Molly’s Canine Rehab Story, Foster Animal Hospital

Hello Dr. Steve,
Here is Molly’s story. Can I have my best friend tell how amazed she is with Molly’s improvement? She has known Molly for 11 years and has watched her health go downhill. She could not believe how great she is doing. She is like a new dog.
Words can not express how grateful we are to you for saving Molly. It’s amazing how God answers prayers.
Take care
Michelle S.

This is Molly our 13 year old mixed black Labrador’s story. I made an appointment with Dr. Steve Foster on January 2, 2012 knowing in my heart that Molly only had days to live. Her arthritis had become so bad in her left front elbow and her back legs that I could no longer bear to see her suffer. Through the tears I explained to Dr. Steve Molly’s problem. Dr. Steve asked me if I would be willing to try rehabilitation/physical therapy. This was the best thing I have ever done for Molly. After one session everyone could see the change in Molly. We have now completed 7 sessions and she is like a young dog again!! Her limp is gone and her back legs move independently where before the back legs did the old man shuffle. If you have a dog like Molly it is definitely worth doing therapy. It saved her life. Words cannot express our gratitude to Dr. Steve. THANK YOU!!
Love Molly XOXO
January 27, 2012

Common Conditions Treated With Canine Rehabilitation

Here’s a list of conditions treated with Canine Rehabilitation:
Hip problems
Muscle injuries
Spinal injuries
Intervertebral disc disease (nonsurgical and surgical)
Neuromuscular disease
Cruciate injury
Paralysis and paresis
Limb amputation
Shoulder OCD
Elbow dysplasia
Joint dislocation
Patellar laxity and luxation
Achilles tendon rupture
Tendon laceration
Poor physical condition

Why Choose a Rehabilitation Veterinarian?

Veterinarians use their extensive education to consider all body systems in developing a therapeutic plan for your patient.

Many rehabilitation veterinarians have post-doctorate training in the areas of orthopedic surgery, pain management, acupuncture, and chiropractic as well as rehabilitation.

Licensed physical therapists with additional training in veterinary rehabilitation also can perform some forms of physical rehabilitation on animals, however, only a veterinarian can provide whole body care, prescribe needed medicines, and perform a veterinary diagnostic evaluation prior to designing a treatment plan.

You may see facilities advertising “wellness care” and “aquatic therapy” for your animal. Be sure to check the credentials of anyone offering such services, and ask if they have an AARV veterinarian overseeing the care of the animals in their facility.-

Used by permission from the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians brochure.

Feline Heartworm Disease in Cats

For years it was believed that cats did not get heartworms. Over the last decade or so, we know this is not true. In fact, evidence and research show that Feline Heartworm Disease is more prevalent then Feline Leukemia Virus in cats. Further research shows that cats are only 10% less likely than dogs to be infected with heartworms. And furthermore, research shows there is no statistical difference for the development of Feline Heartworm Disease between indoor and outdoor cats.
Just like in dogs, Feline Heartworm Disease is spread by mosquitoes. In this area, mosquitoes are plentiful and will be even moreso in 2012 because of a very mild winter.
There are major differences in Feline Heartworm Disease when compared with dogs. There are not any fool-proof or very reliable tests to diagnose Feline Heartworm Disease. There are tests available, but they have flaws when used in cats. There are no treatments available to treat Feline Heartworms. In cats, Feline Heartworm Disease is more of a lung issue than a heart issue. The most common clinical signs are: chronic vomiting, coughing, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and sudden death. Many infected cats are asymptomatic. Many cats develop clinical signs as a reaction to the migrating larvae, in addition to the adult heartworms.
Therefore, in Feline Heartworm Disease, prevention is the best medicine. In my opinion, Feline Revolution is the absolute best product available to prevent Feline Heartworm Disease. Revolution is a once-a-month topical solution applied to the skin over the shoulder blades. In addition to preventing heartworms, Revolution is very effective against fleas and flea eggs, ear mites, and intestinal hookworms and roundworms. The recommendation is to use Revolution year round, even in indoor cats.
So remember:
Cat + Mosquito = RISK,
No statistical difference between indoor and outdoor cats,
Cats are virtually as susceptible as dogs,
There are no good diagnostic test or treatments,
Revolution is the best policy, you know, an ounce (tube) of prevention….
I hope this has been informative. Please call or email me with any questions or concerns. Until then…..
All The Best,
Steve Foster DVM, CCRT
Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.
Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons
Concord, NC 28027

LASER Therapy in Canine Rehabilitation Therapy at Foster Animal Hospital

LASER, which stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”, is a very effective and useful tool for canine rehab. These Lasers, also known as Low Level Laser Therapy, involve low energy levels to achieve a therapeutic effect. They should not be confused with higher energy Lasers that are used in surgery. The therapeutic lasers have many benefits, such as, improving circulation, reducing pain, reducing swelling, releasing of growth factors to encourage cartilage regeneration, reducing and possibly eliminating scar tissue, and stimulation of healing. Because of this effect, Laser can be used in acute and chronic conditions. Examples of uses are: post-op incisions and swelling (to prevent and treat), acute muscle, tendon, or ligament trauma, fractures, bruises and seromas, intervertebral disc disease (acute and chronic), arthritis, and hip dysplasia to name a few. There are several types of therapeutic Lasers used in canine rehab therapy that can vary from class, to wavelength, to speed of use. The most important consideration for any therapist is to understand what they are treating, creating the treatment plan appropriate for that condition, and to design Laser therapy or any other modality and exercise suitable for the situation. The incorrect assumption by many is that Laser or Underwater Treadmill Therapy (or other modalities) are all one needs to perform canine rehab. That would be like saying if one buys an airplane, he is automatically a pilot!
Laser, like other modalities used in veterinary canine rehabilitation therapy, is but one option. In fact, any of the modalities will only make up about 25% of the therapy needed. Most therapy is hands-on with Laser and other modalities used in a complimentary role.
I hope this provides some valuable insight into Laser therapy utilized at Foster Animal Hospital in Concord, NC.
All the best,
Steve Foster, DVM, CCRT