Rehabilitation Programme, Dedication & Good Old TLC, Restores Pomeranian Dog Following Horrific Injuries
To see Bonna the little Pomeranian dog today, full of energy and bounding around, you would never know that only 2 years ago she suffered a viscous, unprovoked dog attack that left her needing numerous veterinary surgeries to save her life.
Bonna was 6 years old when the attack happened, and she received serious injuries to her hind quarters. Her owner, Hara, questioned whether she had done the right thing putting Bonna through the veterinary treatment as, a year on, the dog had become depressed and was clearly in pain, timid and not the happy, energetic Pomeranian she used to be.
In an effort to help her beloved dog, Hara called McTimoney Animal Practitioner, Emma Punt. McTimoney is a form of chiropractic manipulation used to treat pain and dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system. It predominantly focuses on optimising alignment of the spine and pelvis in order to restore correct function of the skeletal system, nervous system and surrounding soft tissue. The technique is non-invasive and gentle and is readily accepted by animals. The treatment aims to correct alignment issues and balance the animal’s musculoskeletal system, restoring health and movement, soundness, and performance.
The injuries Bonna had sustained left her struggling with her mobility, very stiff in her hind limb movement and often reluctant to run around for longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time not only making walks a challenge but hugely impacting Bonna’s enjoyment of life. Understandably Hara and her family found this upsetting to see. Having suffered such an attack and the surgeries that were subsequently necessary, Bonna’s body had to adapt to cope with changing movement patterns and so Emma knew that stiffness is not unusual in these cases.
Emma noted that on examination Bonna had a lot of skeletal imbalance including a significant curve through her spine and pelvis probably from the attack which had not been addressed by the subsequent surgeries. It is these compensatory imbalances in the spine and pelvis which the McTimoney treatment is so effective at correcting. She also had huge amounts of scar tissue that went deep into the musculature of the hind quarters and lower back. The injured areas where the surgery had taken place were clearly marked by patchy, dry dull coat and tight scaly skin. Emma said, “from my years of experience as a McTimoney practitioner this was one of the worst cases I’d seen of skeletal crookedness, lack of mobility in the lower back and amount of scar tissue”.
Emma explains, “I worked with Bonna and Hara over a number of months using chiropractic and massage techniques as well as laser therapy. Hara was a dedicated owner doing all the homework I asked of her to help strengthen Bonna. Initially progress was slow, the scar tissue was starting to soften and break down allowing more mobility and Bonna’s spine was getting more mobile and straighter. However, Bonna was lacking confidence to go for walks and meet other dogs.”
The decision was taken to give Bonna the option of a dog pram so that she could rest between bouts of exercise. This allowed Hara to do a full walk and Bonna to benefit from being able to scent different environments and help with her emotional wellbeing as well as build confidence that she wouldn’t be attacked again.
After the fourth treatment session there seemed to be a huge improvement, and from then on Bonna went from strength to strength. It had been a year since the final surgery until she received her first McTimoney treatment, so the compensatory changes in the spine had become well-established in that time. Whilst it is preferable to see such a case sooner, it can still take several treatments before an animal’s body starts to respond more positively and stiffness resolves. For Bonna, this allowed her to experience greater movement, more comfort, and a resulting increase in normal walk behaviours.
Just 6 months later Bonna doesn’t need or want to use the pram, she has a new lease of life and is much more comfortable and mobile. She is back to her normal self, happily running around the park and is also looking much better. The coarse dry hair over her injured lower back was beginning to be replaced with soft silky hair leaving it barely noticeable that anything had ever been amiss.
Emma is delighted with the outcome. “The pram was a key factor in Bonna’s amazing recovery, and no-one should discount the use of this device as part of a rehabilitation programme. Despite her horrific injuries, having a correct holistic plan including McTimoney physical therapy, exercise, diet, and supplements, can significantly improve quality of life and in Bonna’s case restore her to the happy go lucky girl she used to be. Bonna’s story just goes to show that as an owner you can help your dog in so many ways and with dedication and TLC anything is possible.”
Emma Punt has 15 years’ experience as a McTimoney therapist specialising in Equine and Canine therapy and rehabilitation. She has a first degree, PhD and post-doctoral research at The University of Birmingham. Emma was the only student in her year to be awarded a distinction as well as receiving the Dorothy Waring award for excellence from McTimoney College of Chiropractic (http://www.bpp.com/bpp-university/undergraduate-programmes/chiropractic).