November 2017

Pet of the Month: 
Teddy Morgan 2 Year 2 Month Old Male Neutered Shih Tzu

Teddy was first referred to the Smart Clinic back in July this year with a complicated history of left forelimb lameness, for which an arthroscopy and arthrotomy were performed, and that most recently involved a septic arthritis. Medication to treat this had been started at his first line Vet and his lameness had improved but was still present to the same level as that before surgery.

On presentation at the Smart Clinic, Teddy displayed a 1/10 left forelimb lameness, with a loss of stride length particularly in his left forelimb. On gait evaluation, there was also a functional decrease in shoulder extension bilaterally. Additionally, there was a lack of distal limb control in the left forelimb and a skip on the limb was occasionally noted. Teddy found it difficult to control his gait pattern and recruit his core appropriately resulting in a pacing gait and building tension through his back as he was turning.

Muscle mass was generally poor on palpation, however this would be expected with a history of chronically limited activity, as with Teddy. Most of the main muscle groups in his left forelimb were either severely atrophied or poorly developed. His owner however actually observed that prior to this point, he had appeared even “skinnier” through the limb and felt he had recently put on muscle.

Ted was started on a rehabilitation program aimed at improving muscle function of the left forelimb and improving mobility of the shoulder. His gait pattern would also be addressed to encourage greater forelimb extension with an ultimate goal of improving Ted’s muscle mass and endurance to allow him longer walks and to discontinue his pain relief medication.

We started seeing Teddy weekly as an inpatient so that we could better target our aims above and work on his gait pattern and soft tissue compensations more intensely. Before too long Teddy’s lameness score appeared to stabilise with no deterioration and his endurance was improving. Muscle mass in the shoulder had also started to be restored.

Now, only a few months later, Teddy is attending the clinic just once a month to maintain the improvements made and allow us to further target his neuromotor gait pattern and continue to improve his overall mobility.

Teddy has been a firm favourite with all of the staff since he starting coming as a day patient for his treatment with us, he is such a lovely little character and along with the work his owner has done with him at home has continually improved during his treatment with us. He has done extremely well considering the chronicity of his condition. Well done Teddy!