Robert Gillette, DVM, MSE
The workload of a police dog or a bird dog creates varying medical issues which can be dependent upon their physical condition. If they are not conditioned to handle the workload exertional medical problems can arise. Another cause of medical problems in these dogs is related to the environments in which they work.
Lameness is defined as a variance from normal gait. There are two types of lameness: anatomical and pathologic. Anatomical lameness may not necessarily be from pain, and can be genetic or acquired. Chondroplasia in the Alaskan Malamute is a genetic condition that would produce lameness.
The distal limb is exposed to many traumatic events as a result of its almost constant interaction with the ground. The distal limb is defined as the anatomical structures from the carpus to the distal end of the front and rear limbs. In this area the skin has minimal muscle and fat under it for cushion.
Animal movement has been a subject of research for a long period of time. Both qualitative and quantitative gait analyses have been used to analyze canine movement. Veterinarians, breeders, owners, and trainers all can potentially benefit from the recent advances in gait analysis.
The veterinary profession is currently witnessing an increased demand from our clientele for information concerning performance of the canine athlete. The expectations come as a result of the scientific advancements in human sports medicine. If a pet owner is only interested in companionship, minimal stress will be placed upon the pet's body.
Veterinary physical therapy is the process of reconditioning body tissues that have been injured or diseased to their previous state or to a manageable state. Potential applications include recovery from medical cases, injuries, or post-surgical cases. There are three factors to consider in a designing rehabilitation regimen.