Veazie Veterinary Clinic
1522 State Street, Veazie, ME
(207) 941-8840

Stage 4 of Rehabilitation

Moderate to full weight bearing (basically normal).

Our goal at this point is to strengthen the leg for a return to full function.


1.  NSAIDs:  Most dogs don’t need any at this point.

2.  Warm Pack and Massage:  Less value at this point but some dogs enjoy it.

3.  Flexion/Extension Exercises:  Continue these only if range of motion has not returned to 100%.


4.  Strengthening Exercises:  Continue to increase the frequency, duration and intensity of the workout.  Do a variety of activities to keep the workout interesting for you and your dog.

  • Walk in tight circles, figure eights and serpentine patterns with the surgery leg closest to you.
  • Hopping/Dancing – hold the front feet up (to the height of the dog’s shoulders) and walk forward and backward.
  • Hold your dogs good knee up and have another person slowly walk your dog, encouraging it to use the surgery leg
  • Walk or trot at a faster pace doing more hills and stairs
  • Put obstacles in the yard so that your dog has to step over them.  A few 2×4’s spaced a few feet apart does the trick.  This forces them to re-coordinate their legs and use all four to navigate successfully.
  • Tug-of-war, or backing up- only do this if your dog does not have neck or back issues.

5.  Cold Packing: is not necessary unless swelling and inflammation is still present.

Stage 5 of Rehabilitation