As a Dynamic Dog Practitioner and a member of the teaching team. I am fully trained to identify abnormal gait and discomfort in dogs. If you feel your dog or perhaps you are a professional and suspect your clients dogs behaviour, is related to discomfort I can support you both!
“A high percentage of dogs fear or aggression problems are due to pain or discomfort”
I work together with other canine professionals where pain and discomfort could be the contributing factor to their clients dog’s behaviour.
Sometimes dog owners have taken their dog to the vet and they get the all clear however as we know dogs are often tense at the vets and often have high stress levels which can put them in a fear state which can mask issues. This makes it very difficult for vet professionals to identify a problem and it’s not until we see them out and about in normal environments that the issue can be observed. Pain can not always be identified in a veterinary environment fear and even excitement can mask pain. I have worked with many dogs that have been examined by a vet but did not show any signs of pain during the exam however later after a full assessment, where found to have health problems contributing to their behaviour (see Oscars story below) I provide video evidence and write a report on my findings which then can be provided to their vet.
This is why doing a behaviour consultation along side a thorough Dynamic Dog assessment works really well, using a wide range of techniques I can assess the dogs comfort levels, provide observations to help assist, veterinary professional identify further areas that may be causing pain or discomfort contributing to the dogs behaviour.
“Atrophy in hind limbs, RF turned out, Thick thoracic sling, Circumduction of hind limbs, pronounced on RH, Minimal flexion in RH, Minimal flexion in stifle RH, Skipping on LH, Rotation of pelvic limbs”
Dog Professionals – A one off consult and an analysis with you and your client, can give complete clarity and help get the dog and guardian further help from their vet along side your continued support.
Latest research by Lincoln University on Pain and Behaviour in Cats and Dogs
- Initial Consultation
- This will last approximately sixty to ninety minutes. We will cover everything from the daily routine, to your dogs’ habits (yes, that includes toileting), to diet, to play, to sleep, and much more. As everything is connected – physical, emotional and mental – a full and detailed assessment is vital. The initial consult can be carried out in person or virtually.
- Evidence Gathering
- This will involve taking a variety of photographs and videos to show all aspects of your dog’s life, focusing on their movement and posture. You will be guided in how to get the best possible visual evidence so that observations can be made.
- Evidence Analysis
- All written and visual evidence will be assessed, so that nothing is overlooked, and a detailed analysis can be given.
- Veterinary Report
A comprehensive report will then be compiled and sent, with the corresponding evidence, to your dog’s vet. With the use of this report, we will liaise with your vet so that any potential underlying issues are investigated, diagnosed, and supported, minimising the impact these potential issues have on your dog and yourself.
- Follow-up Support
Support is given throughout the Dynamic Dog process, including after report submission and diagnosis. Short-term support and advice can be given following the initial diagnosis, in order to help you manage the outcome. Long-term support and advice can be discussed depending on the outcome of the diagnosis.
Working Cocker Spaniel
This is the gorgeous Oscar who is 4, his care givers contacted me to do a behaviour consultation on the 1st November
Oscar had developed guarding type behaviour over the last year. It usually occurs when he was resting/asleep. When disturbed he would jump up and snap at the care givers, then run to guard anything that is close by.
He also developed a tendency to go to ground when he wanted to get into water and when he got into the stream near their home he refused to get
The first thing I asked was had he been checked over by a vet, they had confirm he was fully checked over and they told the vet about his behaviour, the vet could not find anything on exam. Oscar was very nervous, stiff and flat to the table during the visit and did not show any obvious signs of pain when manipulated.
I went to visit Oscar at his home, as I walked through the door I could see there was a problem with his movement the care giver said they thought he was limping a little, on vet exam they said he was weight bearing through all four limbs.
We discussed management strategies to keep everyone safe and I explained that I wanted to do a gait analysis as I suspected his behaviour was predominantly due to pain. What also correlated here for me was it happening when disturbed from resting and the second for me was him wanting to stay in cold water, which I believe was giving him some form of relief.
I left Oscars owners with instructions on videos and static images I needed to analyse his gait, they did an amazing job especially with a very energetic Spaniel, these are not easy to video. I then analysed the video footage and put together a video for the vet along with a detailed reported describing what I found in the videos.
The client then took the report and video to the vet. The vet did another extensive physical exam watched Oscars movement again he still was not showing any signs of discomfort. He read the report and watched the video and agreed something was wrong. Oscar was prescribed anti inflammatories for a month.
Being on the anti inflammatories and with some behavioural modification in place, Oscars behaviour had changed and there were minimal incidents during this time. I went to visit him and although he still had obvious discomfort he definitely appeared more relaxed
Oscar had a CT scan and they found the following:
- A congenital fusion on his spine.
- A fissure on his front left elbow which they needed to operate on immediately.
Without the detailed video proof and full analysis to back up my findings, who knows how long it would have been for this dog to be diagnosed if ever,
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