Allie presented to the Veterinary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in September 2015 for post operative care for intervertebral disk disease surgery performed at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital. Allie’s owners had noticed that she had become very timid on her rear legs when out walking about 1 week prior to surgery. This progressed to the point of not being able to use the rear legs at all. She was taken to a local emergency clinic which referred her to the University of Florida. Surgery was performed to relieve a compression of the spinal cord causing the paralysis to her rear legs.
Allie came to the Veterinary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center one week after having surgery. On presentation Allie was bright, alert and happy. She was found to have good muscle tone to her rear legs but very weak. She could not stand for more than about 5 minutes at a time and was unsteady on her rear legs when standing. She had already started massage and passive range of motion exercises with her owners that were prescribed for post op care. For her first few visits we concentrated on range of motion exercises and laser therapy until her surgical incision had healed enough to start water therapy.
Allie started underwater treadmill therapy two weeks after sugery with her first treadmill session lasting 5 minutes with support. New rehabilitation exercises were also introduced to improved strength to the rear legs and work on balance and proprioception. Laser therapy was continued for healing and to decrease inflammation. Rehabilitation exercises were continued daily at home. Allie continued to show significant improvement with her time and speed in the underwater treadmill increasing to over 16 minutes and 3 times faster after her first week of therapy. She supported her weight much better and no longer required assisted support while walking.
Allie continued rehabilitation therapy with treadmill work and therapeutic exercises. She did rehabilitation twice weekly for her first month and then once weekly for her second month. She was able to trot in the treadmill after 2 months at 6 mph. Allie’s owners have continued to work with her doing daily rehabilitation exercises for strength, balance and proprioception. We are very happy to see Allie doing so well, she continues to visit for her pedicures (nail trims) as needed and her parents report she is doing great at home, back to her old self, active and playing with her brother Joe.