February 2017

Pet of the Month: 
Shadow Purcey

Shadow has been attending the Smart Clinic for treatment since the beginning of August last year.

He was first referred to us following a period of stiffness, which had started in the April of that year. This led to radiographs being taken and a subsequent diagnosis of spondylosis and hip dysplasia. Shadow had been started on NSAIDs but his owners had reported no change in his presentation. His exercise as such had been restricted from this point, up until his initial consultation with us.

At this initial appointment Shadow displayed a cranial bias to his gait pattern, he showed poor core control and struggled to control his limb placement. On examination muscle mass and tone were poor overall though he showed particular atrophy of the left fore. The hind limbs also showed marked atrophy. During examination Shadow was pretty stoical, which we would soon learn was typical for him, and only showed mild discomfort on palpation of the lumbosacral junction.

We started Shadow on a rehabilitation programme mainly aimed at improving postural support from the hind limb and core musculature to take the pressure of the spine and hips. As he had not been doing any walking of any note since the April, our main aim was to work on his endurance to help build muscle mass and maintain his mobility and improve his quality of life.

Shadow started attending the clinic for weekly sessions. At first he was very limited as to what was achievable from an endurance perspective……and this was not backed up by enthusiasm, we can’t say he was the most keen to attend at the start of his treatment-though he was always a welcome patient to end a busy day with; even if we enjoyed fussy him more than he did-stoic as ever!

Before long however he was showing sound improvements and his endurance levels began to increase-he even seemed happier when coming in to the clinic for his appointments. He was also more comfortable and moving with greater ease during his treatment.

Now, only 5 months on, Shadow is like a different dog. His endurance is remarkable considering where he started from last year and he is now coping with a far greater level of exercise.

Shadow truly is a special character and a joy to see at the clinic, even when his stoicism prevails! We are all so pleased with how well he has done! Great work Shadow! :-)