“Don’t be put off, just do it”

We’ve known Riley’s Mum, Alison, for a number of years now when we both started to go to events to promote our services. Alison runs Dog Delights healthy homemade dog treats. We discovered her amazing cheesy dog treats which we found are also human yummy. Since those early days her talents have grown and she has her own unit to make the biscuits in.

Alison adopted Riley a few years ago. He is not the chief biscuit sampler though as he is a Lab and once started, he’d never stop. But he gets to enjoy all the smells and odours. Well…when he is not fast asleep that is.

Recently he has started to display issues with his neck and upper back. Alison wrote “He screams/yelps/squeals (not sure how to describe it) when he awakes (possibly when he lifts his head??)”. He is now on Metacam which is helping his issues but he stills winces when he lifts his head in the morning. He walks and runs OK, seems happy in himself, still jumps into the car/bed/sofa/stairs OK but still gives out a “terrifying haunting wail” which is a very graphic description.

Despite being a Lab, making him hard wired to love touch, he tends to play up at the vets or when he thinks people are doing things to him that he might not enjoy. Alison was worried he would not settle during the therapy session as he tends to play up at the vets. Again, using wonderful descriptions, she said a vet visit as “like trying to catch a moving skip and we all have to give up so nobody gets hurt”

I was happy to try and help this handsome moving skip but made sure I was well out of range of his massive legs and feet when he had a rolling around on the floor episode. He means no harm, he is just a happy boisterous lad.

As well as his ultra-stiff neck and upper back, he also suffers from loose core muscles which means he is not really flowing in his walk. Instead he tends to lollop along. The aim with Riley is to help his stiff neck to release that pain and to devise an exercise plan to help trim up his core.

Alison and I took him through my new Canine Pilates routine designed to strengthen his core muscles and safely stretch his neck and upper back. He quickly picked up these exercises and seemed more fluid at the end of the 90 minute session. At least his head was turning around from his neck rather than the whole body. We plan to keep him on maintenance sessions to monitor his progress.

Two days after his treatment session, Alison sent me an update “Smiley Riley hasn’t made any whimper this morning so Les Ellam has helped him enormously already. Anybody who ever has a poorly dog with arthritis/mobility issues,or even unexplained pain, please do visit AchyPaw. AND he is very reasonable too so don’t be put off, just do it” That sounds like a result to me.

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