Assisting Dogs who Drag their Hind Leg

I was faced with the problem of my dog, Whitley, dragging his hind leg following surgery to remove a lipoma on his leg. Unfortunately, the lipoma was pressing on his sciatic nerve and after surgery he had lost nerve function in his lower leg. To complicate matters, he also had ruptured his Achilles tendon. Worse still, he was diagnosed with Cushings Disaese which precluded him having the Achilles fixed until his Cushings was under control. The Achilles problem was fixed by ordering a splint from Orthovet . I also needed to restore his ability to bring his leg forward. I did so by placing a regular dog halter on him and linking that to the back leg brace with latex rubber tubing. Below are pictures of the apparatus on Whit and a movie of him walking. The system changed him from an essentially immobile dog to one who goes on daily pasture walks. Unfortunately, if you let the dog drag his leg it will result in his/her developing massive sores. With the harness, brace and tubing, he has regained his ability to function well. If you have questions about doing this or comments, please email me, Lisa Auen (auen@ksu.edu). I just hope that others will benefit from the apparatus. Recently, I got a video and pictures of another dog who used the concept described above with great success. Both videos are linked below. There is another site that provides a cheap dog step for older dogs or dogs with leg problems, A Cheap Lightweight Step for Dogs (Alternative to Ramp).

Click here for a video of Whit walking. Click here for a video of Josie walking.