All the latest from Lifeworks HQ
All the latest from Lifeworks HQ
Patella luxation occurs when the patella (kneecap) dislocates from the groove along the front of the stifle joint, preventing normal extension of the joint. This is often caused by bone and muscle abnormalities.
This is a disease is common in small dogs, such as chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers and Pomeranians. They can start showing signs as puppies or young dogs with 7% of puppies being diagnosed; however, it is common in mature dogs as well.
The common signs of luxating patella are a ‘skipping’ lameness, curved leg stance, a continuous lameness, stiffness, reduce hindlimb muscle mass, lowered head carriage and occasional pain signs.
Your veterinary surgeon can diagnose patella luxation in a routine health check followed up by X-rays, and CT scanning or MRI if needed. After diagnosis, conservative or surgical management can then be discussed with your vet. After they have recovered from surgery or if you have chosen to treat them with conservative methods, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy is very important to increase joint range of motion, reduce stiffness and muscle tension, prevent contracture, and increase muscle mass and endurance.
IVDD is a common spinal condition affecting thousands of dogs each year. IVDD occurs when the intervertebral discs; which allow spinal movement, provide support, and help absorb concussive forces; between the vertebrae degenerate. This causes the spine to have a reduced shock-absorbing ability and can eventually lead to intervertebral disc herniation and compression of the spinal cord.
IVDD is often an age-related degenerative condition, however certain dog breeds are more predisposed and can develop the disease when they are younger. These are breeds often those with a long back and shorter, curved limbs, such as dachshunds and basset hounds.
What are the signs?
The common signs of IVDD include back pain, hindlimb weakness, difficulty jumping, abnormal posture, and an unwillingness to move.
Your veterinary surgeon can diagnose IVDD using X-rays, CT scanning or MRI. After diagnosis, conservative or surgical management can then be discussed with your vet. After they have recovered from surgery or if you have chosen to treat them with conservative methods, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy is very important to increase joint range of motion, reduce stiffness and muscle tension, prevent contracture, and increase muscle mass and endurance.
If you have any questions and would like to know more, please get in touch:
📞 01453 705262
We are proud stockists of Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats and Wildwash Natural Pet Care Products!
Wild wash Products are products developed to be totally natural, created from plants, botanicals, and essential oils to leave your pet smelling amazing and that really work! We sell a whole range of Wildwash products here at Lifeworks by Rio, including shampoos for sensitive skin, puppy and for dogs that love to roll in nasty things! We also sell wonderful spritzes that leave your pet smelling wonderful. As well as lint rollers and special paw balm.
We also stock Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats. These are highly recommended for your dogs after they’ve had their hydrotherapy session. They help dry your pet while keeping them warm and preventing them from getting stiff and sore when they are travelling home damp! Alongside the health benefits of these coats, they come in a lovely range of colours and sizes for every dog and we can even get them personalised with their name!
Cruciate ligament disease occurs in the dog’s stifle, a joint similar to the human knee. The stifle is a joint where the tibia and femur articulate and the patella, the equivalent of the human kneecap, sits in a groove on the femur. The cruciate ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that form an X over the patella. They prevent the stifle from twisting or extending too far.
When a dog is diagnosed with cruciate ligament disease, these ligaments have been injured or completely severed. This occurs through degeneration or trauma. The signs you dog might show include:
If your dog is showing any of these signs, the veterinary surgeon will perform an orthopaedic examination. If they believe cruciate ligament disease is a possibility, they may then perform X-rays or an MRI and further assessments.
When it is confirmed that they have injured their cruciate ligament, there are four main treatments: tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA), lateral suture, tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO), and conservative management. TPLO and TTA surgeries are most commonly used and 90% of dogs have returned to normal activity!
Hydrotherapy is ideal for dogs who have cruciate ligament problems as it provides a non-weight bearing form of exercise which can help them build muscle with reduced pressure on the joints. The hydrostatic pressure of the water also helps reduce pain and swelling, while the warmth increases circulation and reduces muscle tension. The water’s resistance also helps increase muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. The use of hydrotherapy in the rehabilitative treatment of cruciate ligament disease has found to help the dog return to normal activity faster and with fewer secondary complications that arise from reduced use of the limb.
Did you know that 0steoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of lameness in dogs? Did you know that approximately 80% of dogs over the age of 8 suffer from OA? The signs of OA are often very subtle and can easily be overlooked, but unfortunately this condition is the leading cause of premature euthanasia in older dogs. However, with early detection and careful management, you can easily manage your dog’s OA to relieve their pain and greatly improve their quality of life.
So, what actually IS osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a slow developing, incurable disease. It is the inflammation or degradation of cartilage in the joints, often caused by wear and tear. The most commonly affected joints are high moving, these include the elbow, knee, shoulder and hip joints. However, any joint in the body can be affected.
The first step is to see your vet. They will be able to examine your dog and make a correct diagnosis. After this, dogs are commonly put onto non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to provide your dog with pain relief. Other medicines may also be suggested, including joint supplements, such as Yumove or Antinol capsules, which help protect the cartilage in your dog’s joints.
Your vet may also advise you on useful alternative therapies. This is where Lifeworks by Rio comes in! Lifeworks by Rio provides hydrotherapy and physiotherapy, both of which are very beneficial for dogs with OA. Hydrotherapy uses the buoyancy of the water to support the dog’s weight, thus reducing the weight they put through their inflamed and sore joints. It uses the hydrostatic forces of the water to apply pressure to the dog’s limbs, which reduces swelling and oedema. The increased resistance of the water also helps to build muscle mass to help support the joints and keep your dog moving as much as possible. This exercise will also help if your dog is carrying a bit too much extra weight, as this can often make the effects of OA worse.
Physiotherapy can also help keep your dog fit and strong. We can use a variety of techniques including manual therapies, such as massage, electrotherapies, range of motion techniques and home exercise programmes to maintain your dog’s mobility. It is hugely beneficial and aims to improve mobility, restore normal function, and relieve pain by improving muscle strength, muscle stamina and joint range of motion. Simple, quick exercises will be prescribed that can be fitted into your daily routine can improve your dog’s muscle strength and mass, as well as energy levels.
Therefore, with a combination of different treatments, you can help manage your dog’s condition and they can continue to live a happy and comfortable life with their osteoarthritis. For more information on OA, feel free to get in touch and discuss it with us or have a look at the canine arthritis management website www.caninearthritis.co.uk.
When you register for your dog to come to our hydrotherapy centre, we ask for lots of details about you and your pet. After we have your details, you then wait for your account to be activated, which can take a couple of weeks. You may be wondering why this is?
The Veterinary Surgeon’s Act 1966 and the Veterinary Surgeons (Exemptions) Order 2015 state that hydrotherapy can only be undertaken under the guidance of a qualified veterinary surgeon who has examined the animal. This means that before we see your dog, treatment must be approved by your veterinary surgeon. This is simply for animal welfare reasons as it ensures that only dogs who are healthy and suitable for hydrotherapy undertake sessions and dogs who have conditions which may possibly be worsened by treatment do not participate in inappropriate complementary therapies.
Therefore, when I receive all of your pet’s information, I will email your veterinary surgeon. They will look at your dog’s medical history and consider whether they would be suitable for hydrotherapy. If they are happy for them to undergo treatment, then they will sign the referral form emailed to them and send this back to me. This can often take a couple of weeks as we may need to discuss your dog and their treatment, as well as any special considerations that may be needed. Once I have received confirmation from your veterinary surgeon that your dog is ok to come and swim, we can then book them in and meet you and your lovely dog!
An opportunity for members of the local community to enjoy our wellbeing facilities, and feel the positive impact of taking some time out to reconnect, be it through yoga, canine hydrotherapy, dance or arts & crafts.
Our beautiful all-purpose yurt has peaceful rural surroundings at our base in Charfield, Gloucestershire.
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T: 01453 705262
A: Gloucestershire | GL12 8ES
H: Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm and Saturday by appointment.