Case Studies

DIRECT TRAUMA

Henry – 5 years old, Jack Russell Terrier

History – Henry is a family pet and during his usual play with a tennis ball he jumped up and twisted through his body landing hard on his hind legs. At first he seemed OK but the following day he was in significant pain and unable to move freely. A trip to the vet confirmed that there were no fractures but he had severely strained his lower back and his muscles were in spasm. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered. These helped but he still had an unbalanced, stiff gait and wasn’t his usually bouncy self.

McTimoney treatment – With veterinary approval McTimoney therapist, Lucy Goodright initial assessment concluded that there was a large rotation and tilt in Henry’s pelvis to the right which was likely caused by the impact through the hindlimbs when Henry landed awkwardly when catching the ball. In compensation his lumbar spine were rotated to the right, upper thoracic vertebrae rotated left, lower cervicals to the left and upper cervicals to the right. Such misalignments along his spine caused the soft tissue structures to become tight and sore resulting in restricted movement and unhappy dog. McTimoney adjustments to the relevant areas of the spine and pelvis alongside soft tissue massage were used to treat Henry’s condition. Henry had a total of 3 McTimoney treatments over a period of 5 weeks which improved his skeletal alignment and restored him back to his normal self.

COMPENSATORY LAMENESS

Ellie, 17 year old Thoroughbred

Ellie injured her suspensory ligament in the right fore. Despite following an advised rest period, she was still lame in trot, although sound in walk. Her owner, Sarah is currently walking her out with short periods of trot under the vet’s advice to get on with some work to strengthen it. The lameness was worse on the right rein in the school but after ten minutes she moved a lot better. Sarah had also noticed that when bringing Ellie out of the stable, her backend was really stiff too.

Gait analysis revealed that Ellie was moving with her right hip much lower than left side when observing the pelvis. Treatment focused on rebalancing the pelvis which was found to be markedly rotated down on the right side with the lumbar spine L2-5 also curved right and upper back T7-9 curved left in a compensatory pattern. Ellie was tighter through the paravertebral long back muscles and gluteal region of hindquarters on right side compared to left. However, the right fore was only slightly filled at top of lower leg compared to left side despite the owner reporting the presence of a splint in the same region as well. Within two days of treatment, Ellie was sound in trot, as reported by the owner Jo Elgar (who is herself a trained Equine Massage Therapist).

In these cases, where asymmetry and imbalance of the whole body affects the presentation of lameness symptoms in areas of previous injury, the McTimoney treatment is invaluable in reinstating correct spinal mobility and comfort, enabling a rehabilitation programme to progress properly without continued compensatory movement patterns, thereby improving the long term prognosis.

ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

3 week old lamb

McTimoney Animal Practitioner, Dianne Bradshaw, was called to assist an unfortunate three-week old lamb who had been squashed by a metal gate. Young lambs are a common sight at spring time, but this was an unusual patient for Dianne.

Dianne, who is based in Stroud, received a phone call from an anxious lady who was hand rearing a small lamb for the farmer next door. “It was soon after I qualified and I had only treated a few horses but she asked for my help and as I was going to that area to treat horses I agreed to call in to see what I could do”, explained Dianne. When she arrived, the lamb had done the splits on its rear hind legs as a metal gate had fallen onto him.

One leg was triple its regular size and the other was obviously numb and lifeless. The vet had already been and assessed the lamb and had given him steroids to help the swelling in the leg go down but there was no change to the other leg.”

Using gentle McTimoney chiropractic techniques to help rebalance the skeletal system Dianne aimed to restore normal functionality to the animal. “He was only too happy to let me use McTimoney manipulation to see if it would help”, said Dianne. “As the lamb couldn’t stand on his own, the lady and I had to support him so that I could palpate and assess him. I could then apply the adjustments he needed after which we sat him back down in his sitting position he had been.”.

After the treatment, the lamb was watched closely by his carer as she eagerly awaited him to regain the spring in his step. Dianne followed up with the client a few days later, “She reported that by the next day she saw him manage to get to his feet and was standing up. The following day the farmer brought his mum to join him and by day three they were put back out together in a small paddock.” The familiar sight of lambs skipping across the fields at spring time is a privilege to witness and thanks to a McTimoney practitioner, this little lamb was able to race around the field, in true lamb style, once again.

A SPECIAL CAT

Frankie, 21 year old Cat

Registered veterinary nurse, Emma Leaver, has owned her 21 year old cat, Frankie for fifteen years. Frankie didn’t have the best start in life, Emma said, “Frankie was mistreated by her former owners and so went the Faith Animal Rescue Centre in Hickling. When she first arrived she could be grumpy and didn’t seem to really like people, which was of course totally understandable”.

Soon, Frankie became an important member of Emma’s family, Emma continued, “I was living at home when we first got Frankie. She was however very much my cat and was soon sleeping on my bed. Frankie has been very adaptable as I have moved house a couple of times since then and she has made the transition into new territories very easily. Very little phases her and she combines this with her wonderful fiery nature!”

However, as Frankie has got older, she has been suffering from arthritis and a digestive problem. Emma said, “I was starting to get worried about her as she was having prednisolone for her digestive problems and Tramadol for her arthritis. This was no life for her as she was starting to really resent having tablets twice a day. She had also started to get quite immobile and was sleeping a lot and generally being inactive”.

Through her job as a veterinary nurse at the Old Golf House, Emma had spent time speaking to registered McTimoney Animal Practitioner, Claire Lawrence. Emma continued, “Claire mainly treats horses and dogs with McTimoney and I had heard lots of really positive feedback about the effect of the treatment. I discussed Frankie with Claire and we decided that Claire should give her a treatment and we would see how it went. Frankie can be quite fiery and so I was delighted to see that she enjoyed the treatment”. Claire found that Frankie had misalignments of her cervical vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae and a tilted pelvis. Emma said, “Claire worked her way down Frankie’s spine, gently realigning the vertebrae and helping her spine return to its full range of movement”.

Further to her first McTimoney treatment, Emma was able to reduce Frankie’s pain relief and following two subsequent treatments Frankie is no longer on any medication. Emma said, “It is great that Frankie’s standard of life is so improved. She is back to her normal self and she is so much more active and friendly. In the last couple of weeks she has started sitting in front of me and lifting a paw to tap me with which she has never done before”.

RESTORING HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE

Fern, 7 year old homebred horse

A seven-year-old horse, based in Droitwich, is now back to full health after McTimoney Animal Association Practitioner Jenna Churchill helped to identify a serious spinal condition. Fern, a home bred mare, use to be full of attitude but when owner and yard manager of Rednall Farm and stables, Eve Wood noticed she wasn’t herself she called Jenna to come and investigate.

Jenna treats all of Eve’s horses regularly, “Jenna knows my horses well by personality as well as physically and always picks up on changes when she visits,” explains Eve. In January last year Eve began to notice that Fern was not feeling herself, “She kept on dropping her hind leg when ridden, so we called Jenna” said Eve. “All four of my horses accept Jenna’s treatment happily and trust her, but this time there was something really wrong with Fern.” During her treatment Jenna noticed that Fern was very unhappy “I suspected something more sinister was going on so referred her to the vet,” explains Jenna. The vet later diagnosed Fern with kissing spine and she underwent surgery. Fern made a full recovery and is being ridden by Rednall Farm & Stables’ yard supervisor, Carla Pope. She said “Fern hunted last season and is continuing her training with some riding club activities through the summer.” Eve is thrilled to see Fern fully functional again, “I trust Jenna implicitly with my horses and find her extremely professional. The horses work very hard in the winter, often working for six hours once or even twice a week if they are out hunting. Jenna’s visits are vital to keep all four supple and sound and able cope with their work.

IMPROVING MUSCLE FUNCTION

Poppy, 9 month old, Chinese crested dog.

Poppy, owned by Natallie Waite, was diagnosed with Legg Perthes disease of her left hind limb in early 2013 after having lameness issues. Natalie describes how “at around 9 months old she stopped using one of her back legs and would just hold it up. X-rays showed Poppy’s hip joint hadn’t formed properly and she needed an operation to correct it. The operation went fine, but for weeks afterwards Poppy still refused to use her leg.

There was barely any muscle on it and I was starting to get worried, so my vet put me in touch with McTimoney Animal Practitioner, Jessica Guest.” In fact Poppy was only weight bearing on the limb a maximum of 5% of the time. Jessica says, “On my first visit to see Poppy it was apparent that she was very guarded around her left hind, and along with muscle atrophy she also had a lot of spinal misalignments and muscle tension due to persistently not using her body properly, to the extent that her whole body appeared to be twisted.

We took our first visit very slowly so that Poppy learnt to trust what I was doing and along with McTimoney manipulation techniques I also used massage and stretching exercises. I left Natalie her owner with some exercises that she could do daily with Poppy in order to make her more comfortable and encourage her to start using her leg more.” Natalie continues, “After just one half hour session with Jess stretching and massaging her leg Poppy started to put her leg down, although it was only now and again.

I continued with the exercises Jess had shown me and Poppy started to use the leg more and more. Poppy had another session with Jess again the same stretches and exercises and Jess had noticed Poppy’s muscle starting to build, by the third time Jess came to see Poppy she was running around on all four legs, she had piled weight on and her leg muscle was much stronger. Poppy keeps improving, she’s back to her normal happy self finally and I honestly think this would never of been the case had it not been for Jess, I’m amazed and delighted and would recommend her to anyone!”

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