When a family brings home the cute, cheerful, but also frightened little one, in most cases they don´t undertake any devilishly demanding events or hiking in the mountains. But as the puppy grows, it dares to load more and more, looks less and less like that cute puppy and more and more like an adult dog. And the family often forget that they still have a puppy at home and start behaving as if they had an adult dog at home. They go on longer and longer trips, let the puppy fool around for hours with other dogs, and often start doing sports with the puppy. “The dog is fine, it´s having fun, doesn´t limp at all and loves to be active. So what’s the problem? ”As stated at the beginning of the article, every dog is different, so it doesn’t have to be a problem. But it can be.
Probably the most common injury caused by excessive physical activity of Continental Bulldog puppies is broken knee ligaments. This injury is insidious for several reasons. There is no way to see this injury coming in advance, we notice it suddenly as the puppy has difficulties to stand up or starts limping. Another reason is that once this injury occurs, it can´t be resolved by giving the puppy a rest, this injury can´t be revoked. Conservative treatment is often ineffective so a surgical treatment is necessary, with long convalescence. The price of the treatment, which can exceed the purchase price of the puppy, is certainly unpleasant for the owners. And it is important to mention the fact that during the period of convalescence the dog puts more strain on the healthy leg, therefore the knee ligaments of the healthy leg often break too.
The second common risk of puppies´ excessive physical activity is a worsened degree of dysplasia of hip joints (or even elbows). The joints and ligaments are not yet completely mature, moreover they do not have as much support in musculature as in adult dogs. The result of high stress can be excessive wear of the joints, worsening of the degree of dysplasia, in addition there´s the associated increased risk of developing painful osteoarthritis or its development at an earlier age than usual.
Of course, there are many more movement difficulties caused by excessive load of physical activity, whether it is injured tendons, inflammation of the musculoskeletal system and more. It´s certainly not worth it to downplay any of the risks, whether because of the belief in “it most probably won’t happen to us, we don’t do any terrible physical activities and sport is healthy for any dog”, or even if we know a few other Continental Bulldog owners who “went for long hikes and let the puppy fool around with other dogs for hours and hours, now the dog is three years old and is completely fine “. Also, we must not forget that owners often have no need or reason to debate their dog’s health problems in public.