April 2017

Pet of the Month: 
Tommy Rogers. 3 Year Old Male Neutered German Shepherd Dog

Tommy has been attending the Smart Clinic since December 2016 for rehabilitation following TPLO surgery on his left hind. 

On initial presentation, although Tommy had already started bearing weight on this leg and was more than keen to exercise, he was still offloading this limb and overusing his front end. This became better when using a figure of eight lead (as Tommy would just pull forward on a normal lead), and Tommy’s owners had already started training Tommy to get used to a head collar, which we recommended continuing as part of his at home exercises. He was also quite reactive when palpating the muscles through his back and pelvis.

We started seeing Tommy weekly initially with an aim to alleviate areas of muscular discomfort and improve proprioceptive awareness, particularly in the left hindlimb following surgery. Tommy’s owners were given exercises to start at home to support this aim.

Tommy responded well to initial treatment, with muscle mass increasing and better functional recruitment of the hind limb in movement evident. His owners were very committed to performing his at home exercises and following our advice on how to progress with these as treatment continued. However, following these first few weeks of rehabilitation Tommy was still offloading the limb in standing and pain was still elicited on palpation of his back muscles.

We introduced a course of pain relief to help with this and started seeing Tommy as a day patient so that we could provide more treatment throughout the day. This allowed us to better target appropriate recruitment of the left hind, in standing as well as movement, and alleviate soft tissue tension more effectively.

Tommy has now been attending the clinic as a day patient for 5 weeks and is doing really well! He is now weight bearing on the left hind at walk, and showing improved loading of the limb in standing and when performing exercises. On palpation there is now no reactivity through his back muscles so his pain relief medication has been reduced and we have been able to reduce his treatment frequency down to once a month.

Tommy has actually come quite a long way in a relatively short space of time. His owners have done remarkably well in training him to perform his at home exercises effectively, particularly with his controlled walking, as when we first met Tommy he was quite difficult to control on the lead. He is still a boisterous puppy at heart!

We are so pleased with how well Tommy has done and are hopeful that he will continue to improve over the following months. He is such a loveable boy and we are so pleased he is feeling so much better! Well done Tommy! J