had some pretty severe muscle wasting. In the past 2 weeks, she has lost 3 lbs.

Photo of Koira taken on Wednesday, after almost two weeks on prednisne

The vet says the muscle will come back once we stop the steroids and can start exercising. However, I'm worried about doing many activities at first with Koira so... soft.

For comparison, here is a photo of her from last summer.
The lines are from a structure analysis. But you can see the muscle definition and tone that is lacking in the recent photo I posted above.
The photos are slightly different- the one above is a forced stack (I placed her in position) while the one below is a free stack (she naturally stopped like this at the park). And of course the lighting is different with cloud cover versus full sun. But I think it is still very obvious to people used to analyzing dogs that Koira has lost a lot of tone, and her muscles are very soft.

We're off to a flyball tournament this weekend. Koira won't be running due to her injury. Pallo won't be running due to his mental problems. I'll be boxloading for one team and running a teammate's dog on the other team. My dogs will be spending the weekend hanging out in their crates.

That said, we'll have to come up with a conditioning plan for the future. I need something low impact and gradual. Swimming would be ideal, but with it being winter, we would have to drive up to Portland for an indoor heated dog friendly swimming pool. Four hours of driving round trip seems a little overboard, even for me. But... if that is what she needs... On leash walks (with the leash attached to a harness that puts no pressure on the neck) will obviously be another part of our rehab.

The long and the short of it is, injuries happen. They suck. Completely. Sometimes the treatment causes additional problems as well. But, you just have to suck it up and deal. Move forward. And that is what we are trying to do.


  1. Hi Y'all,

    Oh the poor babies...stuck in their crates!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. Stopping by from FitDog Friday. Sounds pretty sad at your house. Remember, even humans get injured and lose muscle sometimes but resting is the best way to heal quickly. How about something like a K9 FitBone to work on core strength? We are three dogs, a puppy, me at 7 yrs old and my almost 12 year old sister with arthritis. We work out on our K9 FitBone a lot. I had a post on it a while back It won't be the cure all for muscle but it is a gentle way to work out. Good luck!

  3. Aww, hang in there! Does anyone near you have one of those underwater treadmills? We hope the resting will pay off and that Koira is better soon.
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco

  4. Poor Koira. I feel your pain the Prednisone side effects, Nailah peed like a race horse while she was on that stuff! She was also starving (more than usual) the whole time she was taking it :( Hopefully the meds have worked and Koira will get back to her usual self soon.

  5. Sorry to hear about Koira. I hope you are able to find a conditioning plan that works well for everyone! It was a pleasure meeting you last weekend, sorry if i startled you asking if you had a blog lol. Your pictures were great, what camera/lens were using?

  6. Injuries totally suck. Bur recovering from them isn't so bad.

    Emma had a great idea to use some balance drills to gently restart the fitness program when Koira is ready.

    Just don't rush the rehab and build up slowly. Just like us humans would do.

    Good luck!


  7. I can't remember how far south you are but there is a rehab place in Newberg - it's new, but they have hydrotherapy/underwater treadmill and their prices are super reasonable. It is owned by a woman who does horse PT also and she is a vet tech, AND she's nice :)

    I've been to that place in Portland/Milwaukie with the heated pool and it is awesome, but I agree the commute would be a bit much. Something else to consider, if you have a treadmill or can find a cheap one on craigslist that works, you could start her out on the treadmill, it would be fairly low impact [no crazy stops or turns], and build her up that way.

    Steroids can be really great, but they can really suck also! I'm sure she'll be back in shape in no time once she is fully healed.

  8. I'm so sorry about Koira's injury. Crate rest is no fun at all! I hope her rehab goes great!