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An Akita Overcomes Hip and Knee Pain – and Changes His Behavior Too

I drove down the unfamiliar street, reading the house numbers. 2403… 2405… 2407… Bingo! I parked on the street and was about to get out of my red Toyota Celica when a woman called out to me from the porch. “Wait in your car while I bring Bruno into the house!”

I watched as she used a piece of food to lure an Akita, apparently Bruno, to the front door. She unhooked his collar from the vinyl-covered metal cable that it was tied to, and Bruno went into the house. The woman followed, closing the door behind her. She waved me in from a window.

I opened the front door and came upon the largest Akita I had ever seen. While I didn’t feel that I was in imminent danger, it was clear that this dog was not particularly friendly to strangers. So I didn’t make eye contact. I simply strode past Bruno and into the living room. It was then that I noticed that the woman, Gail, was standing the hallway, watching from a distance.

Bruno went ahead of me and...

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A Terrier's Holistic Recovery from Hip Surgery

When Natalie was told that her three-year-old dog needed hip surgery, she was devastated. She wondered if her little terrier mix, Zoey, would ever be able to run, play and chase squirrels after femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery[1].

After being assured by her veterinarian and other experts that small dogs do especially well with this hip surgery, Natalie began to breathe easier. Everyone she consulted told Natalie that her canine companion would be running around again in no time!

After more than three months post-surgery, the terrier still wouldn’t use her leg.

But that was not the case with Zoey. While many vets say that dogs should be weight bearing two to three weeks after FHO surgery, Zoey was still not standing on her leg after three months!

Worse, the dog’s leg was stiff and her muscles were atrophied. Natalie, an experienced physical therapist, did rehabilitation exercises with her dog. She also took Zoey to swim therapy (canine hydrotherapy), which was...

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Healing a Dog's Neck Injury

 

Vicki found her black-and-white dog suddenly unable to pick up his head. The dog, whose name is Nicky, was moving very slowly, holding his head unnaturally low and still. Vicki immediately rushed the 17-pound dog to the veterinarian, who fortunately ruled out a spinal injury. Nicky was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury and prescribed anti-inflammatories and rest. The vet also gave the okay for me to work with Nicky to help him recover fully.

How exactly the dog injured his neck was anyone’s guess, but the ten-year-old canine dynamo was often seen jumping off beds, couches and stone walls. Nicky, who was probably a mix of Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel and Rat Terrier, may have had a collision while roughhousing with one of his larger canine siblings.  He also excelled at doing the “zoomies,” running in circles at top speed around their expansive back yard. It was this enthusiasm for motion that helped him become a fine canine flyball athlete. Nicky was a...

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