Pip is an active 5 year old female border collie who suddenly became lame on her left forelimb. Following veterinary investigation, a suspected tear of one of the shoulder stabilising ligaments (the medial glenohumeral ligament) was diagnosed. The injury was caused by twisting and turning whilst chasing a ball. Immediate rest was prescribed by the vet and she was referred for physiotherapy treatment.
Pip presented with a mild lameness of the left forelimb and reduced muscle bulk of the left shoulder. Pip had reduced range of movement of the left shoulder with mild signs of discomfort.
The aims of Pip’s physiotherapy treatment were to aid healing of the glenohumeral ligament and to strengthen musculature of the left shoulder to minimise the risk of recurring injury.
Pip was treated with Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMFT) to the left shoulder to promote soft tissue healing by causing a vasodilation effect and increasing blood flow to the area. Massage and passive range of movement exercises were performed on the left shoulder to improve joint mobility. Flexion and extension of the left shoulder joint improved, with no associated signs of pain.
A home exercise programme was then devised for Pip aimed at muscle strengthening to minimise future injury. The plan included wobble cushion exercises, pole work and weaving exercises performed in a controlled, balanced manner on a harness. Her owner implemented the home exercise plan alongside her physiotherapy sessions as directed.
Following 3 months of regular physiotherapy treatment and restricted lead walking exercise, Pip had responded well and is now able to complete two half hour walks per day with some off lead time at the end, with no sign of lameness. Her exercise level will continue to be gradually increased to help her return to her former level of activity.