International Association of Animal Therapists
Case Study


Why physiotherapy? What can it do for your horse?

Meet Duke!

A few weeks ago I was asked to come and treat Duke, an 8year old Clydesdale gelding who over the course of 24hours went from being healthy and happy to demonstrating severe postural problems. 
On discovering his severe posture the vet was immediately contacted and on examination prescribed pain relief. The improvement expected was not shown and Duke continued to display exaggerated leaning. 
With no progress being made I was asked to carry out some therapy and so off I went to meet this lovely gentle giant! 
On arrival the posture was noticeable immediately; I carried out a full work up and exam with several reflex, muscle response, balance and bio-mechanical analysis followed by a complete soft tissue body work up from head to toe. Nothing out of the ordinary could be seen apart from a few out of the ordinary responses and the very apparent posture! 
Away I came with my full report and set to work doing some research! And then bingo! 
Duke was apparently suffering from groin strain; very difficult to diagnose in the veterinary world and tricky to treat because of the deep structures involved! But we had to test this theory to confirm our treatment plan would work and it has! The first picture displays Dukes posture on first examination, the second is 1 week post first treatment and the third picture is 2 weeks post treatment with the final picture from last year when Duke was not suffering from his groin strain. Look at the difference! While treatment is ongoing and it will be some time before we have strengthened up the groin so as to prevent further strain, the improvement is clear to see! I am as delighted with the progress as Dukes owner and we will continue to work with him until he is back to 100%!


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