Mobilising Monty

Meet Monty

Monty – a 10 year old Labrador who was diagnosed with ED in 2016, and has suffered with arthritis as a result of this. When he arrived for his first session with us in January, his owners had said he had lost muscle mass, he was stiff, could only manage short walks, and was just generally looking uncomfortable. 

We measured all of his limbs on his first session – and again at his tenth session. After 10 sessions of hydrotherapy, his muscle mass had increased by approximately 3cm on each limb. 

We noted that he was stiff bilaterally in his hind limbs and didn’t achieve full extension. He was also showing poor flexion in his front limbs and had reduced protraction. 

During his first set of 10 sessions, we worked mostly on straight laps up and down our pool, turning left and right evenly to gently increase his cardiovascular fitness and increase muscle tone evenly. 

After that we incorporated large circles, then smaller circles and figures of 8. 

We have noted now that he has a full range of movement from his hind limbs, his front limbs still present short at protraction at the start of sessions, but improve quickly. His overall movement has become much more fluid. 

His owner has commented that he is more ‘puppy like’ now, and can do longer walks with no issues after, and even tries to jump in and out of the car (which is discouraged!). 

During his sessions we monitor his joints to feel for crepitus and see if it is better/worse than the previous session. We work with his limbs to encourage better movement if needed or reduce any adduction/abduction etc. 

Monty is very eager to swim and will happily follow toys – for this reason, we felt only 1 therapist would be needed in his sessions, but as you will see, we are in constant contact with our dogs!