Animal Osteopathy Course – the days are all mixing together

We spent the morning at a local farm with horses before heading back to the riding school for some dog time. A local farmer bought in about 10 working farm dogs, some of which had been in a car accident a week prior. Another dog had broken its back a few years ago and a young pup had shoulder dysplasia.

Stuart gave a couple of demo treatments, one on the dog who had been hurt in the car accident. The dog was able to walk ok but he hadn’t lifted his tail since the accident. It was starting to improve but the owner thought we may be able to help.

The dog was very tight through his entire R hind quarter. He had increased tone through his psoas (right leg would not extend backwards as well as the left) and diaphragm, he was tight though his right sacrotuberous ligament (by his tail) and he wasn’t moving as well into left side bending through his mid back. Stuart articulated the tight joints and used inhibition (a form of soft tissue) to release the psoas, diaphragm, and sacrotuberous ligament. The dog moved more freely through his backend afterwards but his tail was still down, maybe not quite as much.

The doggo with the healed broken back felt stiff through her back. Kind of like an old person feels stiff if they have arthritis. In these situations while we can’t fix the damage, we can get the areas around the healed fracture to move better and more evenly on both sides. This dog was still working but a little slower so hopefully treatment will help her to bound up the hills on the farm.

Roxy was a 16month old pup that will work all day but then pulls up lame in the evening. She had some X-rays which demonstrated left shoulder dysplasia. On assessment her scapula (shoulder blade) didn’t move as freely as the right. We worked on trying to improve the movement, as well as improving the side bending through her mid back. Fingers crossed treatment will help as if once she’s finished growing she continues to get the lameness she will not be able to continue as a working farm dog. She was such a sweetie and I’m hoping by freeing her shoulder bade it will take some of the stress off the shoulder.

Today was awesome and I’m really enjoying working with the dogs. I’ve been thinking about how best to set myself up so I don’t break myself, and have been quizzing Stuart on how he works to take some of the stress off his body. Working with dogs on the floor is such hard work on my back and hips but I’ve got some ideas.


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