Eddie’s Long Joint Journey

Gorgeous Eddie, a one-year-old Labrador puppy, was referred to our Physiotherapy team in Hampshire by his local vet following a diagnosis of hip dysplasia affecting both of his pelvic limbs.

When he first came to us at Anderson Moores in October of last year, Eddie was only able to exercise for five-minute walks every other day; his owners reported that he was easily fatigued and seemed to struggle to get comfortable when lying down.

Eddie had an assessment with Laura Allmark, our Head of Physiotherapy, and she found that he had a significantly restricted range of motion through his right hip and, as a result, showed typical compensatory postural adaptations meaning the dysfunction in his pelvic limbs affected his whole body.

Laura initially treated Eddie with laser therapy to help with pain relief and reduce his joint inflammation, and she devised a home rehabilitation programme initially focusing on increasing loading through the pelvic limbs and improving the activation of the muscles supporting the hip joint. The ongoing plan was to see Eddie every 1-2 weeks for a session where he would be reassessed, treated and his rehabilitation reviewed depending on how he was progressing.

Following a month of rehabilitation, Eddie was able to walk on the lead for 20 minutes twice a day, and his owners felt that he now seemed keen to exercise and was less tired. Both Eddie and his owners had coped well with the rehabilitation programme and the progression of the exercises over four weeks. Eddie now had full range of motion through both hips and only showed mild discomfort at the end-range extension of his right hip joint. Consequently, the postural adaptations Eddie had adopted in response to the dysfunction in his hips had improved considerably, and his whole body was significantly more comfortable.

At this time Laura felt that Eddie was comfortable and strong enough to start some hydrotherapy to start work on an underwater treadmill.

Over the following three months, Eddie continued his rehabilitation with Laura in conjunction with his hydrotherapy. By February this year Eddie was able to comfortably exercise for up to 50 minutes including some off-lead exercise. He had progressed from the underwater treadmill to pool-based hydrotherapy as well!

Eddie’s owners were so pleased with how far he had come over five months and his improvement over that time is a credit to them and their commitment to his rehabilitation.

Hip dysplasia is a condition that will need careful management in the long term and alongside physiotherapy the aim will be to prevent or delay more invasive surgical procedures.

With these regular reassessments of Eddie with us at Anderson Moores we can ensure that any changes in how his body is adapting/coping with his hip dysplasia will be identified earlier and changes in his management can be made promptly to ensure his continued quality of life.

His owner said “As owners of a puppy, it was heartbreaking for us to watch Eddie in so much pain and be unable to have the puppy experiences we all take for granted. Eddie’s prognosis was surgery at 10 months, which was inconceivable to us and something we wanted to avoid if we could. 

We took Eddie to visit Laura knowing that we had to receive guidance and training as much as Eddie did in order to try and avoid surgical procedures. We didn’t know what to expect having never been in the situation of our pets requiring animal physiotherapy before, however, we received a very warm welcome from the team and Laura set us at ease from the moment we arrived! Laura has explained everything to us in detail and been phenomenal in supporting us to give Eddie the quality of life we had only dreamed of! 

Eddie has grown into a beautiful adolescent Labrador who is loving life! Although we have made sacrifices and adjustments to incorporate Eddie’s ongoing treatment and exercise commitments, we have received so much love and support from Laura and the team, that without them, we would have had no option but to follow the major surgical route. Laura’s commitment to us as a family has been overwhelming! Laura has supported us not only in her expert guidance but also helped Eddie to overcome his anxiety of visiting medical centres. Eddie has grown in confidence and gets excited to come into the practice just to visit with Laura; the showering of cuddles and kissing from Eddie to Laura tells the story in itself!

We will always be on this journey with Eddie, his treatment is ongoing, but we take a great deal of comfort in knowing that we will always have Laura and the team’s support to guide us and put the best care possible in place for our much loved pampered fur baby.