September 2015

Pet of the Month: 
Penny Best

Penny, a 1 Year 10 Month Old Female Neutered Boxer,  first starting coming to the Smart Clinic in March of this year. She was referred to us following surgery to address right medial patella luxation. Progress was deemed to be satisfactory following the surgery and the recommendation of physiotherapy was made.

At her first appointment there was little in the way of pain detected on evaluation. She did display a cranial bias on gait evaluation and a degree of right hind and left hind lameness (a grade 1 luxating patella was also noted on the left hind). She showed atrophy of both hindlimbs and this was most dramatic on the right. We therefore started a rehabilitation programme aimed at improved recruitment of her hind limbs specifically the right hind, with early stages of treatment focusing more on proprioception and neuromotor conditioning. To aid in this, as Penny is a typically happy bouncy boxer, we used a Mekuti harness to encourage slow controlled walking at home. We starting seeing Penny once a week for treatment at the clinic.

Within the first four weeks Penny had already started to progress really well. She showed less of a cranial bias to her gait pattern and increased weight bearing in standing of the right hind. She had also already developed better core control with improved abdominal tone and there had been a slight improvement to muscle mass of the right hind.

Over the following few weeks, despite one episode of twisting in the garden and lifting her right hind, Penny continued to progress well. She continued to build muscle and improve in control. She also displayed further weight bearing through the right hind during standing. The only apparent problem was a small lump over the op site (situated just over one of the wires), that at this time did not seem to be causing any problems. We therefore starting looking at reducing the frequency of Penny’s visits.

Although Penny did continue to do well with the progress of her rehabilitation and we were able to introduce more exercise challenges at home, the lump over her op site did increase in size and so the option to undergo a further surgery to remove the wire beneath was taken.

Following this Penny returned to weekly visits at the clinic initially to get back on track with her rehabilitation. During this time, on a number of occasions, Pennys owner also noted left hind patella luxation at home. During assessment at the clinic however this remained at a grade 1 stage and did not seem to hinder her progress though it is something that Pennys owner continues to monitor at home.

 Penny is now on monthly visits with us and is continuing to do well. She has built so much muscle and has improved so much in her mobility! She even has a new puppy to play with at home and this doesn’t seem to be hindering her! Other than having a poorly tail (which needed a bit of care and attention at her last visit-quite difficult with a happy waggy boxer!) she really is doing amazingly well! We are all so pleased with how far she has come, despite the little hurdles in her way. It is testament to not only our work at the clinic but also her owners involvement at home-hard work pays off! Well done Penny smiley