Dogs are clever at hiding discomfort

Dogs can suffer with similar problems to humans but they can’t tell us where their pain is or if they have injured themselves. They are also all too often very clever at hiding their discomfort.

This can mean that some conditions are unnoticed for quite some time, long enough for changes in muscle and soft tissue to take place. If left unaddressed, these changes can become permanent and performance limiting.

These are some common conditions occurring in dogs:

Hip dysplasia

Commonly seen in large breed dogs where instability of the hip joint leads to abnormal wear and tear. May be managed by exercise, or in some cases require surgery.

Elbow dysplasia

Covers a range of conditions such as FCP, UAP, OCD and elbow incongruity, resulting in abnormal joint alignment. Surgical intervention and physiotherapy usually required.

Cranial cruciate disease

Very common problem often requiring surgical procedures such as TTA, TPLO or lateral suture. Each will have specific physiotherapy post-op protocols.

Patella luxation

More common in smaller breeds. Patella dislocates out of normal groove and dog unable to extend knee fully. Physiotherapy is required for conservative and surgical management.


Risk of joint degeneration is increased with overweight or previous trauma. Treatment is a combination of medication, physiotherapy and lifestyle advice.

Spinal cord injuries

Disc extrusion, FCE and wobblers are all encountered by dogs. Whether treated conservatively or surgically, physiotherapy is important for return to function.

Shoulder instability

Most common in middle-aged athletic large breed dogs , due to low-grade repetitive injury to ligaments or rotator cuff tendons. Physiotherapy crucial in overall management.

Post surgery

Advances in veterinary orthopaedics is increasing the surgical options available for dogs. Physiotherapy is vital to ensure optimum recovery from these procedures.