Meet Pip, a six-year-old Miniature Daschund, who was referred to Willows in June having developing debilitating neck pain. Pip, who is normally a cheeky and energetic dog, was unable to move her head and neck without experiencing discomfort. Pip underwent a full examination with Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon Stephen Clarke and following an MRI scan it was revealed that she had herniated a disc in her neck. It was decided that surgery was not the best option for Pip and so her recovery would be centred on rest and rehabilitation.
Pip was transferred into the care of Veterinary Physiotherapist Emma Box, who assessed the impact of Pip’s condition on her musculoskeletal system and overall mobility. It was quickly identified that, like most Daschunds she loved to flap her ears. However, Pip had stopped flapping her ears since her neck pain started, and so Emma was able to use this as a progress indicator. Pip was prescribed ‘Doggy Pilates’ exercises, to improve the movement in her neck, core stability and balance. Pip took to these exercises very quickly, with a little persuasion from some cheese slices! Gradually, these exercises increased in difficulty, and Pip regained the ability to support herself through more complex movements (including ear flapping!).
Although Pip was becoming stronger, ten weeks into her recovery she had a short episode of mild neck pain. To establish a long-term pain management programme, Pip was referred to our Chronic Pain Clinic under the care of Jacques Ferreira RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. As Pip had a low risk of suffering from painful episodes for the remainder of her life it was decided that she would have cautious, regular administration of a lose dose pain killer. This treatment will help to improve her quality of life while preventing any unwanted side effects commonly associated with these pain killers.
After four long months of commitment from Pip’s owners, we are thrilled to share that she has made a full recovery. As a team, we are all so pleased to see Pip transform back into a happy and healthy dog who enjoys chasing chickens and flapping her ears again. Pip has even used her new-found core strength to try paddle boarding whilst on holiday!
Well done Pip!
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