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  • Carol Ann

Mar 2021 Dogs of the Month: BRIAN & FRANK

We have two dogs of the month for March, the lovely Dachshund brothers Brian and Frank.

Brian is now 2.5 years old and has been attending therapy at our clinic (with a brief hiatus due to the summer 2020 lockdown) since February 2020. He started therapy to help with his post op recovery after having surgery in January 2020 to correct severe carpus valgus of his right forelimb. Carpus valgus is a deformity of the carpal (wrist) joint that causes the front paw to point outward or deviate away from the body. Brian had surgery to help correct this and straighten his limb.

Brian's therapy has been aimed at strengthening his right forelimb, resolving his right fore lameness, and easing the compensatory muscle tightness he gets in his upper forelimbs and lower back. Brian made slow progress initially, not helped by the break in therapy due to the Covid lockdown, but since being able to come back regularly he has come on in leaps and bounds, improving his strength and stamina and he is able to enjoy his walkies without lameness.

Frank is 3 years old and has been having therapy since October 2020. He has right sided foraminal stenosis of his L7 vertebrae. Foramina are small openings in the bone that allow nerves to pass through from the spinal cord to the rest of the body, and stenosis means narrowing. Therefore Frank has a narrowing of the opening on the right side of his 7th lumbar vertebrae, causing pressure on the nerves that pass through that opening. Frank presented with lameness and reluctance to jump or walk up steps. After having a steroid injection at the referral vets, Frank was referred for physiotherapy to help ease discomfort and compensatory muscle tightness along his back. Frank initially had severe muscle tightness along his back and was very sensitive to palpation (touch). He is slowly improving, but as this is an ongoing issue he still has a lot of compensatory tension and his ongoing therapy is aimed at managing his symptoms and helping him strengthen his core muscles to help support his spine.

Frank and Brian are both doing well in therapy, but we have actually picked them for dogs of the month because of their super behaviour. Initially they attended separate sessions because Brian was coming fortnightly while Frank was on weekly appointments. But since January 2021 they have both been on regular fortnightly sessions and have been attending their appointments together. Now both boys are rather cheeky with their own little personality quirks, and you would think this could lead to chaos in a joint session, and we were wondering if they would be a bad influence on each other. However, Brian and Frank have pleasantly surprised us by being such a good influence on each other when in a joint session. They are calm and well behaved, they like to cuddle up to each other during their laser therapy and massage, and they each wait patiently while the other goes into the hydrotherapy treadmill. Just amazing.


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