WEEK 1 – Emphasis is on anti-inflammatory control.

  • Gentle massage for 2 – 3 minutes on affected limb prior to performing passive range of motion exercises.
  • Passive range of motion (PROM) and ice packs to the region of the incision or injury three times a day. Gently supporting entire limb, slowly begin to move and flex each joint, beginning with the toes and moving upwards towards the shoulder. Only flex one joint at a time. A complete range of motion of each joint should occur. If the joint is painful, flex only as much as is comfortable for the animal. Each day try to flex the joint slightly further until a complete range of motion can be done. Signs that the patient is in discomfort include tensing the limb, moving, vocalizing, turning the head toward the therapist, or trying to pull away. Do not cause undue discomfort.
  • Gentle massage of the limb once a day. Begin at the toes and move upwards towards the hip
  • Short leash walks at a very slow gait on a flat surface three times a day for bathroom privileges only.
  • No slippery floors, no running, no jumping, no rough play, no long walks or rough play. Hayden can only do stairs if he does not limp afterwards. Keep stairs to a minimum. If he limps after doing stairs stop allowing it altogether for another 2 weeks.
  • Ensure pet gets all medication.

WEEK 2 – Emphasis is on early limb use.

  • Reassessment of patient.
  • ± Ice packs and PROM over joint and massage once to twice daily.
  • Leash walks for 10 minutes two or three times daily.
  • Begin lie down to stand exercises – make pet stand up and lie down, bending elbows for 10 minutes two or three times daily.

WEEK 3 – Emphasis is on improved limb use.

  • Sit – to – Stand exercises continue two to three times daily for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Leash walks 20 – 40 minutes.
  • Decline walking (walking down a gentle slope) once daily, if possible.
  • Stairs – 3 stairs up and 3 down twice a day.
  • ± Ice packs and gentle massage of leg, if it is painful at end of each exercise session.

WEEKS 4 & 5 – Emphasis is on muscle strengthening.

  • Continued muscle strengthening and development with lie down and stand exercises and short episodes of trotting 10 minutes twice daily.
  • Leash walks for 20 – 40 minutes twice daily.
  • Decline walking 10 – 15 minutes twice daily.
  • Incline walking 10 – 15 minutes twice daily.
  • Stairs – 6 up and 6 down twice daily, if possible.
  • ± Ice packs and gentle massage of leg, if it is painful at end of each exercise session.

WEEKS 6 – 12 – Emphasis is on muscle-specific therapeutic exercises.

  • Continued muscle strengthening and development with lie down and stand exercises and short episodes of trotting. Lengthen period of trotting to 15 – 20 minutes
  • Leash walks for 40 – 60 minutes twice daily.
  • Figure eight walking for 10 minutes during leash walks.
  • Decline walking 20 minutes twice daily.
  • Incline walking 20 minutes twice daily.
  • Stairs – 8 up and 8 down twice daily.
  • Swimming once daily for 10 – 30 minutes.
  • Walking upright on rear legs once daily for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • ± Ice packs and gentle massage of leg, if it is painful at end of exercise session.

WEEK 12 – FINAL REASSESSMENT.