Give pain medications as needed.
Ice therapy (towel-wrapped frozen pea bag) apply for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a day for the first 3 days.
Walk on leash only – avoid surfaces.
Passive range of motion- gently flex and extend the knee while the pet is laying down for 5-10 minutes.
Leash walking only. 5-10 minute walks as the patient will tolerate without experiencing lameness. It is better to increase the frequency of walks rather than increase the duration past 10 minutes. Swimming should be avoided during this period as tends to aggravate the patellar tendon.
Gradually increase the length of walks
Gradually begin changing the type of footing such as pavement, then grass, then tall grass. Start with level surfaces, then graduate to low incline, then higher incline, and eventually stairs can be utilized. Swimming is now allowed- gradually in duration and frequency.
If a change is made that causes and increase in lameness or discomfort, the activity level should be reduced back to the previous level and gradually increase again, but more slowly, after lameness subsides.
Activities specific to your pet’s performance such as retriever training can be introduced gradually. For example- retrieving should start with single, short retrieves on form footing. Then progress to include swimming and longer retrieves and gradually increase difficulty. Again, if a particular activity causes lameness, the level should be reduced until pain subsides and then more slowly introduced until tolerated.