Clarence’s Rehabilitation Journey Part 2

Video: clarence 6-1-15

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!

Yoga 3


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

Yoga 2

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!

Yoga 1


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,


Mya’s Chronicles Part 3



Hello again. My hip surgery went well with no complications. One week after my surgery I came for my first rehabilitation appointment at Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center. Candace Lafond, CCRA (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant), performed the therapy for my rehabilition session. My first rehabilitation session consisted of PROM (Passive Range of Motion), STM (Soft Tissue Massage) and LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

Passive range of motion is where the certified rehabilitation assistant moves the leg through what should be normal range of motion. This manual therapy is performed to keep the joints and muscles from becoming tight and stiff. Passive range of motion also helps to observe degrees of flexion and extension of the joints. If there are joints and muscles that are tight and stiff the certified rehabilitation assistant will manually perform stretches to loosen the muscles and joints slowly not to cause discomfort. Soft tissue massage is where all the muscles, mainly around specific areas of concern, are massaged to work out trigger points/ muscle knots in order to relieve muscle tightness. LASER therapy is a cold laser that the assistant administers  a certain amount of joules (energy) into the areas of concern or surgery sites. This modality (therapeutic method) helps with controlling pain/ discomfort, to decrease inflammation and to promote blood circulation for healing. My favorite part of my rehabilitation session was the LASER therapy because I got to wear these cool glasses called Doggles. I can’t wait for my next rehabilition session.


My Rehab Experience…


Today my adventures brought me to Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center at Foster Animal Hospital. Dr. Steve Foster evaluated me from head to toe to see if I need rehab. I was shocked that he found some problems. I know I’ve been having knee issues and a bit of pain in my lower back, but I never thought it was something that rehab therapy could help with.

PIM Logo

Dr. Foster told my mom what he found during my Rehabilitation Assessment. He told her that I have lower back pain. This is something I’ve been hiding from mom, so I’m glad Dr. Foster finally told her so we can make it go away. He also told her that my knee caps are loose. I can feel my knees popping in and out but I didn’t know rehab could make them better. He found all my muscle knots on the front part of my thighs, too.


Mom was glad that Dr. Foster found these problems that I’ve been hiding from her. She was excited to know that Dr. Foster and Candace Lafond are certified in Canine Rehabilitation and they can help me feel better! I started my rehabilitation therapy today and it felt really good! Candace does massage therapy on my legs to help loosen my muscle knots and I get LASER therapy to reduce inflammation in my knees and lower back. When I get my LASER therapy, I get to wear these cool shades called “Doggles” to protect my eyes. Dr. Foster and Candace wear a pair too. Don’t we look cool?

Amadeus Doggles

I’m going to Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center two times a week so I will have updates for you as I go along. I can’t wait to feel the results of my new therapy! Thank you Dr. Foster & Candace for helping me feel great again!


Canine Rehab- Why I’m Loving It So Far

Well, I’ve been certified in Canine Rehabilitation since March of this year. With that certification, I now have extra initials after my name- CCRT. (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist) I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great patients and clients here at Foster Animal Hospital. To all of us, Canine Rehab has been a new experience. I’ve tried to use these experiences to, first and foremost, benefit my patients but also to learn and hone my technique and to get a better grasp clinically about what I’m doing. It’s been an excellent 8 months and I am more excited than ever about Canine Rehab.

So, let me tell you why I love Canine Rehab after these last 8 months? First of all, with Rehab Therapy we are reducing and in some instances eliminating pain completely. And pain is a reality to dogs. They oftentimes will not show us when they are painful. Or if they do, we don’t interpret it as pain. Some subtle signs include: decreased activity, sleeping more, keeping to themselves with some to the point of hiding, restlessness especially at night, panting, decreased appetite, weight loss, sighing or moaning when getting up or down, and grumpiness towards owners or other pets. Pain management is a hallmark of Canine Rehab.

Initially, we address pain medically. We as vets are very blessed to have access to many safe medications that make a tremendous difference in our patient’s pain levels. Through rehab, we also address pain with LASER therapy, range of motion techniques, manipulation of restricted joint capsules and muscles, massage, and muscle strengthening. I love the fact that pain-free dogs can now be a reality! I am waging a personal battle on eliminating pain for my patients.

I’ve also observed that obesity is a critical factor for all pets. Obesity is even more of a detriment to those with physical issues. Carrying extra weight creates physical limitations for post-op patients, geriatric patients with degenerative arthritis, and acute or chronic neurological patients. Fat cells also produce hormones that create inflammation within joints. Young, overweight dogs are already being set up for arthritis!

I do not love the fact that obesity is a problem for so many dogs (and people). I do love the fact that through Canine Rehab, we are able to help these dogs lose weight and become more physically fit! I have seen first hand through rehab patients that lose weight, what amazing benefits they reap. Remember the rule of thumb for your dog’s weight- you want to be able to feel ribs without a layer of fat and you want to see a waist starting behind the last rib. If you can’t do either of these with your own pet, well you know…

I love the fact that dogs that are pain free and are an appropriate weight, want to be active! I see this everyday as my rehab patients progress. I see this with my own dog Bunker. (You know, the one that likes to blog) I hear it from the moms and dads that tell me their dog is now jumping in the car again, wants to go on walks, and wants to play more. I love it that they wear me out, wanting to do the exercises and work-outs we create for them! They also can’t wait for manual therapy because they love how it makes them feel, which it makes them feel GOOD! And just like Skinner’s or Pavlov’s or whoever’s dog it was, my rehab patients immediately relax when we put their LASER Doggles on because they know the LASER Therapy really makes them feel good.

So, I hope you see why I love Canine Rehab after 8 months. If your dog fits any of the descriptions above and is painful, let’s love him enough to put an end to that pain!

Until next time,

Steve Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Paws in Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center