bunny hopping after cruciate surgery
Walking, trotting beside you while you run.... SWIMMING.... Walking up
hills or slopes. Look around your community for buildings with steps or
fairly steep ramps. Use treats on the steps or ramp to encourage him to
climb, and in your hand, in front of his nose, to prevent rushing back
down or hopping.
Contact the clinic that did the surgery and see if they have
recommendations. We have two canine rehabilitation vets in a town about
20 miles from me.... They use some interesting techniques to encourage
stretching and building strength and endurance. Underwater treadmill,
use of huge exercise balls. And more. Ask the surgeon's clinic about
stretching exercises you can do.
Ask around your neighborhood to see if anyone has an extention ladder
you can borrow. Lay it on the ground, flat and UNextended. Slide one
hand under the dog's collar and lead it up to one end of the ladder.
Drop a SMALL treat on the ground in the space between the first two
rungs and encourage the dog to take it..... point to it. Repeat with
the next space. Repeat...... and repeat.... Keep the dog's front and
rear legs inside the ladder. Don't rush. Praise verbally. A Lot.
When the dog will walk the entire length this way, without a lot of
prompting, hold a treat at standing/walking nose level and give the
treat every few spaces. Slowly increase speed until the dog can almost
trot through the spaces. What you are doing is teaching the dog to
independently and consciously manuver the rear legs, which usually just
follow along, and to slightly retain weight on the operated leg. It'll
take about 1-2 weeks..... start to finish, ONE or TWO sessions a day.
That conquered, teach the dog to back up on a level surface. On leash,
so he can't wander off. Hold a treat against his nose, inside your fist.
This will help you position his head so his nose is slightly downward.
Push gently, say "back". Chances are that he will take a back step
with his unoperated rear and start to swing out in that direction. If
this happens, move to a hallway, fence, or other side barrier with the
unoperated side facing t hat barrier. Start over. When he takes a back
step with the operated leg, give him a treat, but keep going (with
another treat) and LOTS of verbal praise. Aim for about 10 feet of
reverse walking with you in front. If he tends to swing his rear either
direction, move the treat from right to left, and this will even things
out for direction. This one also works on independent use of legs, but
to "lead" and carry weight back with that operated leg.
The combination of these will help to build his confidence in that
Martinez, Georgia, USA