February 2019

Pet of the Month: 
Judy, a 10 year old Springer Spaniel

Judy is one of our long-standing patients, and has been coming to the SMART clinic for 4 years now. Judy was referred to the SMART clinic after cruciate ligament repair surgery. She was also diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both stifles and hip dysplasia.

Patients attending the SMART clinic always have a full physical examination at their initial appointment with us. This is so that we are able to examine not only the area requiring treatment, but feel for any changes within other parts of the body that may be affected by the initial problem. If left untreated or uncorrected, muscle or gait problems that are secondary to the original problem can become a problem in themselves, requiring further treatment. At her initial appointment Judy had a full medical examination. Our Vet noted that the muscles around Judy’s neck and chest were very tense. This was likely to be as a result of Judy compensating for the weakness and discomfort in her hindlimbs.

Judy was started on a rehabilitation programmed aimed at alleviating muscular discomfort and maintaining range of motion through the right stifle. Judy was sent home with a series of targeted at-home exercises to assist in her recovery.

By her fourth appointment Judy had made excellent progress and only a slight lameness was observed and she was now very comfortable on muscular examination and her stifle joint felt stable. Her walking regime was increased and she was set more challenging home-exercises.

Judy now attends the SMART Clinic every 1-2 months. At 10 years old she is still enjoying 1 ½ hour walks twice daily and shows excellent endurance during her sessions with us. By examining Judy on a regular basis, we are able to monitor her for any changes and treat these accordingly. We are also able to adjust her home exercises and walking regime as necessary to ensure she is getting the maximum benefit to support her medical conditions.

In the last few months, Judy has suffered the bereavement of losing her canine sister. This has affected her confidence when out and about without her owner. We have worked hard with the support of her owner to help Judy regain her independence and self-confidence whilst here at the clinic, and hope to continue to help Judy as much as we can, providing her with all the help and support she needs to get through this difficult time.

Judy has been nominated to be Pet Of The Month by Natalie because she feels she is a great example of what can be achieved with good rehabilitation and how it can help not only after surgery, but also help maintain comfort and mobility when approaching senior years.

Well done Judy!