Lulu is a friendly Labrador, who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of both elbows, but has also undergone surgery to her left elbow and right stifle. I was initially contacted by her owner who wanted information about remedial massage.
We discussed the possible treatment process, a veterinary referral was obtained, and veterinary advice was given regarding reviewing Lulu’s painkillers and encouraging her to lose some weight.
The first meeting with Lulu and her owner was a consultation to assess Lulu and carry out the first treatment. When I examined Lulu she had some muscle wastage in her right hind leg, and her shoulders and neck muscles showed tension where she had been using them to compensate for her arthritic limbs. The fur on her neck and shoulders looked rough, as if it were laying in the wrong direction due to the tension on the fascia (skin lining).
Treatments concentrated on relaxing the muscles which were being over-used, and increasing the circulation to the muscles which had been rather under-used. Movement to the joints in the fore and hind limbs was also carried out, to encourage extension and flexion. Lulu’s owner was shown how to carry out basic stroking massage and skin rolling, to improve pliability of the fascia. Lulu’s owner has done a fantastic job carrying this out.
The fur around her shoulders is now laying in the same direction as the rest of the fur in the area.
At first treatments were weekly, there was then a break of a month before the next treatment.
From the first treatment Lulu appeared more mobile, and has been able to jump onto the couch again without difficulty.
By the third treatment Lulu seemed to be maintaining her progress, so it has been agreed to keep the treatments to monthly whilst this continues.
This will be reviewed to suit Lulu’s needs.