When Walkin’ Pets introduced the No-Knuckling training sock for dogs who drag their paws a few years ago, I was intrigued. The training sock is a therapeutic device that properly positions a dog’s paw for walking and standing.
Lots of other people took interest in the sock too because it was a huge success. Both pet owners and veterinary professionals reported good results using it.
But the original training sock had limitations. It was designed to fit a dog’s back legs and not the front. Pet owners found that frustrating and I got several emails about it.
Well, Walkin’ Pets must have heard from pet parents as well because they just launched their new Front No-Knuckling Training Sock. I think you’ll be impressed.
Note: I am not being compensated for this article, but Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog is an affiliate of Walkin’ Pets. I only endorse products I think will benefit readers and their pets
Why dogs knuckle their paws
Paw knuckling is when a dog tucks or bends their paw under their leg. It makes them walk on the top of their paw instead of the pad. Many dogs also drag the affected paw. The condition happens when a limb becomes weak or unstable. It can be seen in dogs who are recovering from spine surgery. And it’s one of the first noticeable signs of the early stages of paralysis.
Dogs knuckle because they don’t know where their paw is, in relation to the ground beneath them. They don’t know where to place their foot. The problem can lead to injuries from falling and scrapes to the paw. Knuckling appears most often in the rear limbs, but certain conditions also weaken the front legs and paws. And this can be even more troublesome for your dog.
Walkin’ Pets explains it this way
Over 60% of your dog’s entire body weight is placed on their front paws! Designed by Renee Mills, VT, CCRP, the Front No-Knuckling Training Sock is designed to enhance proprioception. Providing training support for dogs who drag their front paws and helping them with proper paw placement.
Proprioception training is incredibly important in dogs, especially those who suffer from cervical conditions or who have had surgery. This is the perfect tool to help encourage your dog to pick up their front feet and improve the overall strength in the effected limb.
How the Front No-Knuckling sock works
Like the rear No-Knuckling Sock, the front limb version is designed as a temporary training tool. It works by reminding your dog to pick up their front feet high so they don’t trip when they walk. Then it helps them correctly place their foot on the ground.
It’s great for dogs who are recovering from surgery and need assistance to correct their gait as they regain their strength.
And dogs in the beginning stages of Degenerative Myelopathy also benefit from the front training sock. The device gives them the support they need to continue walking, even as their limbs weaken. The No-Knuckling sock doesn’t, however, stop progression of the disease.
The sock is intended for dogs with these conditions
The new front training sock benefits:
- Cervical Disc Disease
- Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI)
- Brachial Plexus Injuries
- Wobbler’s Syndrome
- Early stages of Degenerative Myelopathy
The rear No-Knuckling sock helps dogs with:
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
- Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE) stroke
- Geriatric dogs with hind end weakness
- Dogs recovering from spine surgery
- Neurological problems
How to use the sock
Before you use this device please talk with your veterinarian or rehab professional. Both No-Knuckling socks have precise instructions.
The front No-Knuckling training sock is applied with a plastic cord that fits between your dog’s toes. A soft, Sherpa fleece pad wraps around the cord for comfort. The training sock is lightweight, comfortable and easy to use. It comes in 5 convenient sizes.
According to Walkin’ Pets, “It works because the cord stimulates the nerves on your dog’s paw to encourage proper gait and improve strength in the affected limbs.”
The sock is intended to be worn on one paw at a time. The instructions encourage pet parents to use it multiple times a day, but for only 2-5 minutes each session. Like the rear training sock, the Front No-Knuckling sock makes your dog work harder than normal to walk. So short durations are important to prevent overexerting their strength.
The training sock is intended to be used from a few weeks to a few months; depending on instructions from your vet. It’s not intended to be a permanent rehab tool.
This video demonstrates how to apply the training sock
Here’s a review from a veterinary neurologist
I was very surprised when I saw the No-Knuckling Training Sock in action today. As a neurologist we are always addressing two chronic concerns, dogs with knuckling postures and proprioceptive training. The No-Knuckling Training Sock is light and adjustable and really addresses both issues. Most of the other similar devices are heavier which presents a distinct disadvantage. Almost all of the other devices have to be custom-fitted but not the No-Knuckling Training Sock. The two sizes I reviewed will fit almost any size dog and that also will keep the cost down. I was very pleased with the device in use in a dog in our clinic. It represents a great improvement.
H. Steven Steinberg, VMD, DACVIM (Neurology), CCRT
Chief of Staff VCA VRA
Instructor Canine Rehabilitation Institute, Wellington, FL