ONLINE CPD OPPORTUNITY FOR VETERINARY PROFESSIONALS
‘The Shoulder Conundrum – From the pet to the elite sport dog.
Diagnosis, treatment & recovery – focusing on supraspinatus and bicep tendinopathies’.
Our pet of the month for September is Cody, a seven year old Belgian Shepherd who works as a police dog for Gwent Police Force. In May of this year he developed lameness in his left hind leg, and radiographic investigation revealed signs of mild dysplasia in the left hip joint. As a working police dog, Cody needs to be in peak fitness to be able to perform his job successfully and he was referred to the SMART Clinic in June for treatment to enable Cody to return to work. If Cody could not be returned to his previous levels of fitness he would have to retire.
Hip dysplasia is a condition very commonly managed at the SMART Clinic, and is the most common orthopaedic condition affecting dogs. Some breeds are particularly predisposed to the condition such as large or giant breeds of dog but it can occur in smaller breed dogs as well. A normal canine hip joint consists of the articulation between the socket in the pelvis (the acetabulum) and the ball at the top of the thigh bone (head of femur). In a stable hip joint, the fit between the acetabulum and the head of femur is snug to provide a stable joint. In dogs with hip dysplasia, abnormal development of the hip joint causes the soft tissues that would normally stabilise the hip joint to become lax. This results in excess movement in the joint which in turn causes the acetabulum to become more shallow and the head of femur to flatten and change shape. In time, this can lead to osteoarthritis in the hip joint, and increased pain and lameness. The lack of stability in the hip joint and the altered walking pattern that is caused often leads to lower back pain and instability in joints further down the affected limb. In more severe cases, surgery is needed to treat the condition but in many cases hip dysplasia can be managed conservatively with good pain relief, weight management and rehabilitation.
When he presented at the clinic, Cody was found to be mildly lame on his left hind limb causing him to put extra weight through his right hind limb and front limbs. He was sore in the deep muscles that bend the hip on the left, and his activation of the muscles that would normally stabilise and support the hip was weak. The aim of Cody’s rehabilitation programme was to relieve pain, relieve compensatory muscle tension due to his altered gait pattern, and improve the activation and strength of the muscles supporting and stabilising the hip joint. Alongside acupuncture and massage to provide pain relief and reduce soft tissue tension, a programme of stretches was instigated to stretch the muscles that had been overworking to compensate for the lack of stability in the hip. As the tight soft tissues loosened off the focus of the programme switched to that of strengthening the muscles supporting the hip, as well as the abdominal and back muscles that provide core strength. Walking in the water treadmill was also an important part of Cody’s rehabilitation programme. Walking on a treadmill belt is much more difficult than walking over land and encourages the dog to activate his stabilizing muscles appropriately whilst the addition of water adds resistance which further helps with muscle strengthening.
Thanks to Cody’s hard work in the clinic and his handler’s dedication to his home exercise plan, Cody has made fantastic progress and made a return to work. Well done Cody!
Bob, Lowri, Will and friends are three days in and now over half way to their final destination!! 💚
Today is a tough ride with an elevation of 1051ft over 107k!! 🚵🏻♂️
Although the just giving page from the first challenge has been closed, to enable us to hand over the monies, we are still determined as ever to raise awareness and funds for the My name’s Doddie Foundation to help find the cure for MND, so please, if you can here is our page; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/motoron 💚🏴
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