Congratulations to Scout’s House’s own Sandy Gregory, MS, RVT, who was named SC National Association Veterinary Technicians in America ￼Advisor of the Year. Way to go, Sandy! We think you’re pretty amazing too! NAVTA_MayJun12_16-17
Archive for the ‘Scout’s House’ Category
Even a cat who’s partially paralyzed still likes to play:
A big shout out to Scout’s House’s own Dr. Janet Dunn and her flyin’ Papillon Tantrum for making the 2011 AKC/USA Agility World Team! J.D. and Tantrum will head to Liévin, France for the big event, October 7-9. Way to go–and bonne chance, guys!
One of the things I love about dogs is their enthusiasm, but sometimes that eagerness needs to be tempered with a little caution. Here’s a list of some of the traumatic events that have landed our dog friends in physical rehab therapy at Scout’s House–all the result of “unbridled dog enthusiam.”
1) Falling off a cliff
2) Falling off bleachers
3) Running into a tree
4) Running into a telephone pole
5) Jumping off a bed
6) Jumping off a deck
7) Jumping out of a moving car
8) Jumping out of owner’s arms
9) Getting kicked by a cow
10) Getting attacked by coyotes
Our post on how to keep your dog out of rehab sparked a conversation here at Scout’s House about some of the most common conditions we see. We were sure we knew what we saw the most, but after running a few statistical reports, even we were surprised at the results.
Number One complaint? Osteoarthritis–by a landslide. Not surprising when you think about it–most animals coming in for physical rehab therapy are bound to have arthritis, along with other ailments, but we thought we saw more dogs with neurological issues. We were wrong.
We were wrong, too, about the second most common complaint: knee problems related to the cranial cruciate ligament, or CCL. Many of the dogs we’ve seen were recovering from one of the various surgeries used to fix a CCL rupture–TPLO, TTA, tightrope, or extracapsular–although a handful were hoping to avoid surgery with conservative management. Of course, some of them had had surgery years before and were having problems with that knee (or stifle) now. Can you say arthritis?
And while we would have guessed stifle problems were the third most common complaint amongst our patients, disk issues win there. Intervertebral disk disease, disk ruptures, laminectomy surgeries–we see them all.
Wrapping up our Top 6: unidentified “rear limb weakness,” hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy.
Coming up next: Some of the unbelievable predicaments our patients have gotten into–and ended up in rehab because of!
1) Keep Your Dog on A Leash—You wouldn’t believe how many dogs we’ve seen at Scout’s House who suddenly bolted away from their owners and got hit by cars (HBCs, in vet med lingo). Use a leash and you’ll spare yourself the expense of rehab—and surgery.
2) Don’t Let Your Dog Jump Off Furniture—Little dogs especially but big dogs too can do a lot of front limb damage jumping off of beds, sofas, out of the car or SUV. Train your dog to use stairs or a ramp or even to wait for you to put them on the ground. (Or don’t let them on the furniture in the first place. Yeah, right!)
3) Put The Kibosh on Squirrel-Chasing—A veterinary orthopedic surgeon we know gives a slide show on knee surgery for dogs (CCL repair, as it’s known) and always asks the audience what’s the number one cause of CCL tears. The answer: squirrels. Not hard to believe if you’ve ever seen a squirrel-crazed dog take off after her favorite fluffy prey! Unfortunately, ball-chasing isn’t much better for dog knees.
4) Keep Her Lean—Fat dogs are more prone to a whole host of medical problems, including arthritis, disk ruptures, and those nasty CCL tears we just talked about. Keep your girl (or boy) lean and you’ll improve the odds for a healthy dog life.
5) Keep Him Fit—Making sure your dog gets daily, controlled exercise is the best thing you can do for his musculoskeletal health. Brisk walks, boisterous play sessions, any controlled exercise can help keep your dog on the outside looking in at your local rehab center. (The key here is “controlled”—chasing squirrels or balls does not qualify!)
Want to know how physical rehabilitation therapy can help your dog? Click here.
I am not known for my patience. In fact, when I was a kid, my father used to joke that when the good Lord passed out patience, I didn’t bother to wait in line.
As many readers of this blog know, I started Scout’s House because I saw what an incredible difference it made in the life of my own dog. But when I started rehab with Scout, I had no expectations that it would help her. To be honest, she was such a neurological mess, I didn’t think anything could fix her. But rehab did. Not overnight but over months, slowly and steadily. And I’m so glad I was patient enough to give it time to work.
So if there’s one bit of advice I’d give to anyone considering rehab therapy for her or his pet, it’s this: have patience. Too many people come to Scout’s House expecting overnight miracles, but that’s not how rehab therapy—or physical therapy for humans—works. It takes time to regain lost muscle strength, particularly when a leg hasn’t been used for a month or two. And it takes even more time to retrain a brain to move limbs properly again after, say, a disk rupture or an FCE.
We often tell our new clients to start by bringing their pets in twice a week for two to three weeks and by then they should see at least a little improvement. And we say twice a week because often the more therapy a pet gets each week, the more quickly you’ll see gains. It’s just like going to the gym: go once a week and you won’t see much change over the course of several weeks. But go twice a week—or even three times a week—and you’ll improve far more rapidly.
So, if you’re headed to rehab with your pet, have patience and give it time to work. I can’t promise it will–rehab doesn’t help every animal just as physical therapy doesn’t help every human–but if you commit to at least twice a week for two or three weeks, you’ll know if rehab is right for your pet. And you’ll have the peace of mind, knowing you tried.
FRIENDS & FANS ALERT: Tell us how Scout’s House’s rehab therapy service or online store helped your pet! Just post your testimonial on our Facebook page or our blog, and we’ll enter your name to win a $50 Scout’s House gift certificate! (Can be used for rehab therapy or on our online store. Drawing will take place at February 14th at 3pm PST. Winner will be notified by Facebook and blog post.)
Post here by clicking Leave a Comment above or in the Comment box below
FRIENDS & FANS ALERT: Â Tell us how Scout’s House’s rehab therapy service or online store helped your pet! Â Just post your testimonial on our Facebook page or our blog, and we’ll enter your name to win a $50 Scout’s House gift certificate! (Can be used for rehab therapy or on our online store. Â Drawing will take place at February 14th at 3pm PST. Â Winner will be notified by Facebook and blog post.)
Post here by clicking Leave a Comment above or in the Comment box below
We’ve had more than one client ask us to explain the neurological exam that their pets have undergone, both at the veterinary neurologist’s office and at the initial exam at Scout’s House. Although this article was written for veterinarians, it’s a pretty clear explanation of what your vet is looking for during your pet’s neuro exam:
Making Sense of the Neuro Exam from Veterinary Practice News.