February Case Study – Alfie.

February Case Study – Alfie.

alfie1Name:         Alfie

Age:            12 years old

Breed:        Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Condition: Hind Limb Osteoarthritis and a Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture & Repair in Left Hind Limb.

Alfie first attended the centre in July 2014 following diagnosis of hind limb osteoarthritis, associated weakness and muscle atrophy.

Alfie is always a very happy chap and will do anything for a gravy bone and never thinks he has had enough of them!

Alfie was fully assessed on his first session and was found to be using his tail a lot for balance whilst also throwing his weight forward, in particular onto his left fore limb and so causing elbows to be bent outwards giving a slight “bulldog” like stance. He was scuffing his hind limbs due to the weakness and so had shortened his nails a lot on the middle toes of his hind limbs.

He was also obviously walking wider on his hind limbs in order to distribute his weight better.

Alfie was measured on his first session and these were as follows –

Limb Measurement
Left Fore 27cm
Right Fore 27cm
Left Hind 35.5cm
Right Hind 35.5cm


As shown by the above chart, Alfie was even in muscle mass but when the hind limbs were felt there was obvious loss of muscle bulk.

Following the assessment it was decided that the aquatic treadmill was most suitable for Alfie’s rehabilitation as he could be assisted to place his hind limbs closer so re train his gait pattern and reduce the weight bearing through his fore limbs which in turn would assist with correcting the “bulldog” like stance.

On the first session Alfie’s water level was taken to 10 inches and his speed to 0.4 miles per hour. He then managed to walk for 3 sets of 45 seconds, 1 minute 4 seconds and 1 minute with rest periods between.

He coped well with his first session but he was tired afterwards.

We quickly learnt that the way to please Mr Alfie was with a yummy gravy bone!! or two or three or four…………!

Alfie has progressed steadily through his sessions and after the 10th session was re measured as follows –

Limb Measurement
Left Fore 28cm
Right Fore 28cm
Left Hind 36cm
Right Hind 36cm


These measurements demonstrated an increase in muscle mass and although only small, the owners had noticed a dramatic difference with Alfie. He was managing well on walks, walking further, less wide on his hind limbs and managing to wag his tail more.

Alfie waiting patiently for the water to fill for his session.

Alfie waiting patiently for the water to fill for his session.

Since these measurements, Alfie has continued to attend the centre once per 1-2 weeks. His water level has stayed at 10 inches but the speed has steadily increased to 0.9 miles per hour. He now manages 3 sets of 3 minutes 30 seconds each with rest periods between.

Alfie’s most recent measurements were as follows –

Limb Measurement
Left Fore 29cm
Right Fore 29cm
Left Hind 37cm
Right Hind 37cm


These measurements show that Alfie has built himself up well and he now walks very steadily and quicker with less of a wide gait on the hind limbs.

Alfie will continue to attend the centre every 2 weeks and we hope he continues to progress well.

He is an absolute pleasure to treat and very well known & loved by all the staff at the centre.

Well done Alfie and keep up the good work.