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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What a great idea! Looks like a good way to make them use their back legs. Will definitely need bigger books or maybe stack some flat pieces wood. He has been recently standing up and opening the dutch door for me by putting his paws on top the door and hold it and then backing up with his back legs! He has started to open the door for me when I come out of the kitchen, but he will NOT try to go into the kitchen. What a smart boy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the great ideas! I could use a ball too! LOL Will check them out at Target this weekend. Maybe I can figure out a way for us to both use it! Anything to get him using those back legs more! You have all been so helpful with ideas and I appreciate it so much. Have a friend that is a carpenter/contractor who owes me a favor, going to ask him to build a cart for Chance and get him a harness. They are so expensive to buy on the internet (carts) and have not found one locally on Craig's list yet. Going to try and incorporate everyone's ideas and see what I can come up with. Thank you so much everyone!
 
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