Case Studies

After seeing thousands of clients, with multiple patients per client (for example some owners have a single dog, racing yards may have 20 patients), there are probably few types of complaints we haven’t treated.

Here are just a few:-


Dusty having dog physiotherapy DSCF0154a
This is hard work Am I a good girl?
DSCF0184a DSCF0188a
Almost there Mum’s learning from Leanne, hope she remembers the treats!


DSCF0192a DSCF0200a
Good gracious, is she praying? This is all very different- ropes, wands!
DSCF0208a DSCF0212a
This feels good! Friendly lot these humans

Physiotherapy made all the difference to my badly injured cat.

Teddy weighs in at 7 kilos, not at all fat, but a huge cat, who is half Siamese and half American short hair. Teddy likes to climb, jump and roam and unfortunately when he was nearly two years old his path crossed a local cat hating child who ran over him with his bicycle. I found Teddy lame and traumatised and initially the vet thought that he had soft tissue injury and ordered rest. However Teddy became more disabled, and ten days later subsequent x-rays found a badly fractured femur and a lot of damage to the hip.

I asked my vet find the best specialist to take Teddy to, and she pointed us in the direction of the orthopaedic team at Davis White in Hertfordshire. It was a terrible journey wondering if Teddy would lose his leg but the highly trained vets there decided to have a go with pinning…and this very delicate operation was successful. Several weeks of cage rest was ordered, and the vets at Davis White spoke very highly of Amanda’s work and recommended immediate treatment with her.

Most people do not know that physiotherapy is not all about massage and moving limbs around, but immediately after surgery specialist lasers that the phsyiotherpists use can reduce the severity of the wound, assisting and speeding repair. Also the muscles around the limb can be mobilised to help and encourage movement, and as the Teddy began to walk again his whole body was helped to re-align.

Amanda came to visit Teddy two days after he got home from the hospital and started the rehab process with him. When Teddy went back to Davis White for a check six weeks later up they were truly amazed at how mobile he was considering the severity of his injury and subsequent operation.

Teddy has regular check ups now with the team, and physiotherapy without a doubt has made an enormous difference to his very speedy recovery. I urge anyone who has a cat with any sort of musculo/skeletal problem to ask the vet for a referral to Sutton’s physiotherapy. Without this fantastic specialist help I know that Teddy would not be as well as he is today. He was no limp whatsoever and as I write is climbing to the top of a tree to survey his garden!

Doris Cornall
Redlynch, Wiltshire

Dashunds Swimmers case study

Girty and Freddie arrived at the practice, 8 weeks old, having been referred by their vet in Romsey, diagnosed with a condition called Swimmers. These two longhaired, miniature Dashunds were the only in the litter, to a bitch who had no previous Swimmers puppies. The owners Dr and Mrs Smith lived in a semi-rural area on a smallholding with sheep.

The Vet prescribed Physiotherapy to be performed by the owners as a possible plan of action, but held out very little hope. Owner Dr Smith was a GP and sought the advice of a Chartered Animal Physiotherapist, arriving at the practice on a Saturday morning with two tiny pups in a washing basket.

Freddie the larger of the two, typically the boy! had been delivered naturally, where as Girty had been in some distress so was delivered by caesarean. Initially Freddie’s lack of movement and alertness was thought to be due to his greedy, glutinous nature, where as Girty’s lack of movement and weakness was attributed to her playing second fiddle to Freddie, as well as the nature of her delivery. At 8 weeks the puppies cried when cradled, had an inability to sustain a standing posture without collapsing and presented with an unusual chest shape, this caused alarm bells to start ringing.

When we put Freddie in a normal position, not allowing him to cheat, he was unable to maintain it due to extreme weakness and a lack of joint stability. Our first aim was to establish and inform the owners of their commitment to the project we were about to embark on. If we were going to have chance of success we had to act quickly and implement a programme of continual correct positioning. Dr and Mrs Smith were made aware this could be uncomfortable for the puppies and they may become distressed. They therefore had to be fully aware of our intentions and happy to follow our guidelines.

Within 12 hours we had a glimmer of hope as Freddie, who we had always felt was less likely to succeed, walked for the first time. We initially placed the puppies on a vibrating mat, and placed them over a roll to correctly position their abdomen and back. Tape was carefully applied to their shoulders to help enforce the correct position when standing, and their hind legs were placed correctly to maintain a long sitting position. The pups received joint massage and veterinary acupuncture to their painful joints and tissues. Neurological physiotherapy techniques were applied to the limbs and stomach to encourage normal sensation and awareness.

Owners Dr and Mr Smith were taught basic hands on methods to encourage normal sensation and positioning of the body and limbs. They were also instructed very carefully how to handle the puppies. This was probably the most vital part of the programme as incorrect hand placement and handling could undo all the previous good work.

Girty and Freddie continued a home programme and regular monitoring by our Physiotherapy Practice. They defied all the odds and made a fantastic recovery, which enabled them to find new homes. They both became firm favourites of ours, joining a very long list of others! The success of these puppies is due to a team approach including the referring vet all the way through to their new owners.

Pumpkin, an 18-year-old driving pony who sustained injury to his biceps femoris muscle when in the field.

Symptoms – a large swelling, tender around injury site – haematoma, an accumulation of blood within the tissues that clots.

Treatment – ice packs, pulsed-short wave diathermy, massage, gradual exercise programme

Results – Pony made a good recovery, recommended ongoing stretching of hamstrings

Minty, a 10-year-old show-jumping pony was resenting his rider on mounting, and was no longer going clear jumping.

Symptoms – short-backed in conformation, saddle appeared to be causing concern

Diagnosis – deep muscle guarding of back muscles, altered spinal biomechanics

Treatment – refitted saddle, two sessions of reflex inhibition technique manipulation

Results – Full functional recovery

Aged New Forest gelding, unable to canter around the field.

Symptoms – stiff and straight-legged gait on right hind limb

Diagnosis – arthritic stifle joint

Treatment – H-wave therapy to gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings, muscle groups

Results – Able to mobilise immediately, needs maintenance treatments every 4-6 weeks

Tanas, a black labrador

Symptoms – stiff and in-pain

Diagnosis – arthritis

Treatment – 4-week course of accupuncture and physiotherapy supplying exercise

Results – Showed significant improvement, in less pain

01425 612067