Monday, November 25, 2013

Caleb Backpacking Update: Urban Agility (Dog Parkour) for Conditioning and Rehab

I am so excited how well Caleb did on the backpacking trip! The past five weeks of conditioning seems to have really paid off. One of the benefits of winter backpacking in Ohio is that no one is around, so the dogs get to run off leash. Obviously they enjoy this, but I was concerned how he would do with 35+ miles of off leash running, and was prepared to leash him and give him NSAIDs for pain.


Day One:
We hiked around 11 miles, the dogs probably ran double that. No limping! I kept expecting him to limp, but he was running and jumping and hiking without any signs of pain.


Day Two:
Everyone was a bit tired, but we had another 11 mile day. Caleb started limping a little bit about two hours into the hike. It was only an occasional limp, and not very obvious but since we still had two tough days of hiking ahead of us we gave him a little of the NSAID. We only gave him ½ dose (NSAID rationing, Bug’s knees without 5 weeks of conditioning were not holding up nearly as well), but that seemed to be enough and he ran around without any signs of pain the rest of the day.


Day Three:
We knew it was going to be a long 13 mile day, so I gave Caleb a ½ dose of NSAID right away.  No obvious signs of pain the whole day!


Recovery:
He recovered way faster than we did. Caleb got an NSAID Tuesday night, because no one wants to live with a sore grouchy Caleb. Wednesday morning he seemed completely fine, no limping at all!


Vet Note:
I am extremely pleased with how well Caleb did backpacking. In the past he has become pretty sore and would get very grouchy (to the point of growling and snapping in the tent if disturbed) but that was not the case on this trip. He likely would have continued to be fine without the NSAID, but they work much better when used proactively so we made the decision to treat if there was a question. Good job Caleb and Karin! Keep up the good work!