October 2016

Pet of the Month: 
Bella Williams

Bella, a 5 Year 11 month old Female German Shepherd, has been receiving treatment at the Smart Clinic on and off for over two years. She was first referred to us back in May 2014 after showing a reluctance to jump and lack of normal performance during her obedience training. At this first appointment the main finding was that of lumbosacral pain and Bella responded well to initial treatment started to help target this and strengthen her core and hind limb musculature and improve her general movement.

Unfortunately during treatment for her lumbosacral pain Bella then presented with a severe right hind lameness. Investigations took place and Bella needed surgery on her right stifle before returning to the Smart clinic for re-evaluation and a restart of her rehabilitation.

Following this she again responded well to combined rehabilitation treatment and was able to return to some gentle obedience work. However in the months that followed her progress plateaued and we were still unable to achieve a full return to athleticity. At this point she was referred back to the specialist centre that performed her previous surgery for further investigations to determine if there were any further contributing factors relating to the spine involved in this limitation and to assess if possible further surgery was warranted on the right stifle.

A CT revealed multiple issues with Bella’s back, hips and stifles but the specialist felt that any right hind lameness was still likely stifle related and suggested further surgery if a return to full athletic work was to be the aim.

Bella’s owner took some time to consider the options but decided to persevere with the rehabilitation and aim to get Bella as fit as possible to be able to stay active,  if this meant a return to obedience then all the better. Bella now attends the clinic for maintenance sessions but has been able to avoid the need for surgery and is leading full and active life. She occasionally becomes stiff especially on her right side but responds well to treatment and is never down for long!

The progress Bella has made was especially highlighted last month at our Open Day in Swansea. Bella was one of a few lucky dogs that got to try out our new Gait 4 analysis system and…….showed a near perfect score!(see picture). Considering everything that she has had to overcome and all of the hard work that has been put in by her and her owner Mandy we couldn’t be happier! Well done Bella smiley