The Story of Zorro

Zorro appears to be normal young Shih Tzu except that after a long rest, he would sometimes wake with an occasional limp. Owner also noticed that despite being a young playful dog, Zorro never once did jump onto any higher ground such as sofa, beds and cars since young. During hisOrthopedic and Neurological assessment with RA, pain and discomfort was noticed in his right hip extension with crepitus (crackling) in both hips. Subsequent vet diagnosis and x rays confirmed that Zorro suffers from congenital dissimilarity sacroiliac space of right and left pelvis. In simple terms, it means his right hip is wider than his left. Over time, this causes discomfort, weight shifting in reaction to hip pain, and increased chances of dislocation (Sacroiliac Luxation ) in event of any falls or jumps.

Therapy Conducted

The rehabilitation programme was planned to address Zorro’s discomfort and strengthen his hip and leg muscles. As such, LLLT (Low Level Light Therapy) was administered to repair joint cartilages, reduce any possible inflammation and pain. This is followed by NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation) which allows us to rebuild his muscle without any further damages to his joints. The NMES sends very mild electrical pulse to Zorro’s muscle, allowing them to contract and exercising them even while Zorro is at rest. Once his pain and discomfort were visibly reduced, he was introduced to pool hydrotherapy with his hips and entire spinal areasupported and kept straightenedby the therapist. With this, Zorro learnt to use only his limps in water and slowly gain muscle strength. We also were able to correct his gait movement in water.

A more balanced diet to manage Zorro’s weight was also recommended. Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, UC II, Omega 3 and Vitamin E was also suggested for Zorro to minimize the possibility of any form of inflammation that can cause further pain and orthopedic conditions in the future.

Outcome of Therapy

Michelle noticed that Zorro is able to now leap on and off the family sofa, car and bed without any difficulty. Zorro has not been limping since he started on rehabilitation and Michelle very is happy she took early intervention to prevent his congenital condition from deteriorating.Zorro’s case reminds us that dogs are very capable of adapting e.g. through weight shifting and that is very important to look into any signs that our animals may be showing as hints of the medical problems they may be facing.

Dr. Sara Lam

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