Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Hydrotherapy can help older dogs with arthritis

We had a very nice older couple come to Rocky’s Retreat the other day who just adopted a six year old springer spaniel just diagnosed with spondylosis. They were concerned about their ability to care for the dog as the disease progressed. They wanted to know if hydrotherapy could help and what else they could do for the dog.

Ginger, a 15 year old shiba/chow mix has pretty severe arthritis, as well as muscle atrophy and weakness in her hind legs. She’s been swimming with us for a number of weeks now, and during each swim session we’re working on specific techniques to maximize the movement in her rear legs and range of motion in her front legs. In a short time, there has been a noticeable improvement in both muscle tone and strength in her hind quarters.

Is your dog afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises? Does he begin to pace, pant, drool, or want to hide in the closet the moment there’s a hint of a storm brewing? Experts don’t know why dogs develop noise phobias, but they say it’s real, and shouldn’t be ignored.

As the seasons change, so do the conditions your dog is exposed to when participating in outdoor activities. We’re now going into our hot season so we need to be aware of the heat and how well your dog can tolerate these temperatures. If you’re prepared for the environment and know your limits, then you reduce the risk of health problems and injury.

Category: Exercise, Safety

People often ask us what they can do with their dog’s diet to help the dog lose weight. Even when their dogs are on a low calorie diet, they often say their dogs aren’t losing weight or have only lost a little. So we’ve been telling them about the green bean diet. It’s a diet many people have never heard of. Very simply, this diet reduces the amount of kibble by up to 50% and substitutes green beans, which are low in calories and higher in fiber.

During the warmer months, my dog Yankee seems to be prone to hot spots. He’ll start chewing on some part of his body and before I know it, he has a hot spot. Hot spots come on very quickly and can be very painful and sensitive to the touch. Any dog can develop hot spots, but they’re much more common in dogs with thick coats.

Category: Health Management

One of the biggest issues dog owners have is keeping their dogs busy enough so they don’t get into trouble. If you exercise your dog’s mind and body properly, you can usually avoid the destructive behavior that results from boredom.

What are some things you can do to engage your dog’s mind?

Don’t know about you, but I love spending time and doing things with my dog and other people and their dogs. As such, I’m always looking for activities that I can share with my dog. Why does this matter? Why should we look for ways to spend time with our dogs?

Category: Exercise, Fun

ACL tears on dog’s knees seems to be very common these days, we hear about it all the time. Depending on the severity of the tear, it can sometimes heal on its own, other times surgery is warranted. Lulu, a bull mastiff / pit bull mix has been swimming with us for over a year initially to lose weight, then to maintain her weight. Along the way, probably because she was chasing rabbits, she tore her ACL.

Category: Hydrotherapy

What is Effleurage? It’s French, and means “to touch lightly on”. It’s one of the principal strokes in massage, and because it’s so gentle, it can be performed on any part of the dog’s body, even over bony areas like joints, or the head. It’s a very versatile stroke, in fact, an entire massage can be done using just this one stroke. It’s a stroke that’s done with either one or both hands, following in the direction of your dog’s fur. It’s a soothing stroke that warms the body, increases blood flow, helps to remove fluids and toxins, and ultimately relaxes your dog. Plus it’s easy to do!

Category: Massage