~~Dotti is a 11 year old Dalmatian that’s started coming to us in January 2017, she was referred for Coxofemeral osteoarthritis and compression of the spinal cord at T12-T13, T13-L1, L1-L2 and L3-L4. This was caused by Intervertebral disc disease. Intervertebral disc disease in the dog is a common clinical disorder manifested by pain, a partial loss of limb function, paralysis, and sometimes a loss of feeling in the hind limbs. The IVD is located between each vertebra. The normal IVD consists of a hard, fibrous outside ring and a soft gel like center (the nucleus pulposus). The function of the IVD is to connect the vertebrae and act as a shock absorber. Degeneration of the IVD occurs when the center (nucleus pulposus) begins to dehydrate or lose water. A dehydrated disk no longer functions as a good shock absorber. IVD disease usually means the nucleus pulposus pushes its way into the spinal canal and presses against the spinal cord causing compression.
When she first came for hydrotherapy Dotti was very ataxic (Poor coordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements) and weak in her back end. She had very reduced range of movement in her hind limbs; she was also more reduced in the flexion and extension of her left hind, showing that her left had been more effected by the compression. The hydrotherapists advised and intensive program of twice a week to help build her up. She also started an intensive course of K-laser therapy to help relieve pain and inflammation in her spine and hips.
By April we could reduce Dotti to once a week as her muscles had all increased and equalized. Her session now consisted of different intervals which included; Therabands and fore limb guiding, hind limb guiding, wobble cushion and stepping over Cavaletti poles. Dotti went from strength to strength and by July she was reduced to once every 10 days and her muscles in her hind limbs had increased further and so had her fore limb muscles. By August we could move her to fortnightly appointments.
Now Dotti is doing better than ever, she comes every 3 weeks and her quality of life at home is excellent. She loves to go out walking with her brother Sid and goes snooping about in the hedges for pheasants. Dotti is known for her beautiful singing when she has her hydrotherapy and she knows exactly how to win us all over to get us to give her treats. Her movement has improved lots and she is no longer ataxic. It has been a pleasure treating little Dotti this year and hopefully we can continue the great improvement further.
Date Left Fore Right Fore Left Hind Right Hind
6/01/17 29 31 42 43
25/04/17 30 30 44 44
7/07/17 32 32 45 45