June 2018

Pet of the Month: 
Alfie Ward 11 Year Old DSH

Although Alfie has only been coming to the clinic since the beginning of May this year we wanted to highlight how well he has responded to treatment in such a short space of time.

Alfie was referred to the SMART clinic following treatment for bilateral traumatic coxofemoral joint luxation which required surgery on the right hind limb. Alfie recovered well from his surgery and when he presented to the clinic for his first appointment his owners felt he was managing well at home and following an initial 10 day period of cage rest had allowed him free access to the house-he was not yet going outside.

At this first appointment Alfie was found to have significant muscle wastage over both hind limbs. He shifted much of his weight forward over his fore limbs and was very tense over his chest and back muscles, in particular on the right hand side. Palpation of these muscles was painful for him.

Alfie had a decreased range of motion in his right hind limb and tended to swing and rotate this leg whilst walking-he was able to better extend through the left hind when walking and did activate his hind limb muscles reasonably well overall. Luckily, Alfie is a very easy going cat so tolerated us trying to target his movement on the treadmill-which can often be a bit tricky with our feline patients.

Following this first appointment we instigated a program of rehabilitation for Alfie aimed at easing the muscular tension in his back and alleviating the associated pain. We planned to restore muscle mass, tone and strength in his hind limbs, to improve joint stability and ultimately maintain a functional range of motion in his hip joints bilaterally.

This plan included therapeutic home exercises and an adjustment to his activity patterns at home. It is not easy to use targeted exercises with cats during rehabilitation as, by nature, they are not as compliant as our canine companions. Done well however, they can have a massively positive impact on their treatment.

Alfies owners were advised to do slow walking over various surfaces in the garden, (as they already had a harness for Alfie) and in-house activities such as jumping on/off things and performing stairs-though not to jump down from a height.

Over the last month Alfie has responded really well to treatment and the work his owners have been doing with him at home. He has shown better extension through both hind limbs and the tension in his back has resolved.

We are so pleased with how well Alfie has done and how tolerant he has been of all of the treatments at the clinic. Well done Alfie