Effective recovery from surgery and injury are essential to providing good quality of life for your pet for years into the future.

Failing to focus on this can result in chronic and worsening conditions that cause increased pain and reduced mobility, and more trips to the vet!
This includes “compensation”, a change in behaviour, such as walking gait, which may be an attempt to avoid pain but actually worsens the problem because it is an unnatural movement.

We strongly recommend taking a pro-active attitude to recovery, using our Rehabilitation Team to address issues early on and ensure a better prognosis for your loved one.

This can include laser treatment, acupuncture, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, which have hugely positive outcomes but which are also very calming for your pet and in many cases lots of fun.

Here’s how one of our customers has benefitted from rehabilitation.

A Bull Mastiff with cruciate ligament damage

Betty is the most gorgeous and gentle two-year-old Bull Mastiff who has recently had surgery on her knee after her cruciate ligament was damaged.

Her owner, Deborah, tells us the story:

“Just like most young and adolescent pups, Betty was very active and excitable with such a loving friendly nature. Fortunately, she showed no signs of any health issues prior to this. Betty was the youngest of three bull mastiffs that we had at the time, so I would take them all to a local secure dog field now and again to allow them all to have a little bit of freedom rather than having walks on a lead.

“Our last visit there was the middle of January, when Betty and Apollo went ahead in the field for a good snuffle about, while Neina who was nearly 10 walked slowly next to me. Knowing Neina couldn’t walk very far, I shouted for Betty and Apollo so we could head back to the car. I looked up to see Betty standing on three legs and she wouldn’t come back to me. I immediately called the vets for an appointment and on that initial visit they thought she had just pulled or twisted herself so gave us anti-inflammatories to take but advised if she was still not fully weight bearing after a few days to call back and organise having an x-ray taken.”

Bull mastiffs Apollo, Betty and Neina laid in front of the fire

Debbie went on: “The x-rays were done a few days later and unfortunately showed she had ruptured her cruciate ligament and would require TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgery to repair the damage. Surgery was completed just one week after the x-ray and I was advised that it had all gone well.

“As you can imagine, having a pack of three large bull mastiffs can be challenging at times but having to separate one of them was really difficult. Betty didn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to cuddle in with the other two or why she was only allowed out in the garden to go to the toilet then straight back to bed. We sadly lost Neina just three days after Betty had surgery so that also had a massive impact on Apollo and Betty. Betty was recovering really well and would try to do a little zoomie, even though she was on the lead. I think being quite young, having only just turned two, has helped her recovery but also caused us a few headaches as she was wanting to play, run and do things sooner than she was allowed.”

Betty has now had intense rehabilitation, including laser therapy for pain relief and to enhance wound repair, and physiotherapy for pain relief and to start strengthening her back legs and relieve pain in her muscles. Once she had gained enough strength and mobility through these treatments, we added to her treatment programme with hydrotherapy and she has now had her first underwater treadmill sessions.

Recovery from cruciate ligament surgery

Deborah continued: “We agreed to try the laser treatment to aid her recovery straight after her surgery and I believe it has helped her. We were also keen to try hydrotherapy again to help her build up her muscles.  We managed one session which was a success, then had to postpone her treatment for a few weeks due to her being in season. We have now resumed those sessions and Betty thoroughly enjoys them and I can see her improve each week.

“We are still only 10 weeks post-surgery but Betty is doing amazingly well, not quite back to full health yet but that doesn’t stop her being her usual mischievous self.  We’re still cautious about her jumping and running around too much but know she has to start doing things again. She’s now back cuddling and sharing a bed again with Apollo, so it’s nice to start getting my little pack bonding again.

“The team at Aldgate vets have all been so professional but have been very welcoming and supportive. They all love Betty and give her loads of attention which suits her down to the ground. She thinks she’s a princess and likes to be treated like one!”

Betty the bull mastiff having hydrotherapy

Our vet’s verdict 

Rayana, lead vet in our Rehabilitation Team, said: “The rehabilitation sessions are important to support and encourage her recovery and to prevent any issues as a result of compensation and improper muscle or joint use occurring.

“She’s made the most fantastic recovery! Betty loves her sessions and takes everything in her stride. Plus she has lots of fun and mental stimulation! We also love her big thank you kisses!”

If you would like to find out more about our rehabilitation services, visit the rehabilitation page or call us on 01262 677269.

Published On: April 21st, 2023 / Categories: Latest News /

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