If your dog is recovering from a leg or spinal problem, they will need some special care at home. Most of these dogs should start with a combination of rest and slow walking. Physiotherapy is useful from early on during the rest period, but must be carefully supervised.

Exercise is then increased gradually. Your vet or surgeon may have given you an exercise programme to follow. At recheck time, the level of exercise is then adjusted depending on your dog’s progress. 

Dogs with various conditions need exercise-restriction during recovery:

  • Cranial cruciate ligament disease
  • Disc disease (extrusion/ protrusion/ ‘slipped disc’/ IVDD)
  • Lameness due to patellar luxation (slipping kneecap)
  • Tendon injury
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism/ ‘FCE’/ ‘Spinal stroke’
  • Fractures, non-surgical management
  • Muscle strains
  • Medial shoulder instability 

And here is a list of some operations requiring careful exercise-restriction during recovery:

    • Stifle surgery (lateral suture, TPLO, TTA, ‘cruciate repair’ or patellar operation)
    • Fracture repair
    • Spinal surgery (for disc extrusion/ protrusion/ ‘slipped disc’/ IVDD/ lumbosacral stenosis)
    • Tendon or ligament repair
    • Elbow surgery (e.g. for elbow dysplasia)
    • Excision arthroplasty (e.g. femoral head & neck excision)
    • Joint replacement (e.g. total hip replacement)

NB: These are not complete lists of conditions needing exercise restriction

Getting advice

You may like to explore this website for more practical tips on helping your dog through recovery.  A good place to start is at the introduction page here. This website also contains guides to crate rest, room rest, IVDD, and many further links via those pages. For a summary on recovery from cruciate ligament disease, click hereYou may also like to look through the Frequently Asked Questions. If you need advice specific to your own dog, then I suggest that you book a consultation appointment. 

Booking an appointment

To book an appointment, use the contact form here or email me at [email protected]. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. These contact details are for appointments only.  I offer home visit appointments, when appropriate, for dogs and cats living near me in North Herts, UK. Video consultations are available for both local and distant patients. 

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