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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Should we push Cash?

I posted this in Paige's thread on Preston's legs...but I really wanted your opinions on whether we should push (or pull actually) Cash on longer walks or not. Here's the situation:

Those of you that have met him know he is lumbering giant of a Hav. He is loooong and short-- His front legs are much shorter than his back legs. His front legs are bowed... one more than the other. When he walks he lumbers... But when he is playing and running he is quite graceful...It's sort of that bunny hop thing that happens with the shorter front legs...he also has has a huge chest that makes him quite front heavy. As many of you know he also struggles with weight but is now down to a reasonable weight. Ok- so that is his anatomy.

Cash hates to go for a walk on a leash...and when we do he will pull to walk on the grass instead of the harder side walk or street. He never seems to be in whimpering or limping...But he just drags with his tail down. Just today, I went to the park with them. This was their 2nd park walk today as DH takes them every morning for 1-2 miles. I had not even gone a 1/2 mile when he really started dragging and then just stopped. We rested for a while and continued at a slower pace... lumbering along, the words "we're going home" as encouragement. But he will play and jump and RLH in the yard. He just hates walking.

So finally I get to the question... Should we keep taking him on these long walks even if he seems to be dragging? Should we discourage jumping/playing even though he seems to have no trouble with that? I suspect it is just his anatomy that makes walking as opposed to jumping/running more awkward for him. I do plan on asking my vet next time we go but I just thought I would throw it out see what you all think.

Thanks for weighing in.

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 07:38 PM
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If he doesn't get upset if you leave him at home when you walk Jasper, I would let him skip the walks.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 07:49 PM
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You can always take a dog stroller along and when he tires out, let him ride in the stroller. I think that's what Paige was doing for Preston. That way he still gets to smell all the smells and meet the people and you can walk him as far as he's comfortable.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 07:53 PM
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I'm wondering if the harder surfaces might cause more pain to the leg that is bowed more than the other? Does he like you to throw a ball for him in the yard? I don't yet have a havanese, but just going on what you said, I think I would skip the walks. I think I might try again in colder weather (as dogs just like the cooler temps), and I think I might try shorter walks only two or three times a week and see how he reacts.

My thinking is if you only go once or twice a week, for short walks, and he seems happy, then I think that might indicate that he really is having a physical problem with the walks. I think I would wait at least a week, maybe longer, before trying again to rest his legs, in case they are hurting any at all. If he is still avoiding the pavement, and unhappy, and he can keep the weight off without it, then I tend to think skipping the walks would be better. I am wondering if he would play at a park if he was not walked there? If so, I would try getting him there by car or stroller, if you were close. That way he does get out of the house occasionally, if it were to mean alot to him, and if it were part of your regular routine. It doesn't sound like he is happy with the walks. I think the big question here is if he is not happy b/c of pain, or b/c walking is just 'work'.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 07:59 PM
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If you stop walking him, how would he ge his exercise? How long has he been acting this way for? For some time or is it brand new??


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 08:01 PM
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I say let Cash skip the walks and stick with his playing and RLHs.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 08:05 PM
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Missy- do you have wet photos of his legs you can post? I really think this bowed leg thing and Havanese has been pushed way way too far. MANY dogs have curved legs and live long happy lives and go for walks too. If you really are that concerned, I would take him to the vet and have him xrayed. I would also be concerned not walking him would cause it to be harder for him later on. I know with a lot of dogs and different ailments- joints, patellas, etc. They say the best thing you can do for them is take them for daily walks.

My Dora doesn't really like walking. She never has. She likes going at her own pace and sniffing so we take the stroller but I make her walk some. She NEVER likes walking connected to Dash or Belle as they pull and she is stubborn. But I have taken toys and treats. She is never as excited as they are but I think a lot of it is her personality.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Ryan, you hit my dilemma right on the nose. He does need the exercise. His dislike for walks is not new...but it seems to have intensified. It could be that I am now trying to walk as well, so many days the boys get two walks or more. Most nights I do living room agility and tricks with the boys... I have Cash running up and down stairs chasing balls, jumping on chairs, rolling over, dancing, all of which he loves (because there are tiny treats involved.) And we do it for about 20 minutes so he does get a workout. But now I am wondering if this is also not so good on his little legs.

Carole, I do think he would hate it if Jasper got a walk but he didn't. They are very competitive.

Amanda, I agree that the bowed legs have been pushed too far. My vet is also of the opinion don't go looking for problems. I just don't want to make it worse. I will take soaped pictures next bath day. His right leg is a bit deformed...He can give me his left paw. But can only lift his right paw about half way.

I really appreciate everyone's input. keep the thoughts coming.

Perhaps, DH and I can split up the walks...He and Jasper can go on the power walks at the park... and Cash and I can stroll the neighborhood that way they each get one on one time.

Missy, Jasper & Cash

Last edited by Missy; 09-04-2009 at 08:27 PM.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 08:53 PM
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That's a hard one, Missy. I think my inclination would be to let him walk as much as he's comfortable with, and then put him in a stroller the rest of the way (or take him home and let Jasper have a longer walk). If it were me, I'd hate to find out later that he was in some sort of pain or had discomfort and I'd made him continue walking To make up for less exercise, the RLHs in the yard sound great, or fetch if he'll do that.

Let us know what your vet advises! to you and yours!

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 09:59 PM
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Missy, I think seeing if there is a medical reason to reduce or modify the walk would be good, if you feel you need that to put your mind at ease. Although I haven't been here as often as in the past, I do think this straight leg vs bowed leg issue is way overrated. If it does not cause him any pain, and you know for a fact it is not his favourite thing to do, then use your discretion and take him on walks as you see fit. Also keeping in mind that if whatever discomfort you may be feeling is something he will most definitely pick up through the leash. Follow your gut and with the advise of a vet, I am sure you can help Cash have a healthy balance of exercise to keep him strong and happy.

And like Cash, I too hate long walks or exercise But that is a whole other thread. Hugs to you Missy, and I hope you get the answers you need, and keep in mind that Cash and Jasper are so lucky to have you as their Mommy.

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