Spider - Akita

Spider is a 2 ½ yr old AKITA male who is a very successful show dog.

In Dec 2011 Spider underwent knee surgery in his right hind leg to correct a slipping patella. Spider's owners were aware of the rehabilitation time required to ensure the joint completely healed before Spider was able to continue performing. I designed a rehabilitation program for Spider that commenced 3 weeks after surgery. Gentle massage was applied over the suture line to assist with reducing fluid build up and to prevent scar tissue forming, which would restrict muscle function.

Once Spider was able to fully bear weight on the leg, passive joint movements were introduced to assist with ligament strength and short, controlled walks commenced to promote muscle building and lymphatic drainage. A critical part of rehabilitation is resetting proprioception, retraining muscle memory in the affected limb to function correctly as the pain of surgery has diminished.

As Spider's leg became stronger, we introduced repetitive pole exercises, ensuring he flexed and extended his leg correctly to reconfigure the brain to remember that action.

9 months on, Spider's leg has completely healed, there is no scar tissue and he has full range of movement. Spider continues to receive maintenance treatments as part of his health and wellbeing program.