Groin, Iliopsoas & Possible Cruciate Tears
Over the past several months I have seen a number of dogs, both performance and active pet dogs, with the same problem under a variety of names. In all of these cases, the back muscle directly behind and below the rib cage on the affected side is tender and has several deep muscle spasms. This is the quadradic muscle and is deep under the spine and not easy to feel or to get to at all. In some cases this is all I find to be causing pain and in others the abductors or iliopsoas are also involved.
Many dogs have been dealing with the problem for a long period of time and even with physical therapy have not been able to come back to being 100% sound. I feel this is because the back is not being treated at the same time. When I have found this to be an issue, I have suggested ice followed by heat depending on the length of time the dog has had the injury. I am not a vet so I am only suggesting what I have found to work and what I would do with my own dog.
I also have the owner use digital circles on the area as well as thumb gliding toward the ribs when the area is not too sore. This muscle has to be reached through other muscles because it is so deep. There is also a rocking technique that can be used in some cases. Some signs that this might be a problem with your dog are stiffness and lameness when the dog gets up after lying down for a while. The important thing to remember is that their backs are very important and can be affected or affect several areas in the body. Regular work on the back can be an important preventative for these kinds of injuries.
Attached is an article entitled “Backing Up Your Dog with Massage” that I hope you may find helpful.