August 2015

Pet of the Month: 
Bella Atkinson

Bella, a 10 Year 5 Month Old Female Neutered Labrador, is somewhat of an old timer at the Smart Clinic, excluding a brief spell living on the other side of the world in Australia. She is back with us now after nearly 3 years and has again responded well to affectively starting treatment where we left off! Below is a little of her story with us at Smart smiley

She was first referred to us at the Smart Clinic in the May of 2012 for assessment and treatment of a right fore lameness.  At her first appointment it was noted that there was a marked cranial bias to her centre of gravity and she was landing extremely heavily on her forelimbs. She was also very tense in her neck and forelimb musculature and had poor muscle mass and tone in her hind limbs. It was difficult to detect a specific focal lesion or focus of pain at this first appointment but we were hopeful that as treatment progressed and we were able to release any peripheral muscle spasm we would be able to detect the key area of discomfort.

A rehabilitation programme was started aiming at recruiting her hind limb and core muscles appropriately to reduce the load over the forelimbs. We used acupuncture to help alleviate muscle spasm and for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory affects. As Bella was actually very overweight when she first came to see us, weighing 33.9kg, we also provided a weight consultation with her owners and started a weight management diary to monitor he weight and body condition score during her treatment.

Within the first month of treatment with us Bella was already showing considerable improvement with her right fore lameness and, with the help of switching to a specific weight loss diet, she had already lost nearly a kilo in weight. Over the coming weeks her core stability and control continued to improve and her weight reduced to 31.7kg, which was definitely helping her rehabilitation.

By the time Bella was to leave us for horizons new down under she was like a different dog and her weight was a healthy……27kg!:-) Although her lameness was still causing problems from time to time her mobility and physical condition were much improved from her first visit.

Bella’s owners returned to Wales this year and since contacted us at the Smart Clinic as Bella appeared to deteriorate since being back in our less favourable climate. Her owners reported that she was very stable and happy whilst in sunny Australia.

We have as such restarted a rehabilitation plan with Bella to readdress issues that have flared up similar to that at her original appointment. The good news is that her weight has remained stable, currently weighing 27.5kg smiley

We are confident that Bella will respond well to rehabilitation again and are pleased to see her back in sunny Wales;-)

Photos before and after weight loss.