So often, people ask me for help when their animals are having serious movement problems and are in quite a bit of pain. Of course, I am more than happy to help, but I can’t help wishing I’d had the chance to work with the animals sooner, when the inefficient movement pattern was just beginning, before it had grown into a debilitating problem.
These humans aren’t intentionally ignoring movement issues, of course. They just don’t recognize them. Or if they notice a little hitch in a dog’s gait or stiffness in a horse’s neck, they may not realize the cause of the problem or the fact that it won’t necessarily resolve itself.
So, what should you watch for? Here are a few suggestions.
Does your dog tend to sit on one seat bone, instead of sitting evenly on both?
Does your elder dog have difficulty standing up? An animal should be able to move smoothly from one position to another.
Does your dog have a limp, even a minor one?
When you stand behind your dog, do you notice that one side of his ribcage is more prominent than the other?
Still behind your dog, does her head seem centered on her body, or is it off-center or tilted to one side?
Does your dog swing his hips freely when he walks, or do his hips seem stiff?
Does your horse swing her hips and barrel freely when she walks?
Does he step under well, or is his gait short?
Is her trot smooth or a bit choppy?
Can he move his neck freely and easily?
Is one side of her ribcage more prominent than the other?
Does he have more trouble traveling in one direction than the other?
If you start training your eye so that you catch movement issues early on, you will be able to prevent more serious movement issues later. I can help your animal, but you can help as well.
In my next few posts, I will be sharing some ideas of how to encourage your animal to move freely, with comfort and grace.
Have you noticed any of these movement issues in your animals? Have you noticed others that you have questions about?
I hope you will be moved to share your thoughts.
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