WHAT IS STRENGTHENING EXERCISE?
Strengthening exercises are used postoperatively to speed the recovery and prepare the patient to a near normal daily life by minimizing the potential risk of injuries.
WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHENING EXERCISE AVAILABLE?
The step-up exercise is accomplished by using a step, which height varies accordingly to the height of the patient. Similar to the exercise performed by people, the patient should start placing one front paw first, then the other paw, then back to the ground and start over. The back legs should stay on the ground. This exercise will strengthen the front and hind legs. Once the patient is comfortable and strong enough, all four limbs should be up and down.
SIT AND STAND:
The sit and stand exercise is helpful in building the strength of both the front and hind limbs by encouraging the patient to stand when he or she is cornered or by placing the stronger side against the wall.
Dancing exercise is very helpful in strengthening the hind limb, core and spinal muscles. The exercise can be performed by holding the patient by the wrists (carpal joints). Once the patient is stable on his or her hind limbs, the patient should be directed side to side and front to back.
Wheel barrowing is the opposite exercise to the dancing. The exercise is performed by holding the patient from the back legs and allowed to walk with his or her front limbs.
WEIGHT SHIFTING WHILE STANDING:
The weight shifting is performed by lifting one paw at the time, then two paws can be lift at the same time on the same side or opposite legs. It is important that the surface where the exercise is done is carpeted and not slippery.
HIGH STEPPING EXERCISE:
The patient is walked over logs, which are spaced few feet apart. This exercise improves the patient’s joint range of motion.
TUG OF WAR EXERCISE:
This exercise is performed by allowing your dog to bite a toy or a rope and move sideways and backwards.
Rolling exercises are used to build up the core muscles and it is performed by helping the patient to roll from one side to other. Food could be used to encourage the patient to self-roll.
These exercises should be performed twice per day for 5 minutes each and no more than 3 repetitions per exercise.