Dogs that follow either a home-based rehabilitation program or those who work with a Rehabilitation practitioner, such as a Veterinary Physiotherapist usually have better results following surgery.

Home Exercise Program for Dogs with IVDD – Surgical or Medical  

  1. Crate rest or confinement. 
  2. Take your dog out at regular, frequent intervals (6 – 7x per day) to urinate.  Ensure your dog is in a harness and on a leash so as to avoid sudden  movements that could cause further damage to the spinal cord. After  urination assist your dog to stand, and help with balance. Use a sling if  necessary. Maintain this for 2 – 3 minutes. If he/she falls over, assist back  into a standing position and start again. 
  3. If your dog is unable to walk then perform rhythmic stabilisations in the form of  bouncing the hindquarters. Do 20 ‘bounces’ then rest. Perform 3 sets of 20  three times a day. 
  4. Further rhythmic stabilisations can be done when your dog is strong enough. These take the form of rocking your dog from side to side. Move 20 times to  each side and then rest. Do 3 sets 3x a day. Later add rocking from front to  back.  
  5. Passive range of motion is important for joint health. Bicycle movements can  be done with your dog lying on his side, or in a standing position. Bicycling  movements must be done on both sides, 10x each side. Repeat at least 3x a  day.  
  6. The flexor withdrawal reflex also contributes to range of motion. With your dog  lying down, gently tickle beneath the paws, or squeeze the webbing should  your dog not respond to the tickling. Your dog will retract his paw. Do this 3 to  4 times each side, at least 3 times a day. As your dog improves, offer some  resistance when your dog retracts his leg. 
  7. Any form of sensory and tactile stimulation is important in neurological  rehabilitation. Brush your dog, especially on the legs and against the lay of the  fur. Do this whenever you have an opportunity.  
  8. Tail stimulations are an important part of sensory and tactile stimulation. Do  these with your fingers on the side (10 times) and repeat with your fingers  placed on the top and bottom of the tail (10 times). Perform tail stims at least  3 times a day. 
  9. If your dog is able to walk then place in a sling and assist with regular short  walks (at least 4x a day, starting with 3 minutes). Choose as many different  surfaces as possible for increased sensory input. As your dog improves  gradually increase the time.

We urge you to read more about IVDD. You can read two article on this website. Here are the URLs.

Here are a few exercises you can perform at home designed to greatly improve the outcome of your dog's IVDD surgery and improve the rate of recovery.