Jock is an animal patient of mine who I have been treating for a month. He is a six year old Australian Terrier who was rescued when he was 2 years old by his current owners. Jock was referred to the clinic for rehabilitation by his vet after he had cruciate ligament surgery on his right hind leg. The cruciate ligament in a dog is the same as the ACL in a human knee. Sports people commonly do their ACL, but in a dog rupture is much more common than that. Usually in a dog, there is an element of osteoarthritis in the joint which makes the ligament weak in the first place and most dogs who rupture one will at some point rupture the other. (Luckily dogs only have two because, as some of you would know, the repair can be quite costly)
When I initially assessed Jock, I noticed he was very tender in his back end, particularly around his pelvis and tail, so much so that he gave me a bit of warning to stay away from there as I assessed him. I proceeded with caution around this area but still treated it as well as the muscles in his operated leg, and showed his mum some exercises to do at home, sending them away for a week.
The following week Jock’s owners were delighted to tell me that he had been wagging his tail for the first time in the 4 years they have had him. Jock is now 6 weeks post surgery and walking, trotting and wanting to run everywhere due to his rehab, but the best part of Jock’s story is that he is much more comfortable and able to show his delight to his owners by wagging his tail.