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Overdid It On A Run?


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We don't have a fenced yard (live in a townhouse) so on weekends we try to get Sweep to a fenced ball field as often as the weather permits, which until a few weeks ago was 2-4 times a month. However, it being the South in summer, we had not had a cool enough day for about five weeks until this morning. She did one full-out circuit and seemed fine, and I was willing to leave it at that since it had been a while, but DH got her stirred up again and she did another couple of minutes of zoomies. When she leaned down to get some water afterward, she yelped a few times in succession and then was limping (front leg) on the walk back to the car, even stumbling once. There is no sign of injury or swelling, so I am assuming a charley horse or pulled muscle, but is there anything specific I should be watching for? I massaged her legs and back and she let me inspect all her feet without protest. We've been home about 30 minutes and she seems much better, though still moving a little slower than normal. I was planning to take her to my parents' house for my dad's birthday today; is there something OTC I should/could give her for soreness beforehand? (She'll just be occupying her bed in their living room; no more exercise today.)

 

Thanks!

Paranoid newbie

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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She may have just cramped up. If that's the case she should get better with time but the muscle in the leg may be sore for a couple of days. I wouldn't give any of mine anything if there were no swelling or severe pain. If she's not better by tomorrow then you could take her to the vet and they will probably just give you an NSAID and send you home. She sounds like she's going to be fine to me.

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I think you're judging it right with charlie horse or exertional strain on muscles and tendons. Massage the affected heg and take for a slow walk after the cramp has passed.

I don't live where it's hot (maybe 10 days in a year) but I know for certain that if my Grey has been inactive for a week or more then she needs to be gradually built up to speed again. A single 1 minute sprint around or Zoomies is still too much from a standing start. Jog with your dog to get her muscles working, then just a half a minute free run will do.

In very hot weather you have to watch for H yperacute E xertional Rhabdomyolysis (exertional heatstroke that breaks down muscle tissue and ruins the kidneys), but it doesn't sound like your dog got that stressed by it.

Just keep her on a lead and well hydrated for the rest of the day.

Dogs don't normally get potassium shortages unless on inadequate food, but if the cramping comes back, go to your vet.

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Something else which could help you in the future is to stretch her legs before she runs, especially if it's been a while. You can stretch the leg out and hold it for a bit, then stretch the other way and hold it for a bit.

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

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Thanks, all! She seems okay and is now walking totally normally again. It's been a big day for her between the morning run and the family gathering (with my 6 yo niece and 9 yo nephew), so I imagine she'll sleep very soundly tonight. Will continue monitoring her closely tomorrow, but I am feeling pretty confident that it was just a cramp or spasm.

 

Something else which could help you in the future is to stretch her legs before she runs, especially if it's been a while. You can stretch the leg out and hold it for a bit, then stretch the other way and hold it for a bit.

 

We walk her on lead a bit before and after letting her run (and will start implementing JohnF's suggestion to jog her beforehand instead), but I'd never thought to do this. Thanks for the tip!

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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glad she's ok

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