Hello and welcome to Beau.
This total sweetheart has been through the mill and back. Luckily she has some gold star parents. I am so proud to be lucky enough to work with so many amazing animal parents!
This mum and dad got thier 2 labradors as puppies and thought they were starting out thier happy family. But at 4 months old it became apparent that BOTH dogs were suffering lameness. On investigation at Fitzpatrick referrals it was evident they both had very serious hip and elbow dysplasia in both sides. They were told that they needed operations on both hips and elbows, otherwise euthinasia would be the kindest option. As the dogs were so young, all the surgeries were done over the space of 1 year. So thier amazing parents had a tough year of rehabillitation and the dogs had a tough year of recovery, but they did it.
It was a great success and they recovered fully and led amazing lives running freely.
However Beau has since developed further complications and has possibly become my toughest case to rehabillite yet. 1 year ago she started licking her front paw. It didnt respond to the usual treatments and got very sore and swollen. So she was referred to a dermatologist. Skin can take ages to respond to treatment so this was not a fast process. The skin responded and improved but she was still lame. So she was referred to an orthopeadic specialist who did a CT scan and found a dislocated toe. The sore and infected skin conplicated the procedure and treatment options so she was sent to another orthopeadic specialist who decided the best option, due to the work that has been done on the elbows, was to pin the digit. This went well aside from a few post surgery complications. But she was still licking the paw.
So as a physio case I have to: rehabilitate the dislocated toe; take care as the skin is highly inflammed and mildly infected; strengthen the interphalangeal ligamnets which have weakened due to lack of weightbearing in the lame period; take care to be mindful of the over worked elbows which had prior surgery and are now arthritic; rebuild muscle; rebuild limb confidence; allow enough excercise for mental stimulation whilst not too much to further damage the paw.
The case is further complicated by the fact that I can't use electrotherapies as many of these rely on encouraging the inflamatory responce, and its so over inflammed. I cant use ones that are contra indicated in presence of infection, and touching the paw is also irritating.
But I have set a plan of excercise little and often, ice packs after each walk, passive range of movement on the elbows to improve and maintain elbow health. I am working closly with the vets for an ideal outcome and we are talking frequently.
I have my next plan which will include introducing intrasound, which should increase the interdigital ligament strength without encouraging inflammation. I will also start some weightshift work to encourage limb use and strength and confidence. Weightbearing is very important.
This is a really interesting case. Its great to see so many veterinary professionals working together closly with the owner for the best outcome.
Beau remains incredibly happy throughout this whole thing and mum and dad remain so incredibly dedicated. Gold star parents!
Keep up the good work family Beau! We'll have you feeling better soon!