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Old 11-05-2010, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Exercises to strengthen a cowhocked dog?

My dog is severely cowhocked, (have mentioned his other health issues on another thread but want to concentrate on this issue here). Does anyone have any suggestions on how to strengthen his back legs. He is only a year old and sometimes has trouble getting up the stairs without my help and he can't get into my Kia Sportage without help either. He can get one foot into the vehicle but does not have the strength to lift himself up and get the other leg up. I ALWAYS have to help him (after letting him try himself) I do not coddle him, but can tell when he just can't do it himself. We take long walks and I play a lot with him in the backyard, making him run for toys, chase him around the yard etc, but his back legs still are not building up muscle tone. Have even thought about just walking him up and down the stairs in my house to strengthen his back legs, sort of like a homemade stairmaster. If anyone has dealt with this and found a way to strengthen the back legs, please let me know.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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TheraVet - Rochester Rehab, Equine and Canine Health Care

They can do some PT and give you exercises to do at home.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, but with the cost of meds for his other health issues and having to monitor/get bloodwork on a monthly basis, cant afford to take him somewhere for regular PT. Though I will take your suggestion and call them and see how much it would cost for an evaluation and see of they can give me exercises to do at home and save up the money to do that.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Feel free to PM me.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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also swimming is a great muscle builder with little to no stress..
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Since you can't afford PT or underwater treadmill, how about adding some resistance to your walks. Walking through water, yeah, it's a little late in the year for that, but next summer you can get yourself a little kayak and take him swimming.

Also, (draft) carting or light weight pulling can be helpful. I have a carting harness and I attached two gallon water jugs on some drag lines for my girl to pull. Start with empty jugs and gradually fill them. I have my dog pull them on grass so they don't make noise. Always start very light and build up strength gradually.

I used to be on a carting list with mostly Swiss Mountain Dog owners. One owner said that carting really improved her dog's cow hocks. And by carting I don't mean the dog pulls you, it pulls a draft cart.






I built my dog cart for about $20 using mostly leftover lumber laying around the house.

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Dog Physical Therapy 2: Pet Strength Training

I found information on google for exercises.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yikes, I didn't know it but I think my dog is cow hocked (heels in) too. She gets tons of exercise, runs like a deer and is very agile. Will have to watch it. Her front feet point out somewhat but she gets around just fine and moves like machine at a trot.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddyD View Post
Yikes, I didn't know it but I think my dog is cow hocked (heels in) too. She gets tons of exercise, runs like a deer and is very agile. Will have to watch it. Her front feet point out somewhat but she gets around just fine and moves like machine at a trot.
Many dogs are a bit cowhocked especially when young and growing. I see mostly show lines with bad cowhocks (and looseness in general) but I've seen some equally bad working lines as well. Just being "cowhocked" isn't necessarily a problem, depends on how severe it is. The OP's dog sound severe since it is interfering with her ability to do normal things.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions, I will look into getting a cart! Chance has cowhock in the back legs and it just seems to to get more pronounced as he gets bigger. It is so upsetting to see this in such a young dog, 1 yr old, and am worried about how this will progress as he gets older. Responding to PaddyD, from my research, this is mostly a back legs issue. Have not seen any info about front legs, that may be a separate issue, I may be wrong about that, certainly this is a new issue for me as none of my previous GSD's have ever had this problem. He even needs help to climb onto the couch to cuddle with me.
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