June 2019

Pet of the Month: 
Mylo, a 2 year old male spaniel cross breed

Mylo, a 2 year old male spaniel cross breed, was referred to the SMART Clinic in June 2018 for physiotherapy and rehabilitation as he had a luxating patellas affecting both hind legs. A luxating patella is where the kneecap moves in and out of its normal position in the groove at the end of the femur. It can be painful, cause lameness and a characteristic ‘skipping’ step, and can lead to other progressive conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Mylo had developed another medical condition the previous year which had caused muscle atrophy (decreased muscle mass), which had led to his patella problem becoming apparent.

At his initial appointment, during his gait analysis, the vet noted that Mylo was slightly lame (2/10), had restricted flexibility across his lower back, an abnormal walking gait, suboptimal musculature in his hindlimbs and he had some discomfort in his right stifle. He also stood and sat with his weight shifted to one side to offload any discomfort he was feeling.

Mylo was started on a rehabilitation program to alleviate muscular discomfort, improve his dynamic stability and hindlimb musculature, and to aim to restore a more functional and pain-free gait pattern.

Mylo was set Proprioceptive Exercises as part of his home exercise regime. Proprioceptive Exercises are designed to give our patients more awareness of their body and how they are moving it. It can be particularly useful in cases where patients are not placing or moving their hind limbs correctly. Bringing patients awareness to where and how they are placing their feet can be instrumental in teaching them to correct the movement.

Mylo initially responded very well to treatment and showed good progress, however he started developing significant pain and discomfort in his right hind leg and his patella was luxating more frequently. Mylo went to a referral centre for assessment and subsequently had surgery to correct the problem.

After his surgery Mylo was in quite a lot of discomfort and was still reluctant to use his leg. We were able to support Mylo in the rehabilitation after his surgery, and again after the further surgery that was required.

After everything he has been through Mylo has progressed so well and is now managing 30 minute walks twice a day. His owners have been extremely dedicated to his exercise and therapeutic exercise program throughout his treatment and all of his setbacks. After his surgery Mylo had very little confidence in using his leg. Mylo’s treatment was tailored to help build his confidence in using his leg whilst making sure that he learnt to walk correctly.

Mylo was nominated to be Pet Of The Month by Alice because of how fantastically she felt he had done, and she felt he is a great example of how commitment not only to attending the SMART clinic, but dedication to all the homework we set, can really make a difference. Congratulations Mylo, the SMART team are so proud of you!

JUNE UPDATE: Since being nominated unfortunately Mylo has had a slight setback, but we are hopeful that he will respond well to treatment, as he has done previously, and be back on top form as soon as possible.