As with people, the best way to treat an injury in dogs is to be proactive and make sure it doesn't happen in the first place! This is why we stretch before going on a run, avoid stepping in a big hole, and drink plenty of fluids afterwards. While your dog shouldn't be drinking gatorade after a particularly rumpus playtime at the dog park, there are plenty of things you can and should be doing in order to be proactive against an injury.
A healthy dog can still hurt their leg. In fact, sprains, minor tears, and other leg injuries are some of the most common injuries among our canine friends. This is why we want to take the time today to educate and inform you as to the best ways to avoid an injury:
#1 Know his risk. Some dogs are more susceptible to an injury than others simply because of their breed. Breeds that are giant, high-energy, or known to have a genetic predisposition for certain conditions are at a higher risk for leg injuries. Due to their size, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands often develop knee issues. Other breeds more susceptible to leg injuries are Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers. If your dog fits into a high-risk category, you'll want to keep an extra eye on him and keep up with healthy vet visits.
#2 Keep him at a healthy weight. Any dog can be injured, but excess weight increases his chances. St. Bernards are prone to obesity due to their lax nature, which is one reason they are known to be prone to leg and joint conditions. Of course, any breed can grow too fat if he's not exercised enough. Make sure he gets enough play time and don't feed him too many treats. This second part is hard, we know… because he's just so cute!
#3 Have him wear a brace proactively. Next time you're watching football, be sure to notice how many members of the offensive line are wearing a knee brace. It's nearly all of them! Athletes wear a knee brace because it helps prevent excessive movement and rotation while supporting their knee and reducing the risk of injury during intense game play. The same concept is true for dog braces! These braces comfortably restrict movement while supporting your dog’s leg, meaning an injury is less likely.
Bionic Pets is here for you and your furry friend! We hope your dog is never injured, but sometimes this is unavoidable because of a chronic condition or accident. If you need help restoring your dog's mobility after an injury, a dog knee brace, dog wrist brace, or other type of brace is a fantastic idea. He'll be back to playing in no time and you can be extra careful not to let another injury happen. As mentioned above, a dog brace is also recommended to avoid the injury in the first place.