This story was updated July 2018.
Can you guess why this dog is wearing a strange contraption on his leg? Let me reassure you that it is NOT a device to torture the dog, although it kind of looks that way. The boot is actually a unique tool called a No-Knuckling Training Sock that provides support for dogs who drag their back legs when they walk. The No-Knuckling Sock is just one of several new therapeutic devices available for pets with spine and neurological health problems.
Paw knuckling was one of the first signs I noticed when Sophie started to lose her ability to walk. It was a pretty typical scenario. She would try to take a step, but her hind paw would bend under itself so that her nails scraped on the ground. The sensation would cause her to stop in her tracks because she wasn’t sure where her hind paw had landed. It was hard to watch her struggle. I would have loved to have a device like the No-Knuckling Sock to help her.
Note: I am not being compensated for this article, but Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog is an affiliate of HandicappedPets.com. I only endorse products I think benefit readers and their pets.
The No-Knuckling Sock is intended for dogs with:
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
- Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE) strokes
- Geriatric dogs that develop hind end muscle weakness
- Dogs recovering from spine surgery
- Neurological problems
Each of these problems can cause dogs to become unsteady on their feet and lose their sense of balance. The purpose of the No-Knuckling sock is to improve the gait of your dog. It does this by stimulating your dog’s paws so they pick them up higher when they take a step. This helps them be aware of the placement of their foot as they walk.
What you should know about the training sock
Before you use this device please talk with your veterinarian or rehab professional. The No-Knuckling sock is a training tool with precise instructions.
The No-Knuckling sock is designed to be worn for 3-5 minutes at a time. The time constraints are there so dogs don’t overexert themselves. They work harder than normal to walk while wearing the device.
In addition, pet owners should beware the sock is physically designed to be worn on your dog’s hind legs only. It should never be put on your dog’s front paws. And the training sock is meant to be worn on one rear paw at a time.
Walkin’ Pets has another device called the Bootie Splint that is intended for dogs with knuckling to wear for longer periods of time. It can be worn when they aren’t training with the No-Knuckling sock. The Bootie Splint places your dog’s hind paw in the correct position so that it won’t knuckle under.
Key benefits of the No-Knuckling Sock
- Provides support for a dog that drags their back legs
- Designed to enhance perception of the hind legs
- Strengthens hind end weakness
- Trains a dog to lift their rear foot higher
- Keeps the back paws in the proper position for walking
Here are pictures of Silver wearing and walking with the sock
Unfortunately the No-Knuckling Training Sock cannot stop progressive neurological diseases like DM. But it can keep your dog walking longer and it can get your dog walking sooner when they are recovering from spinal surgery.
Here is what professionals have to say about the device
The No-Knuckling Training Sock has been very helpful for many of my rehabilitation patients. It is very lightweight and easy to put on. Also, I’m impressed with how comfortable it is. Dogs can wear it during numerous exercises or walks around the neighborhood and don’t seem bothered by it at all.
Robin Price, RVT, CCRP
I just used the No-Knuckling Training Sock on a 10-year-old lab that is relearning to walk after suffering from an FCE. He is very weak in both hind limbs and has trouble correctly placing his right hind foot, causing him to scrape his toes. I’ve tried other similar products, but because of their weight, it only made the dragging worse. The No-Knuckling Training Sock is very lightweight and a medium fit him perfectly. It was simple to put on and is easily adjustable. Even with an abnormal gait, the No-Knuckling Training Sock stayed in place and didn’t move around. I will definitely use this product in the future.
April Milchak, CCRA
This video shows a dog’s gait before and after using the No-Knuckling Training Sock