March 2015

Pet of the Month: 
Sandy Malcolm

Sandy, an 11 Year 4 Month Old Female Golden Retriever, was first referred to us in January of this year with a history of deteriorating hind limb function of several months duration, she had become virtually recumbent and required assistance to stand. Radiographs had failed to identify any specific damage requiring surgical correction.

On presentation at the clinic Sandy struggled to rise unassisted. She demonstrated very poor stability in all phases of movement and her hind limbs, especially, tired easily. One very obvious problem during this first visit was Sandy’s weight-at the time she weighed 56.9kg and presented as obese. This made accurate palpation difficult during examination but discomfort was noted in particular in her stifles and her back and hind limb muscles.

The immediate aim with Sandy was to try and improve her postural muscle function and develop her core muscle tone before attempting any form of walking exercise. The hope was to be able to develop a degree of hind limb neuromotor control and shock absorption to cushion the joints which in turn should then make walking less traumatic. Alongside this a weight management programme was started to help achieve the necessary weight loss to also relieve the pressure through her joints when walking.

Sandy initially started attending the clinic twice a week as an inpatient. This allowed us to have a more frequent input in her rehabilitation programme and hopefully reduce the time taken to reach our initial objective.

Following just three weeks of treatment at this intensity Sandy showed a significant improvement in her mobility and she had lost 5Kg in weight. The latter was achieved with her owners being incredibly strict regarding not feeding her treats or scraps and through switching her onto the Burn’s weight control.

We subsequently reduced the frequency of Sandy’s visits to the clinic to once a week and increased her level of home exercise.

Now, just three and a half months since first attending the clinic, Sandy weighs just over 48kg. She is demonstrating an increased willingness to go for walks. She is also able to walk for longer and is once again climbing the stairs at home. Sandy can now get up and down with minimal effort.

We are currently seeing her every two weeks for treatment and have stressed to her owners the continued importance of further weight loss. What they have achieved so far in this respect has been brilliant but Sandy still needs to lose a significant amount of weight to reach her ideal target weight. We are confident that this will be achievedJ

We are so pleased with how far Sandy has come in a relatively short space of time and are so happy with the progress she has made. She is such a lovely dog and it is a pleasure to see her enjoying movement again smiley Well done Sandy!