Thanks very much, sixx. I could start with that right away, because as long as I go slowly and carefully it can't harm anything. I am starting to get fairly tuned in to Kelso these days, and he trusts me to a limited extent but we have a long way to go to feel close or bonded.
I really love reading this thread!
Does Kelso look to be in pain? You could try PROM (Passive Range of Motion). Here are directions if you're interested:
*Lay your companion on his/her side making sure the limb you are treating is up. Make sure he/she is comfortable and relaxed. PROM SHOULD NOT BE FORCED.
*Use BIG SOFT HANDS (no matter what the size of your hands) and fully support the limb under the joint you are moving. For example: Don't hold the foot to move the hip.
*Initially, move each joint separately to check for adverse reactions. Keeping the limb level with the floor and in a comfortable and natural position for your companion, slowly and gently straighten the limb (extension), then slowly and gently bend the limb (flexion). Do not push into resistance.
*Go slowly - use time as a measure, not how many times you move the limb; otherwise you will count too quickly and move too quickly.
*Gentle oscillating movements help to assist with muscle relaxation.
*Use this quality time to gain your companion's trust and to help them feel better.
You should range the joints for 3-5 minutes 2-3 times per day.
Active Range of Motion - Encourage your companion to stretch his/her own leg by massaging along their back or on the front of the thigh. This may stimulate a stretch of the leg to the rear - straightening the limb.
Goals:Maintain soft tissue mobility, promote circulation, and decrease joint stiffness.
I honestly do not know if he is in pain or not. I know that sounds ridiculous. Normally there'd be no doubt one way or the other. He doesn't display any of the signs that would normally cause me to think that a dog is in pain. But he is not a normal dog. He has been subjected to horrors. And he has learned too well how to hunker down and simply endure. He's not likely ever to be a dog who shows discomfort readily; he has not had any reason to think that doing so will get him help.