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.
Dutchess presented to us at Veterinary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in January 2016. Dutchess came from On The Wings of Angels Rescue in Odessa. She has been with the rescue since early 2014. The trainers at On The Wings of Angels Rescue first noticed that Dutchess was showing some mild weakness and issues with her rear legs in late 2014. When she presented to the clinic she was very weak in the rear legs and would drag her paws often. She was noted to knuckle when walking most of the time and often needed a sling to get up or move around at all.
On The Wings of Angels is a rescue organization that works with dogs that have nowhere else to go. Their mission is to save dogs that would otherwise have no chance. They take in dogs and work to rehabilitate the dogs through customized training that includes socialization, obedience training, and play.
Dutchess presented to the rescue with some aggression issues and was limited in her contact to only a few trainers due to aggression. Her initial exam was mostly visual with some palpation of the legs. She was noted to have significant muscle loss to the rear legs due to her orthopedic problems. She was started on rehabilitation with light exercise in the underwater treadmill to help support her body weight and to encourage the use of her leg muscles to build strength and endurance.
Dutchess started with once weekly training sessions that consisted of walking in the underwater treadmill. She came in again about 3 weeks later for sedation, full examination and x-rays. Sedated exam and x-rays revealed multiple orthopedic issues including lumbosacral stenosis, significant hip dysplasia, spondylosis bridging numerous vertebra, and cruciate injury to the left rear leg with decreased range of motion measured to her hips and stifles on both legs. She had significant muscle atrophy to both rear legs.
Dutchess continued with underwater treadmill training over the next few months. She has improved her conditioning greatly with her exercise both here at the Rehab and Wellness Center as well as at the rescue. Once approved for more rehabilitation treatment, laser and exercise was added to her regimen. Laser treatment was done with her once weekly underwater treadmill sessions and at home stretching and strengthening exercises are changed or updated every few weeks. The trainers have noticed and continue to notice great improvement in her strength. She now walks around a much larger area at the rescue and for longer periods of time. She is able to get up and down without assistance. Her dragging and knuckling has improved significantly. Most importantly she has blossomed socially. She is much more trusting of everyone at the rescue and here at the rehab center.
We continue to get weekly updates with her rehabilitation session of how she continues to improve at the rescue. She will now walk without the sling or any assistance and is up and out walking 4-5 times daily. She allows many of the trainers to interact with her and enjoys her daily stretching and strengthening exercises. Here at the rehab center she continues to improve with her foot placement with rare knuckling when walking and consistent self-correction when knuckles. She now exercises over twice as long as her first rehabilitation session with us.
It has been a great pleasure to watch Dutchess improve over the time she has been with us here at Veterinary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. We enjoy working with her and many of the other dogs from the On The Wings of Angels Rescue. If you would like more information on the rescue you can visit their website at On the Wings of Angels or their face book page at Facebook: On the Wings of Angels.