These exercises are suitable for dogs of all sizes to begin within the first few days following cruciate surgery. It is important that your dog’s pain is well controlled, so please use your post-operative medication as advised by your veterinary professional. This will enable your dog to use the limb effectively during exercise, thereby promoting effective healing. If in any doubt, please seek advice from your veterinary professional.
To gain confidence in using the limb.
To improved circulation
To enhance proprioception
What to do: When walking your dog on their lead keep their affected limb closest to you. Make sure you walk slow enough so that your dog is able to walk in a 4 beat pattern without hopping on their affected limb. If they are hopping or trying to use both back legs at the same time, please try to slow them down further. You may find using a harness helpful for this.
How often: You will be encouraged by your veterinary profession to walk your dog for 5-10 minutes 3-5 times daily.
2. Isometric gluts.
Help to relive pain
Activate important muscles for walking
What to do:
Gently rock your dog’s weight off of the unaffected leg and onto the affected leg. Your dog will have to engage the muscles on the affected leg to take the weight, hold for 5 seconds. Once they are confident with this you can start to lift their unaffected limb allowing them to fully weight bear on their affected limb.
How often: 2-3 times per day. 5-10 reps.
3. Dynamic stretches
Engage your dog’s core muscles
Improve the strength of your dog’s core muscles
Ultimately improving your dog’s peripheral control
What to do: In standing hold a treat, Liki mat or Kong close to your dogs nose. Slowly move it left to rights so that your dog looks over one shoulder and then the other. They should be able to do this without moving their feet. If they do move their feet, move the treat slower and move it a smaller distance.
How often: 2-3 times per day
5-10 reps in each direction
You can find out more about physiotherapy and how it can help your dog to recover from surgery by visiting our website www.huntshillphysio.co.uk.
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