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Hello, I am Dr. Ola and I would be happy to address your question about Ace. The condition that you are describing is likely "swimmer's syndrome" or "swimmer puppy syndrome." It is called this when a puppy's leg muscles are weak from birth and do not develop enough to allow enough strength for standing/walking. Furthermore, the chest will become flat from weakness as well as from laying on a flat position continuously. In order to get Ace up on his feet you will need to work closely with him for several weeks to develop his muscles and give him supportive care.
First of all, make sure his bedding has enough cushion that he keeps his chest off of the ground. This will protect his skin from pressure sores and keep him more comfortable. The best kind of bedding is an egg crate mattress cover that has lots of cushion and comfort. Keep him clean and dry to prevent and urine scalding to his skin as well.
As far as strengthening his muscles, he will need to have several sessions during the day in which you practice range of motion on all four limbs. Simply move his legs in a slow "running motion" for short sessions of about 5 minutes increasing up to 15 minutes. Swim therapy is the absolute BEST way to strengthen his muscles in addition to this. The bath tube or small kid pool will suffice but only fill enough water to reach his chin and allow his legs paddles. Purchase a harness or life vest with handles so you can be there to help him if he needs any help or tires too easily. Also start with 5 minutes and increase the time as his legs strengthen. Give him several weeks of therapy and he should start bearing weight and walking on his own. Some swimmer pups retain a slight limp but is is variable and not all do.
I hope this advice was helpful to you. Please let me know if you need clarification on anything or have other questions about this. Also, please do not forget to rate my answer which I hope you found to be "excellent." You may do this by clicking "rate our conversation" below (Your rating is the only means of compensation I receive for answering your question). Again, let me know if I can help you further:)
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