July 2019

Pet of the Month: 
Buddy, a 4 year old Collie-Cross

Buddy, a 4 year old Collie-Cross was referred to the SMART Clinic in December 2018 after a fall led to a suspected FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Embolism). An FCE is where a piece of fibrous cartilage obstructs the blood supply to the spinal cord. This condition is managed conservatively and physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping patients recover and regain their mobility. We see many FCE patients here at the SMART clinic, with varying symptoms and severity of their condition.

At his initial appointment Buddy was not able to walk or get himself into a stand without assistance. He was stressed and anxious by the loss of both his mobility, and his independence. Here at the SMART Clinic we understand the stress that can be felt, by both pet and owner, when a medical condition results in a sudden loss of mobility, and that the care required by these patients, can sometimes seem overwhelming. We do everything we can to offer practical support to assist owners cope with this sudden change, to help during the adjustment period, and beyond.

Buddy was immediately started onto a rehabilitation program that included acupuncture, time with our physiotherapists for soft tissue work and therapeutic exercises and assisted time in our underwater treadmill. The primary focus of Buddy’s rehab was initially to improve his proprioceptive and sensory awareness, progressing to improving his neuromotor function, ideally resulting in a return to full mobility. We initially saw Buddy as a day-patient once a week to allow a full day of intensive care for him.

Sian Edwards, our resident behavioural advisor, spent a lot of time with Buddy during his time with us as an inpatient. She did a lot of practical muzzle and handling training with him, using positive reinforcement based training to assist us with his treatment. This training, along with support from all staff and Buddy’s owners was so successful that now, not only does Buddy bound through the door to get in and greet everyone, he is compliant with all of the therapies and treatments we do with him. He enjoys his acupuncture and is always pleased to get into the treadmill.

Buddy’s recovery has been remarkable. He is now fully independent, walking unaided with only minimal assistance required in the treadmill to help with foot placement of his hindleg Buddy loves coming to the SMART Clinic and he has become a firm favourite amongst staff who are so pleased with his progress. Buddy was nominated to be Pet Of The Month by Amanda, one of our Physiotherapists who said “I’ve been so impressed with how hard Buddy and his family have worked on his rehabilitation. It’s been lovely to see Buddy become so enthusiastic about his visits to the SMART Clinic."