Managing Recovery in Multi-Dog Homes: Exercise And Injuries In A Multi-Dog Household—Rodrigo’s Limp

Controlling an active dog’s activity during recovery from injury or surgery can be difficult enough. What happens if you have more than one dog?

I know how difficult it was to keep Jasmine and JD from playing after Jasmine’s knee surgeries. As well as the workarounds we invented while Jasmine was house-bound and JD still needed his exercise.

Thank you, Kimberly Gauthier, for sharing Rodrigo’s story.

Managing Recovery in Multi-Dog Homes: Exercise And Injuries In A Multi-Dog Household—Rodrigo's Limp

Rodrigo’s story

OMG – Rodrigo is limping. 

We live on 5 acres and we love watching them tear after each other, kicking up dust clouds, and giving us happy smiles. Our property was made for dogs and dog lovers.

A week before BlogPaws, we noticed that Rodrigo was limping and it was getting progressively worse.  

When you live in a multi-dog home with active dogs, an injury is crazy inconvenient, but we’ve developed a system that works for our family.  Our dogs are young, so a limping dog isn’t much cause for worry, but it does require immediate attention (just in case).

A dog is limping

When one of our dogs starts limping (especially Rodrigo), it’s a signal that the pain is worse than I realize and has probably been around for a while, because some dogs instinctively hide injuries (like Rodrigo).  When one of our dogs is limping, I quickly identify which leg they’re favoring and try to see how badly they’re injured by massaging the area to look for any lumps, bumps or swelling.  I also check the paws for thorns or other injuries.

Finding a resolution

After making sure there were no additional signs of illness (loss of appetite, pacing, excessive panting, crying or yelping, or any other behavior out of the ordinary), I double-checked the joint supplement history.

We give our dogs Wag Lifetime Joint Care which is fabulous.  Both Rodrigo and Sydney developed arthritis early in life and Wag has given us our active dogs back.  Blue takes a reduced dosage because joint supplements promote healthy joints as well as relieve joint pain and arthritis.

In the halla-ba-loo of preparing for BlogPaws, I realized that I missed a few days.  Instead of kicking myself, which I deserved, I got everyone started back on their supplements.  Missing a few days isn’t a big deal, but when you miss a few days here and there, it kind of makes the supplements pointless.  Think “birth control pills.”  Get what I mean?

Managing Recovery in Multi-Dog Homes: Exercise And Injuries In A Multi-Dog Household—Rodrigo's Limp

Managing dog walks

Until Rodrigo was feeling better, we had to reduce his playtime and that is what I mean by inconvenient – have you tried explaining healing time, rest period, and taking a break to a dog?  Blue and Rodrigo are playmates and Blue was bouncing off the walls for two weeks and Rodrigo was right behind him.  We developed a schedule to manage their energy until Rodrigo healed.

  • Blue received individual walks to help burn off some of that excess energy.
  • Blue and Rodrigo were allowed to play, but it was limited to a small area of our property.
  • Rodrigo only received pain medication (we give him Dog Gone Pain, which works and doesn’t have any nasty side effects) before bed; if we gave it to him before a play session or walk; he’d overtax himself and pay for it the next day.
  • We create indoor games, like hiding treats around the living room, for the dogs to play – they love that one!  Especially Sydney.
  • Sometimes we give them raw, meaty bones to occupy some of their time.

The recovery

It took 2 weeks for Rodrigo’s limp to slowly go away.

I now have a reminder on my phone to give the dogs their “peanut butter treats” at 8 pm every night.  They know the drill and now we do too.

If you live in a multi-dog home, how do you manage your dog’s exercise and play time when one is injured?

Related articles:
Why Is My Dog Limping? Causes of Lameness in Dogs—Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog
Dog Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks

Further reading:
How to Manage a Multi-Dog Household

Categories: ConditionsLimpingReal-life StoriesSymptoms

Tags: :

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

Share your thoughts