Stifle Physical Therapy Instructions

Homemade Ice Pack

Ingredients: rubbing alcohol, 2 zip lock bags, water
Ratio: 1:2 (alcohol:water)

Have enough liquid to fill the amount of 1/2 the bag you choose as the appropriate size. Place the filled bag inside of the empty bag to prevent leaking, then freeze the mixture.

For use: Place the ice pack in a pillow case then wrap around involved area for 10-15 minutes as tolerated. Repeat as often as 1 time every hour or as needed for pain. Especially consider icing before and after exercises.

Elevate Food Dish

Use a step stool or books to elevate food and water dishes. This helps to shift weight back to the rear legs.

Slings

Slings are used to reduce the risk of fall and help support your dog after surgery. It is recommended to use the sling the first 2 weeks after surgery, especially if on slippery or uneven surfaces. As your dog bears more weight through the leg, you will lessen your support. Make sure the sling is long enough to avoid bending over.

As an exercise, use the sling for walking your dog around the house up to 5 times per day slowly working up to 3-5 minute intervals.

Knee Flexion: Range of Motion

With your dog in a side lying position, hold the front of the thigh with one hand and move the ankle (lower hand) towards the butt, allowing knee to bend. Do not force motion. Move slowly back and forth. Hold position for 2-3 seconds repeating 15 times. Try to get in 3 sessions per day the first 2 weeks.

Knee Extension: Range of Motion

With your dog in a side lying position, hold the front of the thigh with one hand and move the ankle (lower hand) forward, allowing knee to straighten. Do not force motion. Move slowly back and forth. Hold position for 2-3 seconds repeating 15 times. Try to get in 3 sessions per day the first 2 weeks.

Hip Extension: Stretch Hip Flexors

With your dog in a side lying position, hold the ankle with one hand to guide the lower leg, use the top hand in front of the thigh and move the leg straight back. Do not force motion. Move the leg back slowly and hold once you feel you are at the end of motion. Hold position for 15 seconds repeating 5 times. Try to get in 3 sessions per day the first 2 weeks.

Joint Compressions: Hip

Place dog in side lying position with affected side up. One hand will stabilize the hip while the other hand holds the leg above the knee. Using the hand above the knee, apply a gentle compression toward the hip joint in a rhythmical fashion. Perform for 2-3 minutes to simulate weight bearing.

Joint Compressions: Knee

Place dog in side lying position with affected side up. One hand will stabilize above the knee while the other hand holds the leg below the knee. Using the hand above the knee, apply a gentle compression toward the lower hand in a rhythmical fashion. Perform for 2-3 minutes to simulate weight bearing. Keep knee biased into more extension than the picture shows.

Joint Compressions: Ankle and Foot

Place dog in side lying position with affected side up. One hand will stabilize above just above the ankle while the other hand holds the bottom of the paw. Using the hand at the paw, apply a gentle compression toward the ankle joint in a rhythmical fashion. Perform for 2-3 minutes to simulate weight bearing.