Archive for January, 2010

Will Your Dog Get Arthritis?

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Find out Tuesday when veterinary orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gail Smith, the Founder and Director of the Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP), talks about the PennHIP radiographic technique–and how it can predict the likelihood of your dog getting osteoarthritis.  1pm Pacific time at http://specialpetsspecialneeds.com or download it later from iTunes (just search “Scout’s House”).

“Exercise is Medicine”

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a great article in it about the physical dangers inherent in many of the winter sports at the Olympics.  What I particularly loved about the story was a comment by Jim Cerullo, the head trainer for the the U. S. luge team, about how much more quickly athletes recover these days from their injuries.  Cerullo credited these improved recovery times to advances in arthroscopic surgery (which is being used in veterinary medicine now, too) and to–and I quote the article here–an “approach to rehabilitation that encourages exercise and movement (almost immediately in the case of world class athletes) over rest.”  Cerullo explains that if an athlete injured a knee 20 or 30 years ago, he or she would have ended up in a brace for a month, but today those athletes get into rehab almost immediately.  “Tear an ACL,” the article says [and, I should say, that’s analagous to a dog tearing a CCL], “and the staff at The Center for Excellence will have you working out in the hydrotherapy pool within days of the operation.”  Mr. Cerullo summed it up beautifully:  “We have a saying now ‘exercise is medicine.'”

Thank you, Mr. Cerullo!  That is exactly the message we’ve been sharing with our clients at Scout’s House for almost five years now–a message that’s overshadowed by the fact that veterinary medicine is about 10 or 15 years behind the advances in human medicine (although quickly catching up).  Don’t put your dog in a crate for 8 weeks after a TPLO surgery if you have a certified canine rehabilitation therapist nearby.  Get your dog into rehab and you’ll give him the best chance of recovering more quickly and more completely from his injury.  And yes, he may not be an Olympic athlete, but he can definitely benefit from what we’ve learned from them.

"Exercise is Medicine"

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a great article in it about the physical dangers inherent in many of the winter sports at the Olympics.  What I particularly loved about the story was a comment by Jim Cerullo, the head trainer for the the U. S. luge team, about how much more quickly athletes recover these days from their injuries.  Cerullo credited these improved recovery times to advances in arthroscopic surgery (which is being used in veterinary medicine now, too) and to–and I quote the article here–an “approach to rehabilitation that encourages exercise and movement (almost immediately in the case of world class athletes) over rest.”  Cerullo explains that if an athlete injured a knee 20 or 30 years ago, he or she would have ended up in a brace for a month, but today those athletes get into rehab almost immediately.  “Tear an ACL,” the article says [and, I should say, that’s analagous to a dog tearing a CCL], “and the staff at The Center for Excellence will have you working out in the hydrotherapy pool within days of the operation.”  Mr. Cerullo summed it up beautifully:  “We have a saying now ‘exercise is medicine.'”

Thank you, Mr. Cerullo!  That is exactly the message we’ve been sharing with our clients at Scout’s House for almost five years now–a message that’s overshadowed by the fact that veterinary medicine is about 10 or 15 years behind the advances in human medicine (although quickly catching up).  Don’t put your dog in a crate for 8 weeks after a TPLO surgery if you have a certified canine rehabilitation therapist nearby.  Get your dog into rehab and you’ll give him the best chance of recovering more quickly and more completely from his injury.  And yes, he may not be an Olympic athlete, but he can definitely benefit from what we’ve learned from them.

Conservative Management: An Alternative to Surgery for Your Pet

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Does your dog or cat need surgery but isn’t a good surgical candidate because of age or health issues?  Or would you just prefer not to do put your pet through another surgery?  Join us tomorrow at 1pm Pacific when Scout’s House Director of Rehab Therapy Krista Niebaum, MPT, CCRT, talks with us about conservative management, what it is, and how it might keep your pet from going under the knife.  That’s at http://specialpetsspecialneeds.com on PDX.FM.

The Low Down on Low-Level Laser Therapy for Pets

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Recently, we had a number of emails asking us what low-level laser therapy is and can it help a pet with osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative myelopathy (DM).  So I thought it might be good to give a quick overview of it here.

First off, low-level laser therapy is a form of intense light therapy that can reduce pain and stimulate healing by promoting positive physiologic changes at the body’s cellular level.  It’s a lot like therapeutic ultrasound, which heals with sound waves, only low-level laser therapy uses light.  And while there hasn’t been a lot of research into the use of low-level laser therapy in dogs and cats, but there have been plenty of studies on its use in humans and horses and from that we know that it accelerates tissue repair, increases the formation of new capillaries in damaged tissue, and speeds the formation of collagen.  For those reasons, it’s proven effective for wound management, alleviating chronic pain from joint conditions, including osteoarthritis, and healing soft-tissue injuries, including sprains, strains, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, capsulitis, and bursitis.   Is it effective for DM?  No, it won’t slow the progression of the disease, but often dogs with DM compensate for their limited hind limb mobility by putting more weight on their front limbs and low-level laser therapy can help mitigate pain in those overused muscles.

So those are the conditions where it can be helpful.  There are times, though, when you want to be very careful with a low-level laser–for example, when using it on an animal with black skin as it can burn–and you never want to use low-level laser therapy on an animal who has or has had cancer as it can stimulate tumor growth. 

For more information about this and other rehab therapies and techniques, including hydrotherapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, pulsed electromagnetic field therapys, and acupuncture, please visit our website at https://www.scoutshouse.com.

IVDD and DM, Wobblers and CVI: What Are These Neurological Issues Our Pets Face?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Join us today at 1pm Pacific for an in-depth conversation with veterinary neurologist Dr. James Lavely from the VCA Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park, CA, about chronic disk disease (IVDD) and DM, Wobblers/CVI, and spinal stenosis–all issues that can cause serious neurological problems in our pets.  Go to http://specialpetsspecialneeds.com

The Downside of Running A Business

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

It’s 7:30 on Sunday night and I just got back from Scout’s House.  Mysteriously, a section of the ceiling in our Rehab room came crashing to the ground late this afternoon–just as the Jets were starting to come on against the Chargers–and I was called to “come quick!” because the roof’s falling in.

It turned out the roof hadn’t actually fallen in, just the ceiling, and apparently only because some roofers, many years ago, decided to shovel all the gravel from the old tar-and-gravel roof onto the plaster ceiling and leave it there.  Today, the ceiling gave up and let gravity have its way and, with a rumble and a roar, it all came tumbling down–down onto one of the desks in Rehab, down onto the computer sitting on one of the desks in Rehab, and down onto the floor.  Thank god no one was sitting there at the time.

So Rehab is closed tomorrow morning while the disaster recovery company has a crew clean up the inches of dust that’s covering everything in the space.  The room looks like a bomb went off in there, but thanks to our landlord, most of the gravel has been removed, and thanks to my dear co-worker and friend, Sandy Gregory, all of tomorrow  morning’s patients  have been rescheduled to other times. 

Best of all, no one was hurt–canine, feline, or human–and for that I am truly grateful.  But it’s times like this when I wish someone else had the big idea to start a rehab center for animals in Menlo Park.  If they had, I could have stayed home tonight and watch the Jets beat the Chargers.  Then again, maybe this was more exciting.

Stem Cell Therapy For Arthritis – How Long Will It Last?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

I’ve been following the progress of using stem cells to help osteoarthritis in dogs and cats ever since we did a podcast with Dr. Julie Ryan Johnson of Vet-Stem on the topic (go to http://specialpetsspecialneeds.com and click Episode 2, or download it for free from iTunes).  Today, I found this post and thought I’d share it as many people have asked us, “Does it last?”

Stem Cell Therapy For Arthritis – How Long Will It Last?.

CAT OWNERS: Ketamine Recall Expanded

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Teva Animal Health’s original Ketamine recall has been expanded to include these seven private labels:

  • Fort Dodge Ketaset
  • VEDCO KetaVed
  • AmTech Group Inc. Ketamine Hydrochloride Injection, USP
  • Butler KetaThesia
  • Phoenix Ketaject
  • LLOYD Laboratories VetaKet
  • RXV Keta-Sthetic

If your cat is due for surgery, verify with your veterinarian that the products she/he is using are not on the recall list.  Some of the lot numbers for these products are not part of the recall.

Cat Owners: Anesthesia Drug Recall

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

If you share your life with a cat who is due for surgery anytime soon, you might want to double-check with your veterinarian that he/she is aware of the ketamine recall.  Ketamine hydrochloride is a fast-acting agent used to anesthetize cats and is being voluntarily recalled by Teva Animal Health for “serious adverse events.”

For more info, go to:   http://tinyurl.com/yedcdg5