How rehabilitation and physiotherapy is used in dogs who have had Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease
Here is Issy one of our patients using the land treadmill as part of her rehabilitation. Issy had Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease which meant that she had to have the ball of her left hip removed. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease mainly affects small breed dogs and occurs due to disruption of the blood supply to the ball of the hip. The bone then dies off and the ball of the hip needs to be surgically removed and either a hip replacement is performed or it is left to form a pseudoarthrosis (false joint) and muscle then stabilises the limb. It is really important to start rehabilitation straight after surgery to make sure that scar tissue does not prevent normal movement of the limb especially hindlimb extension.
Issy has a set of exercises at home to strengthen her hindlimbs and to ensure that she keeps as much movement in her operated back leg as possible. The land treadmill helps to encourage her to stretch out her hindlimbs further than if she was just walking along due to the moving belt. We have added a little more challenge by using the Fitpaws bone to strengthen her forelimb, back and tummy muscles at the same time and put more weight onto her hindlimbs…though I think Issy is more focused on giving her tongue and tastebuds a workout!!!