Mild weight bearing to moderate weight bearing (will use the leg fairly well and is comfortable, but still has a definite limp).
Our goal is to develop strength in the leg and to maintain flexibility of the joint. An additional rehabilitation visit is helpful at this point to assess the progress of the recuperation and discuss rehabilitation in the coming weeks.
1. NSAIDs: Use as needed. Most dogs are fairly comfortable and are using less medication.
2. Warm Pack: Continue to warm pack prior to exercises.
3. Massage: Continue to keep the incision area loose. At this point you can start deeper tissue massage involving the muscle and more pressure can also be gradually added. Start with more pressure with the fingertips; move to whole fingers and then using the whole hand.
4. Flexion/Extension Exercises: Do 20-30 reps two to three times a day of the exercises covered in Stage 1.
5. Strengthening Exercises: Gradually increase the frequency and duration of these exercises. Vary the activities to keep the workout fun for you and your dog; do them in periods of about 10-15 minutes. Alternate the activities during the day or switch day-to-day so full ROM is achieved. Slowly incorporate each exercise individually and watch for any setbacks.
- Walking – longer walks that include small hills and stairs
- Balance Shifting- gently push your dog from side to side forcing it to catch its balance and use the surgery leg more
- Sit to stand- ask your dog to sit then have them stand up; repeat this numerous times
- Walking in the water (on leash, not freely swimming)
- Stairs – going upstairs puts most of the weight on the hind end
6. Cold Packing: Continue cold packing after exercising.