Dynamic Dog Case Study: Yuki
January 06, 2023
Reactive Dog Walking

For Years the Vet said she wasn’t in pain

Yuki is a 7 year old Westie and lives with her human who is a dog walker and dog trainer. Yuki had developed a ‘skip’ as she walked when she was 2 years old, after noticing that her human took her for a Vet check up. 

The Vet didn’t think anything was wrong and considered the skip to be common for small breeds. His advice was that she would likely develop Arthritis as she got older. 

Although Yuki’s human took on board what the Vet said, she still had niggling concerns about Yuki’s movement and overall comfort. 

Just because something is ‘common’ in dogs it does not make it normal. It should be investigated. – Gemma Hodson, founder of Dynamic Dog. 

5 Years Later. 

Over the years Yuki’s skip continued to become more and more obvious, her human noting Yuki’s ‘Skip’ every 5 to 6 steps instead of every now and then. Over Summer 2022 while Yuki was booked in for Dental Surgery, the Vet was asked to check her legs after her Human had continued to raise concerns about the ‘Skip’ and was worried about pain. 

Under sedation the Vet felt/assessed Yuki’s hind limbs and couldn’t find anything majorly wrong, noting her patella had a little movement, so Yuki’s skip was probably due to the patella popping back into place. He reassured Yuki’s human that it was common and she wasn’t in pain. 

5 weeks later at her Dental post-op check, Yuki’s human mentioned how her physical abilities had become noticeably worse. “She was “skipping” every step, had started to be stiff on both legs when getting up from sleeping or resting, wouldn’t jump up on the sofa or bed and didn’t want to walk much on our walks”.

The vet prescribed 2 weeks of rest alongside giving Yuki Loxicom as needed over that time. The Vet said Xray’s were unlikely to show anything and she would maybe need to see a physio at some point. 

2 Weeks Later

Yuki showed no improvement over her 2 weeks of rest and feeling frustrated at the lack of action from her Vet and worried about Yuki, Yuki’s human reached out to Dynamic Dog Practitioners via Facebook. This is where I come in. 

After plenty of talking and information gathering, then analysing Yuki’s Videos it was clear to see that wee Yuki was struggling to move correctly, she was stiff through her hind limbs and overall she was not a happy dog. 

Yuki and her human 1
Yuki and her human 1

A whole Lot of Dynamic Dog Assessment Findings 

The Assessment concluded Yuki swings out both back limbs when walking, it was more noticeable at her right back leg with her also raising the leg off the ground for a longer period than the left hind. Her Hind limbs were straight with minimal stretching as she walked, overall a Very stiff gait when in walk or trot.

 Yuki’s right back leg was not fully weight bearing when moving or in stand. Yuki was also consistently avoids putting her right back Foot flat on the floor. She triple tracks with the left back leg tracking to the midline instead of straight forward.

Additionally, Yuki showed she was rotating her pelvis forward and under in stand. Her back legs were both positioned quite forward in stand and this was more noticeable on her right back leg. Her tail was held consistently to the Left when moving. Coat pattern disturbance over lumbar spine and general lumbar area was also noted. Atrophy also noted at her right back leg. Yuki was also reluctant to sit, choosing to stand. 

This information was forwarded to Yuki’s Vet, who IMMEDIATELY requested X Rays and prescribed Metacam for daily pain relief.


Yuki’s X rays showed Osteoarthritis and lots of inflammation in right back leg and osteophytes. The vet also said she had some inflammation in left stifle. 

Both knees have Cruciate Ligament Disease, but more so the right. They couldn’t luxate the patella due to too much inflammation, but believe she also has patella luxation.

Yuki was referred to a Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon who wanted to consider surgery but Yuki’s human was unsure about such a big surgery for a small dog. 

Instead they decided to go with Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, which Yuki has now undergone and is already showing some amazing results. She will need hydrotherapy or physio to build her muscle back. Yuki’s Human said “I am so pleased we are finally at a good place of understanding what pain she has been in and how we manage it and repair her ligaments”.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)  treatments use the body’s own tissues to kick start natures own tissue healing and repair mechanisms. To that end it is drug free and therefore side effect free. Treatment using this involves taking a blood sample, 30-50ml from the dog. This blood is then processed to gather a platelet rich sample. This is then injected into the affected joint.

Yuki’s Human Says 

Suzanne’s knowledge and understanding of a dog’s gait and posture analysis is outstanding and without her help, I don’t know where we would be right now.  She made me feel like I wasn’t just seeing things and I shouldn’t leave her how she was, that I know my dog and that what I was seeing, she was also seeing and that Yuki wasn’t right. 

Without Suzanne’s expert knowledge and observation skills I don’t know where we’d be right now…..

If you like to find out more information about how a Dynamic Dog Assessment can help you and your dog CLICK HERE to book a call with me.

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