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5 Hacks for helping dogs (and their owners) with a neurological condition

It can be really scary when your dog is hit with a neurological injury. This may be from a spinal problem, such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) or even brain injury. There are a few things that can make life a little easier for you and your dog after injury and/or surgery. Of course the main thing is that your dog has received the appropriate care from your veterinary professional, however here are 5 easy things you can be doing at home.

1. Lay down runner/rugs or yoga mats.

If your dog is able to walk, albeit with a wobbly gait pattern, and you have slippery floors at home, for example; tiles/ laminate or wood, your dog may struggle more. To make life easier consider laying down runners, old bits of carpet or cheap yoga mats, particularly along the routes that they would often use, for example from their bed to the back door.

2. Use a scarf or sling

To help your dog to balance you may have already been advised to use a scarf or sling around their abdomen. Try to allow them to do as much as possible. So if they have movement in their back legs allow them to make the stepping action, whilst just giving them enough support to remain upright. You may find the amount of support you give them will vary depending upon how tired they are. So be mindful that it may be different every time you move them.

3. Try to keep to their normal routine

Just like us animals crave routine and actually the more you stick to their normal routine the better the nerve signals are able to develop and adjust. Now, obviously you won't be doing your usual walks at this stage, but try to take them out into the garden at the time you would normally walk them. Let them sniff around the areas they would usually poo or wee at home (on lead and under supervision). Keep their mealtimes at a similar time and if the are able to allow them to stand for mealtimes (they may need some support with this from you)

4. Use Pawz or Socks with grip

For those that are managing short walks make sure you keep an eye on the tops of their feet and their toes. Because they are more likely to be dragging their paws, and can't really feel them, they are more susceptible to damaging themselves. To help with this I recommend using Pawz, (PawzDogBoots) these are a great product that are lightweight and easy to use (once you get the hang of it). Other products are available, but I like that these are fairly cheap and come in a pack of 4, so if you only need them for one foot you have spares! I would also add that whilst these are great to prevent sores, they do also prevent the sensory stimulation from walking, so where possible remove them once they are on a softer surface. For example use them to walk to the park, where you are on footpaths, but remove them once you are there on the grass. This way your dog will still get all the benefits from being on various terrains.

5. Use Reusable nappies

In my experience nappies work much better for boys than girls. There are a number of different ones on the market, but these bellybands from Gelnndarcy Dog nappies & belly bands - washable – Glenndarcyare a popular choice. Again, try not to allow them to wear them all the time, as they can get sore, but they can be a good option for when needed. Having some dry shampoo to hand can also be a bonus for when you don't have time to bathe them.


Veterinary Physiotherapists are well placed to assist with advice, education and assistance for any dog with a neurological injury. We can provide support for you and your dog for any struggles that you are having. Furthermore we can show you ways for enhance your dogs abilities by using various techniques including manual therapies, electrotherapies and exercise prescription.

To find out more of what to expect from a physiotherapy session, check out this blog below.

To book an appointment, or to discuss your dogs requirements further please call


Join us on social media @huntshillphysio

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