Does your dog have a bum knee?

Bum Knees – no matter how you slice it – anyone involved in dogs either directly knows or has owned a dog that has had a 'bum' knee. The bum knee may be due to cranial cruciate injuries or the dreaded 'ACL', patella luxation, or a growth-related issue. Some dogs are prone to knee injuries – they may be straight in the rear, be a small breed, or a large breed with a predisposition for knee problems.

Any time there is a problem with the knee, or any joint, the process of inflammation and pain begins. This will subsequently lead to loss of strength and motion. The loss of strength and motion leads to more inflammation and pain. This cycle will lead to osteoarthritis. 

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Be Your Dog's Advocate

All of us who play sports with our dogs worry about musculoskeletal injuries. Whether your dog is very lame or just showing subtle signs of injury, there are few things that may help with a fast and permanent resolution of the problem.

Don't ignore early signs of a problem. Not all injured dogs show an obvious lameness. There may be a decrease in performance, such as slower times in agility, slower response to cues in obedience, a slight hesitation to start an activity. We all know some dogs will do what they love, or what we asked them to do, even if it hurts. Not too long ago, veterinarians were taught not to treat pain in dogs because the pain will make the dog restrict their own activity. Not many of us believe that any more.

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742 Hits

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Intact Dogs — and the Answers

The first time I kept a dog intact it was for medical reasons. She had a health condition that made elective surgery of any type inadvisable until it was resolved.

At the time, the idea of living with an intact dog was both daunting and a bit scary. I mean, how was I going to keep her safe? Avoid unwanted puppies? Prevent health problems?

Fortunately, what seemed like a curse at the time ended up being a blessing in a Malinois disguise.

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Canine Sports Medicine

Once a year, I teach a class called Canine Sports Medicine for the Performance Dog Handler. It is not just for performance dog handlers. Anyone who has a dog that is active, that has had an injury, or that will have an injury, will benefit from this class. 

Everyone wants to do the best for their dogs. Many of us are willing and able to travel several hours and spend several thousand dollars to treat our dog's injury. The problem is, if we don't know what is wrong, we can't fix it. In my experience, the weakest link in treating injuries in dogs is getting the correct diagnosis.

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Bum Knees: The Dog Sport Competitor's Guide to Common Dog Knee Problems

Knees are a fact of life with dogs. Unfortunately, so are bum or dysfunctional knees. No one wants to hear their dog has a bum knee or an injury to their knee. But if you are 'in dogs', you will experience a bum knee at some point. It is just part of the deal!

What is a bum knee? It can be anything from a torn cranial cruciate ligament ('cruciate', ACL, or CCL to some), luxating patellas, or straight knees, to osteoarthritis or arthritis, meniscal injuries, bone deformities, or a soft tissue injury. Of course, there are also the outliers: fractures, lesions, and growth related problems.

And some breeds are more prone to certain knee problems than others. For example, many small breeds have an inclination to luxating patellas. Rottweilers, Labrador retrievers and Golden retrievers are prone to cranial cruciate injuries. 

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Cavalettis: Why You May Be Underestimating This Canine Conditioning Tool

 My dog can already trot through cavalettis, so what do I do now?

The cavalettis can be a daunting piece of equipment to buy or make, especially when traditionally it is only used as a trotting exercise. However, cavalettis are actually one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can use for canine conditioning.

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5368 Hits

What’s Right with My Dog?

You usually need a veterinarian to tell you what's wrong with your dog.

You may notice signs that something is wrong. Your dog is limping, or not eating, or drinking more water than normal. You may have an idea of what it could be, but you will probably need a veterinarian's exam, and possibly some laboratory tests or radiographs (x-rays), to make a diagnosis.

But how do you tell what's right with your dog? 

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