Jake’s Story

Jake used love walks and be very joyful.

Sadly 2 years ago his owner, Sadie, noticed a change. Walks became less exciting and he became quieter, prompting a visit to see me.
During his assessment Jake showed discomfort in his back, groin, and especially his knee (stifle). He also couldn’t sit square. X-rays at his vet confirmed Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease , a common condition in dogs.
The CCL is a key ligament in the knee, vital for stability. When weakened or torn it causes pain and instability. This is a common cause of hind leg lameness in dogs impacting their mobility and quality of life.
* Reluctance to sit square
* Reluctance to exercise
* Difficulty getting up/down
* Stiffness
* Limping
* Muscle loss in the affected leg
* Pain when flexing the knee
If you notice these signs consult your vet.
Just like I’m helping Jake get back to his playful self! Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information @canine.pawsibilities

Onlinepethealth Mentorship Program

Beyond the joy of treating my amazing patients, my vision extends further: to support fellow colleagues and contribute to the growth of our industry. The journey of mentoring is a special one, a mix of nerves, challenges, and incredible rewards.

In 2023, I had the honour again of being part of the Onlinepethealth mentorship program. Today, I proudly share my 2023 Mentor Certificate, a symbol of the collective dedication to learning and supporting one another.

My heart is in promoting a supportive approach in our industry. Mentoring allows me to help colleagues develop their skills and confidence, indirectly contributing to the well-being of dogs far and wide.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition that starts as laxity within the hip joint in the young dog, and progresses to arthritis in the aging dog. It is a painful condition that can be effectively managed with a combination of strategies, including surgery, diet, weight management, hydrotherapy,
physical rehabilitation, and environmental management.

Have you heard of Vestibular Syndrome?

Tully’s Story told by his owner, Lyn Armour

On Saturday September 10th, one week after Tully had a ball at the Blair Atholl Beardie Bounce and one day before the Scottish Branch Open Show, I went to look for Tully in the garden. We were having boiled eggs and toast for breakfast and Tully likes toast, but very unusually, he wasn’t there. I followed an alarming trail of little pools of white froth and eventually found him, wedged in a corner by the shed, covered in drool and obviously in serious trouble.

When I tried to move him, it was clear that his body was rigid, legs splayed out on either side. I didn’t register the key points, which are a head tilt and something called nystagmus, the flickering of the eyes. I phoned the vet and was told to bring him in at once.

We are very lucky here, that our local vet, Thrums, has several practices in the area and provides its own emergency cover, with 24 hour care from their own staff.

Jeremy and I moved him the only way we could, we lifted him onto a blanket and carried him between us into the car. Poor boy, it must have felt awful, because we now know that when there is a vestibular disturbance, it makes you feel extremely giddy and travel sick. We left him at the vet, where they put him on a drip to rehydrate him and also gave something for the giddiness.

The following morning, I had promised to steward at the Club show, so I headed off to Alva with my fingers crossed. It was the day Queen Elizabeth’s funeral cortege was travelling through Scotland, so some roads were closed. I got there, but a very short time later, the emergency vet phoned and told me that he thought Tully’s condition was deteriorating. He thought we should be prepared to let him go.

Liz Gault very kindly agreed to take over stewarding, and I headed home to pick up Jeremy and go to the vet surgery. When we got there, Tully was lying propped on his elbows in a kennel, looking quite normal, so we turned to the vet for his explanation.

Apparently, there are two types of nystagmus, horizontal (sometimes almost circular) and vertical. The two types indicate which part of the brain is affected. Horizontal is normally peripheral brain, vertical is central brain, much more dangerous. The vet thought he had seen the vertical type, although he wasn’t absolutely certain that it wasn’t circular. But his main concern was that, even though Tully was no longer drooling, no longer had the nystagmus and not even much of a head tilt, he was still unable to move. His legs were still splayed and not responding to contact with the ground.

The vet was very concerned that either the central brain or the spinal column was involved. He advised us that we were unlikely to see much more improvement if that was the case and that, if there was no further improvement within 24 hours, we should ‘consider his welfare’. We all know what that little phrase means!

So we took Tully home, still with the line attached to his right wrist, ready to be pts if necessary on the following day. Here’s when the everyday miracle happened!

Because I had left the show to go to Tully, several people got in touch to ask how things were. When I told them, I was advised to contact Shelagh Walker (Douglasdale), as one of her dogs had suffered this during lockdown. I messaged Shelagh and sat by the phone, postponing that fateful call to the vet as long as I possibly could. And then the phone rang and it was Shelagh.

I’m still in tears remembering that call. Shelagh told me the story of her own Hayley, then fifteen years old, but thirteen when she had her episode. She told me, so calmly, to “just give him time”. She also put me in touch with a Facebook group, which has been wonderful.

So we were able, with greater understanding of the different ways this syndrome can present and be interpreted, to give Tully the time he needed to make a recovery. We got hold of a LiftEmUp harness, which let me get him outside to toilet. We made him bone broth, which he lapped up, when he was still unwilling to eat.

By Wednesday, he was able to lift a leg to wee. On Thursday, we took him up to Stonehaven to meet Agnes Campan of Canine Pawsibilities. Her physio and massage techniques were mind-blowing! Within the space of that hour, and with the help of a packet of Co-op cocktail sausages, Tully went from taking a few wobbly steps, to managing circles in both directions, to coping with a couple of cavaletti within a large figure of 8. Even to doing some straight trotting with a blindfold! Agnes has studied the condition with specialists in Europe and her treatment left me stunned and eternally grateful.

From that day on, Tully has gone from strength to strength. There may be some underlying condition, after all he is thirteen and a half; but he is a happy boy, enjoying life to the full and we treasure each day. He’s on his third life now and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Winston finds his Forever home

Winston is also one of my regular physiotherapy patients, you can read part of his story in the post below. Winston may not have had a nice start of life, but he won an amazing lottery ticket the day he met Andrea Clarke who has fostered him since he was 5 months old. So Congratulations to Andrea for adopting Winston, I never doubted that this would happen.


Information about Elbow Displasia

A little bit of interesting information about elbow dysplasia. This is a condition that I commonly see in my patients. Recognising the signs early can help slow down the degenerative process.

Literally an ‘Epic’ Physiotherapy Session

Epic came to see me yesterday for her regular physiotherapy assessment and maintenance session. She is such a sweet little girl who loves keeping contact at all time during her treatments. She literally makes my heart melt with her constant hugs and angel eyes!

Let the adventures begin

I would like to say good luck to Cookie who can finally run free after a year and a half of physiotherapy sessions to help her recover from some orthopaedic conditions.
I will be waiting for the photos of you conquering all the Munros that you were unable to discover before.
On one hand I am so happy to see you leaving the physio room, happy with your four legs fully functioning and ready for the next challenge, but a small part of me is sad that I might never see you again. I could not be a canine physiotherapist without getting attached to my patients, there is such a special bond you create when you treat them.

Dexter – A Physiotherapy success story.

It’s always a great feeling when I watch one of my little patients leaving my physio room to go to start a new adventure, but it is also a sad feeling as I would not be able to do this job without getting attached to them.

Dexter has been a very special little patient. He came to see me having been fully paralysed with a rare condition called polyradiculoneuritis. With this condition the immune system attacks the central nervous system, primarily resulting in inflammation of the nerves that control the legs. After many weeks of intense therapy, Dexter happily trotted away from our last physiotherapy session.

Thank you so much Vanessa Henderson for trusting me and for the lovely gift and card!


Typical Rehabilitation Times for Soft Tissue Injuries

Typical rehabilitation times for soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries are quite common in dogs and I am often asked how long it will take for the injury to heal.

Some dogs may recover quicker than others, however, in a nutshell, the type of tissue injury and its severity will impact the time required for the tissue to heal.

Patience and compliance to a rehabilitation program is key to a successful recovery.

If you dog has been diagnosed with such an injury, I hope that this brief summary of the average time you may expect for a soft tissue injury to heal will help you to manage your expectations.