Week 1- Preform 30 repetitions of passive range of motion (PROM) exercises three times daily, followed by ice pack therapy for 20 minutes. Allow short, controlled, SLOW leash walks on level surfaces.
Week 2 – Start whirlpool therapy or apply moist heat to joint for 15 minutes at leastonce per day before exercise. Start slow leash walks up to 10 minutes per day and PROM. continued ice pack therapy after exercise.
Week 3 – Continued exercise and adjunct therapy initiated in 2 week; increase walks to 20 minutes and include uneven ground (grass along the concrete).
Weeks 4- Continued exercise and adjunct therapy from week 2; increase leash walks to 30 minutes and gradual inclines and declines in the terrain. Continued ice pack therapy if swelling persists.
Week 5 – Discontinue whirlpool or heat therapy if normal range of motion is present; continue leash walks and PROM.
Week 6 – Continued PROM and leash walks. Initiate stair climbing or swimming (or both).
Week 7 through 12 – Progress by increasing the length of time for walking, swimming or stair climbing. By week 12, resume normal exercise. At times during a physical therapy program, improvement should be noted. If the dog becomes painful or lame during the program, contact CCAH and restart at an earlier week. NSAIDs such as Previcox may be need for short or long time duration for pain and inflammation control.
During the rehabilitation of my dog, Gauge, after his knee surgery I placed him on a joint supplement for added joint health called Joint Support. I have found that this has helped greatly in his day to day activity. There are several different formulation out there and most are very helpful.