December 2018

Pet of the Month: 
Zelda, a 6yo Greyhound

Our Pet Of The Month this month is Zelda, a 6yo Greyhound.

Zelda was referred to the SMART clinic at the beginning of November after suffering a traumatic spinal fracture (T12-13), a fractured rib and a pneumothorax after colliding with another dog whilst out on a walk. Zelda was referred for spinal surgery where she spent 3 weeks in hospital. We saw Zelda for her initial appointment shortly after she was discharged from hospital.

At the time of her first appointment, Zelda wasn’t able to place her hindlimbs herself and had to be aided with the help of a sling. When patients spend long periods of time lying on their side, unable to get up, especially after a traumatic event, there are changes within the muscles, with some muscle groups getting very tight, and other muscles atrophying (becoming weaker). Zelda’s rehabilitation programme involved minimising any further atrophy of her hindlimb muscles during her post-operative recovery period, initiating neuromotor stimulation of the hindlimbs and assisting with restarting her functional mobility. Zelda was incontinent since her surgery, and her owners were managing this well at home.

Zelda has been attending the clinic weekly as a ‘day patient’. This gives us the opportunity to give her multiple treatments throughout the day to help increase her strength and mobility. Zelda was quite apprehensive initially, at the clinic, after all that she had been through, and needed lots of reassurance and encouragement during her first few sessions. She soon learnt to trust us, and all the exercises we were asking her to do

We have been so pleased with the way Zelda’s confidence has increased in the clinic as she has got to know us all and understand the routine she has here as an inpatient. At the SMART clinic we love getting to know all our patients and so many of our dogs and cats know us so well by now and they all have their favourite treatments whether it be an applied heat pack and massage by one of our Physiotherapists or some exercises on our proprioceptive track. We see all breeds and age groups of patients from young puppies, through to Dachshunds, Great Danes and cats. We treat every pet as an individual and tailor treatments’ to suit the needs of the patient. 

Zelda has been coming to us for nearly 2 months and she is now able to undertake assisted walking, as well as physiotherapy exercises throughout the day. Zelda’s owner reports she particularly enjoys having heat pack therapy at home and she is now able to stand in the front garden and loves watching the world go by. Zelda’s owners have been extremely dedicated to her rehabilitation and have been committed to all of the exercises and home care that Zelda has required.

We look forward to seeing Zelda’s continued recovery into 2019.