May 2021 Dog of the Month: Leroy
Leroy is one of our older boys at almost 10 years old. Leroy started physiotherapy back in June 2019 to help with his recovery following surgery and radiotherapy to remove a soft tissue sarcoma which was attached to his hip region. A sarcoma is a malignant tumour, a type of cancer that arises from transformed cells of mesenchymal (connective tissue) origin.
His aims were to regain muscle mass, strength and fitness of his left hind limb, and to relieve compensatory muscle tightness and trigger points along his back. Leroy's therapy involved red photobiomodulation (LASER) therapy (making sure to avoid the area where he had had the sarcoma), lots of massage and myofascial release therapy and passive stretches to help normalise his muscle tone and resolve the trigger points. Combined with hydrotherapy treadmill to gently build up muscle strength.
Leroy was making good steady progress when, in Sept 2019, he ruptured his right cranial cruciate ligament (a stabilising ligament in his stifle, i.e. knee) while on holiday. Normally, larger breed dogs with a cruciate rupture would have a surgical repair; however, considering what Leroy had been through with his cancer therapy and his age, the decision was made to do conservative management. For his first session back after the cruciate injury Leroy had physiotherapy only (LASER and lots of massage), then he we soon added the hydrotherapy treadmill back in to restart gentle active exercise as it was very important that he strengthened his upper hind limb muscles to support the stifle. Leroy was also given a new home plan with targeted gentle active exercises to do, plus advice on using a stifle brace to help support the joint while scar tissue formed. After five months of weekly sessions, Leroy was doing well enough to drop his appointment frequency down to a fortnightly appointment. Then we had the summer 2020 lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. Leroy was given an updated home plan to keep him going during the lockdown. Thankfully when he returned to the clinic we were able to resume his regular fortnightly sessions consisting of LASER, massage, hydrotherapy treadmill and the solarium (which he loves!).
Leroy continues to attend a regular fortnightly therapy session to help maintain his muscle strength, and keep on top of his compensatory muscle tightness. We think he is an absolute super star as he has built up muscle and gained strength, and despite his issues he is always such a happy boy and we always look forward to seeing him at the clinic!