Police K9 Odin
Odin is an 8 year old German Shepherd who has been working as a police dog in the city of Alexandria since 2012. In November 2017 he began having trouble jumping after being active at work or training. As German Shepherds commonly have spinal problems, he was referred to Dr. Barker in the Neurology department. She saw no spinal problems and found normal neurological function but she diagnosed severe bilateral iliopsoas pain. This is a groin muscle which is frequently strained in very active dogs. The cause is often slipping or jumping. Dogs are typically hesitant to run, jump or walk up stairs. They may also have difficulty getting up.
Odin began physical therapy which consisted of stretching, manual therapy and laser treatments. He responded very well and returned to work in about 6 weeks. He continued to have some soreness after being very active however this did not hinder his job.
In the spring of 2018, Odin seemed to be in pain. He would occasionally yelp when jumping onto the bed at night. His groin muscles were less painful than in 2017 so he was referred back to Neurology. During this visit Dr. Barker found back pain. Odin underwent an MRI in May and was found to have a protruding disc in his lumbo-sacral junction. He was approved for surgery and underwent spinal surgery by Dr. Barker to remove the disc in mid May. Odin recovered well and began post operative physical therapy two weeks after surgery. He ambulated in the underwater treadmill, stretches were performed and the owner was given exercises to perform at home. Odin returned to work in September. He continues to do well and is enjoying working again! He still receives occasional therapy in order to optimize his performance.