Empowering the carer

Teeny Tiny Tyler has the heart of a giant dog. He was simply not sure about touch at all – except from his Mum so she did all the physical work on this session – and he loved it.

Tyler is an 11 year old Yorkshire Terrier / Dachshund cross. Despite his seniority, he has a puppy’s mind. Last year, he suddenly couldn’t stand and became immobile. His vets immediately referred him to a specialist practice where he was treated for an Intervertebral Disc Extrusion between T12 to T13.

His progress had been coming along fine but stalled. His family asked me over to help restart his rehabilitation.

As Tyler was not willing to be touched, we started with a few exercise tips – to gently help ease his tight spinal muscles which were causing him to stand hunched. Other exercises were done to help restore his balance and sensory perception. When he runs at the moment, he does tend to veer sideways preferring not to use his right rear as much as the left.

It was then time for Mum to take over. She adopted his favourite position – in the chair beside her – and started to intentionally feel what he felt like. How tight his muscles were, how developed and balanced they were – things she could use as indictors to monitor his progress in the next few weeks.

We knew that he would be her biggest critic, but we needn’t have worried. He LOVED his front end massage. His little eyes went very gooey very quickly. Not so sure with his back end but with slow and deliberate touch, he allowed Mum to so whatever she wanted. And, equally importantly, whatever he needed.

He also knew when he had enough, getting off Mum and going back to his bed.

He did come out to try and chase my feet at the end but we managed to turn that into an exercise too. Chasing my feet seemed to take his mind off his right rear leg issues and he managed to move across the room with a very orderly gait.

Hopefully, with all this new knowledge, Tyler’s rehabilitation will restart and he will back to his balanced running around soon.

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