Otis the Boxer: A Journey From Limping to Leaping #28

#canine #debono moves canine back stiffness Jul 09, 2024

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Can gentle movements transform your dog's life? Join me, Mary Debono, as I unravel the healing journey of Otis, a loving brown Boxer who struggled with a persistent limp and stiffness.

Discover how Otis' issues are resolved through unique hands-on work that focuses on the overall coordination of a dog's body, addressing issues at their root rather than the apparent problem area.

Through gentle, specific movements, Otis stopped limping and began to move with newfound fluidity and ease.

Otis' tale underscores the importance of looking beyond obvious symptoms to find the true cause of mobility problems. Whether you're dealing with similar issues with your dog or simply want to enhance your dog's physical well-being, I hope you tune in to hear how a holistic approach can make a world of difference for your canine companion.


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All information is for general educational purposes ONLY and doesn't constitute medical or veterinary advice. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider if you or your dog are unwell or injured. 


You know that old saying, things aren't always as they seem? Well, that was the case with Otis the boxer, so. And by boxer, I'm talking about the breed of dog. Okay? Just in case there's any confusion. Oh, and by the way, if, in case we're meeting for the first time, my name is Mary Dibono, and this is the easier movement, Happier Dogs podcast. So, Otis, who was this lovely brown boxer, super, super friendly guy, like most boxers are, he was dealing with a lot of stiffness.

Like, when he would first get up, he was really stiff, and he also was limping on his right hind leg. And the vet said that it was a soft tissue injury, was most likely a hamstring strain, and to just give it time. So that's what his people were doing. They were giving it time. They were taking him back to the vet as needed. But the vet was like, no, you're doing the right thing.

It'll just eventually get better. But it wasn't. So several weeks went by, and he still was really stiff, and he was still limping on that right hind leg. So they had heard about me, my work, and I went to see Otis, and he was just incredibly adorable. And, yeah, he was definitely limping on that right hind leg. But one of the other things I noticed was when he.

When he stood still long enough for me to run my hands on him, I noticed that his left hind was way more developed than the right hind. So he had been compensating for a while for whatever was going on with his right hind leg. Now, other people were, that worked with him, were focusing more on his right hind leg. But I take a different approach, because, generally speaking, when there's problems like that, that they might appear in, say, a right hind leg or a left front leg or whatever, that doesn't mean that they arose from that place.

That may be where the dog is showing the most symptoms, but it doesn't mean that that is that doing something there is going to solve the problem. It's probably not going to get to the root of the problem. Like, why did he strain that hamstring? So what I noticed about him was that his back was very stiff and tight. And so what I did was I used my hands, and this is what I teach as well, is, you know, how to use your hands very, very gently in such a way to support the dog, to relieve the tension, and then to very gently remind the dog that movement can be freer in those areas.

So, for example, all along his back, his ribs, his sternum, and I helped him coordinate those parts so that the spine became easier to move, and it moved in a healthier way. In other words, he wasn't overusing some parts of the spine and under using others, which a lot of dogs do, a lot of us do. Humans do that, too. And. But in this way, I was helping him feel like, no, you can move all the parts of your spine.

Your. Your rib cage can help with the movements of your spine and all kinds of good stuff like that. I also brought in his pelvis, helped him feel how, when he coordinated his pelvis with his spinal movements, it made the hind legs of feel freer. They were easier. The muscles didn't have to grab so much. So. And this is. It's a little too complicated to explain what I did on a.

On a podcast, but this is what I teach, and I talk about Otis, actually, in my book, grow young with your dog. I think it's chapter three he's in. But that was the idea, was to help him have more coordinated parts so that his movement was more fluid overall. And it really, really helped because I came back, I think it was nine days later, and he was so much better.

So much better. Still had a little bit of a limp, but he was so much better. And then I gave him another session, and then a week after that, he had no limp at all. And he was much more fluid in his movement overall. So that this long standing issue of him being stiff when he first got up, that totally went away, as well as the limp. So I just wanted to remind you with this episode that even if your dog is showing, you know, symptoms in a particular spot, it doesn't mean that that's where the problem originated.

So this is a discussion, by the way, to have with your veterinarian. Okay, I'm not a vet, and I don't diagnose or treat animals, but I just help them improve their overall movement, and that often can help give the body then the opportunity to heal whatever was going on. And that's what happened with Otis. So, remember, always talk to your vet about this and, you know, ask, because this often happens with a front leg.

For example, a dog could show some lameness on the front leg. Sometimes that's actually coming from the dog's spine, like maybe from the neck, et cetera. So there's all different connections there with nerves and other things. So don't blow anything off, basically, is what I'm saying. You know, some people are like, I must have just sprained himself. Otis's people did not do that. By the way, they took him right to the vet and continued to have veterinary care for him.

But some other people, you might be tempted to do that and think it's no big deal. It's always worth getting checked out, you know, find a vet that you really trust and that you can, you can discuss things with. That's super important to have good communication between the two of you. And. Yeah. And just keep in mind that where your dog is showing symptoms may not be the root cause.

Okay? So just to leave you with that. And by the way, this is true for people as well. So for humans as well. So for, if we're going to stick with the Otis example here, a lot of people have tight hamstrings. So this is something I help them with. I help humans with as well. And what we found is that by improving the movement of the back, improving the movement of the spine, how you coordinate and distribute the movement, your hamstrings immediately get freer.

So you can, for example, touch your toes better. I have a little PDF, actually, I can share with you that takes you through a very simple Feldenkrais inspired exercise, if you will. A little movement lesson that only takes a few minutes, and it can really help you feel that increased flexibility. So if you want that, why don't you just email me? I don't have a link set up for it, but I can email it to you.

So email me marydebono.com and I'll send you that. Plus, it'd be nice to hear from you anyway, so. And then tell me if there's something that you'd like to help you or your dog with, because it's really important, by the way, that you're moving as freely and comfortably as possible, as well as your dog. Because. And that's why my book talks about you both. I have. I have movement lessons, as a matter of fact, that.

Lessons in my book, now that I think about it. Yeah. So, but I can. I can send it to you separately as well if you don't have my book. But you should really get my book. I have it so low priced, it's ridiculous. Just so that it's easy for people to get. So if you get the PDF version, which is the full book, plus the online resources, it is literally only $8.97.

If you get it on my website, I'll have the links in the show notes. So wherever you're looking, listening, or watching this, there'll be a link about the book. But even if you don't get the book, feel free to email me and let me know what you're dealing with. And if you'd like a copy of that exercise, I'll get that for you. And until next time, thank you so much for joining me here.

I love sharing this work. It's so transformative to so many people, including myself and animals as well. So thank you again. I look forward to talking to you soon. Bye for now.