What are sit-to-stand exercises?
A sit-to-stand exercise is the act of having your pet start in a sitting position and then rise to a standing position. A variation on the sit-to-stand exercise is the down-to-stand exercise. In this exercise, your pet starts by lying down on the floor and then rising to a standing position.
Why are sit-to-stand exercises prescribed?
Sit-to-stand exercises strengthen muscles near the hip and knee. This exercise provides a good option for working the muscles near the hip without putting stress on the hip joint. This is especially beneficial for exercising pets with arthritis in the hip joint without causing pain.
Where can I do sit-to-stand exercises?
Sit-to-stand exercises can be done inside or outside. Perform the exercise on flat ground so the pet can sit and stand straight and avoid leaning to one side. To help your pet use both legs evenly, you can put your pet facing out from a corner. Place the affected joint against a wall. This will prevent the pet from avoiding the exercise with the affected leg.
What are the exercise guidelines?
Check with your veterinarian on when and at what level you should start your pet with these exercises depending on their health status and stage of OA. Ask your pet to sit squarely for a few seconds. Then ask the pet to rise, take a few steps forward, and sit again. Your pet can be encouraged through the exercise with low-calorie treats. You can start out doing five to ten repetitions once or twice daily. As your pet progresses, you can go up to 15 repetitions three to four times daily.
What are the safety considerations?
Always keep your pet on a leash when outside. Watch for signs that your pet is getting tired. If your pet appears to be tiring, take a break and start again later.
Bockstahler B, Levine D, Millis D. Essential Facts of Physiotherapy in Dogs and Cats:
Rehabilitation and Pain Management. Babenhausen, Germany. 2004. BE VetVerlag. p 65.
Millis DL, Levine D, Taylor RA. Canine Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy. St Louis. 2004.
Saunders. pp 257-258.