Rehab Techniques for Canine Obesity

October 14th, 2015

Junior, before and after.

When thinking about rehabilitation most people think about backs, knees and hips but what about obesity? How many other problems are exacerbated or even caused by having too much body weight causing stress to joints, heart and other organs. Obesity is at epidemic levels in the USA. This goes for our pets as well as ourselves. Rehabilitation can help these problems with structured exercise and conditioning.

In April of 2015, I received a call from Junior Mint’s mom. She wanted my help with her dachshund’s weight loss / healthy life style changes. Junior had been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and had been overweight most of his life. He stepped on the scale at 52 lbs. His belly did not clear the ground so he had to shift his weight side to side to walk. He rested frequently and panted with minimal exertion. My first step was to begin safe exercises and help his family modify his diet. With encouragement and guidance they gradually made changes in both areas. Junior attended weekly therapy with his housemate Rambo (who started at 42 lbs). Exercise consisted of obstacle courses, wobble board, underwater treadmill and review of their exercise / diet home log.

In only four months, Junior lost 14 lbs! Today, he has more energy, better gait, beginnings of a waist and even enjoys his vegetables! He will continue therapy and his home program with a goal of losing at least 10 lbs more. Kudos to his parents for their dedication to his health!

Provided by:
Lisa A. Saez, PT, CCRT – Dalia’s Doggie Rehab