Here’s some health news for your dog — especially if your dog is suffering from arthritis and having a bit more trouble walking and climbing stairs these days.
Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, used a
special treadmill and computer algorithms and studied dogs performing
three simple exercises — walking uphill, walking downhill and walking
over low obstacles.
What they found: Two of the exercises (walking uphill and walking over low obstacles) have therapeutic value.
A university news release on the study, which appeared in the July
issue of the American Journal of Veterinary Research, said walking
uphill could be used to improve the flexibility of affected joints
(especially at the hip) and walking over low obstacles could help
improve bending of joints in the fore- and hind limbs.
Dogs that have recently undergone surgery to the tibia shouldn’t
walk over obstacles, however, due to the risk of tendon strain, the
Researchers also pointed out walking uphill and walking over low
obstacles are exercises that can be done without special equipment and
can be easily be supervised by dog owners.
“These types of exercise are often recommended to improve the
flexibility of joints in arthritic dogs,” said Barbara Bockstahler at
the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. “Nobody has yet taken the
trouble to test whether they work but we are happy to report that they
are of real benefit to the animals.”
Read a summary of the findings in the veterinary journal at: http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/ajvr.71.7.734
Article by Deb Pressey for News-Gazette.com