Meet Lord Nelson
No…not that one. That one is in Trafalgar Square. This one is a Sam and Sarah lookey likey living in Hove. He is a stunningly regal Welsh Springer Spaniel (like the Mum of ours hence him being a bit stockier than a Springer) who is now 8 years old. He has a brother, called Mr Darcy who is more of a Springer Spaniel in looks and behaviour. And yes, I fell in love with them both instantly.
Lord Nelson was rescued a year ago to be a companion for his also rescued brother Mr Darcy. Lord Nelson was rehomed from Spaniel Aid after his previous owner could no longer keep him. It’s likely he had been crated or kept in a single room for a while before he was rehomed. His new Dads said he did not seem to know how to walk when outside. His legs were like jelly and soft. He was also quite heavy at 32 kg, although he has now slimmed down to 25 kg.
When he was first taken to their groomer, Caroline Still who is also a TTouch practitioner, she said his spine just didn’t look right, almost curved. He was then taken to their vets who performed manipulations but decided against an X-Ray or further intervention as they could not find anything untoward.
He sleeps hunched up and still struggles to move first thing in the morning when his back half looks curved and his tail comes in. After a while though, he straightens out. “It is like he needs a warm up” his Dad said. He also hesitates sometimes when climbing on a sofa. He puts his fronts legs up first, stops and thinks then clambers up with his rear legs. And when walking he often bunny hops rather than the traditional one leg, next, leg, other leg etc gait of a dog.
Exercise-wise, he has a lot. At least 4 times a week he and his brother go on 2 to 3 hour walks over the fields and Downs where he can now keep up with his brother.
But his hunched back and stiffness was concerning his Dads and, after getting the appropriate vet consent, I was invited over to meet the family.
On initial palpation it was clear to feel that his back was certainly tighter and stiffer from half way down to two thirds – just where his hunch was. He had probably developed this as a chronic issue from the time he had been kept confined without a lot of exercise. But the good news was that shoulder and thigh muscles felt splendid, just the way they should in an 8 year old.
Hopefully, easing out his stiff back should restore his balance and gait.
He had lots and lots of myofascial release massage over his back to stretch him out as well as a series of Canine Pilates exercises with the same effect.
He responded so well to everything, sighing, yawning and with a very dribbly nose as his body eliminated the built up waste.
His Dads were left fully armed with a massage routine, warm-up Locomotion routine, cool-down and exercises to perform on him daily with a repeat visit from me in a few weeks to monitor the improvement. That was a good Saturday morning.