17 Aug 2019
Remember that rhyme? If not, here’s a link to a YouTube video that will undoubtedly get stuck in your head! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0NHrFNZWh0
So, where am I going with this? Well, it begins with a story that comes from a client of mine. She has an 11-year-old poodle with previous agility training that has had issues with a stifle joint most recently (surgical repair of an MPL and CCL tear). Recovery from the surgery was slow, but she’s much better now, except that when she comes in I am always finding something in the axial skeleton to fix. The last few times, there was more than just a few spots, and more than just minor 'tweaking'!
The owners said, “But she doesn’t do anything! How can she always be so sore?” True! A compensation pattern would make sense because of her stifle, but ever-shifting issues in multiple parts of the skeleton simply don’t. The owner bought stairs for the little dog to go up and down to get on and off of the bed. Great in concept, right? Almost!
As with most dogs that learn to use stairs later in life, what this owner noticed was that her dog would go up the stairs on her own to get ON the bed, but with the slightest of noise and independent initiative, she would LAUNCH herself off the bed. Surely this could be accounting for the rib, sacroiliac, and facet joint issues.
What came next? Well, the bed frame was taken apart. Box spring and mattress were united with the floor, thus significantly reducing the height of the bed. In fact, this owner went so far as to put the bed frame for sale on kijiji and it was picked up and taken away the very same day! No turning back now!!!
I had asked, “Why not just remove the stairs?” Well, this little senior pup could still jump like a jack rabbit. Thus, removing the stairs wouldn’t solve the problem.
Okay, let’s get to the happy ending. So, when I saw this little one last week, the aforementioned story came out because I commented on how good the dog was. Minimal issues anywhere in the spine, ribs, or pelvis. I was delighted! So was the owner. And the change in bed height was the only factor that had changed since I had seen her the previous month!
What does this tell us? I think it’s a good story to highlight the importance of talking to our dog owners about this issue. Let them know when the dog is a puppy, that jumping off the bed can be harmful, not only as a young healthy dog, but as a senior dog too, when their bodies are less resilient to minor traumas. Should your client insist that they want to sleep with their dog, then encourage training of stairs when the dog is a pup, or use of a foot stool or step as a way for the dog to get down, or enjoy the comfort of sleeping on the floor, or ditch the box spring and put the mattress on a platform. Think this is only a small dog issue? Nope! Bigger dogs can have troubles with jumping off the bed as they age too. All in all, a bit of prevention could save a lot of trouble on down the road!
That’s my thought for the week! Keep on doing great things out there!
Tags: monkeys , spine issues , bed height
Not a member yet?
Sign Up Now
“Benefits of Membership”
- Weekly training video or audio
- Regular newsletter
- Newsletter archives
- Article archives
- Audio & video archives