My Beginning

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My name is Candace Lafond and I have worked at Foster Animal Hospital for over 7 years. When i began at Foster Animal hospital I was in school pursuing my Veterinary Assistant Degree. I started out as an assistant in the boarding facility feeding, watering, and loving on the cats and dogs. As time went on I was checking clients in and out and giving medications to the dogs and cats. I have always loved animals so much and wanted to work with them.

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Some time later I was training on the exam room hallway with the doctors to be an EXRA  (Exam Room Assistant). During this time I was still in school but pursuing my Veterinary Technician Associate’s Degree. Being an EXRA I would restrain the patients for the doctors to perform their exams and for the technicians to perform treatments. I learned how to draw and prepare vaccines as well as administer the vaccines. There were lots of medications I became familiar with while being an EXRA.

I was then trained in the pharmacy department to learn how to fill medications, make compounds and call in prescriptions to pharmacies. You always wanted to be sure and check the bottle of medication with the label to make sure type and milligram was identical. There were liquid, tablet, capsule, chews, and topical medications. Some kinds of medications had the same name but 2 different forms like liquid and tablet. Some foods are considered prescription medications also.

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The next step in my future was learning being a laboratory associate. This is where I learned to run the blood machines, ultrasound, and x-ray. I also was trained on how to draw blood from cats and dogs, place catheters, and monitor hospitalized patients. Dealing with emergencies was also important to save a life in this department. Emergencies would include seizures, trauma of some sort, toxicities,  and respiratory difficulty.

Being a surgery associate was what was next on my agenda. This included preparing for surgeries, placing catheters, placing endotracheal tubes, and monitoring anesthesia. There are many surges that can take place from normal spay and neuters to eye enucleation and cruciate ligament surgeries. When monitoring the patient under anesthesia you are watching the HR (heart rate), RR  (respiratory rate), Oxygen level, BP (blood pressure), and body temperature. Recover of the surgery patient is very important as well to be sure the patient is alert in order to breath and swallow on their on before the endotracheal tube is removed. By this point in my time at Foster Animal Hospital I was thinking about what my goals were and thought it would be great to do some type of rehabilitation with animals. Whether it be exotics or domestics didn’t matter.

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I was very excited because in 2013 I got the opportunity to pursue a certification as an assistant in Canine rehabilitation. Dr. Plott and Dr. Foster are both CCRTS  (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapists). I began my Introduction course through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in November 2013. I had an exam to take at the end of each course and then a 40 hour internship to complete. The other 2 courses I had to complete for my certification was the Canine Sports Medicine and Canine Rehabilitation Assistant. It was so much fun learning such a wonderful option to treat dogs with lameness whether it be acute or a chronic condition. I also got to meet other veterinarians, technicians, and physical therapists. I have been performing Canine Rehabilitation full time at Foster Animal Hospital known as Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center since Fall 2014.

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Watch Me Rehab!

Hello Friends!

I’m excited to show you my newest Canine Rehabilitation Therapy video!

Have you ever wondered what I do during my rehab sessions at Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center? Well, Candace (my Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant) doesn’t just massage knots out of my muscles, she makes me work hard! But it’s ok, because that’s what makes my knees strong.

Here’s a video of one of the exercises I do called ‘Sit to Stand’. I have to balance on an inflated ball called a ‘peanut’ while I repeatedly sit and stand (for treats, of course).

This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in my legs, especially the ones around my knees. My knees sometimes pop in and out of place which hurts and makes me skip a few steps. Once my muscles get stronger, they will hold my knee joint in place better and they won’t pop out of place anymore.

That’s good news because if I can make my joints stronger now, I won’t have lots of joint issues when I get to be a lot older. Well, I better go now, I hear Candace calling me for my next canine rehab session.

Until Next Time,

~Amadeus

Clarence’s Rehabilitation Journey Part 2

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Clarence came in for his first Rehabilitation session at Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center. The owners were continuing to perform reverse hair brushing on Clarence’s rear legs and back. Candace Lafond, CCRA also performed reverse hair brushing during his rehabilitation session. Simulation walking was performed, while Clarence was in a standing position, on the left rear leg and on both rear legs when he was in a laying position. He had started to show improvement by seeing movement in his left rear leg and some muscle tightness. Clarence still did not have enough strength to walk without assistance. Simulation walking is done by moving the limb(s) in their normal walking range of motion. Reverse hair brushing and simulation walking help in triggering nerve stimulation to promote feeling/ movement. Candace Lafond, CCRA also conducted some weight bearing exercises to strengthen Clarence’s muscles. The other common therapies performed on Clarence were Passive Range Of Motion (PROM), stretching, soft tissue massage, and LASER treatment. The CCRTs and CCRA continued these therapies through the next few sessions. Clarence continued to gain strength/ function in his rear legs from session to session.

Progression Video: Clarence 6-3-15 below

Since Clarence was becoming stronger the exercises became more challenging. The CCRA had him doing sit to stands, foot placing on steps, and going up and down the ramp.

Progression Video: Clarence 6/5/15

 

 

 

To Flex or Not to Flex?

To flex or not to flex? That was the question I asked myself during my canine rehabilitation therapy this week. Candace, my certified canine rehabilitation assistant, was making me do all sorts of yoga poses today!

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I have to say that it does feel really good! It helps take away all my tension.

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It also makes me limber so I can do more exercising on the treadmill to help build up the muscle around my knees. I have to admit, I used to think that canine rehabilitation wouldn’t help me feel better, but wow, was I ever wrong!

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All of this therapy is making me feel great! I may be 8 human years old, but you would never know it! I bounce around like a puppy again! I can’t wait for my next canine rehabilitation therapy session!

Until next time,

~Amadeus

Clarence’s Rehabilitation Journey Part 1

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My name is Candace Lafond. I am a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant (CCRA). I have many patients that come in and out of our Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center weekly. All of them have their own great personalities that I have become attached to. There is one patient’s story that has stood out, and his name is Clarence Wines. Clarence is a bloodhound/ lab mix weighing at 105 pounds.

One day he was outside playing in the back yard when all of a sudden he went down to the ground and was unable to use his rear legs. Clarence’s owners took him straight to Carolina Veterinary Specialist Emergency. The diagnosis given was called Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE). This event occurs when the material on the inside of a vertebral disk enters the blood stream and travels to the spinal cord where it causes a blood vessel obstruction. The results are usually weakness and paralyzation in one or both rear legs. The process is not painful but complete recovery is unlikely.

Clarence’s owners heard about Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center, located at Foster Animal Hospital, from one of our regular clients, Mrs. Cline. Mr. and Mrs. Wines called and set up an appointment for a Rehabilitation Assessment with Dr. Stephen Foster, DVM, CCRT. I  made sure all of the referral paperwork was completed and returned from South Ridge Veternary Clinic, who Clarence is a regular patient of.

During the Rehabilitation Assessment we found that Clarence could now use his right rear leg but had no use of his left rear leg. Because Clarence is a larger dog he had to have a Walk-A-Bout Harness that his owners could use around his rear legs to help support him while walking. The rehabilitation assessment checked every joint, ligament and muscle from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. Dr. Stephen Foster followed up with Clarence’s owners and recommended Clarence come in three times a week for rehabilitation. Clarence’s owners scheduled his first rehab appointment that next week.

Mya’s Chronicles Part 5 The End

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Hello. I’m glad to be able to speak to you all again for the last time. This will be the end of my story. I was discharged today from Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center. The CCRA, Candace Lafond, sent home a therapeutic exercise sheet for my mom and dad in order to continue exercises with me at home.

The therapeutic exercises I will be doing at home are walking/ trotting up and down inclines, going up and down the stairs, cookie stretches and sit to stands. My favorite exercise of all though is ball play because I get to chase after the ball. (Click link below for video)

Mya Chasing Ball

Using the therapeutic exercise sheet is beneficial because it states what exercises I need to do, how many repetitions of each exercise is required and how often to do the exercises. As I become stronger I can increase my therapeutic exercises even more which is exciting news.

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center gave me and my family hope for a better future since my accident. My family and doctors were worried about my recovery because of how badly my rear legs/ hip had been injured.

This has been a great adventure to share with you all. I hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I have.

With Love,

Mya, the Pitbull

Mya’s Chronicles Part 4

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Hello everybody! I have missed you guys. Everything has been going very well for me. My mom has been taking me for short walks at home everyday to help in my recovery from surgery. Today was also one of my rehabilitation sessions at Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center located at Foster Animal Hospital. The CCRA (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant), Candace Lafond, has been doing some therapeutic exercises along with manual therapies and LASER treatment during my rehabilitation sessions. These therapeutic exercises help to strengthen my muscles and help to increase my Range of Motion.

Click link below to see video of Mya using the Cavaletti Rails

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One of the therapeutic exercises is cavaletti rails which help to increase my hip extension and flexion while also strengthening my thigh muscles. Another one is using a balance board to help with weight shifting. Candace helps me to get up on the board and then moves the board back and forth to help with balancing and shifting weight over to my surgery leg in order to increase strength. She will also have me go up and down the ramp with her to increase muscle strength as well.

Each rehabilitation session continues with manual therapies, therapeutic exercises, and certain modalities(ex. LASER) throughout the treatment/ recovery period. As the sessions continue the therapists and assistant will add in different/ more challenging exercises to increase strength and recovery. They will also increase duration of the previous exercises to make them more challenging as well.

I love to be active all the time so doing the therapeutic exercises keeps me moving. I also enjoy the manual therapies as well because I am getting all the attention and the treats. To be continued….