...don't just wait until they are senior or suffer from arthritis. You can help manage and maintain their mobility at an early age.
We love working with our senior boys and girls but equally enjoy working with the newbies. Frank is only 10 months old but had already had 4 homes. His current carers adopted him 5 months ago. Not surprisingly he was initially not happy with other dogs as he had missed out on much puppy socialization.
He is now a lot better and goes to Debbie Peters of Schooling 4 Dogs to help catch-up with his training. Recently she noticed his back seemed a bit stiff and sent a video to our colleague Cathie Forbes who, in turn, referred him to us as we are more local.
By the way, 10/10 to Debbie for taking the video. It helped us see what
she meant. Videos are great. They help you explain your concerns to
your therapist or vet and they give you comparators for monitoring
progress or change. My phone is full of videos of our Sarah walking
which I can show to her specialist vet to explain what I see every day -
we only see him twice a year and this way he can monitor her progress.
Frank is a Chihuahua/Jack Russell cross and as cute as a button. Chris was able to visit quite quickly after we received the vet agreement form (another benefit of having two therapists in the team).
There didn’t seem to be any specifically out-of-balance issue with Frank on initial palpation although he did have a trigger point found in his shoulder. Despite being energetic and bouncy, Chris was able to perform a full massage routine on him which released a lot of fur and tension and created a lot of yawns.
One of the things both Chris and his owners noticed was that, when walking on the massage mat, he held his back relaxed. On the floor, however, he hunched slightly. He also learnt that he could use the cushion to jump on the sofa and then our massage mat to get back down again rather than the wooden floor. Runners, mobility islands and mats will be re-instated.
Chris demonstrated some back-stretching exercises and our special quick-but-efficient warm-up/cool-down Locomotion. Although no specific issues were found, Chris recommended that if the stiffness continues or they are worried, the vet should be the next port of call.
By maintaining his balance, as Frank matures this should help him avoid having issues. This is what Cathie and I will be discussing in our winter workshops on ““Supporting your dog to reach their full potential through every stage of their life”. Give me a call if you’d like to come along.