Use of physical therapy in a dog with bilateral severe plantigrade stance

Jennifer Ree, Kei Hayashi, Jacqueline Woelz, Sun Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A 3.5 yr old spayed female Staffordshire terrier weighing 25.5 kg was presented with a 7 wk history of bilateral plantigrade stance in the pelvic limbs directly following an ovariohysterectomy procedure. Upon presentation, the dog had bilateral atrophy of the distal pelvic limb muscles, enlarged popliteal lymph nodes, and ulcerative wounds on the dorsa of her rear paws. Orthopedic examination revealed intact calcaneal tendons bilaterally and neurologic examination localized the lesion to the distal sciatic nerve. A diagnosis of compressive and stretch neuropathy was made affecting the distal sciatic nerve branches. Physical therapy modalities included neuromuscular electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and low-level laser therapy. Other therapeutic modalities included the use of orthotics and progressive wound care. The dog had increased muscle mass, return of segmental reflexes, return of nociception, and the ability to walk on pelvic limbs with higher carriage of the hock 15 mo following presentation. The use of custom orthotics greatly increased the quality of life and other physical therapy modalities may have improved the prognosis in this dog with severe bilateral plantigrade stance due to neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • LLLT, low-level laser therapy
  • NMES, neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • PT, physical therapy
  • US, ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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