Some of you might have attended the rehabilitation teams client evening. We titled it ‘Agile not Fragile’ with the aim of introducing different techniques that you can do at home and provide for your animal to keep them in the best form possible. Many of us go about our day to day without thinking about preventative measures we can incorporate in our dogs life to better their health. As the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’ and there are plenty of preventative steps we can do. Both Abbie and Gwenan who work in the rehabilitation team have happy and healthy dogs. You might imagine because we have all these facilities they would be in tip top shape. Unfortunately even our dogs can get injured over small things and with our ever scrutinising eyes we sometimes notice them sooner. Here is a little bit of information about our dogs and what we do to help them stay healthy.
Oscar is Gwenan our physiotherapist dog and although only 5 years old he developed a slight limp when walking. After some x-rays we found the issue was more muscular than structural and to tackle this Gwenan has him on Joint Advance, a supplement designed for the practice to help prevent the deterioration of the joint.
In addition Oscar regularly does core exercise work at home such as:
Sit to stand X 7
Lie down to stand X 7
Figure of 8 X 10
Give paw X 8
Oscar is also the star of Gwenan’s Muscle Monday series!
Although these exercises might seem basic they provide a solid foundation for our dogs to handle day to day demands. If we only walk our dog then we are only focusing on these muscle groups whereas mixing exercises up can target a wider range of muscles.
When possible Oscar also benefits from the hydrotherapy pool. He has good hind limb movement and a solid core that contributes to his swimming technique to maximises the benefits of swimming.
Drum is Abbie’s our hydrotherapist and veterinary nurse’s dog. When looking at him he is lean, well built and has good conformation however, Abbie found he was reluctant to jump into the car one evening. We later noted he has a swelling on his gluteal muscles highlighting an injury. Since then he has been rested and given steroid injections and laser treatment. In addition he has has massage treatment and controlled treadmill work to break down any tense muscle fibres developing and ensure he doesn’t loose any more muscle tone.
We’re now at a point where he is happy and back to his normal routine but Abbie is keeping a close eye on his hind limbs for any changes. It is easy to assume your dog is fit and healthy and not likely to injure themselves but there is always this risk. Lucky for Drum he was able to receive this treatment quickly to avoid any lasting impact on his gait.
Below is Drum now managing to trot on the treadmill, something that is only done with fit and healthy dogs.
Services we offer for patients of varying size, ability and age include:
All dogs are treated as an individual case and we try and alter treatment to suit them personally. We also offer sessions where we can teach you tips and techniques to manage your dog at home regardless of their activity level. Book a session with our physiotherapist to discuss a suitable treatment plan and notice any subtle issues that might cause a bigger one in a few years time. You can also keep your dog healthy with regular hydrotherapy sessions not to mention benefits such as increased confidence, enjoyment and variety.