At 6 months of age Alfie started limping and was diagnosed by the vets as having Legge-Perthes disease in his hip. Legge Perthes disease is where the ball part of the hip joint starts to die and disintegrate due to the blood supply being interrupted somehow. The best course of action is to surgically remove the ball of the femur bone (something called a Femoral Head and Neck Excision, FHNE) and allow the hip to form a new false joint from cartilage. The procedure allows the dog to use the leg pain free.
Alfie had his surgery done and was referred to us afterwards as it is essential to strengthen the muscles around the hip to support the new joint that is forming. Alfie started with twice weekly appointments which include a mixture of physiotherapy techniques and hydrotherapy. He had home exercises to do to encourage him to weight bear on the leg as he was a little reluctant initially. He started a programme of hydrotherapy and took to the water like a duck - Alfie may be pint sized but he has a strong swim action!
Alfie progressed to our dry land treadmill where we used some weighted cuffs on his legs to help build the last bit of muscle and introduce him back to dry land. We also did work on the wobble cushions and boards to help strengthen the ligaments around the hip and improve his core stability.
Alfie is now back to living a normal and full life, enjoying his walks and managing to keep up with his 3 siblings!