Friday, September 3, 2010

Video Blog: Dog Rehab with Bear Bells Exercise

This exercise has this strange name because of the device we used to use to reinforce this exercise. Bear bells are Velcro straps with a free hanging bell attached that one can obtain from any camping store. They are to be placed on one's backpack when one is in the Bear Country so the Bear can hear you coming. This encourages the Bear to leave before you reach them or if the Bear is hungry get out the condiments before you reach them. In the same way, we can use this contraption as a therapy device!  

A strap-like device that is placed above the hock or "ankle" in the dog will generally get their attention and they will start lifting the limb higher in the leg with the strap. In dogs that drag their toes this encourages them to lift their limbs higher and we often can retrain them to have a better less traumatic gait. In our experience, the bell sound which was supposed to reinforce the change in gait doesn't seem to have much effect on most dogs and the bell itself seems unnecessary.

We commonly use Velcro straps that are readily available and also find that pony-tail scrunchies are excellent for this exercise. There are a large number of variations on how to use these straps and scrunchies, and we recommend that our rehab specialists try variations on your dog till we find the most effective method. Bear Bells is an extremely common home exercise that we recommend.


Post a Comment