It’s been quite a while since I last did an update on the management of Hank’s hip dysplasia.
Hank had his most recent hydrotherapy session on Thursday. Before we even went inside the building, Rachel (Hank’s physio) came and watched him walk around the field. She also asked for me to get Hank to trot. Rachel said she was very happy with his movement and the length of his stride. This was great to hear and a very encouraging way to start the session.
However, when we got inside, Hank decided to play his usual trick and try to avoid getting into the tank. We’ve discovered that Hank needs to see Rachel and a pot of tasty treats go inside the tank. He is then far more likely to be persuaded to follow.
As is customary with Hank, he isn’t too keen on having to wait while the water flows into the tank. He starts off holding one of his feet out of the water. It’s quite adorable really! When he realises this isn’t going to help he starts making walking type motions as though he wants the treadmill to start moving.
When everything was ready Rachel started the treadmill. Hank still needs a lot of encouragement in the way of food to keep his mind on the task. Otherwise he starts either trying to sniff the tank or look out of the window. Both of these result in him slowing down and sliding to the back of the tank.
Hank completed five sets of three and a half minute walks and achieved a speed of 1.4 miles per hour. Hank has been doing this level of activity for the past few times he has been to hydrotherapy. This is also quite an increase in endurance for Hank since his initial session. At that point he did one minute at 1 mile per hour.
At the end of the session, Rachel informed me that Hank no longer needs to attend hydrotherapy on a regular basis. She is extremely happy with his progress and the way his muscles have developed in the last 6.5 months.
This is obviously fantastic news which we are delighted to hear. However, I have decided that I would like Hank to continue going to hydrotherapy once a month until he is fully grown. This allows Rachel the chance to keep an eye on things and ensure Hank continues to maintain his muscle mass.
There have been some very big improvements in Hank’s activity since the last update. Hank can now easily do a 3.5 mile walk without showing signs of being sore or lame afterwards. He is now also incredibly active around the house. The previously quiet, chilled out puppy is now a happy, fun loving young dog who wants to run and play.
Hank has started doing something fantastic in the last month aswell; he now lifts his leg to pee! That might not seem like such a big deal – he’s about the right age where most male dogs start to do this. However, it is huge for Hank! The act of lifting the leg in this manner actually takes a lot of muscle strength. He’s not just lifting a couple of inches off the ground either. Sometimes his knee is actually out to the side and level with the height of his back.
I informed Rachel and our vet that Hank is now lifting his leg. They are very happy to hear this and asked if it was just one leg or both that he uses. He is doing this with both which is the best news. It can’t be making him uncomfortable or he wouldn’t do it.
Hank is still having YuMove Young & Active, bone broth, turmeric paste and salmon oil every day. He has not had to have any Metacam at all in many months now. He is also on a reduced level of turmeric paste aswell now. I am so pleased that we are managing Hank’s situation as naturally as possible.
He still also does sit/stand exercises multiple times each day. He doesn’t walk over poles as much as he probably should, although lifting his leg to pee probably acts in a similar manner now.
Keep your eyes open for another update on Hank’s condition.