Posts Tagged ‘rehab’

Meet Noah

Friday, January 16th, 2015

NoahMeet-01Noah is a 9 year old retriever mix who was brought in to see us because of such severe arthritis in his one of his carpi (wrists) that he was completely non-weight-bearing in that limb (he was holding it up when he walked).  He needed to be on two pain medications and was still uncomfortable in that wrist.  We started with gentle manual therapy to help increase the production and flow of joint fluid which lubricates the joint and improves its health and comfort.  We used laser therapy to decrease pain and inflammation, massage for his significant muscle tightness (which was secondary to his joint pain), and ended with cryotherapy (ice) to further decrease inflammation in the wrist.  We helped his owner with an exercise restriction plan and guided her through a safe and gradual return to more activity as he started feeling better.  One week after his first visit, he was bearing weight on that leg again.  We started exercising him in our underwater treadmill which allowed him to walk with less stress on his joints because the buoyancy of the water helped to support his body weight.  We also started strengthening exercises because a stronger leg means more stable joints.  Each week that followed, his limping lessened until it was completely gone 1 month later.  He’s now back to walking 2 miles a day, is comfortable, and off all pain medications.

How Do We Love Our Pets? Let Us Count The Ways

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

We found this great article in the Denver Post and wanted to share it.

How do we love our pets? Let us count the ways

By Susan Jennings, Digital First Media, Denver Post

denverpostarticle

Being a dog or cat in America these days is nice work if you can get it.

Pet owners spring for gourmet kibble, canine couture and doggy daycare, where their animal companions can spend the day watching Animal Planet while being monitored by webcams for their parent’s viewing pleasure.

According to a Harris Interactive poll, 91% of pet owners say they consider their pet to be a member of the family.

It’s no wonder then that our obsession with our four-legged friends has moved beyond the aisles of the local pet super store and is making us taking a holistic look at their health and quality of life.

Here’s a look at some of the niche services now available to your furry, feathered and scaled friends.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Whether your cat has developed a limp or your dog is recovering from surgery, now you can enlist the help of physical therapists or veterinarians who’ve received specialized training to help rehabilitate the family pet.

They employ many of the same techniques used on humans (in fact, may of the pet physical therapists out there also work with people) including things like manual therapy, cold laser therapy, sports conditioning and even underwater treadmills.

Physical therapy is one of the fastest growing specialities in veterinary medicine as more vets have started recognizing the benefits of rehab, and schools have begun offering training programs on the subject.

CANINE HYDROTHERAPY

Here’s another example of a practice that has been used to help humans and even injured race horses for centuries now being used for the benefit of dogs.

Hydrotherapy allows animals that are recovering from surgery or soft tissue injuries or suffering from things like osteoarthritis and orthopedic or neurological conditions to improve muscle tone and promote tissue repair without putting unnecessary stress on their bones, tendons and joints. Not to mention, ti’s a great form of general fitness-especially for overweight and obese dogs–improving cardiovascular health and muscle tone.

Think you can just lead your dog to the nearest swimming pool for a dip? Think again.

Hydrotherapy experts say that the type of pool and water you should seek for your pet varies depending on their size and specific needs. Options available include underwater treadmills, hot tubs, and anti-swim jets and pools.

ACUPUNCTURE

Another healing technique from the Far East, acupuncture is part of a family of procedures that uses thin metallic needles to stimulate different anatomical points and is most often used to treat chronic pain.

In China, it’s been used on animals for thousands of years and is becoming more widespread elsewhere, complementing the Western medicine used to treat sick pets and livestock.

Search for an animal acupuncturist in your area by visiting the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture.

PET HOSPICE

Finally, even when you’ve done all you can to rehabilitate and heal an ailing pet, you’ll inevitably be faced with the heart-wrenching decision to let go of your loyal friend.

To help you through this process many veterinarians and specialty clinics are offering hospice care – counseling clients on using medication to make their pets more comfortable and offering euthanasia in the comfort of your home.

The International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, which was founded in 2009, no has more than 200 members and is growing, according to founder Dr. Amir Shanan, as pet owners are willing to spend more money for peace of mind.

TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

Responsible pet ownership takes planning and knowledge. The Denver Dumb Friends League is a great resource when it comes to tackling some of the issues that can arise. Visit www.ddfl.org/pdf/behavior-handout

The American Veterinary Medical Association also is an authority on pet health and wellness. Get more information at www.avma.org