July 2018

Pet of the Month: 
Coco Newman 2 Year Old Female Yorkshire Terrier

Coco was actually first referred to the clinic nearly a year ago following a diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, which unfortunately led to Coco requiring surgery on her right hind limb.

Coco initially recovered very well from the operation and returned to full activity but on a check up at her first line Vets it was noted that she still had marked atrophy of the musculature in the right hind limb. She also tended to tire easily on walks and become stiff after resting following strenuous exercise.

At Coco’s first appointment with us at the Smart Clinic we noted that Coco would slightly offload her right hind limb when standing and at a walk. She would also intermittently skip on the right hind.

On examination, Coco was generally in very good condition but did carry some tension throughout her back musculature. Coco’s abdominal musculature was well developed for a dog of her age but marked muscle atrophy of the right muscular groups was noted on the right. Range of motion of the right hip joint (surgical site) was only slightly limited compared with the left, and was well tolerated. Coco also struggled with correct postural control and had adapted to avoiding appropriate recruitment of the right hind limb musculature in standing.

We started Coco’s rehabilitation programme aiming to relieve muscular discomfort and fascial restrictions throughout her back and to encourage activation of the atrophied musculature in the right hind. We recommended home exercises to the owner, to be done alongside Coco’s treatments at the clinic, to help support these aims. A lot of this was focused on postural control and improving proprioceptive awareness.

Coco responded remarkably well to treatment and her owner noted an immediate improvement following her first appointment. She was able to weight bear more through the right hind and her posture had already improved. She still carried a degree of tension and muscle spasm through her lower back but this was also easing. We were quickly able to increase the intensity of her home exercises and reduce the frequency of her visits.

Coco has been coming for regularly appointments over the last few months and is now on a maintenance level of treatment (which only last week went from every 2-3 months down to every 4-6 months). She shows improvements at each visit and we are all always so pleased with how well she has responded to her rehabilitation. A lot has to be said for the work her owner has done with her at home to support her treatment here at the clinic-we have no doubt Coco would not have progressed so quickly without it!

Coco is a lovely little dog and she has been an absolute pleasure to treat-keep up the good work.