About 10 months ago Jethro broke his leg lure coursing. It was a beautiful December day and we were in Moreland, Ga. Jethro ran his first course and looked very strong and was having a blast. I decided to run him in his second course because he looked so good and was having such a nice day. During the end of the second course, he came up lame. His left wrist was extremely swollen and he was not bearing weight. I was very concerned by to looks of the injury but tried to tell myself it was OK. I examed his wrist and felt crepitus (boney cracking) and my fears were certain he had broken a bone in his wrist.
I called my vet and told him that I thought the leg was broken. He advised me to stabilize the leg and come in the next morning.
Overnight the swelling had increased and was causing Jethro a lot of pain. We went to the vet and had x-ray. His stopper bone was broken. We discussed an experimental surgical technique to stabilize the bone with a small screw or splinting and stabilizing the joint for 8-12 weeks.
I decided to splint and stabilize the joint.
Jethro is a very headstrong dog. He had other plans than lying around the house for 8 weeks. He wanted to be running and playing with his pack. Keeping Jethro calm was incredibly hard and we ended up have to give him trazodone to keep him calm as he busted out of two crates and wrecked multiple x-pens.
While he was in the splint he developed a pressure ulcer on his elbow. I was at my tipping point!
The pressure ulcer was extremely painful for Jethro. I called the vet thinking we were going to have to begin antibiotics ( I am a nurse after all) but dogs are amazing creatures and their infection threshold is much stronger than humans.
I read all I could about pressure ulcers in dogs and found this article about a “doughnut dressing”. This was a dressing shaped like a doughnut causing the pressure of the splint to be distrusted evenly around the wound allowing no pressure to be on the ulcer. After a week of using the doughnut dressing the ulcer was healing and you could no longer see bone.
Jethro was such a good patient and supper lucky to have two nurses taking care of him.
After nine weeks in a splint, Jethro was free! Clint and I were pushing getting the splint of ASAP due to the pressure ulcer. I was so glad to hear the bone had nice regrowth and looked stable.
After the splint was off Jethro still walked like he was splinted. It took him about a week to resume a somewhat normal gait.
After the splint was off the hard part began. We had to rehab a dog. He had lost a lot of muscle and was was stiff from the splint. We began doing stretching and strength training. I knew that the rehab was key in correcting Jethro’s gait.
This video shows some of the rehab techniques I used to help Jethro to regain strength and balance in his leg.
Jethro had a great outcome due to a great vet, serious human support, and his will to be able to run again. If you are ever in the situation, I hope this post helps you and your hound.
I admit I struggle to get my dogs exercised when it is raining. I hate being outside when it is wet and I hate them getting so dirty. I dislike rain.
When all else fails, just move the coffee table, throw a toy down with a squawker, and let them go! As you can see, the Diva loves her stuffed toys and NO ONE is getting on her bed
Have a good weekend and enjoy those nice, calm, happy hounds!
I am always ready to get the dogs out and let them play. I was planning to attend the ASFA region 7 invitational; however, I had an engagement that could not be rescheduled. Fortunately, there was a LGRAmeet within a day’s drive on the same weekend. I loaded up the hounds and we decided to try racing.
ASFA Greyhound Specialty 2014
After much deliberation and my on-call schedule aligning with the stars, I was able to attend the ASFA Greyhound Specialty. The Greyhound specialty is a wonderful event hosted by the Southeastern Greyhound Club, the main event is ASFA lure coursing. There is an informal conformation show as well, which can be a lot of fun for the dogs. My dogs feel that anything that evolves food and attention it is fun!
Unfortunately, Darla decided that she needed to wrangle with an opossum the week prior. She lost a tooth and had to have surgery on her mouth, she was unable to run, but enjoyed an abundance of treats and smells within the show ring.
I also brought the kid, he loved getting to play show dog. As you can see he is an excellent sitter. Unfortunately the judge did not find this as cute as I did.
I am so biased about this little cutie! Really, isn’t that the cutest face ever!
I did run Jethro in the Lure Coursing trial. I was very pleased with his performance. Jethro always runs with a lot of heart. He loves the lure and loves being out in the field. He broke his hock during his pro career and his rehab continues. I am quite sure he was the oldest dog entered in the open stake and he tied for 4th place. He was very stiff after his two runs, so I opted out of a run-off and we happily accepted NBQ. He always thinks he is the best and I enjoy spending time with him. It was a win-win. His stiffness resolved within a day, he was demanding his hike the next morning.
I greatly enjoyed this event and the dogs had a wonderful time as well. It is always nice to be in a field full of greyhounds, doing what they are best at. Hopefully we will return next year.
Photo credit: Cindy Frezon