Author Topic: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries  (Read 742 times)

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Offline Ariel

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Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« on: May 21, 2017, 04:46:40 PM »
Jubi and I were at the second day of a pet event today. She spent the better part of 3 hours dock diving or barking/screaming waiting in a line to dock dive. After the 1pm competition I took her to the lure coursing booth to get her run out for a few more minutes to get some more steam blown off before the dock diving finals. She gets so into it that she must have bitten her tongue at some point during the lure coursing. The plastic bag lure was all bloody and she had a bunch of blood in her mouth when her turn was done. She still wanted to keep grabbing the bag.

She got some water and the bleeding in her mouth stopped but I realized there was blood on her leg. I checked her paws and she'd ground down multiple nails to the point that they were bleeding a little and torn multiple paw pads. Most of them aren't torn badly at all, one I'll have to keep clean and vet wrap for the next few days. I scratched her from the dock diving finals, but she wanted to keep going and I know she would have jumped her heart out had I let her. I'd never have known she was hurt had I not looked closer.

I don't know how she wasn't limping. She did a tiny bit of favoring on the gravel walking back to the car but insisted on leading out to find it. Is there any way to prevent her from getting hurt and make her realize it? I almost inadvertently could have jumped her and potentially made it a lot worse had I not seen her paws. I feel really bad about it. I do know she was favoring a rear leg a teeny bit earlier, but since then nothing. She wasn't pleased when I cleaned and dressed them, but immediately wanted to go back outside to play ball. This is a stupid question, but are there tells of pain if the dog doesn't generally show pain when hyped up? I may well have missed something but don't want her to get hurt again if I could be doing more to prevent it.

Potentially graphic pictures of torn pads.
http://imgur.com/a/ROdxo
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 04:55:50 PM »
This is drive. She won't protect herself by stopping when she really should. That puts the burden on you to regulate her and tell her to stop.

It doesn't make her damaged (other than her nails). This is normal for a drivey dog. It doesn't make you a bad handler, because you didn't know a dog could be that way. Now you are on notice, so from now on you monitor for injuries, hydration, and over exertion because her built in monitors don't work.

Ruby, who tore her entire nail off, quick and all to below the toe surface and almost bled to death as a result, was not limping and was ready to go again (she did it playing ball in our own backyard). I saw blood on the ground and sought out the source.
Kirsten and Tardis
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"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Ariel

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 05:55:23 PM »
I knew she'd run until collapse, I just never thought about paw or nail injuries before since she's never had one up until today. Would you suggest periodic body scans and definitely prior to any physically strenuous events? How do you gauge return to work with injuries? The general rule of thumb I've previously heard and gone on is when the dog is eating, drinking, toileting, and doesn't appear to be in any pain during mild-moderate physical activity.

I've always known Jubi wouldn't self moderate well though. She got a pulled muscle or something in her hip at 17 weeks and got her scar tissue lump removal/spay at 14 months and both times it was hell to keep her on crate rest because she would have hurt herself had I not watched her closely. I had strict vet recommendations for those though and I followed them both before easing her back into physical activity. For something like this pad rip I feel like a light amount of public access isn't going to hurt since the worst needing wrapping is not one that touches the ground, but I'm not really sure other than I know she already thinks it's time to run full speed and obviously that would only result in more injury. Advice?
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Offline Azariah

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 07:39:04 PM »
Rio, my 12 year old dog, is similar to this.

The groomer that we'd used for years somehow cut her. It required about 15 staples. She did not scream out at all. Just kept on letting herself be groomed. The groomer DID make a mistake by cutting her....but I do believe that she was telling the truth when she said she didn't know until she saw blood. Rio is stoic that way. I met the groomer at the vet and was there when they put staples in and there wasn't a peep. She just stood there.

So yeah - some dogs don't cry out. I'm not sure why (I'd trust Kirsten's answer) but it is terrifying. And you have to keep a closer eye on them.

There was glass on the floor in the bathroom at the restaurant yesterday. Serenity stepped right on it and luckily didn't rip her pads. But there are dangers everywhere. It is terrifying.
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 07:55:02 PM »
You cannot rely on evidence of pain or limping in a dog who either doesn't feel pain (in drive and doesn't notice) or is resilient or stoic and feels it but doesn't show it.

Ruby had ripped her entire nail including nail bed off and was dripping blood and still had a happy grin on her face and gaited like a show dog.

Understand these dogs will LIE.  They will intentionally mask injuries in order to continue doing what they are driven to do.

So for trashed nails, you hand walk on turf until you can't see the quick any more, probably 5-ish days (but depends how fast the dog's nails grow).

You should be doing more than checking her over before vigorous exercise.  You should be doing stretches to prepare her for exercise because you know she's not going to have any self restraint.

You probably need a sports medicine vet instead of a regular vet.  Preferably one who is also board certified in chiropractic.  They can teach you how to stretch the dog properly.

I said last night in chat that Tardis is about a 5 in drive and his cousin is about an 8.  Said cousin has scar tissue on his hamstrings now because he over exerted himself playing fetch and my sister didn't grasp what I was trying to tell her about not letting him do that (all she saw was how much fun he was having and he was showing no pain).  Again, she didn't get it then, but gets it now.  It matters how the dog plays ball.  It matters a lot.  Where they sustain damage is during take off (sudden acceleration from a stand still) and on landings from catching balls in the air.  So it's up to you, as the ball thrower, to make them take softer take offs and throw the ball such that there will be no leaping in the air after it.  No matter how cool it looks or how much the dog loves it.  Ground balls only.  Cole's sports medicine vet said I could kick the ball on the ground or roll it, but no throwing overhanded.  Fortunately, he was fond of playing ball with regulation soccer balls, which were easy to kick a satisfying distance for him.

A drivey dog is fun to train and exhilarating to watch but the flip side is that they require a lot more management because like adolescent human boys they think they are indestructible (but they aren't).

Also, ALL nails touch the ground on an athletic dog.  Even the dewclaw.  All pads touch the ground, including the one on the back of the fetlock.  During running and cornering those pads and nails are used for extra traction.  During public access, they rest on the ground when the dog downs.  So if it's an open wound, it needs to be covered to protect it from dirt.  If it were me, I wouldn't work her until it was sealed up and showing no heat or swelling.  Why?  Because stupidly I once worked Cole after he sliced a pad that the vet glued for me and I thought it was healed enough but he stressed that scar enough to break it open and start it bleeding all over again and I felt like a horrible horrible person for putting my need for a service dog above his need to rest and heal.  Now I'd rather err on the side of caution than risk causing harm to my dog again by working them too soon after an injury.

Cole had one injury (t-boned in the shoulder by Luna during fetch) that laid him up for four solid months.  Luna was fine as the impact was on her head and face where the bone is thickest but Cole was not so lucky since the impact on him was in the shoulder which is a sort of fragile joint being all held together by muscle.

Do not trust a drivey dog to even toilet in their own yard off leash without doing something stupid to an existing injury.  I love drivey dogs, but some of the choices they make make me want to tear my hair out and scream.  Tardis is actually quite a relief to me being lower drive than my other dogs.  He'll actually stop and lie down during play if he needs to rest.  My issue with him is his resilience, which is another issue....

Drivey dogs tend not to feel/notice pain or injury while they are in drive.  (Ruby and her toenail)
Resilient dogs tend not to react to pain at any time, regardless of whether they are in drive or at rest chillaxing.  (Tardis)
Stoic dogs are aware they are injured but keep a stiff upper lift and don't complain about it or let on.  (Cole)

Resilient is good in that this is why that kid kicked him hard smack between the eyes and he did no more than blink and grin about it.  It's why he uttered only the very faintest of whisper-yips when toddler R ripped a handful of whiskers out of him right before my eyes and before I could intervene.  That's the nice side of resilience.  But when you have a basically strong willed, opinionated, pushy dog and it's time for a "come to Jesus meeting" over an issue like jabbing collies and then laughing maniacally and dodging them while they go ballistic because they just can't take another poke in the privates, how do you deliver a correction that will have an impact on him?  Because I'll be honest here, this is the point where I bought a remote collar (a collar that subjects the dog to a very controlled burst of electricity in response to a button push on a remote control in your hand).  It had settings from 1 to 100.  I tested it on myself first.  I quit at 50.  I just really didn't want to face the next zap after that.  So I decided I would never turn the control above 50 on my dog.  Then you're supposed to find the point at which the dog appears to notice the zap.  You gradually increase the intensity and observe closely, looking for any reaction, a blink, a twitch, a head lift, anything.  At 60 Tardis was still grinning and wandering around the yard sniffing things and amusing himself, apparently oblivious to the collar stimulation.  I contacted his breeder and she said I should have started at 60 and she figured he'd be about an 80 because that's what others like him were.  And I put the thing away dumbfounded by his resilience.  He spontaneously gave up collie poking.  I have no idea why but I was immensely grateful.

So you've got drive, but what do you have in terms of resilience and stoicism?  Because those will affect the dog's transmission of information to you about injuries too.

Totally weird thing about highly resilient dogs:  they can be infuriatingly indifferent to massive injury and yet yelp like a pansy if you hit a snag while brushing them out or moisten them with tap water.  My sister's dog is a wuss about toenails.  Mine is a wuss about the very lightest of tugs on a snarl with a brush though he doesn't care if a toddler grabs fistfuls of fur to pull themselves up or rips out a handful of whiskers.  What is up with that???  Tardis used to be a sissy about toenails too but he eventually gave it up because I kept doing them anyway (what choice did I have since they had to be trimmed).  He gave up screaming during baths for the same reason.  I have videographic evidence of what a terror he was to bathe as a puppy.  Anyway, he used to be a toenail sissy and yet he too has ripped a toenail off.  All of my dogs have at least once, and most of them several over the years.  According to him at the time, toenail trims were shear torture, but ripping a toenail completely off was nothing.  Also, toenail trims are horrible, but quicking a nail during a trim isn't really any worse than the trim itself.  :rolleyes:

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« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 07:58:34 PM by Kirsten »
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"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Ariel

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 08:24:48 PM »
Jubi's nails grow quickly, thankfully. Knowing her I'd think they'll be capped in the next 3ish days. I have a pain doctor appointment on Wednesday and I'll see how she's healing and decide then if I take her or not. I have a service human coming regardless.

Jubi would break her leg and still go after the ball. I actually have been fearful of the way she jumps since she was only about 4-5 months old. The first time I tossed a ball in the yard and it bounced all four feet left the ground and she did a spectacular mid air acrobatic move to catch it. It was gorgeous, but terrifying with her immature joints. I stuck to ground balls after that. Now (within the past 4-5 months) I typically throw 2-3 balls she can jump for but do my best to control those still. She'd follow the ball head first into the ground. I have wooden fence posts in my backyard that are broken due to her forcefully hitting the fence in an attempt to catch the ball without slowing down.

Jubi will show pain, she's certainly not immune like it sounds like Tardis is. Her recovery from pain is near instantaneous. You could whack her with a 2x4 and she'd yelp and then keep on tail wagging wanting to know what game you were up about. It's far easier to emotionally wound her for more than a fraction of a second, though that's a line that isn't crossed until it's crossed. It's been interesting learning how to get the right tone to verbally warn and discipline her.

She seems to be a pretty typical GWP. She's certainly not as hard of a dog as some. Some are like Tardis, absolutely nothing phases them. Most of those are not the type of dog you'd want as a SD though. The one of Jubi's breeders I'm closer to with 25+ years in the breed, she said Jubi is definitely on the upper end of drivey for the breed, which surprised me.

I think of GWPs as extremely energetic and drivey dogs. I know some are far more sensitive than Jubi or settle more easily than her but I also know other GWPs who are bird nuts that will tirelessly work the field too. Jubi's not hunted nor is she trained for it, but the endurance of some reminds me of her. I guess in my inexperience I didn't realize that I was having to work harder than the average GWP owner for the same result. Most are working for steady hunting dogs or nice family companions, few have the same goals for reliable public obedience.

I certainly wouldn't have opted for this much dog had I known what I was getting in to, but the dog is obviously laying next to me so I'm not giving her up. She's a lot of dog, but I've learned a lot about her and continue to learn what it means to have a drivey dog. I'd likely prefer to go for one with slightly lower drive next time around. She's on the upper limits of what I, as an intermediate dog trainer, feel comfortable working with for the goal of becoming a service dog.

I still maintain that the proudest moment of Jubi's entire training was the day at around 8 months that I stopped in a Target pet toy aisle to look at the different colors of honky pigs and she quietly laid down at my side and didn't move until I told her to get up. Huge accomplishment right there. Part of me was worried I'd be telling her to do down stays and she'd be on high alert the whole time. She still very rarely sleeps in down stays, but she'll relax at least and watch, or sometimes put her head down and watch.

So another question about drives and off switches. Obviously Jubi has an off switch because she'll settle if I need her to for days without exercise though she'd happily run 5 miles without stopping. Is the off switch trained or would it have naturally come without any encouragement from me?

Also, I know you can't suppress drive but can encourage it. Can you encourage no off switch? If yes, is there ever a good reason to do so?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 08:26:33 PM by Ariel »
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 09:23:17 PM »
Cole took out a tombstone with his face playing ball once.  He didn't fall or flip or anything and actually caught the ball.  No blood, nothing broken...except the stone which was knocked over.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 09:34:24 PM »
Kirsten I actually physically cringed envisioning that.
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 09:36:20 AM »
That same dog was given a life expectancy of ten days at the outside when he was diagnosed with hemageosarcoma but lived a year and a half by shear will.

Double edged sword. Really good and really bad, at the same time.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Ariel

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Re: Dog not caring while sustaining injuries
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 10:38:21 AM »
Of course Jubi could have seriously injured her hip far greater than needing a week of strict crate rest at 17 weeks. All she did was get excited that we were going to the vet to get her final shots and slip on the 2x2' hardwood patch in front of my old apartment door.
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In Loving Memory of Service Dog Saxon (6/5/13-12/2/15)