Post Hip Surgery Rehab Program

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THE HIGHLIGHTED POTION BELOW BEFORE GOING ONTO THE REHAB SCHEDULE!

Physical Rehabilitation for both dogs and cats is a slow process.  This is a rehab program that is done by you with your pet at home.  We can of course help you as much as you need.  We have added a new homeopathic therapy to the rehab program called “Therapeutic Laser Therapy”.  It will speed healing and reduce pain.  A great complement to medication.  Your pet will be very painful at first and may have difficulty walking.  It is important that exercises must be done only as the patient can manage it. Some exercises may be impossible for the pet. DON’T force your pet to do anything that will cause pain.

WEEK 1 – Beginning the night after surgery – emphasis is on anti-inflammatory control.

  • Passive range of motion (PROM) and ice packs to the region of the injury three times a day.
  • Gentle massage of the limb once a day.
  • Short leash walks at a very slow gait on a flat surface three times a day for bathroom privileges only. Walks must be slow enough to allow weight-bearing; if the dog is walked too fast, they tend to hold up the affected limb. Praise the dog when he/she touches the limb to the ground, not when it is held up.
  • No stairs, slippery floors, no running, no jumping, no rough play, no long walks or rough play.
  • Ensure pet gets all medication.

WEEK 2 – Emphasis is on early limb use.

  • Reassessment of patient by veterinarian.
  • ± Massage and Ice packs and PROM once to twice daily.
  • Continue slow leash walks on flat surfaces for 10 minutes, two or three times daily.
  • Begin sit-to-stand or down-to-stand exercises for 10 minutes two or three times daily.
  • No stairs, slippery floors, no running, no jumping, no rough play, no long walks or rough play.
  • Ensure pet gets all medication.

WEEK 3 – Emphasis is on improved limb use.

  • Continue sit-to-stand or down-to-stand exercises, two to three times daily for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Continue slow leash walks, but increase to 20 – 40 minutes two or three times daily.
  • Decline and incline walking (walking down a gentle slope then back up) once daily. This exercise encourages strengthening of the rear leg muscles on the decline and foreleg muscles on the incline.
  • Stairs – 3 stairs up and 3 down twice a day – very slowly, to force use of the affected limb.
  • ± Ice packs and gentle massage of limb. Apply ice packs if it is painful at end of each exercise session.

WEEKS 4 & 5 – Emphasis is on muscle strengthening.

  • Continued muscle strengthening and development with sit-to-stand or down-to-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 sit-to-stand or down-to-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/Incline walking 20 minutes twice daily.
  • Stairs – 8 up and 8 down twice daily.
  • Swimming once daily for 10 – 30 minutes.
  • ± Ice packs and gentle massage of leg, if it is painful at end of exercise session.

WEEK 12 – FINAL REASSESSMENT.

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