Exersises for Hind Leg Weakness

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

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Barked: Sun Aug 12, '12 3:13pm PST 
I have a 11 year old labrador retriever (with larygneal paralysis--bilateral tie back 4 months ago) who is just starting to exhibit weakness in his back end? Can anyone recommend specific exercises I can do to combat this? (I'm well verses and up to date on supplements, acupuncture, hydrotherapy issues)

check out my bog about living in NYC with Chance my 100 pound labrador retriever.

Member Since
Barked: Thu Aug 16, '12 3:04pm PST 
A couple of things you can do are:
Walking backwards, start a few steps at a time
Sit to stand, start with 10 work up from there
Hill walking
a really good one is swimming if you can, my lab mix had knee surgery last
year, he put on alot of muscle swimming 3 times a week.

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Fri Aug 17, '12 4:03am PST 
I agree with the other poster. Just make sure it's all controlled, except for the swimming, so it stays low impact. Good Luck with him.

Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
Barked: Fri Aug 17, '12 8:31am PST 
Swimming! It did wonders for my girl and her week knees. You do not want to forget about the other parts of the body that are being overused.

And IF needed, lose some weight. You want a very lean dog. (which you might have...I did not look at his photo closely!)
Otto - Registered- Service Dog

ADI cert. - the only one- that matters!
Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 12:01pm PST 
Swimming is great, but to build muscle mass you should try to find somewhere that does an aqua treadmill. Just what it sounds like - walking a treadmill with different levels of water.

It can work wonders, and uses muscles swimming doesn't touch.

Otto does both.happy dance

Barked: Fri Dec 21, '12 10:45pm PST 
This may sound silly, but 'tail pulls'. Grab your dog firmly at the base of the tail, and pull. Hold for ten seconds, release slowly, and repeat five times. Do this a few times a day. Doing so stimulates the nerve 'juices' in their spinal cord, and wakes up the neurones. By repeating the steps a few times, it creates 'ripples' in the spine of the dog, which rejuvenated 'dead' or weak spots. Also when petting your dog, 'rake' your fingers along their spinal cord, making sure to move positions to not keep only stimulating one spot. This also greatly helps keep everything in the dogs spine to be sensitive and cells alive. These are both life long exercises to do with/for your dog. I just learnt so much after recently having a paralyzed dog. After 2 weeks she was walking!! We used a natural vet, who practiced Chinese medicine therapy, including acupuncture and lazed therapy, and taught us really simple rehabilitation and lifelong tips for keeping her spine healthy. I also found a product online called Nzymes which has also very much contributed to her quick recovery. Check if your city has a natural healing vet, it works! smile

Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Sat Dec 22, '12 11:03am PST 
I would not do anything involving the spine unless under supervision of a vet. Too risky.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sun Dec 23, '12 9:51am PST 
Walking through a ladder helps keep feet lifted up. Walking through ground cover or low shrubs ought to be helpful. Just walking through a row of parallel sticks would help. Stair climbing is likely too much and Sassy tended to pull herself rather than push.

A good amount of protein in the diet can keep muscle mass up. Sassy got a rear foot caught in one of the ditches some lawn keepers make between sidewalk and lawn early on and after she was on a higher protein diet she slipped another time and was able to pull out of the hazard. She went from 22% to 29% protein.

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Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 3:42pm PST 
A very simple thing we did with our aging dog back when was just to pick up each individual leg to allow them to weight on the opposite leg frequently off and on during the day. We also set up swimming noodles and had him walk over them. Not a lot or anything ground breaking, but it made a huge difference. Good luck!

How You Doin'?
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 4:58pm PST 
Tail Traction is one of the exercises the rehab vet had us do for Chance's spinal injury to relax and stretch the muscles and ligaments of her spine and pelvis, what another poster referred to as "tail pulls."
Her massage therapist who worked at the rehab vet does them on Chance during massage to help keep those muscles and ligaments healthy.

If done improperly, Tail Traction can aggravate an existing issue or cause new issues to crop up.

The "raking" along the spine sounds somewhat like Spinal Activation. Another exercise that if done improperly can make issues worse.
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