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PT – Surgery dog — at home therapy

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PT for Surgery Dogs

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.

A surgeon might direct at home full range of motion and massage for paralyzed legs

If a dog can walk even if a bit of assist from a sling is needed, the post-op directed therapy could be walking with sling and harness to and from the potty place.

For dogs with weak legs, underwater treadmill at a clinic may be directed. Learn more about Water therapy

PT for the surgery dog + for the dog having completed conservative treatment of 8 weeks to heal their disc.

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.

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

Add these 4 new exercises in addition to those demonstrated in the video below:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

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

This videos is for a dog in post-op care or a dog AFTER completing conservative treatment of crate rest (always check with your vet regarding which exercises would be appropriate for your dog’s situation):

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