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 Neurologically impaired

Dogs may lack sensation, muscle control, balance or reflexes. Ongoing neurological assessment is important - is the condition progressing or recovering? Animal Physios  perform neurological assessments to ascertain the dog's neurological state and closely monitor that state for changes, especially related to treatments.

The primary Physio aim is to improve function. The dog's ability to get about comfortably and safely, preferably on four feet, is our number one functional goal. But monitoring toiletting, eating, sleeping, playing and mental states are also important. And these are all inter-twined.

 Dogs can lose Proprioceptive awareness (or where their foot/body is in space) and in this picture this dog is 'knuckling' his foot because he doesn't know where it is. He has diminished Conscious Proprioception.



Physio for this dog involved electrical stimulation, neurological Physio techniques to improve sensory awareness, assisted active strengthening and gait re-education and splinting to protect the foot, until nerve recovery was complete.

Thankfully this dog's owner carried out a diligent home Physio program and he made a great recovery.

It may be that the dog with neurological impairment has an ongoing problem, but Physio can help make his life easier.
If it's a dog that is going to live with permanent paraplegia, a wheelchair can be prescribed.

A German Shepherd with Degenerative Myelopathy may benefit from Physio that will make its' life more comfortable. Because Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressively deteriorating disease, it doesn't mean that there is nothing that can be done to help in the meanwhile. Maximally utilising the motor power that these dogs have left, helps them to function better. Physios are ideally placed to help the owner achieve this. Physio can also help the owners with ergonomic advice re managing a large dog with a disability.

Dogs with FCE, spinal impingement, peripheral nerve damage, neuropathy, myopathy or stroke can all benefit from Physio. Our aim is to maximise  the dog's function in these cases, but we also recognize owners' needs and work with respect for their limitations.