|Even Cookie's therapy requires food for motivation.|
With Cookie's iliopsoas injury, strict rest was ordered for a long time with extremely slow re-introduction to moderate activity.
To make things even more interesting, just as Cookie started being able to get out a bit more, she went nuts and injured herself once again. This set her way back.
Not only is this much restriction hard on the dog psychologically, maintaining functional muscles and optimal weight are additional challenges.
That is one of the reasons why some of the rehab specialists don't recommend too much crate rest and immobilization. While it may or may not be good for the actual injured part itself, such as with a torn cruciate, it results in major muscle atrophy through the entire body. Muscles are what protects the joints. Muscles are what moves the body. With too much atrophy you have a body that becomes dysfunctional. Joints themselves also benefit from movement. So at least some movement is important.
The amount of movement needed to keep the body functional is not likely to be enough to keep it slim.
Particularly when most available entertainment involves food one way or another be it training tricks, chews or stuffed Kong ...
As you can imagine, previously very active Cookie started to pack on some extra pounds. I did notice that and implemented some reductions but for the most part I figured she can lose it once she's back to full activity.
|Puzzle games, training games ... none of that works without some form of treats.|
But after the last setback she wasn't really improving the way she should and investigation revealed problems with her cruciate ligament(s).
Suddenly, the time I thought we had to get Cookie back to optimal weight was gone.
She needed to drop the extra pounds as soon as possible. Now what? She still needed something to entertain her. But we needed to find a way to stretch the calories she was getting way further.
I had no choice but to sit down, figure out what Cookie's resting energy requirement (RER) was, then start a spread sheet and calculate the caloric value of everything that went into her mouth and play around with it to remain within the limit of the RER.
When I need to offer less calories while not skimping on the overall volume of treats, I go for more water content first.
Slow-cooked or boiled lean meats contain much less calories than their dehydrated counterparts. Making such a switch allows giving just as many treats while not giving as many calories.
Switching to stuff that carries less calories. Did you know that the same amount of cooked chicken or turkey breast actually carries about half of the calories that cooked beef does? So we moved more toward those meats to make her treats even though I'm generally not a fan of feeding much chicken.
Switching to low-fat cream cheese to wrap her medications and supplements. Fortunately she didn't seem to care about the difference. Unfortunately, she's pretty sick and tired of any cream cheese by now so in order to get her to accept it I need to embellish it. Fortunately I found that smothering the "cheese rolls" in a bit of sour cream works.
After a discussion with Cookie's local vet we also decided to include L-Carnitine, particularly since we're trying both to get her to slim out and rebuild muscle.
|These bones provide the most entertainment measured in time. |
However, the marrow is very high in calories.
Finding the perfect bones such as this, with very little marrow and lot of other good stuff isn't easy.
With all the steps we took, together with Cookie being able to become more active again, the weight is coming down.
What I didn't do was adding extra fiber to bulk the food up. That doesn't seem to work and it does not keep a dog feeling satiated. Protein, on the other hand does, as well as is needed for building the muscles back up as well as for many other important functions in her body.The best thing to cut down on, naturally, is fat. Particularly with Cookie's diet that contains next to no carbohydrates.
The goal is to restore her to the body condition she had when she reached two years of age and keep her there.
Meaning, knowing she has all the challenges, we want to keep her very slim, just like we've been doing with JD. I'm not having her lose the weight too fast but it's going down steadily while muscles are getting bigger and stronger which is good.
I would have never thought that the bullet that is Cookie could ever have weight issues. But such stuff can happen to any dog, particularly after injury or surgery.
Note: we did also go ahead and check her thyroid function. Firstly to find out whether sluggish thyroid could be involved with the injuries in the first place and secondly to make sure that our weight loss efforts are not an uphill battle. Her thyroid seems to be working fine, though.
Here is the problem with pain, injuries, rehab and weight.
Any reason for decrease in activity is a welcome mat for weight gain. On the other hand, any extra pound increases pain and inhibits healing and recovery. It's important to find a way to break out of that cycle.
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely?
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Happy Birthday, Cookie
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"
Living with an Incontinent Dog
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog
Cookie's New Injury Update
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?