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My Pet World: From surgery to chiropractic care and water therapy — Readers weigh in on dogs with hip problems

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Water-based exercises are great for dogs. Rather than swimming though, I suggest hydrotherapy, where a dog walks on a treadmill in a tank with water under the supervision of a vet or therapist who can monitor and adjust the variables, depending on the pet’s health and stamina.

As for the B12 shots, it doesn’t surprise me that a vitamin deficiency could be the culprit for poor health. Thanks for sharing.

Dear Cathy,

A letter writer from Holtsville, New York, recently wrote about his golden retriever diagnosed with a spinal stroke. He then said his dog tried jumping on the bed but fell backward on her hind legs and since has noticed that her legs give out when she runs. Did it occur to the owner to place steps by the bed to help his dog get on?

— Jim, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Dear Jim,


While stairs and ramps work great for cats and smaller dogs though, most big dogs I have known have shied away from them. I think they feel unsteady standing on them.

But your idea is sound. To give a big dog some added support, a pet owner could put a footstool, which has more surface area than stairs or a ramp, next to a couch or bed to give a big dog a safe way to get on and off the furniture. Thanks for sharing your idea.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)

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