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Physiotherapy as an alternative treatment in compression of Cauda Equina

 

SUMMARY

The cauda equina, is the set of nerves and nerve roots that originate from L6 – L7 innervating the posterior train by means of the nerves: Sciatic, Obturator, Pudendo, Femoral and Pelvic.

When generating a trauma at this level, mild to severe compressions can occur generating in the patient pain, claudication of hind limbs, contracture of all muscle mass, proprioceptive deficit, ataxic gait, incontinence, among other clinical signs that will guide the Veterinarian to establish an adequate medical treatment and in the case of the physiotherapist, locate the areas of pain and improve weight support, resistance, bodybuilding (avoiding muscle atrophy as much as possible), joint mobility and proprioception.

The diagnosis is made by radiological study and magnetic resonance imaging of the spine at the level of the lumbo-sacral joint, treatment options

consist of: cage rest, allopathic (NSAIDs, analgesics, corticosteroids), homotoxicological, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, being an excellent option the synergy between homotoxicological treatment and physiotherapy (integral analgesia).

This paper presents the case of a patient of a Pinscher, female, 10 months, which is taken to consultation after having suffered a trauma by fall presenting as main signs paraparesis, contracture of all muscle mass in hind limbs, proprioceptive deficit and ataxic gait. It was decided to perform physiotherapy and rehabilitation without suspending the medical treatment established from the beginning, managing to reduce the recovery time, improvement in the patient’s condition, elimination of the cause of the physical alteration, pain relief, reduce inflammation and resumption to daily life.

Keywords: cauda equine compression, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Interested? Here’s the full article

 

Angelica B. Ortega Vasquez

Ortocanis.com Collaborator

 

Hip dysplasia is a very common problem in certain breeds: BullDog, Bordeaux Doge, St. Bernard, Neapolitan Mastiff, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Golden… all of them have an incidence above 20%.

Dysplasia is a multifactorial, multigenic and hereditary disease, that is, there are several factors that predispose and cause hip dysplasia, there are several genes involved in its appearance and it has a hereditary character.

Environmental factors are becoming more and more important in the development of hip dysplasia, the genetic factor is necessary to develop the disease but this is not the only factor. Genetics is a necessary but not exclusive factor, that is, you can have the genetic predisposition and not develop the disease but if you do not have a predisposition it is sure that it does not develop.

There are several degrees of dysplasia, and also those that appear when the dog is a puppy or those that give problem already in adulthood; but in this article we will focus on the treatment and specifically on the treatment of dysplasia to young dogs.

Classification of the degrees of dysplasia according to the OFA :

Grade I: minimal alteration with small subluxation and few degenerative changes.

Grade II: marked lateral subluxation of the femoral head, 25-50% of which is outside the acetabulum.

Grade III: 50-75% of the femoral head is outside the acetabulum; there are important degenerative changes.

Grade IV: dislocation of the femoral head with flattening of the acetabular border and femoral head; there are major degenerative changes.

The presentation in the young dog is puppy hip x-ray normally between 5 and 6 months and is marked by a significant limp.

A dog is not considered to be free of dysplasia until at two years of age already completed no problems or inconsistencies are observed in the control x-rays.

Food is one of the factors that predisposes to the appearance of hip dysplasia, Calcium-Phosphorus imbalances that must keep a correlation Ca1.6% – P1.1% and above all not overfeeding or providing excess proteins allows us to minimize the incidence of hip dysplasia. A hypocaloric diet from 3 months to 8 months protects dogs with rapid growth from dysplasia. Excess weight at 60 days is another factor that predisposes to the disease.

Hip dysplasia in the puppy usually debuts from 5 or 6 months, before it is not possible to observe any problem and the dog has been completely normal and has developed normally. The debut is usually presented as a sharp limp that prevents the dog from playing as it had done to date. We can observe changes in the desire to play, negative when going for a walk, to relate to other dogs or owners. Mood swings, frequent slips of the hind legs, discomfort and even refusal to be touched and the fact of “fleeing” from children in dogs that until a few days ago were playful and affectionate are frequent.

Sometimes when you reach 90% of the growth between 8 and 11 months the signs can be reduced and even disappear. Anyway the dysplasia remains and in many cases the problems reappear after a while and sooner rather than later signs of osteoarthritis appear in the hips.

The most common clinical signs are:

Lameness that may increase with exercise

Walking and jogging with hip swing

Morning stiffness

Difficulty getting up

Muscle atrophy

Refusal to move

Mood swings

Pain on palpation

Sign of Ortolani.

Although there are surgical methods: excision of the pectineus muscle, triple hip osteotomy, arthroplasty of the femoral head, osteotomy of the pubis, forage, hip prostheses most are practiced when the dog is young to supposedly decrease the possibility of secondary coxofemoral osteoarthritis in adulthood. The hip prosthesis should be reserved for severe cases and once the growth has finished.

Medical treatment is based on anti-inflammatories, we can start with natural anti-inflammatories, such as inflamex, which does not contain medicinal substances, if we do not obtain the expected results move to Aine’s and in extreme cases corticos are resorted to. We must include nutraceuticals especially chondroprotectors since they reduce the incidence of osteoarthritis and protect the articular cartilage. These are used in senior dogs in a very general way but are very useful as a joint protector in growing dogs, there are specific drug carriers for young dogs. Weight reduction, moderate and above all regular exercise are other basic points, as well as improvements in the environment and the fact of sleeping on a special mattress for older dogs and in a warm place away from humidity.

Canine physiotherapy can help a lot to better develop the muscles to reduce pain, to draw tensions and eliminate compensations that the dog has made with the wrong postures and antialgic positions. This will be based on TENS, ultrasound, therapeutic exercises, the use of hydrotherapy, laser, shock waves…

The main improvement in the environment is to sleep on a good therapeutic mattress, not to be cold or exposed to a lot of humidity, to use in winter a thermal coat for dogs, to be able to be a therapeutic canine blanket that can be used all year round.

We can help our Dog with hip dysplasia, regular physical exercise can be very useful to improve muscle mass that better withstands poor joint congruence, avoid impacts, jumps or uncontrolled runs during the presentation of the picture are also important elements. Physiotherapy and massages allow you to always have the dog in a correct muscular state, and all the adjuvant treatments such as acupuncture, massages, reiki, bach flowers … they can also help with treatment. The latest novelty is the hip supports that help stabilize the pelvis, give support and greatly improve the quality of life of our pets.

Toni

Ortocanis.com Team

What is the proprioceptive system?

It is the system by which the brain receives information about the position and movement of body parts with each other and in relation to their support base. This is produced through a series of receptors distributed throughout the body. Proprioceptive sensitivity is extraordinarily important in the dog’s relationship life.

Within the physiotherapy examination (musculoskeletal or neurological), the proprioceptive system will always be evaluated to have a reference and guidelines with which to establish the treatment plan. Sometimes the same techniques that help us to value the animal, serve us later to rehabilitate it.

Postural reactions

  1. Positional reaction or conscious proprioception
    1. Put the dorsal face of the limb in contact with the ground. The animal should instantly rectify to the normal position.
    2. Put the limb of the animal in abduction or adduction. In this case you should also instantly rectify towards the starting position.
    3. Place a sheet of paper so that the dog supports the pads. Move the leaf laterally in thoracic limbs and caudolaterally for the pelvic limbs. When perceiving the movement stimulus, you need to reposition the limb correctly.
  2. Hemistation
    1. You should take the limbs of a hemibody and move the animal to the opposite side to see if it is able to withstand the balance.
    2. In the case of musculoskeletal injuries it is also possible to assess the affected limb by taking only the opposite limb or one of the previous ones and assess the balance reaction presented by the animal (uniestación)
  3. Hemimarcha
    1. It is exactly the same exercise as the hemistation only that the animal will have to move on the two limbs.
  4. Jump test
    1. Holding the animal and preventing it from supporting three of its four limbs, move it laterally. You will need to make small jumps.
  5. Truck test
    1. Make him move with his thoracic limbs holding him through the pelvic area. Do it with the head of the animal in a high position to prevent it from looking where to put your hands.
  6. Extensor postural impulse reaction test
    1. Take the animal by the armpits in an upright position and descend it slowly. When its hind limbs touch the ground, it will extend them caudally in a marching motion, anticipating displacement.
  7. Visual and tactile reaction
    1. Holding the animal, he approaches the edge of a table until he touches it. You should place your limb on the table instantly. We will assess visual and proprioceptive sensitivity. It should be repeated by covering the eyes, so we will value tactile and proprioceptive sensitivity.

Balance in season and dynamics

The balance of the animal can be assessed by provoking some of the postural reactions mentioned above or by creating destabilizations of the animal in static and during walking.

During walking you can tap small sideways to see how it reacts. If the animal has its correct balance, it will continue walking in a straight line without modifying its state or its rhythm.

Coordination

Coordination can be assessed through circles, eights, climbs, descents, speed changes, different terrains with small difficulties in between.

 

Ortocanis Writing

[email protected]

A dog’s ability to move and perform its daily activities depends on the ability of the brain, spine, nerves, and muscles to coordinate together.

This complex communication system exchanges information when nerves in the brain send messages to the body about the outside environment, and the body sends messages to the brain about what it is experiencing in the environment. These messages are transmitted through nerves in the spinal cord, which are embedded in the spine or spine. Together, the nerves of the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system. Trauma to any part of the nerve pathways can lead to poor communication, or a total lack of communication between the brain and the body, leading to an inability to coordinate body movements.

Silla de ruedas para perro

The spine is made up of a set of 24 bones called vertebrae, which are separated from each other by small cushions called intervertebral discs. Together, the vertebrae and intervertebral discs protect the spine from damage. Trauma to the vertebrae or discs can create vulnerability in the nerves of the spinal cord, leading to new disorders to the neural pathway.

When a dog experiences paralysis, it is often because communication between the spinal cord and the brain has been disrupted. In some cases, the dog is not able to move its legs, a state of total paralysis, and in other cases, there may still be some communication between the brain and the spine, and the dog will only appear weak or have difficulty moving its legs, a condition known as: partial paralysis. There are also cases where a dog may be paralyzed on all four legs (quadriplegia), and in others, the dog may be able to control movement in some of its legs, but not all. This is determined by the location of the trauma, occurring in the brain, spine, nerves or muscles.

Some breeds are more prone than others. Dogs that are close to the ground with elongated backs, such as dachshunds and bassets, are commonly affected by ruptured vertebral discs by putting pressure on the spinal cord, a condition known as intervertebral disc disease. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to a condition called degenerative myelopathy (MD), a disease that attacks nerves on the backs of older dogs (more than seven years old). It is a slow action, a progressive disorder that eventually leads to paralysis of the hind legs. Breeds affected by this disease are the Welsh corgi, boxer, German shepherd, Chesapeake Bay retriever, and Irish setter.

Symptoms:

  • Not able to move all four legs (quadriplegia)
  • Not able to move the hind legs (paraplegia)
  • Walks with front legs while dragging hind legs
  • There may be pain in the neck, spine, or legs
  • Can’t urinate
  • Not able to control urination, urine dripping
  • Not able to control defecation
  • Constipation

Causes:

  • Canine degenerative myelopathy (MD) – related to the gene of German shepherd, boxer, Welsh corgi, Chesapeake Bay retriever, ages 7-14 years; the cause is unknown
  • Slippage of the discs in the back – intervertebral disc disease
  • Spondylodiscitis – bacterial or viral infection in the bones of the spine (vertebrae)
  • Infection or inflammation of the spine
  • Distemper
  • Meningomyelitis – viral or bacterial infection of the brain, leading to poor communication of nerve impulses
  • Polymyositis – infection or inflammation in the muscles
  • Polyneuritis – inflammation of the nerves
  • Embolism – obstruction of blood flow to the spine
  • Aortic embolism – obstruction of blood flow to the back legs
  • Tumors or cancer in the spine or brain
  • Tick paralysis as a result of tick bites
  • Rocky Mountain Fever
  • Botulism – bacterial toxins
  • Myasthenia Gravis – severe muscle weakness
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism the fluid inside an injured disc enters the arterial system and settles in the spinal cord, creating a permanent embolism, or blockage, is irreversible, but not progressive.
  • Hypothyroidism – Low thyroid level
  • Spinal injury
  • Malformation of the spine or vertebrae

Diagnosis:

You will need to give a complete history of your dog’s health, the onset of symptoms and possible incidences that may have led to this condition, such as tick bites, or recent injuries from jumping or falling. During the physical exam, your veterinarian will pay close attention to how well your dog is able to move his legs, and how well he is able to respond to reflex tests. The veterinarian will also test your dog’s ability to feel pain on all four legs, control of the head, spine, and legs for signs of pain and alertness to the touch.Perro atropellado y rescatado por perrera de barcelona

All of these things will help your veterinarian locate the place in your dog’s spine, where nerves or muscles are having problems. Basic laboratory tests include a complete blood count, a biochemical profile and a urinalysis, which can determine if your dog has a bacterial infection, a virus or a toxin reaction, which is interfering with nerve pathways. X-ray images of the spine can show evidence of an infection, a malformation of the vertebrae, or a herniated disc that is pressing against the spinal cord. Other conditions that can lead to disruption of nerve pathways may be evident on an X-ray, such as tumors, obstructions, or inflamed nerves.

In some cases, your veterinarian may order a special X-ray called a myelogram. This process uses an injection with a contrast agent (dye) into the spine, followed by X-ray images that will allow the doctor to see the spinal cord and vertebrae in more detail. If these imaging techniques aren’t helpful, your veterinarian may order a computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of your dog’s brain and spine, both of which provide a very detailed picture. In some cases, your veterinarian may take a sample of the fluid around the spine, for analysis, or sample of the muscles or nerve fibers for a biopsy. These tests can determine the presence of an infection in the brain or spine.

Treatment:

The course of treatment will depend on the cause of the paralysis. If your dog is unable to walk, urinate, or defecate on his own, he will most likely be admitted to the hospital while his veterinarian will work to deliver a diagnosis. From there your veterinarian will track your dog’s recovery and progress. If your dog is in pain, he will be given medication to help control the pain, the bladder is emptied several times a day by catheter, and your dog will be physically moved to make sure he doesn’t get ulcers from staying in one place for too long. There are several products that will help you spend time still without getting damaged, such as mattresses. If the cause of the paralysis is an infection or a herniated disc, the condition will be treated with either medication, surgery, or therapy. Anti-inflammatory drugs that may be natural and specific such as imflamex will be used to reduce inflammation of the nerves. Tumors or blockages of blood flow can be repaired surgically, depending on the vulnerability of the location. Some paralyzed dogs recover very quickly. Depending on the severity of the illness, your dog may stay in the hospital until he is able to walk, or your veterinarian will decide to send your dog home with a guide to provide care and recovery at home. Your veterinarian will establish a plan to review the progress of your dog’s treatment and adjust it accordingly.

life and a lot!

perro-rodilla-en-la-calleYour veterinarian will help you make a plan for your dog’s care at home. Occasionally, the dog may resist care due to pain, but assertive and gentle care will help decrease fear reactions.

It is important that you take care of your dog properly so that he can fully recover. Carefully follow all instructions from your veterinarian. If your veterinarian has prescribed medication, be sure to administer all treatment, even after your dog appears to have fully recovered. In most cases, a canine wheelchair can be of great help, either for the rehabilitation process or as a simple means of transporting the immobile part of the animal. Most wheelchair dogs adapt very well and continue to enjoy their life.

Orthocanis

Ayudas para perros con artrosis

source:VenFido

Although genetics is the determining part of dysplasia by 99% percent, it is nutrition that is the most important part. Once you have diagnosed dysplasia you can NOT do anything genetically, you only have to influence nutrition and physiotherapy. It’s that simple.

I teach you five key secrets in nutrition to make your best [email protected]’s dysplasia more bearable. In addition to an Expert in Canine Nutrition, do not forget to also consult one in canine physiotherapy, it can help you a lot.

Nutrición Ortocanis

GRAINS IN THE DIET

Unfortunately the vast majority of commercial veterinary diets for dogs are bad, why? Because they have a lot of carbohydrates in the form of grains and / or cereals, they do it to reduce costs, they are cheaper than animal protein, the nutrient that your dog really needs.

Dietary grains or cereals have been shown in dogs to promote continuous and exaggerated insulin secretion* as well as joint inflammation. I remind you that your dog does not have the physiology to split starches, carbohydrates, that is, grains and cereals. It is a carnivore, do not forget, do not feed it as if it were cow or chicken.

GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS

Don’t panic with the name. They are nutrients that promote cartilage health. Patients with dysplasia problems (and arthritis in general) have shown that they can absorb toxic compounds or substances, some of which affect the joints.

How can we lessen this? If you give your [email protected] some cartilage (rich in glycosaminoglycans) in the diet, these are poorly absorbed and remain in the intestinal lumen.

Glycosaminoglycans are complex carbohydrates that have the ability to adhere some of these toxic substances on their surface while they are in the lumen of the intestine, and thus be excreted in the excrement without passing into the bloodstream and therefore prevent their arrival and implantation in the joints.

A substitute for cartilage? There are nutritional supplements based on glycosaminoglycans, in short, they are more practical and come concentrated in a pill. There are many brands on the market: Cosequin, Synoquin, Hyal oral…

BELOW OR ABOVE WEIGHT?

If I have to choose to be slightly above my weight, I prefer the latter, and the same applies to my dog.

As an Expert in Canine Nutrition, this topic, that of weight, is one of the most recurrent. Owners of puppies of large and/or molossian breeds (mastiffs, Rottweiler, Siberians, shepherds, doges…) want “stuffed” puppies growing as much as possible. Gross error.

Remember, if you want a healthy dog orthopedically weight is key (it also applies to us) Have you seen overweight wolves, lions or hyenas in the wild?

How do you know if your dog is at an appropriate weight? The best allies for this are sight and touch. I recommend you visit the following link so that you learn how to determine the body condition of your dog.

BONES IN THE DIET

There are many myths in dog nutrition, created, above all, by the pet food industry. I remind you that your dog is a carnivore, every carnivore eats bones in nature, moose, rabbits, all kinds of birds (such as chicken or chicken) and ALL BONES, absolutely all, splinter and do not die!

It refreshes your memory. Commercial foods (pellets) have been massively and widespread in the last two decades. Before everyone gave homemade food (leftovers) including bones.

Bone is a mine of vitamins, fats and minerals of the highest quality, do not forget that bone is mainly made up of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, fluoride, magnesium … water, and organic matter such as collagen. All of these nutrients are key to bones and joints, among other organs.

By the above I do not mean that you start introducing bones into the diet without knowing. COOKED BONES are the dangerous ones. The best diets are homemade, and if they include bones (RAW) occasionally, better.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

If I am given the choice between providing a quality diet for a dog without supplements (the best diets are well-made homemade ones) or a poor quality diet and a quality supplement, I stay with the first without a doubt.

Now, if I can choose for my dog a quality homemade diet, alternated with a commercial diet, also of quality, and added with a specific supplement for his dysplasia problems Bingo!

With the arrival of orthomolecular nutrition (specific nutrients for specific situations) and the advancement of science, many nutrients appear that at the molecular level have a positive impact on the patient with dysplasia problems.

From vitamin E, bioflavonoids to omega three and enzymes. There are more and more of these nutrients for multiple situations. Regarding the subject we are dealing with, dysplasia, it would be something that you should not overlook and ask for advice from a specialist in the subject.

Carlos Alberto Gutierrez / Veterinarian collaborating with Ortocanis.com

Treatment of hygroma of the elbow

Elbow hygroma is a disease that mainly affects large short-haired dogs, such as Big Danes, Greyhounds and Dalmatians. In dogs with elbow hygroma, a fluid-filled sac appears on one or both of the dogs’ elbows. In rarer cases, hygromas can develop in the hock. In many cases, elbow hygromas do not cause pain or difficulty. However, they can become infected, which can be painful for the dog and requires treatment. Other animals susceptible to developing hygromas are dogs that are not very active or are recovering from illness or injury.

Causes
Hygromas develop because of recurrent trauma to a dog’s elbow or elbow. For example, resting constantly on wood, cement, or other hard surfaces can cause stress on the joint and cause hygroma. This condition mainly affects large dogs, as there is a greater weight on their elbow joints when they are lying down.Hygroma codo

Bandage
In some cases, bandaging a dog’s elbows can help prevent hygromas from getting worse. Bandages will prevent contact with hard surfaces and in turn avoid problems caused by hygroma. In addition, some products such as the canine elbow protector or the dog knee protector will prevent the hygroma from having additional contact with the hard ground. Ask your veterinarian how you can help your dog.

Drainage
Some veterinarians recommend that hygroma fluid be drained with a needle or syringe. Getting the fluid out is not considered an effective treatment because the needle can cause an infection. In addition, drainage can only improve the condition temporarily. If the dog continues to lie on hard surfaces, the hygroma will become larger, that is, the drainage will have to be done on a regular basis.

Surgery
Some veterinarians may recommend surgery to treat elbow hygroma, especially in cases where there is infection or when the hygroma has ulcerated. In surgery, the skin must be drained and removed. Since hygromas can grow quite large, it may be necessary to make skin grafts to cover the affected area. Healing from surgery takes about a month, and the dog will need to wear a splint during recovery to protect the affected area.

Prevention
The best way to prevent your dog from developing an elbow hygroma, or to prevent an existing one from worsening, is to provide the dog with a soft surface for him to rest and sleep. If there is no carpeted area available, make the dog a soft bed and leave it where he likes to lie down. In the event that the dog is inactive because he is recovering from an illness or injury, have him get up and move (at least enough to change the position he is lying in) several times a day.

Written by Anna Aronson

source: eHow

Canine osteoarthritis is a very common disease in dogs. It appears as a result of the inevitable evolution of a joint that ages or becomes increasingly fragile due to trauma or malformation. This is a very painful condition that needs to be treated right away. It can affect all the joints of the body, both those found in the anterior and posterior extremities, as well as those that form the spine. In the case of senior dogs, the most common is that this disorder affects several joints at once.

protector rodilla para perroThe articular surface is covered by a tissue called cartilage, which plays a role very similar to the shock absorbers found in cars. In addition, it prevents the underlying bone from deteriorating due to the repeated rubbing to which it is subjected by continuous movement. Osteoarthritis is characterized by a progressive destruction of this cartilage and by an abnormal bone proliferation at the edge of the articular surfaces known as osteophyte, also called ‘parrot beaks’ when they are located in the spine. The affected joints lose elasticity, cause pain and prevent the animal from moving normally.

Evolution of deterioration
As a rule, this ailment affects, first of all, the high joints of the limbs: hips and knees, shoulders and elbows. Symptoms are more or less important depending on the number of joints affected. However, there is an unequivocal sign that makes us intuit that the animal is affected. Lameness usually manifests itself when the dog gets up and starts up after remaining immobile for a long time.

The pain prompts the animal to avoid support on the affected limb and, being impeded, stops running, and of course, jumping. As it evolves, the pain increases. When making certain movements, the dog emits small moans, it is even possible that the animal is irascible and tends to present aggressiveness when we try to manipulate the affected joint.

In more advanced cases, the joint may be partially blocked, making it impossible to perform certain movements. At this point, the animal hesitates to use the diseased limb. In addition, this lack of activity leads to a significant deterioration of the musculature surrounding the joint. As a result, the diseased area begins to atrophy, which increasingly complicates its use.

Two fundamental types
As a general rule we distinguish two types of osteoarthritis: primary and secondary. The first type usually affects elderly animals and appears due to the normal aging suffered by the joints due to the passage of time. In fact, it is a progressive and inevitable wear of the articular cartilages. Usually, this type of osteoarthritis affects different points at the same time.

As far as secondary canine osteoarthritis is concerned, it appears as a consequence of a triggering factor, which causes the affected joint to stop functioning normally. For example, this type of osteoarthritis can appear due to trauma – a sprain, a fracture, etc. – or due to a birth malformation, such as hip dysplasia.

Another very common cause that causes the appearance of secondary osteoarthritis is obesity. If you do not control the diet your friend can have a weight well above the average that we find in the breed. The joints are not made to support such a significant overload of kilos, so they deteriorate easily. Unlike primary osteoarthritis, secondary osteoarthritis can affect animals of all ages and, as a general rule, usually affects only one joint.

Issue a diagnosis
The diagnosis of this disease can be based on three factors: the pathological history of the animal, gait examination and manipulation. When studying the history, the veterinarian must take into account old joint fractures, injuries that the animal has suffered a long time ago, as well as possible sprains. When observing the gait will look at whether the dog limps, even if only very slightly and incipiently, since lameness is an unequivocal symptom of the disease. Finally, when manipulating the affected area it is very possible for the animal to show signs of pain.

Often, the region in which the diseased joint is located is usually somewhat deformed due to osteophytes and muscle atrophy caused by the absence of physical activity. Many times a characteristic snap is detected when we move it. Through the radiological study, the animal health specialist will be able to determine the severity of osteoarthritis and establish the most appropriate treatment. Among the possible treatments, the appearance of specialized supports for some limbs that can effectively combat the deterioration of the animal’s quality of life stands out. The use of these supports is effective and has proven in countries such as the USA to be treatments as innovative as successful, however their use should be consulted with the veterinarian or animal physiotherapist.

Orthocanis Team

British scientists managed to reverse paralysis in dogs by injecting them with cells extracted from the lining of their own nose.

All of the animals in the study had suffered spinal cord injuries that prevented them from using their hind legs.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, England, are cautiously optimistic that the technique may eventually play a role in treating human patients.

The study, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and published in the neurology journal Brain, is the first to test transplantation in “real-life” wounds and not in laboratory animals.

Foreign scientists of the lining of the nose of animals are called olfactory enveloping glia (OEC) cells.

OLFACTORY ENVELOPING GLIA CELLS

The only part of the body where nerve fibers continue to grow in adults is in the olfactory system.

The enveloping cells of olfactory glia (OEC) are located at the back of the nasal cavity and surround the receptor neurons that allow us to smell and convert those signals in the brain.

Nerve cells need to be constantly replaced and this is promoted by the OCs.

For decades, scientists have weighed in that OECs could be useful in spinal cord repair. Initial trials with OEC in humans suggest that the procedure is safe.

These were cultured and reproduced for several weeks in the laboratory.

Of the 34 pet dogs that participated in the proof-of-concept trial, 23 received transplants of these cells at the site of injury and the rest received an injection with a neutral fluid.

Many of the dogs that had received the transplant showed considerable improvement and were able to walk on an exercise machine with the support of a harness.

None of the animals in the control group managed to reuse their hind legs.

Caution and optimism

The research was a collaboration between the MRC’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the University of Cambridge’s Veterinary School.

Professor Robin Franklin, a regenerative biologist at the STEM Cell Institute at the MRC and the Wellcome Trust and one of the report’s authors, said: “Our findings are extremely exciting because they show for the first time that transplanting these cell types into a severely damaged spinal cord can bring significant improvement.”

“We are hopeful that this technique can restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries, but that is a far cry from the fact that they could recover all of their lost functions.”

Professor Franklin says the procedure could be used in conjunction with pharmacological treatments to promote nerve fibre regeneration and bioengineering to replace damaged neural networks.

Nariz
The animals received a transplant of olfactory cells.

The researchers claim that the transplanted cells regenerated nerve fibers throughout the damaged region of the spinal cord.

This allowed the dogs to regain use of their hind legs and coordinate movements on their front legs.

But no new long-distance nerve connections like those required to connect the brain to the spinal cord were developed.

According to MRC scientists in humans this would be vital for a spinal cord injury patient who has lost sexual and bowel function and bladder control.

Professor Goeffrey Raisman, Chair of Neural Regeneration at the University of London, who discovered olfactory enveloping glia cells in 1985, says: “This is not a cure for spinal cord injuries in humans, which may still be a long way off.”

“This is not a cure for spinal cord injuries in humans, which may still be a long way off. But this is the most encouraging development in several years and is a significant step on the road to achieving it.”

Prof. Goeffrey Raisman

 

“But this is the most encouraging development in several years and is a significant step on the road to achieving it.”

“This procedure has allowed an injured dog to walk with its hind legs, but the range of much higher functions that are lost with a spinal injury, such as those of the hand, bladder function, temperature regulation, for example, are more complicated and still very distant.”

Jasper, a 10-year-old dachshund, is one of the animals that took part in the trial.

Owner May Hay told me that “before the treatment we had to transport Jasper in a car because his hind legs were useless. Now he walks all over the house and garden and can keep up with other dogs. It’s wonderful.”

Source: BBC

Elbow dysplasia is a very common degenerative disease in young dogs. The elbow of dogs is one of the most congruent and stable joints of the body, allowing, due to its complexity, two axes or degrees of supination-pronation movement of the forearm and flexion-extension. Its complexity is given by its composition: humeroradial joint, humeroulnar and, proximal radioulnar.

Elbow dysplasia was initially used to describe the non-union of the anconeal process (AUP). Currently, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the medial condyle of the humerus, the fragment of the coronoid process (FPC) and, the incongruence of the elbow (INC) are also included within this term. When one of these ossification defects occurs in an elbow, inflammation originates and over time an osteoarthritis is triggered in which cartilage degeneration occurs; for that reason, all these conditions are commonly associated with osteoathrosis of this joint and are an important cause of pain and claudication of the forelimbs in large and giant breed dogs such as the German Shepherd, Labrador, St. Bernard, Rottweiler, Neapolitan Mastiff, among others.

Of genetic origin multifactorial, especially in OCD and FPC. It affects males more than females and can occur uni- or bilaterally. The genetic component is the one that has the greatest influence although, the appearance of this pathology can also occur due to food, weight, environment, quality of ligaments, a lot of physical exercise or trauma.

The first symptoms may occur at 4-5 months when the dog shows exercise intolerance, lameness when starting a movement or after prolonged exercise. There are dogs that do not show signs of affection in the elbow until advanced ages where the process of osteoarthritis is very evolved. Others manage to maintain a normal degree of activity throughout their lives.

The fact of making a premature radiological diagnosis makes it possible to establish an adequate treatment and avoids the formation of osteoarthritis that produces pain and functional limitation of the elbow throughout the life of the animal. The diagnosis can be complemented with diagnostic tests such as CT or MRI

The evolution depends on the degree and type of injury, but it is usually unfavorable without surgery. Surgical treatment is good if degenerative changes in the joint have not yet occurred. In any case it is necessary to perform a good rehabilitation in order to:

  • Speed up the recovery process
  • Eliminate pain and inflammation
  • Decrease lameness
  • Maintain and/or improve range of motion
  • Maintain muscle tone, mass and strength
  • Minimize or slow down the effects of joint degeneration – osteoarthritis
  • Avoid compensation at the level of the neck, spine and extremities
  • Give the maximum capacities so that the animal is functional and that it, with a good quality of life

Physiotherapy treatment varies depending on the animal and the state of the lesion. It is important to start as soon as possible with the treatment so that it is effective and, to avoid drying them as reduced mobility and / or chronic pain.

The animal goes through different phases until its full recovery. It is essential to gradually achieve the objectives set. The recovery process is terminated when the animal is able to perform daily activities.

During the first three days after the intervention, it is important to act on inflammation and pain and prevent muscle atrophy and decrease in the joint arch from appearing. For this, passive techniques are used that reduce inflammation, produce analgesia and help maintain tone, mass and the arc of mobility. Among these techniques there are electrotherapy (segmental TENS and muscle electrostimulation), massage, passive mobilizations and cryotherapy (cold).

In older dogs or dogs that have not been intervened, the objectives will be the same as in animals that have gone through an intervention. It is important to eliminate pain because, with pain you can not work.

It is important from the beginning to massage and move the affected elbow as long as there is no veterinary contraindication and, respecting in the case of fixation, the period of healing and union of the fixed parts. Massaging and moving the affected area and limb helps maintain mobility, prevents loss of mass and tone and works the proprioceptors.

 

A gentle mobilization combined with different massage techniques help decrease inflammation and reduce pain.

With TENSat the segmental level we can produce analgesia and decrease the amount of drugs administered. There are animals that have intolerance to certain drugs that produce analgesia and with TENS the pain can be reduced. TenS can also be used directly on the injured or operated area, as long as there is no osteosynthesis material underneath, since an internal burn could occur.

Muscle electrostimulationhelps prevent the onset of atrophy and maintain muscle mass and tone. With electrical stimuli we can stimulate nerve conduction.

At the beginning and end of the session the coldis used since it has properties that act on the decrease of the inflammatory response, edema and pain.

From the fourth day and during the next two weeks when the inflammation and pain have disappeared it is time to introduce simple active exercises such as shaking hands or small walks on a leash to force the animal to make an equal support with the four limbs and thus, prevent a decompensation between limbs from appearing due to not having a correct support on the ground. The walks is an exercise that increases the duration until full recovery.

Once the stitches have been removed, the animal can be introduced into the water. The advantages of water are used to improve recovery. Hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill) facilitates the station of the animal without loss of balance and, thanks to flotation, without having to support all its weight. In addition, flotation allows animals with bone pain and low muscle mass to work. The pressure of the water exerted on the body of the animal increases the sensitivity and decreases inflammations and edemas. The work in the water, underwater tapes or swimming increases as the animal recovers. In addition, with water, we can recover the motor pattern, increase mass, tone and strength, work on respiratory capacity and maintain and / or improve mobility.

Once the acute phase has passed 48-72 hours and without risk of infection or inflammation, heat can be introduced that helps to elastify the tissues, decreases pain and increases vascularization among others.

The use of boards, plates, balls and trampolines are important to work on balance, proprioception and above all the integration of the affected limb.

It is already in the last phase, from two weeks, when the dog has integrated the gait pattern, exercises are performed to improve the quality of movement. They are more complex active exercises to integrate the affected limb or limbs. With active and proprioception exercises it is possible to increase muscle tone, mass and strength; coordination and balance and range of motion are worked on. Rails with different surfaces, cones, bars, circuits, up and down stairs and ramps (staircase with inclined plane) are used.

Throughout the recovery treatment and in animals with developed osteoarthritis it is essential to reduce the weight on the joints of the elbows. For this purpose , special support harnesses for elbows are used. In addition to decreasing weight, pain is reduced and does not hinder movement, the animal feels more comfortable; the joint is protected at all times from chafing and blows and helps maintain the heat that the animal gives off, which leads to a relief of the affected area.

At home, special care should be taken for animals suffering from elbow conditions. This care is necessary during and after treatment:

  • Avoid slippery floors
  • Avoid ramps and stairs at the beginning of treatment in operated animals and in animals that do conservative treatment. Once rehabilitated, ramps can be used to help get on the sofa and the car, since it is recommended that they do not do it alone, there could be a recidivism.
  • It is recommended that they rest on soft and clean surfaces, but that they are firm enough to help the incorporation of the animal thermal mattress for dogs
  • Keep skin clean and dry skin
  • Use special plates at your height so as not to strain the elbow joints
  • Correct diet and weight control. Being overweight harms the joints and generates more pain for the animal

It is very important to create an exercise routine and environment to help keep the animal comfortable and with quality of life.

Orthocanis Team

1. What is hip dysplasia?

It is one of the most frequent diseases in dogs, especially large breeds.

2. What is the disease?

In a mismatch between the head of the femur and the acetabulum, that is, a bad gear of the hip joint. The femoral head is partially outside the acetabulum and the hip cannot work properly.

3. Does it affect some races more than others?

Yes, hip dysplasia practically does not exist in Greyhounds and yet it is very common in San Bernardo and Mastines. It is also quite common in the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever and the Rottweiler among other breeds.

4. How to know the severity of dysplasia?

There are several degrees of dysplasia, but there are also different ways to measure it, the most common being an X-ray that should be done on dogs near the year of life. This x-ray must be performed in a very specific position and with the muscles relaxed, so it is usually necessary to anesthetize the dog.

5. What are the symptoms?

Normally lameness in dogs from 5 to 10 months but can remain without problems during youth and adulthood and debut with major problems in the geriatric period. Movement to the sides of the hips may also be indicative of hip dysplasia.

6. Does it have anything to do with osteoarthritis?

They are two different problems, but hip dysplasia, the mismatch of the joint, can cause over time that this joint degenerates and ends up suffering from osteoarthritis in the hip. Osteoarthritis is what hurts, especially in old age. Dysplasia may be more responsible for the dog’s development of osteoarthritis.

7. Is there treatment?

There are several treatments, various surgeries before the year of life and other methods such as hip prosthesis when the dog is older and has finished growing.

We also have palliative treatments such as anti-inflammatories or cartilage protectors (chondroprotectors). In very serious cases you can put a canine wheelchair and the dog continues to walk but without bearing the burden of its weight.

Ortocanis.com Technical Team