Can you Teach a Paralysed Dog to Walk again Without Surgery

Whether your pet has had back surgery or not in most cases one can rehabilitate a paralysed pet so that they can have some form of mobility.  They may still be a little wobbly but at least they will be able to walk and have some quality of life. Your vet will advise you if surgery is indicated and in most cases these will have the best outcomes. If you decide not to operate for whatever reason (a very old dog, limited finances, no surgeon in your area) do not just put your beloved pet to sleep. We usually say give them 3 months of physical rehabilitation before making any drastic decisions. The first 6 weeks after any spinal cord injury or trauma is the most crucial time to start neurological rehabilitation, as the spinal cord has the ability to be able to regenerate. We call this neural plasticity. In order for the regeneration to occur your pets paws need to make contact with the ground. If your pet is dragging its paws or knuckling over and not standing on the paw pads then your pet is getting no neural feedback and this regeneration cannot occur.

Holisticpet dachshund walker

The underwater treadmill is an ideal tool as the body is supported by the water allowing the  therapist to move the legs in a stepping fashion which we call gait training. Harnesses specifically designed to support the back legs and encourage walking can be used at home such as Holisticpet harnesses. Try and find a animal rehabilitation therapist in your area to start a home therapeutic exercise program as soon as possible. Ask your vet for details of therapists in your area.


A dog with hindlimb paralysis showing knuckling over
A dog with hindlimb paralysis showing knuckling over