Case Study: Recovering from an injury
I’m Gill, and this is my 10-year-old border collie, Bryn.
Bryn loves to run. We’re lucky to live in the New Forest and since he was a puppy Bryn has spent his walks chasing his toy back and forth, pretty much non-stop.
As he’s gotten older, he’s become more prone to injury – I don’t think he has realised just yet that he can’t run as fast and for as long as he used to. It’s not uncommon these days for Bryn to sprain his leg – it usually sorts itself out in a few days but I have to restrict his running whilst he recovers which means short, frequent on-lead walks rather than the long walks in the forest he is used to.
This has never been ideal – we’ve got two other collies in their prime and the on-lead walks aren’t usually enough to expend their energy, leaving me with three excitable dogs that I have to find ways to entertain!
Reducing Bryn’s Running Time Using PitPat
We’ve been members of PitPat Life for a couple of months now. I mostly use it to check that the dogs have had enough exercise each day and I like to compare their stats to my fitness tracker.
When Bryn sprained his leg recently, I set about my usual routine of restricting his running. I realised that thanks to PitPat, I now had the data at my fingertips to tell me whether I was actually being effective in reducing his running time. I could also reduce his daily exercise goal manually in line with my vet’s recommendation whilst he was recovering.
I realised that the on-lead walks meant that Bryn hit his activity goals less frequently. This wasn’t a problem since he was actively recovering from an injury, but it wasn’t good for our two healthy collies who still needed to expend their seemingly boundless energy.
Once Bryn was weighting his leg with more confidence, I decided to pick up our normal routine with the long walks in the forest. However, I still needed to stop him putting too much stress on his leg through running.
For Bryn this meant we threw his toy for him far less and worked hard to keep him walking close to us rather than running ahead and back constantly.
Our tactics paid off! Whilst Bryn’s overall minutes of activity had doubled as a result of longer walks, his time spent running had actually reduced by about 10 minutes on average.
After a week of monitoring, his leg is almost back to normal and we’re slowly amping up his running time. He might be 10, but he’s in great shape and we would hate for him to lose his fantastic body condition.
Setting Age Appropriate Activity Goals
We know the PitPat is going to continue to come in handy as Bryn ages. Like many older dogs, we see him getting a little stiffer after long walks and we know that there will come a time that we will need to permanently reduce his activity (and his activity goals) for his own good. The data from the PitPat will help us set appropriate activity goals for him and ensure he doesn’t overdo it and injure himself again!