PUPPY EXERCISE - CAUTION!
The following puppy exercise guidelines apply to all sized puppies of all breeds under a year old. Large sized puppies take a lot longer to mature.
Can OCDs in Dogs be prevented?
Think of a puppy’s many immature bony joints as each one throughout its body being attached to its own set of baby muscles, ligaments and tendons. When puppy takes a step, these soft tissue support groups all work in together to open and close their own joint.
Mechanical Exercise, like on a leash, sets a repetitive action – like a machine or on a treadmill and predisposes to repetitive strain fatigue or injury when a young immature animal is exposed to it for too long or too often. We would never think of expecting our toddler to accompany us on the 10 mile hike that our 18 year old teenager does with ease!
When soft tissue starts to fatigue, it can no longer regulate support for the joint it’s assigned to protect. And so joint lubrication may leak, bone may scrape on bone causing cartilage damage, and the stage is being set for arthritis in the future and even hip, shoulder and elbow OCDs while still young.
Young dogs and puppies all follow the same pattern of behavior when they're first let off the leash to go and play. And this pattern is modified only by the athleticism of their particular breed.
Impact Injury or Strain and OCDs.
High places for puppies are basically anything higher than their own back with all four feet on the floor/ground.
Another precursor to arthritis - neglected toenails!
In nature, dogs and puppies run on a variety of surfaces in any one day; dirt, grass, pebbles, gritty gravel and rock. While they run and play, the rough surfaces make them bunch their paws which strengthens surrounding soft tissues, and bone. Nails are naturally ground down.
In a domestic environment however, they spend most of their time either indoors, or outside on bowling green - smooth lawns and smooth pathways.
We only have to think how our toes feel in shoes that are too tight to understand how a dog with overgrown toenails feels 24/7. When nails get too long, pressure pushes up from the ground or floor into the sensitive nail bed. To avoid pain, the dog leans back on his ankles, which in turn stresses not only ankles, elbows and knees, but also shoulder and hip assembly although the results may not be felt until months or even years later.
A dog's toenail grows in a sabre shape with a blood vessel running along the length of each nail. This always stays the same distance from the tip of the nail. So as the nail grows, the blood vessel travels down with it. When the nail is cut or ground the blood vessel shrinks back upwards to maintain it's consistent distance from the nail tip. Nails can't be cut from too long to just right in one session because the shrinking process takes some time.
If toenails have been allowed to get too long, a little is usually cut in sessions two weeks apart until the desired length is reached. The cut is always made just below the highest point of the arc shape of the nail so as to avoid a bleed. This place is easy to see on white nails, but with black nails the arc shape is a sure guide.