After ankle surgery, how can we know when it’s safe to take your dog running again?
My parents have been watching me like hawks to see when it’s okay for my dad and me to go running again.
My mom has started a series of long neighborhood walks with me, walking at a quick pace. She wants to strengthen my injured leg. She also wants to build endurance in me.
She looks to see if I am limping or using three legs and holding my injured leg up when I go quickly. She looks to see if I am walking on the grass or on the asphalt or sidewalk. She is looking to see if the pads of my paws are tender or are getting calloused and tough.
My parents are looking at the muscles on my left side, the injured side, and comparing them to the muscles on my right side.
When Dad and I are walking and he sees me hopping, he says “Use four legs” and I slow down. Mom has a different technique: “Walk slowly,” she says.
Today we were outside in the back yard and my dad has started throwing the ball for me to catch. He wanted me to see what speed I run at naturally and he noticed if I was hopping or using all four legs.
He noticed that I ran to catch the ball and that I used all four legs.
He noticed that after about ten minutes, I got tired and needed to stop and rest, so we stopped playing that game.
Yesterday my mom and I had a good long walk for 50 minutes. She was happy to see that I kept up the pace. She was happy to see that, though in the beginning I was hopping a little and she had to slow me down, after a while I used all four legs even when we were going at a fast walk.
My mom noticed that I walk comfortably on the street or sidewalk.
My parents are going to keep their eyes on me and watch me closely and patiently. They are also going to keep taking me on long walks with a quick pace. And they are going to throw me the ball in our back yard and watch me run after it and see how I do sprinting.
I’m happy to get all this training; it’s lots of fun but it’s no substitute for the real thing. My urge to run again is still alive and well.