Jersey’s Case Report – Chronic L Forelimb Lameness

Completed by Ashley Fijal

Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Class of 2015

  1. Patient Name: Jersey
  2. Signalment: 7 year old, Female Spayed, Golden Retriever
  3. Clinical Problems:
    • Chronic left forelimb lameness with head bob
    • Evidence of degenerative joint disease in multiple joints (both carpal joints, left elbow, right shoulder, left hock, and both stifles)
    • Mild myofascial back pain in thoracic area (T4-T12)
    • Overweight
  4. Rehabilitation Goals:
    • Relieve discomfort
    • Strengthen core, shoulder, and thigh muscles
    • Promote weight loss
    • Decrease myofascial back pain
  5. Modalities used in rehabilitation program:
    • Therapeutic exercises:
      • Figure 8’s
      • Low cavalettis
      • Uneven surfaces to walk over
      • “Rocky road” which involves animal standing on disc with forelimbs and compressed foam pads for the hind limbs with weight shifting
      • Large wobble disc to promote balance and building key leg muscles
    • Land treadmill: 1.2 mph for 3 minutes
    • Underwater treadmill: Water at level of shoulders to decrease impact on joints. 0.7 mph for 1.5 minutes and 0.8 mph for 10.5 minutes.
    • Laser therapy: Class IV laser therapy (both carpal joints, left elbow and shoulder, stifles, and cervical spine) helps to reduce inflammation, enhance blood flow, and heal tissues
    • Therapeutic massage
    • Acupuncture
    • Homework exercises:
      • Cookie side bends (20 repetitions 2-3 times daily)
      • Cookie stretches (20 repetitions 2-3 times daily)
      • Paw shake (40 repetitions 2-3 times daily)
      • Cavalettis: Increase leg lift, thigh strength, and body awareness
        • Walk slowly over 2 items approximately 4 inches off ground placed 3 feet apart (10 repetitions 2-3 times daily)
      • Uneven surfaces: Create a 6 foot row of uneven surfaces (5-10 passes 2-3 times daily)
      • Frequent slow leash walks (2-3 times daily)
  6. Assessment:
    • Doing well at home with no limping
      • Stairs once daily
      • Treadmill at home at 1.4 mph twice daily
    • Clinical signs improved from first appointment on 10-31-13 when there was limping consistently with head bob
    • No head bob or limping observed on 1-15-14
    • No obvious muscle trigger points and minimal myofascial pain noted on 1-15-14
    • Continuing with weight loss efforts in reducing amount of food given at home

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