Thursday, 6 August 2020

Canine Osteopathy



Our Sam and Sarah have been prime examples of the benefits of the multi-modal approach to treatment plans since they were first diagnosed with arthritis. They were the reason I started AchyPaw and then Chris qualified too. I’ve always referred to this as a jigsaw with bits being added to strengthen the whole picture. But this is a jigsaw with many interlocking pieces which can change.

As well as conventional medication and massage from us, Sarah has acupuncture from Eili (which works on energy levels as well as pain relief), hydrotherapy with Abi (for cardiovascular work and joint mobilisation) and osteopathy with Mandy Fischer, Canine Osteopath at
 Cliffe Osteopaths Lewes.   Osteopathy in dogs and people, can be effective in the treatment of a range of musculoskeletal conditions. With our Sarah it is a vital piece of her therapeutic jigsaw. She comes out from the session smoother.



Recently, Mr Sam has started to show signs of arthritic flare-ups in his left shoulder and also his hips. So far, he has just been on medication and massage. But now we have started to add him to Sarah’s existing regime.


He’s always adored his massage sessions – naturally. Now he has found that Aculaser time is falling asleep time.



When Mandy re-opened her services for dogs, we managed to swap one of Sarah’s sessions for Sam as soon as we obtained vet approval. His first session made noticeable differences to his gait almost immediately. On his second session, he already behaved like an ace. Just lay there with a daft grin letting Mandy ease out his mobility issues. On the way back, we stopped off for their lunchtime walk and he had his swagger back. He even attempted a run.

Such a joy to see how all these treatments work together to help and benefit the whole body.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

"Learning to walk again"

Hudson is an 8 and a half to 9 year old amazing soulful Bernese Mountain Dog rescued when he was a puppy as he grew too big. What his previous owners missed out on was that as he grew, so did his heart. 

This mountain of a boy was so so trusting during his first ever physical therapy session and oh so receptive. And when his eyes looked at me, they looked into me. 

He has 3 swollen vertebrae which cause him to be sore. The other week his tail was also down and he knuckled a little. Time for some massage help. 



He greeted me at the bottom of the back garden and guided me up to the patch of grass where we were to work in the shade. And there he sat for me. Magnificent back facing me waiting for the session to start. 

He generated a lot of heat on initial palpation which indicated tight fascia. Understandably so, as he had been holding himself scrunched up during this soreness flare-up. 

He was open to all massage techniques, enthusiastically with front end work. Imagine holding up that magnificent head all day – neck and shoulder muscles working overtime. Good place to start and build up the trust between us – not that he really needed that, he’d already decided I was welcome. 

He allowed gentle work on his tight back muscles, falling asleep when I placed the PEMF mat on him while also giving him Red Light therapy. Compound therapy. 

We ran though a series of stretching exercises for him – which woke him up for a short while before he flopped himself back on the ground to sleep while his Mum and I worked out a maintenance plan for him. 

On the second visit his Mum said that the day after, “it was as though he was learning to walk again” which is the best description I have ever heard of the untangling of fascial tension. His coat suddenly started to fit and months of holding himself tight due to the sticky fascia was suddenly freed. He found that he could start to walk with his head and back taller again. 

Hudson will be starting a regular therapy schedule with me to continue the work on his back soreness and help him further with his relearning how to walk, while I get more of his heart therapy Seems a good deal to me.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

"There...right there"

Vet Eili Dettmering has been visiting our Sarah for the past couple of years to give her Aculaser therapy for her arthritis and other issues. 

Recently, the arthritis in Mr Sam’s left shoulder has started to cause a few dips in the morning so she has been started therapy with him. Naturally, this put Sarah’s nose right out of joint as she believed that Auntie Eili was hers and not to be shared. Meanwhile Sam thinks these are the best Friday evening presents he’s ever had…Auntie Eili, therapy AND treats. 

But an even bigger way to put both noses out of joint, is for their Auntie Eili to then bring in her own two dogs for Dads to work with. Oh-so much whining noises for an hour. Sam and Sarah were not going to let us forget they were there first and were not to be ignored. 

We’ve been seeing Benny and Louie every now and again to help with their own issues. Their Mum first described Benny as ‘fast and bendy’ – he needs less work than his brother. Louie is the agility boy and is far more suspicious at first. He’d recently tightened up in his front muscles and mid back which needed some manual therapy to ease them. 

The best way to work with Louie is to not work on the issue straight away – that works with his anxiety. His mid back was quite reactive at first. But by concentrating on his shoulders and neck, the fascia started to relax and stretch, allowing me to start gentle work on his stiff back. Fascial work is quite amazing – you can work on one part of the body, but see another part visibly start to ease. Which is what Louie’s back did. 

You can clearly see the progression in these photos. The first was Louie going “Ok…..not sure but keep going”. The second was more “Ah…the neck is easing so I can relax”. The third was “THAT’S the spot…thank you”.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Best Feedback


Bobi and Pixie have a lovely sunny garden which is ideal for safe working. The dogs get their massage and heat therapy which is a double bonus. 

Both love their sessions enthusiastically – sometimes over keen. One minute Pixie can be purring contentedly in my arms and the next she is off racing round the garden showing her new flexibility. 

But she comes back. Equally Bobi can be lying on the ground smiling his oh-so handsome goofy smile and then he’s off in a wrigglefest. But the end result is always the same – two sparko dogs relaxed for the remainder of the day as in these pictures. 
 
We really can’t ask for better feedback.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Keeping up the good work

I hadn’t seen Rosie since last October but when her Mum saw that I had restarted work safely, she contacted me for a visit. 

She is nearly 14 and received lots of good wishes and new fans when I first visited her and posted her story.

Since then, her family have been working with her daily which has transformed her myofascial twitches (there are none now) and increased her Massage Diva-ness (she complains when Mum stops) 

Her Mum said she has started to stumble sometimes when her rear legs cross. Ah….we know all about that with our Sarah. We call it Twizzling where she seems to turn round too fast and her feet stay in the same place – crossed. Sometimes she can pick herself up, but sometimes a Twizzle results in a bump and a need to be helped back up. 

Also, like our Sarah, Rosie is starting to struggle a little getting up and down. Certainly, time for a massage check-up and see if we can add new techniques to help her further. 

We started our session in the back garden, in the sun. Warmth and massage – great combination. But the sun was rather too hot and Rosie decided to aim toward the back door to get back to the coolness of the indoors. Which is where we went. The dog directing the therapy session again. 

She is still a lot softer and looser than the first visit but her rear end needed some extra help with gentle pumping massage to help nourish the muscles. There was also a spot in her back which caused her to reach round to me with a huge grin and a “Ah…..there…just there Uncle Les” expression. 

The second half of the therapy session took place on Rosie’s sofa – which used to be Mum’s sofa until Rosie claimed it. There is now a Rosie indentation in her favourite spot. She uses her front end muscles a lot more which needed some classic deep tissue work. 

After the Bi-Location therapy session, she could barely keep her eyes open at the end. 

Hopefully, when the world settles down, we can get Rosie to hydrotherapy to help support and target the rear end muscles without having to use them to hold up her body. Until then, I know she is in good hands with her Mum. 




Monday, 6 July 2020

PaawHouse magazine were looking for stories where the owner had been inspired by their dog. 

Hmm...sounded just like our Sarah. Can’t get more inspiring than helping your Dad totally change career. 

I put the writing hat on again and her story has just been published.

Sarah's Story

#prouddad

Multimodal therapy in one session

Rescue girl Bambi had developed a limp from her right rear leg which has been slow to respond to rest or medications. 

Bambi was lying on the mat with the PEMF mat below and started her therapy session laying there while also receiving Red Light Phototherapy. That’s 2 therapies. 

Bambi then had the smaller PEMF mat directly on her rear leg while I gave her some massage. Therapies = 3 

Chris then took over with Bambi and gave her some Trigger Point therapy and stretching. Therapies up to 4. 

At the end she did not want to leave the treatment room. Relaxation = therapy 5. 

Multimodal in one session. 

#result