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My Dog is Recovering from Surgery and Drags His Back Paw and Leg. What Should I Do?

My Dog is Recovering from Surgery and Drags His Back Paw and Leg. What Should I Do?

Your dog might have had successful or unsuccessful surgery - for example: IVDD, spinal surgery, neurological surgery etc - which has left one or both legs dragging when they walk. If they are dragging a back leg, your dog’s surgery has likely affected the nerves in your spine or back leg. The paw can limp or drag, taking the skin off the paw, often making it bleed and the nails get shorter.

Even though vets and professionals can say nerves have a limited time after surgery to improve, we have had cases where dogs have continued to improve throughout the first year, especially post six months. We had an event where we had four disabled dogs who all had spinal surgery for various reasons, and all continued to improve between 6 and 12 months post-surgery. They could walk better, for longer distances and wobble less. 

These four dog owners we met put a lot of time and effort into their dogs' rehabilitation. This included visiting a professional dog physiotherapist at least bi-weekly while continuing the physio exercises at home each day. Many dog owners also take their dogs to regular hydrotherapy appointments, hydrotherapy is important for building muscle and encouraging your dog to exercise like before but weightless. 

You might be interested to see what protective dog boots you can use for your dog, see here

In many cases where there is paw dragging, to such an extent it is stopping your dog from walking, a dog wheelchair is recommended. The benefit of a dog wheelchair is that your dog can still use their back legs, even though limited, but the wheelchair allows your dog to be more active and independent. See dog wheelchairs here:

Previous article Cara is a 14 year old German Shepherd. She regularly sees the vet and has rear knuckling linked to the typical GSD weak hips / neuropathy and some osteoarthritis. What would you recommend?
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