- Lesson from Tom: dogs can get sore backs from over exertion. They will yawn and stretch a lot as a sign that they have a sore back.
- Tom says “I like to get a back massage”
I’d learned that a tell-tale sign for back pain is when a dog does more than usual back stretches or yawning. Also, if a dog is reluctant to go up the stairs or jump, or maybe is slower at assents than usual, he may be suffering.
In a previous post, I had mentioned that Tom has a chronic muscle spasm in his back due to an injury while doing too much jumping for a treat. He would bite and growl if we tried to touch the area on his back. We had cut down on his ball chasing and jumping, gave him acupuncture, chiropractic and massage treatments and the chronic muscle spasm and pain went away.
Recently I noticed Tom hobbling up the stairs and doing a lot of stretching and yawning. So I introduced a regular 5 minute massage session at the beginning and end of the day improves his movement.
I needed to gain Tom’s trust that I wouldn’t hurt him, so I use light touches down his spine and then increase the pressure slowly, running fingers along either side of the spine from top to bottom. I can see and feel the muscle spasms releasing. I also massage the muscles around his hips as I think these get sore from hikes and running. Now, when I ask him if he wants a massage, he comes and sits with his back facing me and seems to enjoy the sessions.