We passes a milestone today; at mach 3. Dru was released to run with full no-holds-barred sprinting. About 4 weeks ago we had our last vet visit with regards to the broken toe. The x-rays showed that the bones had healed quite well. However, since she had been in bandages for 8 weeks there was a significant loss of strength in the foot. When she took a step the foot just splayed out like she was stepping in mud, only she was on concrete. Hmmmm. In addition, the vet wanted to be sure the bones were a bit stronger before any full sprinting occurred.
The result - we've been doing physical therapy over the past 4 weeks in the form of walking. We started with a 5 minute walk then gradually increased to 30 minutes over the past month. She (and I) was bored out of her mind, but it worked. The strength returned and now the foot looks like the uninjured one. You can hardly tell the toe was even broken.
We have also had to trim her nails down to a manageable length so they wouldn't interfere with running. They were pretty long as she would not let me get near them with the clippers. Period. The vet taught me how to use a Dremel to grind the nails down. She was quite complacent when he was doing it. At home, not so much, though I mimicked every thing he did. I touched the noisy, rough, spinning beast from hell to her apparently nerve-laden nail and she popped up off her bed like the little button in the turkey that tells you when it's done. A sudden, surprising movement which, of course, was accompanied by a greyhound scream of death. So we worked out an agreement. If she lets me touch the nail with the Dremel she gets a snackie. Next, it was holding it to the nail for a 2 count. Snackie. Then, 4 seconds. Snackie. We are now up to about 8 seconds of contact and 3 empty bags of snackies.
Once we hit the 4 week release date to let her actually run, I thought we would start a little slow. We went to the dog park very early Friday and Saturday so we would have the place to ourselves. We were in a small area so the girls couldn't get up too much speed on the sprints. Dru started out quite cautiously then worked up to a faster clip. All was fine, with Dru. I, on the other hand, was having little mini panic attacks every time she went faster than a walk. Did it break? Is she limping? Did she just step on it wrong? No. No. No. Breathe.
This morning we went to our weekly playdate. The one with big open spaces and many other very fast moving greyhounds. We arrived early to give her a chance to sprint the field alone. She did. She was gone in 0.1 seconds of being released from her lead and a tiny speck on the horizon within 2. An impressive celebration of freedom.
She reverted back to being overly cautious when the other dogs started to join us, (an impressive memory, that.) but she wasn't as bad as before the toe was broken. We left a bit early to be sure she didn't push it too far. I've spent the remainder of the day watching her carefully and on the few occasions she has actually risen from her bed and walked around the house today (can we say, a little out of shape?) there has been no limping. Here's to a full recovery!