Do cats love Rehab and water? You bet!

O’Malley getting Rehab in our Underwater Treadmill

O’Malley loved getting rehab in our Underwater Treadmill. Watch the video and see for yourself! O’Malley3UWTMvid

Historically, rehabilitation therapy in veterinary medicine (similar to physical therapy for humans) has been limited to dogs. But there are many examples of cats receiving rehabilitation therapy. Check out our web page to learn more: ( https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/paws-in-motion/ )

While some cats may not tolerate water like he did, many will tolerate other forms of rehab: manual therapy, massage, LASER treatment, acupuncture, etc. If you think your cat could benefit from this therapy, call us today at 704-786-0104.

 

All the best,

Stephen E. Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com

https://www.facebook.com/fosteranimalhospital

 

 

 

 

 

From the desk of docsef- Rehab Bloopers!

REHAB BLOOPERS

So we recently updated our Foster Animal Hospital, P.A. website. I hope you have the time to peruse it!

Foster Animal Hospital Website

In addition to our redone site we created a tab for our Canine Rehabilitation arm, Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center.

 Paws In Motion

Furthermore on the PIM page, we included several videos of which one is “What is Rehab”.

The “What is Rehab” video is a particular favorite of mine. Why you ask? Well, I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a long time.

Do you remember the old Carol Burnett Show? Much of the humor came from the live production. Carol Burnett, and Harvey Korman, and Tim Conway are comic geniuses. However, with the live production, many times they would crack each other up but try their best not to laugh on live TV.

Well our efforts were on video and not live TV, but we do have some bloopers to show for it! (we deleted some bloopers to protect the innocent!)

Follow the link and enjoy!

Bloopers

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

“He Doesn’t Act Like He’s In Pain”

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“He doesn’t act like he’s in pain”.

That’s a common phrase we hear in our exam rooms or in conversations with clients that have older pets. We also hear, “she sleeps more because she’s old”, “he doesn’t go on walks as much because he’s old”, or “he’s gotten grumpier in his old age”.

While some of that may be true, reality is dogs and cats are masters at hiding chronic pain. Whether that goes back generations when there habitat was more outside and they needed more of a  survival instinct is up for debate. We do see different pain tolerances among different patients. But the average pet doesn’t show signs of chronic pain that we as humans feel would be typical signs.

So, sleeping more, walking less, being grumpy may well be “normal” signs of chronic pain for our pets.

Let’s look at what may be driving chronic pain and what we can do about it.

Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in older pets. Arthritis can involve any joint, as well as, the spine. Arthritis is defined as the painful inflammation and stiffness of joints. Some pets develop arthritis from wear and tear over the years. Some pets will have arthritic joints from disease, such as, hip dysplasia. Some will have arthritis from injuries, for example, a torn cranial cruciate ligament. And there are other causes as well.

Chronic pain may result from other physical ailments: intervertebral disc disease, fibrotic muscle disease, or neuropathic pain.

The good news is, we have many ways to deal with chronic pain in your pet.

There are many different prescription medications that are available. The majority of the medicines are approved for dogs. There are some for cats but not as many. This is because cats are unable to tolerate many of these medications. Some of these drugs deal with inflammation and pain and some are for pain only. Sometimes, we will safely use a combination of these to help our patients feel and function better.

Neutraceuticals, supplements, and Chinese herbs are another way to relieve chronic pain. In fact, this is oftentimes the first line of defense. These supplements help nourish the joints and some have natural anti-inflammatory ability as well. There are a ton of these available but not all are reliable or effective. We suggest asking us for guidelines before starting any supplement.

Rehabilitation Therapy is a new and up-and-coming option for pets with chronic pain, injuries, and for post-op recovery. Rehab utilizes many of the same techniques that physical therapy does in humans. Manual therapy, massage, passive range of motion, and therapeutic exercises are often employed. We also use different modalities: underwater treadmill, LASER, land treadmill, and more. The response to therapy is remarkable and helps pets regain pain-free function. While many degenerative issues are not curable, Rehabilitation Therapy can decrease chronic pain, improve strength, improve neurological function, and promote healing. We even have access to acupuncture, platelet rich plasma, and stem cell therapy!

If any of this reminds you of your pet, contact us today!

Foster Animal Hospital and Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center: 704-786-0104

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons: 704-262-7387.

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

 

Bunker1

 

 

I’m Back!!

Well I haven’t really been “gone”. I just haven’t blogged in a while. Thus, I’m Back!

Through this forum, I hope to share news and happenings from Foster Animal Hospital, Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons, and Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center. If there are topics you are interested in, please feel free to email me at: sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com.

Just like the world we live in, Veterinary Medicine is rapidly changing. I began practicing in 1985 and much has changed over the last 31 years! Here at Foster Animal Hospital, we were once a Mixed Animal practice that helped all species of animals but now we are a Small Animal practice that only helps cats and dogs. We used to have a full service boarding and grooming facility, but 24 months ago converted that space to full time Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning. For 50 years we operated solely from our main hospital at 730 Concord Parkway North. In 2008, we opened an Out-Patient Clinic at 3805 Concord Parkway South. We now offer specialty services such as Canine Rehabilitation and even have a Board Certified Surgeon and a Board Certified Radiologist that come and provide specialized surgeries and specialized diagnostics at our main hospital. What the future holds is exciting!

So please join me on this “journey” as I share information and topics about and from Foster Animal Hospital, Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons, and Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center.

And lastly, all of us here wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

 

Foster-logocropped

  Foster-Clinic-Logo
PIM Logo

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

PIM Logo

Canine Rehab, similar to physical therapy in human medicine, is ideal for dogs that have been injured, undergone surgery or who suffer from arthritis, obesity, or neurological disease. By using Rehabilitation techniques and modalities we can maximize your pet’s ability to recover physically while minimizing his/her pain. Some signs of pain and discomfort are as follows: Sleeps more/ Restlessness, especially at night Lethargic, doesn’t want to walk as much or at all, Cannot jump onto bed or sofa, Pants more, Lameness, Stiffness, Whines or moans for no apparent reason, Irritability or personality changes, any or all of the above but doesn’t seem or act painful. Below is a list of services that we offer.

  • Weave Cones
    • When walking through vertical weave cones it helps develop coordination and balance while learning to turn and pivot.
  • Initial Assessment
    • To begin an assessment, the patient is observed at rest and at several gaits. General palpation is performed to determine proper symmetry and muscle atrophy. Postural reflexes, ROM measurements and proprioception testing are performed. Every tendon, ligament, muscle and joint from the tip of the nose to the tail is assessed.
  • Cavaletti Rails
    • Helps dogs learn how to negotiate obstacles and walk over them by lifting their limbs to the appropriate height.
  • Underwater Treadmill
    • This is effective for improving strength, muscular endurance, cardio respiratory endurance, ROM, agility, psychological well-being, while minimizing pain; beneficial for post-op fractures, Cranial Cruciate Ligament stabilization, neurological conditions, tendinitis, and conditioning.
  • LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)
    • LASER is used to accelerate wound and joint healing, to promote muscle regeneration, acute and chronic pain control, decrease edema (swelling), neurological conditions, and post–op care. It is measured in Joules/cm² (dose of laser energy).
  • Dry Needling
    • Dry Needling is the use of either solid filiform needles (acupuncture needles) or hollow-core hypodermic needles for muscle pain from trigger points (knots); sometimes known as intramuscular stimulation.
  • Gulick
    • A measuring tape with a spring tension device used to measure limb circumference. Measures muscle mass around thigh.
  • Goniometer
    • Device measures joint angles of flexion and extension. The measurements are given in degrees.
  • ESTIM (Electrical Stimulation)
    • Helps to increase muscle strength, muscle re-education, increasing ROM, correction of structural abnormalities, improving muscle tone, accelerating wound healing, edema (swelling) reduction, muscle spasm reduction, and enhancing trans dermal administration of medication.
  • TENS (Trans cutaneous Electrical Stimulation Nerve Stimulation)
    • TENS works transcutaneously (through the skin) through surface electrodes to excite nerves
  • Massage
    • Is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, helps to relieve stress, anxiety and discomfort, helps to reduce muscle spasms and soft tissue discomfort, relief from pain, reduce tension, and help to sedate the nervous system
    • Techniques: Stroking, Effleurage, Petrissage, Compressions
  • Stretching
    • Improves flexibility of the joints and extensibility of periarticular tissues (tissues around a joint), muscles and tendons; beneficial with conditions like shortening of tissues, reduced mobility, injury and neurological conditions.
  • PROM (Passive Range of Motion)
    • Is useful to diminish the effects of disuse and immobilization. There is no muscle contraction performed, helps to decrease pain and improves rate of recovery.
  • Balance Board
    • Is used to provide balance and proprioceptive training from the forelimbs or side to side

Here is a link to our Rehabilitation website page

https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/veterinary-services/canine-rehabilitation.html

 

Obesity and Canine Rehabilitation Part 3 – The End

First we discussed the effects obesity can have on your furry family member and second we discussed diet changes to help with weight loss and control weight gain. So, for the last part of this series we are going to discuss the benefits of starting and continuing canine rehabilitation using the underwater treadmill.

Underwater treadmill is used for post-surgical and non-surgical orthopedic conditions, osteoarthritis in older patients, athlete conditioning and weight loss. For patients that are overweight or obese there is a risk of doing land exercises because of the stress that is applied to all the joints during the performing of these exercises. With the underwater treadmill these patients can exercise more safely because of the buoyant environment the water provides. The water’s buoyancy reduces weight bearing while at the same time it increases metabolic demand and improves muscle strengthening because of the resistance present while walking on the underwater treadmill. With the underwater treadmill you can also raise the water high enough for the patient to perform some swimming (be sure to have a life jacket for the patient).

amadeus swimming amadeus Luke

The water levels and speed of the underwater treadmill can alter the patients motion and exercises exertion level. Each patient is different in what their needs are going to be so you want to be sure and have a certified canine rehabilitation therapist examine the patient before pursuing any rehabilitation treatment.

Here at Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center we have two Conditioning Plans pre-packaged for your weight loss needs. Conditioning Plan 1 has the first bag of metabolic + mobility dry food along with sessions of underwater treadmill therapy. Conditioning Plan 2 has underwater treadmill sessions. By giving a weight loss food along with the underwater treadmill sessions is more beneficial than just doing one or the other. When both the diet plan and exercise plan are being met you know that there are no exceptions in their diet because they can only have that food and with the exercise plan they have their own personal weight loss trainer along the way until they reach their goal. There is also exercises sent home for you to complete throughout their plan and beyond. Once they reach their target weight we will help you to maintain their target weight so they don’t become overweight or obese later.

Resources:

DVM360.com

 

My Beginning

photo_candace[1]

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.

FAC Pic

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.

download_20140408_133504

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

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,

~Amadeus