Dog trains man

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Run, Stumble and Fall

Two comments Kenzo's surgeon made after his tendon surgery, regularly wake me up in the middle of the night, as in a nightmare. "Some never recover." was his most famous quote. When I asked questions, he downplayed it.

"Some need the same surgery over and over." was the next. Apparently, when you don't find the cause of why his tendon was injured in the first place - and keep on doing what you are doing - it is likely to come back. Which made sense, but what was the culprit?

In Kenzo's case, it was probably a lack on hind leg-awareness, as diagnosed by his physical therapy vet, and which we solved now with specific exercises. But still.

Next to a loss of sleep, these comments from the vet were helpful still, as they forced me to be extra careful and vigilant around Kenzo's recovery. It took us 5 months, instead of the standard 3 months. And we threw everything at it we could find with specialized help, instead of walking the DIY-path.

When Kenzo was finally ready for his first real runs and off leash time, the outlook was excellent and it seemed the happy days were knocking on our door. As you can see on the photo above, Kenzo was running again, and seemed even more happy than me over his regained freedom.

Where it went wrong, is difficult to say, but I think when him and Tilde were dashing down-hill the sand dune on the next picture to the right, the speed in which they went was that high, Kenzo tried to slow down, Tilde smashed on top of him, he tripped over his "bad" leg, and they were both tumbling down the hill.

When he got up, he stood still and didn't want to play. He sneered at Tilde, who of course was thinking this was an unbelievable blast, and was calling for a rerun. I gave him some time, and did some tests with his leg to see if he was hurt, but he seemed fine. Still, he preferred to take it slow the rest of the walk.

Over the course of the next days, his limping had returned and I don't think I slept a lot in the days up to our upcoming vet visit. I tried painkillers, but they didn't help, but at least we knew, he was not in pain and the injury seemed not to have returned. Finally the day came, where Kenzo got his physical examination. Nothing seemed wrong, although some muscles were again tensed. The vet told us, what she had been telling us for the last couple of months.

"Kenzo still doesn't trust his leg." The limping is an attempt to avoid his left leg, which causes the tension in other muscles. It is not a new tendon injury. What probably happened on that sand dune, was Kenzo loosing his confidence in his leg again. After his surgery, basically with no tendon, the slightest step was wobbly, which must have fed him with that deep distrust we fight today.

We're back at the water walker, do mostly leashed walks in which I have more control, and all our daily exercises, whatever it takes for Kenzo to regain the needed trust in his leg. But lets not forget the good news. Physically he is in excellent shape, and nothing is wrong with him. He just doesn't know it yet.


  1. I'm glad it wasn't a true re-injury. I'm sure it was scary, though.

    1. All of that and a Mega relief. My worst nightmare probably is we have to go back to "that" surgeon - he knows his craft, and might be the best in Denmark, but still ...

  2. Poor guy - I hope it heals quickly.

    Monty and Harlow


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