For New Owners: Your Puppy's Therapy

Here's how to think about it: The food is responsible for the bone density; the muscles are responsible for bone shape, structure, and growth. The key to recovery and correct structure is exercise. Some of you deserve a huge kudos (looking at you, Camilla) for planning ahead and booking time in a canine swim center before the puppy arrives. This is a fantastic idea. Ask your vet if they know of any canine PT, swimming, or rehab facilities. If you have a human treadmill, set it to the lowest speed and gently support the puppy while they get used to walking on it. Amazon carries dog treadmills which vary in price. Look into these if you think you're inclined to go in this direction. The more you do, the faster and better they will recover, and believe me, a treadmill, once trained, can be a dog's greatest ally on rainy or inclement days. It will be used for their lifetime; it will not go to waste. I got one six eras ago and it's a huge asset. Swimming provides full body strength, which they need to start building up. Walking and weight bearing provides stimulation of bone growth and development. the puppies need both, and they need it now.`

If you can get them swimming, please start them as soon as possible. There are canine swim centers popping up everywhere; there may be one near you. If there isn't, consider buying a pool. Here's a link to a 13 foot pool about 2-1/2 feet high for $107.

It will last long enough to get the job done. If you can't, get them moving in the bathtub. If that's not working, get them on short, frequent, and moderate walks at an easy pace. In just three days I have seen Mari's back end go from slightly wobbly to firm and solid by just letting her run around the bedroom and playing. She now looks like nothing ever happened at all, at least from the outside. If I'd been told a month ago that this would be the case I doubt I would have believed it. Again, don't let their behavior fool you; this is NOT an indicator of normal bone strength. Get them moving, frequently, and don't overdo it. Several weeks (or days) ago I wrote that these puppies are like glass or porcelain. I firmly believe that is no longer the case. I'm now thinking ceramic is a better analogy. Despite this, puppies are fragile anyway, so treat them accordingly. No heights of more than a few inches, absolutely no jumping over anything, watch for slippery surfaces (use paw wax if you have these floors) and let's avoid stairs for at least a few weeks. But ,the more frequently you can get them moving, the better they will be and the faster they will recover. We are at a critical anf formative growth stage.

Radiographs in the first week of May are absolutely essential. The letter I provided everyone to be given to their veterinarian indicates how to get the previous litter records and images. Getting these so the vet can make before and after comparisons is vital. I've already had one owner indicate that they were not intending to do either, which frankly worries the hell out of me because things will end badly between us. If financial constraints are an issue, send me an email or text and we will cover the cost, but we have to get this done all pretty much at the same time and we cannot afford obstacles. I will be sending veryone out reminders two weeks ahead of time and also posting here.

I will also be asking for copies of everyone's radiographs and the accompanying radiology report. I absolutely have no intention on micro-managing your puppy's health care of life, but under the circumstances doing this is not optional.

Remember, this will not last forever: I think we may be looking at 4-6 weeks for a full, if not almost complete, return to normal bone density,much faster than I had anticipated.