Last fall, Kozmo, a 7 year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, began showing signs of severe hip pain, particularly on the right side.  He would have episodes of crying and the pain became quite intense.  After being placed on three different pain medications, the symptoms lessened but still occurred.  Kozmo’s owner was then referred to an orthopedist for further evaluation.  She was told that Kozmo needed to have total hip replacement surgery for both hips and would require long periods of confinement and intensive therapy afterwards. Unfortunately, there was no guarantee that the surgery would be a success, and the cost was quite high.  An alternative was rehabilitation to try and strengthen the muscles around the hips.  That’s when Kozmo came to see us.

    Our first visit with Kozmo was on the last day of November in 2012.  He was very painful in both hips, with the right being far worse than the left, and was so lame that he would “bunny hop” when attempting to run.  Kozmo showed signs of muscle atrophy on the more-painful right side (28cm thigh circumference on the right vs. 30cm on the left) as well as decreased range of motion in the right hip compared to the left.  Kozmo was also slightly overweight.

    Kozmo was immediately placed into the rehabilitation program here at East York Veterinary Center.  He began each session with a hot pack, massage, and some balancing exercises.  Once warmed-up, he was taken outside (weather permitting) to walk, run, climb up and down hills, and jump over hurdles.  With each session, Kozmo gained endurance and strength.  Also with each session, Kozmo’s owner noticed a decrease in his painful episodes.  By the end of his eighth session, Kozmo was only receiving one type of pain medication and, on average, only one time a week!  He barely had any painful episodes, was back to playing with his toys, and even slimmed down.  Medically, Kozmo’s muscle girth equalized (29cm thigh circumference both sides) and he gained eight degrees of flexion and 12 degrees of extension in the right hip - his “bad” hip was now equal to his “good” hip.  Kozmo’s rehabilitation was a success!