Breed – Black Labrador
Age – 9 Months
Gender – Male
Condition – Severe Hip Dysplasia

Maxwell was diagnosed with severe Hip Dysplasia at a very early age, and was referred to our hydrotherapy centre at Mochdre Vets in December 2018.

At his initial appointment, on 17th December 2018, Maxwell underwent a thorough evaluation, which included an on-land gait assessment, weighing, and tabulating current muscle mass measurements which were as follows:

  • Left forelimb 325mm
  • Right forelimb 325mm
  • Left hindlinmb 415mm
  • Right hindlimb 425mm
  • Weight 24.7kg

Whilst these measurements demonstrated a certain symmetry, it was noted upon palpation that the rear limbs were lacking in muscular tone and development.

We also became aware of a very noticeable audible clunk of the right hip joint upon ambulation. Maxwell’s owners confirmed that they were also hearing this at home, and said that he would often groan when lying down or standing up.

Following the initial consultation, it was decided that the hydrotherapy underwater treadmill would be the best option for Maxwell.

The benefit of using the underwater treadmill being that it is keeping Maxwell’s structure in the complete alignment, whilst also enabling us to target specific muscle groups in a supported, and controlled environment.

This program of treatment provides us with the ability to build the muscles, which strengthens and assists the function of the hindlimbs, to help support and improve comfort in Maxwells condition.

Having put this proposed, and discussed plan of treatment in to effect maxwell has subsequently attended 11 consecutive weekly sessions in the hydrotherapy underwater treadmill.

From the very first session Maxwell took to the treatment, and has made significant progress. We have been able to gradually increase the duration over the sessions, and as a result Maxwell has becomre more comfortable, further enabling us to also increase the speed of the treadmill, which in turn has improved his joint range of movement, and stride length.

Having remeasured Maxwell after the 11th session, on 4th March 2019, his muscle mass measurements display that there has been a substantial muscular gain to the hind limbs, and from palpation there is an obvious improvement in muscular tone.

The measurements taken on 3rd March at session 11 are as follows:

  • Left forelimb 330mm
  • Right forelimb 335mm
  • Left hindlinmb 460mm
  • Right hindlimb 455mm
  • Weight 31.85kg

Maxwell’s owners inform us that having built up muscle on the hindlimbs, they no longer hear the audible clunk on the right hip joint, and that Maxwell is considerably more comfortable lying down, standing up from lying down, and in general with his daily homelife.

Maxwell continues to attend on a weekly basis, the treatment program being regularly assessed, with the aim of further challenging his hindlimbs, building to a level where hopefully he will be able to comfortably run off lead, and enjoy a full and even happier life.