Finn – Assistance Dog with Spinal Arthritis and Muscle Atrophy
Finn is our September 2016 Pet of the Month. He is an 11 year old, Labrador Retriever, who has been an assistance dog for his entire life. He came to us for rehabilitation therapy options related to some neck and back pain and slowing down overall, which was making it more difficult to do his job. Finn regularly opens doors for his dad using a door pull and retrieves objects as needed and his neck pain was really interfering and making that uncomfortable. Additionally, he was having difficulty on slippery surfaces like tile floors, couldn’t go for long walks and wasn’t able to sit for very long before needing to lay down.
On physical examination, Finn was found to have moderate myofascial back pain and restrictions to spinal movement. His thigh muscles were atrophied, but his joints only had minor arthritis which was good. Our rehabilitation therapy plan was focused around strengthening his core muscles and improving spinal flexibility along with strengthening his rear limb muscles too.
Since Finn was used to working, he quickly became a pro at his rehabilitation exercises and his family could practice them throughout the day with him. He gained muscle mass in both rear limbs and was more comfortable doing his daily tasks too. We are all proud of Team Finn as they continue their home exercise program with periodic visits here at the office for monitoring and new exercises along the way.