What about Mom?
04 May 2018
By Margaret Kraeling, PT, CCRT
It is always such an exciting time when a new litter of puppies arrive. It is undoubtedly a very busy time making sure all the puppies are thriving and developing normally. It is also exciting as they grow to decide which pup is best suited to go to which home and is most suited for which “job” and especially picking out the pups to hold back that will prove valuable in your breeding program.
At the Canine Fitness Centre we love to see new litters of pups usually between 7-10 weeks of age to conduct a full musculoskeletal evaluation.
However, in all this excitement we must not forget the puppies’ mother. She has worked very hard in carrying, whelping, nursing and caring for this litter. After the pups have gone to their new homes it is a good time to have her checked out to make sure she is ready for reconditioning and return to her previous “job”.
I had an opportunity to perform one of these “post-litter” checkups last week and thought I would share my findings.
As you might expect the first dysfunction noted was in the sacroiliac joints. This was accompanied by a very tight pelvic diaphragm. It was also noted that the glutes on one side showed increased bulk and tone. Further up from that the epaxial muscles (along the back) on the same side exhibited increased tone from T6-13. The rib cage was rotated in the same direction and there was some rib tenderness in the same region. This may be due to fact that she preferred one side over the other to nurse her babies. When tested her diagonal leg standing ability, she was not equal on both diagonals.
Some manual joint mobilizations as well as some myofascial release were done and she was suddenly symmetrical again – and hopefully more comfortable.
This dog would never have indicated that she was uncomfortable and she would have happily returned to her high drive agility style. However, if these minor dysfunctions were not corrected they may well have gone on to cause some performance issues or aging issues on down the road.