PT – Surgery dog — at home therapy


PT for Surgery Dogs

Surgery Dogs

Conservative Dogs (Meds + rest + time treatment)

The surgical procedure removed the offending disc material away from the spinal cord area. One of the benefits of surgery is that active PT can be started as soon as the surgeon directs.
After graduation of 8 week of STRICT REST, it is safe for the healed disc
to begin active rehab and PT for wobbly legs and those with paralyzed legs same as surgery dogs can do.
Surgeon directed at home full range of motion (ROM) and massage for the surgery dog.

Surgeon directed PT for a dog able to wobbly walk might be the walk to and from the potty place

Water therapy

At home ROM and massage

for paralyzed legs

For surgery dogs and

dogs completing 8 weeks of STRICT rest to heal their discs

By Giuliana G. Lerch, BS, LVT, CCRP, Member AARV, LIVMA, Four Leg Rehab, Inc., Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technician (proposed) – organizing committee, Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island

Check with your veterinarian or specialist to see when and which of these exercises are appropriate for your dog. Any sign of pain, discontinue.

New! Add these 4  to the ones in the video below.

Use a stable surface with good traction such as carpet or yoga mat for exercises like range of motion or leg pumps.

Standing Range of Motion (ROM) aka “Bicycles”: Place your pet in a standing position and support with one hand between the hind legs. With your other hand, hold the hock (ankle) to initiate ROM. In a slow, controlled motion; bring the leg back, bend at the knee, come forward, and brush the foot against the ground (this will stimulate the nerves). Repeat 15 times. Perform on the opposite limb. Do 3 alternating sets for each limb.

Stand with support: Put your pet in a standing position and support as needed between the hind legs. Have the dog “hold” this position up to 1 minute. This will re-enforce the muscle tone in the hind legs.

Stretchy Puppy: Position your dog in either a proper sit position (hind legs tucked in to mimic a normal sit position) or in a sphinx position (ideal for post operative cervical conditions). Use a treat to coax your pet to lean forward. This will engage and lengthen spinal muscles and stabilizing muscles. Start with no more than 5 repetitions.

Bounce: Put your pet in a standing position and support at the hips (one hand around each hip). Apply a gentle downward pressure so that you see the toes spread-the foot should never come off the ground. Repeat up to 25 times at 1 bounce per second. This exercise is for hind end awareness.

Video is NOT for a dog during 8 weeks of conservative treatment!

These videos are for dogs in post-op care or dogs AFTER they have completed conservative treatment of crate rest (always check with your vet regarding which exercises would be appropriate for your dog’s situation):


    This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the dog IVDD community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.

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