Lesson 1 of 0
Rehabilitate Muscle injury at home. Copy
How to rehabilitate an injury on your dog.
- Find the injury.
It is not always enough to watch the dog in movement. Use your hands as well and try to find the spot where there is a massive heat change. Add some pressure with your fingers on this spot, and if your dog shows a reaction, you are at the right place. Be very careful as you add the pressure since it might be painful for your dog, and as a reaction, he might snap or even bite.
Now look at the picture of the dog’s anatomy and try to figure out what muscle/muscles or joint that is affected.
- Don’t massage the dog for the first 72 hours since there is current bleeding. If you rub, you will increase the bleeding, and that will make the rehabilitation go slower. Your goal is to reduce bleeding at this point. The only thing you can do for the first 72 hours is to let the dog rest and keep him warm.
- After 72 hours, the program can start. Now the most important is to get the dog back on all four legs, this requires patience.
Keep in mind that at worst case it can take between four up to six weeks to rehabilitate a muscle injury depending on how severe it is. Seen and ligaments take from 3 months up to at least one year to heal. Day four, you can start to treat the injury with massage/heat/Cold and stretching.
Important at this stage is to regain flexibility, movement and, blood circulation, and you want the dog to start using the injured area as soon as possible. The biggest problem with injuries is that the dog begins to compensate, meaning if the dog is limping on the right front leg, then he will put more weight on the left front leg. After a while, the left side will be overcompensating, and it might happen that due to the overcompensating, he gets weaker on that side, and he will get an injury there as well. Then you have landed in the devil circle, which means the dog will start to compensate with the back legs as well, and as he does that the back will also be affected.
An example of how to start is the following: Start massaging the injured area to increase blood flow, that is what kick starts the rehabilitation process. Try to stretch the muscle in order to make sure that the injured muscle fibers are healing in the right direction. Otherwise, they will take their own course and heal in a not optimal way. What happens then is that the muscle will become short and full of scar tissue. It might be painful for the dog, so be careful. It is important to listen to your dog and read his signs before an accident happens. Once you are done, you can apply either heat or a cold pack, and this will help even more to increase blood flow. The treatment needs to be done every day for efficient healing. Day by day, add more and more movement such as shorter walks multiple s a day. After 2-3 days, you can start to have the dog balance on a flat yoga ball, or if you don´t have that at home, go in the forest and find a tree stem. Make sure that everything you do is SLOW and controlled.
If you see no change in your dog after one week, then my recommendation is to visit your vet or Canine physical therapist for a second opinion. Or in some cases, the vet will subscribe to painkillers and anti-inflammatories.
It is entirely reasonable that the dog shows pain by palpation until the swollenness has gone down, but it should become less. Many people say that the dog should just be locked in a crate for a week after an injury, and then they will recover. That is false. The faster you get the dog back on his feet, the better. But at the same time, you should give it time to heal from the inside and out(4-6 Weeks).
The better you rehabilitate your dog, the healthier he will stay for a long time.
Once a muscle in injured, there is immediately scars in the muscle fibers, scares have less circulation. Meaning they are hard, stiff, and short, and they have almost zero flexibility. By massaging and stretching, the elasticity will increase. Once the dog has healthy and flexible muscles, the risk of injuries is decreasing.