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Latest news from the SMART Referral Centre. Links will take you to our Facebook page. 

SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals2 weeks ago
🍀 A massive good luck to Agility Team GB 🇬🇧 competing at the European Opens this week! 🍀

Special good luck to SMART clients;
💙 Martin & Snooze
🤍 Martin & Selfie
❤️ Naarah & Lemon
💙 Lisa & Pip
🤍Natasha & Toto
❤️ Liz & Winne
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals3 weeks ago
SMART Pet of the Month for July: Paul

Our Pet of the Month for July is Paul, an 8-year-old crossbreed. Paul was referred to the SMART Clinic in January of this year to treat lameness following surgery on his left knee to repair a cruciate ligament injury in October 2021. Paul had undergone the same procedure in the previous year on his right knee and recovered well, but had struggled to recover as well following his second surgery. Paul’s owner felt that he had lost his enthusiasm and drive and that even short walks had become quite difficult for him when previously he had enjoyed walking for up to two hours a day.

Problems with the cruciate ligaments are one of the more common orthopaedic problems in the hind limbs of dogs. The cruciate ligaments are a pair of ligaments arranged in a cross shaped formation at the back of the knee (known as the stifle) which join together the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone), stabilising the joint and preventing forward and backward motion of the bones relative to each other. The ligament positioned at the front of this cross arrangement is known as the cranial cruciate ligament whilst the ligament sitting at the back is known as the caudal cruciate ligament. The cranial cruciate ligament is the most commonly affected by injury or cruciate disease.
Whilst the cruciate ligament can be ruptured traumatically and suddenly due to excessive forces such as twisting the limb on a fixed foot or sudden deceleration, often the ligament is injured as a result of long-term degeneration. The fibres of the ligament weaken and fray and over time can partially tear or completely rupture. Certain breeds can be more predisposed to degenerative cruciate disease as well as dogs carrying excess weight.
When Paul was first examined at the SMART Clinic, he was significantly overweight. When standing he would try to take the weight of his left hind leg as much as possible and was lame on that leg at walk and at trot. He was sore in his back muscles and weak in his abdominal muscles – a common combination where the back muscles are used to try to stabilise the trunk in the absence of appropriate abdominal muscle engagement. He was also sore in the muscles supporting the shoulders, likely a result of shifting his weight forward in attempt to take weight off the hind limbs. He had also lost a lot of muscle mass from the hind limbs.
Our aims for Paul’s treatment were to alleviate discomfort and tension in the tight and sore muscle groups, increase the hind limb muscle mass, and improve activation and strength of the hind limb musculature and muscle groups which stabilise the body and support posture. Acupuncture and physiotherapy techniques were used to treat tension and pain in the muscles and joints, whilst a home exercise plan was given to Paul to improve strength, muscle control and posture, along with a programme of underwater treadmill walking. He has certainly become a popular character in the clinic!
A major part of Paul’s rehabilitation was losing weight. Any excess weight increases the forces applied to the joints and exacerbates any issues within those joints, as well as making it more difficult for the dog to engage in rehabilitation. At 23.7 Kg it was agreed between the vet and Paul’s owner that an initial aim of getting to 18 Kg would be appropriate. Dietary advice was given and a weight loss programme started. Very often we ask owners to keep a weight loss and food diary for their pet. This helps us to understand whether weight lost or gained is line with what the dog is eating or if there may be some underlying condition/illness preventing weight loss/causing weight gain, which can then be tested for and treated appropriately.

Paul and his owner approached his home exercise and diet programme with enthusiasm and to date Paul has lost a huge 5Kg in weight! He has gained muscle on his hind limbs, has been able to increase his exercise and is more comfortable. Paul’s owner reports that he is brighter and more energetic and is now enjoying walks of up to an hour at a time. Well done Paul!
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals3 weeks ago
Swansea
Confident Care Class - Say YES to the vet!

After the huge success from last years classes we are pleased to announce that we will be offering more classes. Depending on interest will depend on start date but these will be run on a Tuesday evening at our Swansea Clinic in Birchgrove, Swansea.

If you are interested of have any questions regarding these classes and the suitability for your dog please contact Sian Edwards on; sian@smartvetwales.co.uk
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals3 weeks ago
Suggested Donation ticket price: £15

Please join us in helping raise much need funds to help fight Motor Neurone Disease. Those of you who know Lowri Davies will know the ongoing fight her husband, Bob and their family are having with this life-limiting disease. Since Bob's diagnosis in October 2020 they set up the MotorOn Campaign and have so far raised over £80,000 of which has been donated to the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation to help find the cure for MND everyone dreams of.
All of the donations and proceeds to this talk will do exactly the same and be donated via our MotorOn campaign to the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.

Suggested Donation ticket price: £15

To book please make a donation at www.motoron.cymru - please make
sure to include your name, then email info@motoron.cymru for the Zoom link.

Please join us in our fight.
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals
SMART Specialist Veterinary Referrals3 weeks ago
Just a reminder that our MND Fundraising talk is to take place this evening. For anyone who would like to sign up it's not too late;

Just make a donation to our JustGiving page and then email us to receive the Zoom link;

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/motorongb3peaks