July 2015

Pet of the Month: 
Manni Billingham

Manni, a 1 Year 2 Month Old Black Male Neutered Labrador,  was first referred to us at the Smart Clinic in December last year because he had been showing right hind lameness and stiffness after exercise since the September and his owner felt that the frequency of this lameness was increasing. His owner also reported that he spent a lot of his time sleeping. No further investigation had been carried out at this time.

At his first consultation with us it was clear that Manni had an abnormal gait pattern. His core control and stability was very poor and he tended to overload his front end. He also had a very arched outline to his back and moved with more of a waddle rather than bringing his hindlimbs through their full range of motion, particularly into extension. He was also hyperextended about his hocks and metatarsophalangeal joints and distal limb placement in the forelimbs was poor in neuromotor control.

During examination at this first visit there were numerous areas of discomfort, particularly around the elbows and hips. He was also sensitive to lateral and dorsal palpation of both hocks, particularly the right, and the right hind was somewhat atrophied. It was also clear from this examination that Manni was carrying a little ‘extra’ weight, which would be having an impact on his condition.

Following this initial consultation it was felt that it was possible that Manni may be demonstrating signs of hip dysplasia. However the abnormal hock posture, pain and thickening detected around the hock could mean that there was a possibility of pathology of one or more of the joints within his hock. We therefore instigated a rehabilitation programme but suggested that if there was no significant improvement after 2-3 sessions that further investigation would be the next sensible step. We also started Manni on a controlled diet and began a weight management diary with his owners to monitor changes in his weight and shape during his treatment.

Manni started attending the clinic on a weekly basis for a combination of rehabilitation treatments aimed at resolving his muscular discomfort, and increasing strength and endurance. Within the first month of treatment at the clinic, supported by therapeutic exercises with his owners at home, Manni had already started to improve. He showed greater control and endurance and was generally a lot more comfortable. His weight also quickly improved with him already losing over half the weight needed to reach his original estimated target weight. He already seemed a much happier dog-he would always make us smile walking in to the clinic with a toy in mouth and tail wagging!

Now, only 7 months on, Manni is doing exceptionally well. He walks, runs and plays without any problems and his owners haven’t seen any lameness at all! He has also reached and maintained his target weight for the last few months and has turned in to a rather handsome young dog! We all love seeing Manni at the clinic and are so pleased with how far he has come. Well done Manni!!  smiley