One size doesn’t fit all

13 year old Staffie Pickle was rescued 18 months ago when she was only 48 hours from being PTS. Her new Mum and Dad think she was kept in one room and possibly used as a breeding dog or maybe even a bait dog as she had big ‘cauliflower ears’ which still need constant attention. When they first put a lead on her to take her for a walk, she simply did not know what to do. She sat down and wouldn’t move. Luckily, she had brother Archie for a while who taught her how to dog. When he passed, she grieved but then settled into being the new head of the family.

Despite all her past, she is a loving sweetheart. Her Mum and Dad are experienced Staffie parents – and are very bad at fostering. They nearly always end up as failed fosterers adding the new dog to their family.

They used to have Archie and Pearl who I visited a couple of years back to teach them how to perform an appropriate massage daily routine. They introduced me to Sussex Pet Rescue which, in turn lead to a training session for many of their volunteers

Although they knew what to do for Pickle, they also knew that one size doesn’t fit all. They wanted me to show them how to use manual therapy for Pickle as her needs were different from those of Alfie and Pearl.

Pickle has a variety of issues including arthritis and Rhinitis. For these, and other conditions she takes a lot of medication. But alongside that, she is also on supplements and complementary therapy – hydrotherapy and acupuncture. Adding manual therapy is a good multi-modal mix.

Over the last months, she has started to struggle with her hind legs – her Mum and Dad say that she sways. There are days that she really can’t walk and even on the good days, they have to be her advocate for knowing when is enough. On a good day, she will walk and walk but will then be stiff the next day. So they now decide for her when she needs to turn back.

Because of her hind leg issues, she has put on muscle mass to her front legs. But these too have now been diagnosed with arthritis. She was very tight fascially having held herself tense for the past month or so with a stiff mid back.

She truly enjoyed all the interventions, so much so that at the end, when I was taking pictures for her personalised workbook, she remained fast asleep on her Dad’s foot. Even when her Mum and I got up, she stayed fast asleep. Even when I got the treat box out to show them some appropriate stretching exercises, she didn’t move. I had to demonstrate the exercises on myself.

That was Dad trapped for the rest of the afternoon.

He did, however, manage to free himself to write a review on our page “Our arthritic Staffie, Pickle, has been a bit of a wonky donkey for a while now, and, although happy , she was obviously very tight and uncomfortable. Enter Les and his magic hands, and such a transformation!! You could literally see her muscles and stance opening up and relaxing. Such a fantastic thing for everyone who loves their dog. Predictably the session ended with a totally relaxed Staffie, fast asleep, grunting and farting happily as Les left. Results are still very much in evidence two days later”

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