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End of Season "MOT"

Updated: Jan 13

All gundogs, whether or not they have sustained an injury during the shooting season, will benefit from a check over and a massage once the season is over.

Zen Canine Therapy - Gundog End of Season MOT Package
Download PDF • 350KB

Whether your dog is out several times a week or just a handful of times during the season, they will have been in and out of cars, waiting around in inclement weather, going from 0 to 60 on a runner, jumping, swimming, running over uneven ground, carrying birds, carrying birds over barriers, in water, slipping on wet or icy ground etc, you get the gist. 

All these things put strain on their muscles and other soft tissues and, if extreme, could cause an obvious and immediate injury - I observed my dog, Nero, on a shoot day attempting to get away from a dog that was chasing him and taking the quickest but toughest route to find me which had him overstretching jumping across a river and later that day he had heat in his right lumbar and was not fully weight-bearing on his right hindlimb for around a week - but more often than not it is the small, repetitive strains that build up and cause an issue often much later on and your dog may not show any signs until it has got to a point where they are having to compensate and adjust their gait and posture. 

For example, a dog with issues in their hind limbs will shift their weight forward in an attempt to ease discomfort and keep moving; the neck and shoulders will adapt their role in order to take on the extra work now required from them and become denser and stronger and subsequently there will be extra weight and strain down through the fore limbs and paws. The thoracic region already supports 60% of the body weight so think what effect jumping, carrying a bird, carrying a bird whilst jumping, etc will have when they are weight-shifting forward. Eventually, the dog will have issues in the thoracic and pelvic region and this is when the body really starts to breakdown.

Strain to neck muscles is common from carrying birds, especially in the smaller breeds, and in an attempt to ease their neck, they carry the birds high which creating tension lower down in the back. 

Soft tissue injuries are not limited to when they are working, I’ve observed my dog during the recent winter weather slip on wet leaves and icy patches in the garden and out on walks.

Massage is great for treating compensatory issues and maintenance massage treatments are so beneficial in helping prevent these compensatory issues building in the first place.

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