Physical Rehabilitation

March 2018 Patient of the Month

In a delightful departure from our normal Patient of the Month format, this month's entry is brought to you by the patient himself!  Here, straight out of the horse's....er...dog's mouth, is Beau's story! Enjoy!

Sir Beau's Story

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Hi!

My name is (Sir) Beau I’m a 17+ year old Treeing Walker Coonhound

Do you have any food?

I grew up hunting in North Carolina, then when I was unable to that anymore,  I went to a place where there were a LOT of other dogs, then finally to Animal Care Sanctuary when my friend found me!

Do you have any food?

I’m not much for playing but have always loved walks wherever there are good smells, lying down with my friend and FOOD!

Do you have any?

I’ve slowed down a lot in the past few years (my human friend can keep up with me now, but my other pack member Casey leaves us in the dust! He’s crazy!). Considering I’ve been shot (birdshot which may be why I was unable to hunt anymore and am so afraid of thunder and gunshots), had Lyme disease, almost died from Leptospirosis (Thank you VMC for saving me!), have arthritis and an enlarged spleen, I think I’m doing pretty well!

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Do you have any food?

Now I come to the VMC to get treats and see Lis and Dr. Flaherty (I used to see Dr. Burnett before) and go sniff around the back.  That water tank is pretty sketchy, but I feel better and I get TREATS!!

Do you have any?

That’s my story, for now.  I think I’ll go sprawl out in my bed and dream about hunting but first, some food.

Do you have any?

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With a grateful (and Hungry) Heart-

Beau

December 2017 Patient of the Month

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OREO, is our sweet, cuddly, cat that thought he was a dog.  He is our “Super”cat who would launch off the back of the sectional couch front arms straight ahead hanging out.  The cat that thudded through the house at top speed, all of his 19 pounds, at the call of his name.  The cat that would snuggle and purr, who tolerated just about anything. But...

At 3:00am the morning of July 6, 2017… I am sound asleep until I hear a cat cry.  Just once. Thinking it was one of our 2 cats getting sick, the odd cry before a hairball comes out, I didn’t think much of it and fell back to sleep.  Shortly after I awoke again to hear one of our dogs tails thumping like mad.  Our female Labrador, Alex, loved to drag things such as socks or shoes to her bed. Thinking she had dragged a flip flop of my husband's I wasn’t going to investigate. Her tail would not stop.  She was extremely excited about something.  Waking up enough to realize I should rescue that shoe, I was surprised to find it was Oreo laying beside her bed that had Alex all excited.  This was unusual behavior.  Alex loved Oreo sometimes more than he could tolerate.  It was then I realized just how still Oreo was beside her.

I quickly picked him up to find him limp in my arms.  Thinking he was just trying to be still so Alex would leave him alone, I put Oreo down in a different spot on the floor thinking he would take off.  Instead his legs, mostly the right front, collapsed beneath him.  I picked him up again and took him to my walk in closet where I could turn on a light and tried it again.  Same thing. In disbelief I tried again, same thing.  Oreo could not support himself and was now also panting.  I quickly woke up my husband and told him we had to leave.  Something was very wrong with Oreo.  

We quickly took off for Veterinary Medical Center upon which Oreo was immediately taken back and put on oxygen. How could this be happening????  Oreo was completely fine earlier in the day/evening.  Nothing was unusual about how he was acting or his activities.  My first thought was that Oreo had passed a clot.  A radiograph was done to check Oreo’s heart. Although it was found to be slightly enlarged everything else appeared normal.  It was recommended that Oreo remain at VMC (this is now 4:30am) until the morning when - as luck would have it - a Cardiologist would be there later in the day.  Our hope was to have an echocardiogram performed to rule out Oreo’s heart. So tough to leave at that point and to go on about our day.  Knowing Oreo was in the best of care we had no choice but to wait it out.

By 11:30am, it was found Oreo’s heart was normal.  This led to the next step, concerns of neurologic disease.  And with this the recommendation for Oreo to be transferred to Cornell University Hospital in HOPES of getting into a neurologist ASAP.  Again being told that the waiting list for an appointment could be a month or more, our best bet was to pick Oreo up ASAP from VMC and go immediately to the Emergency entrance of Cornell University. Fortunately for us and Oreo he was quickly seen. I could go on about all the findings and transpiring that occurred in the days to follow but here is the outcome.  The following day after a MRI was performed Oreo was diagnosed with having Ischemic myelopathy (C2-C4).  He had a lesion on his spine that was quite large - a stroke to his spine, not his brain.  All other bloodwork and testing proved normal.  

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Oreo fell into the small subset of cases that did not have an underlying disease to cause this occurrence.  Research showed that the majority of cats could return to a normal or near normal lifestyle with supportive care and time.  In Oreo’s case this lesion to his spine was quite large leading to a potential recovery of weeks or months. Oreo spent his 8th birthday at Cornell.  We were able to visit him that day.  We found our sweet boy quiet, but aware, unable to walk, shaved and bandaged, and so very sad.  

On July 10th Oreo was brought home to receive nursing care and at home physical rehabilitation. Unable to walk, Oreo needed to be placed in his liter box on his side to go to the bathroom, supported upright to eat and drink, turned over from side to side every several hours to prevent pressure sores and respiratory complications, and have various range of motion, weight bearing exercises performed several times a day as well as massage of all limbs to all keep the neuropathways open and responding. Recommendations were made for laser therapy to help stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation and Electo-acupuncture for treatment of pain. I must say it was a bit overwhelming.  Oreo was quite tolerant of these at home exercises, most of them, in the beginning.  Knowing it was never said that he wouldn’t walk again is what got me through and pushed me on to keep working with Oreo even as he began to fight back, get mad, hiss, push.  To me he was mad and the fighting back was him getting stronger!

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July 17, 2017…Our first visit to Care Pet Therapy.  Oreo received a consultation with Dr. Flaherty. It was recommended Oreo have twice weekly visits of physical rehabilitation with Lis or Jenn and weekly visits of acupuncture with Dr. Flaherty.   We started with physical rehabilitation visits which included laser therapy on Oreo’s neck.  Water treadmill therapy was attempted on two separate occasions with Lis, but being a cat Oreo's tolerance was minimal and not ideal.  Oreo did work on the dog treadmill on a couple of visits.  Much better than the water but a little to fast on its lowest speed. We were given more exercises to work on at home involving various exercise balls to hang over and do stretches with as well as the continual exercises of bending all his limbs, elbows, feet, massaging them to keep those neuropathways open. 

July 27, 2017….Oreo has been to see Lis earlier in the day for a walk on the treadmill, stretches, and laser therapy.  That evening I could not believe what I was seeing as Oreo rocks himself back and forth and attempts to stand. 3 weeks after Oreo’s incident it is the beginning of him finding his way back to walking on his own.  Over the next week plus he continued to get himself up more and more and walk with a drunken stagger gaining more and more strength.

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Oreo continued with biweekly visits with Lis and several visits with Dr. Flaherty for acupuncture.  Each visit showed improvement as Oreo continued to get stronger and fight his way back to a life of normalcy.

Today, November 6, 2016, 4 months from Oreo’s incident….Oreo is now walking on his own.  What started as a drunken stagger and falling over every few feet has now become almost normal.  Oreo is able to go up and down stairs slowly and supervised, and he can now do a full flight.  He still is a little slow with his right front leg, and I can hear him coming with a slight thud in his walk.  Oreo is my purring love of  a cat again.  He is such a people person and would spend all day snuggling with you if he could.  

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Lis, Jenn, Dr. Flaherty, Alesha…without you all we would not have Oreo were he is today!!!  We can not thank you enough for your dedication, support and love that you have shown to us! Oreo had another visit with Lis today.  A month had passed since our last visit and Lis continues to see improvement.  

--Oreo's Family

 

November 2017 Patient of the Month

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Arlie's Story

In February of 2015, we lost our doxie, Bosley.  He had been our son for 13 years and his passing left an emptiness in our life.  My husband and I were determined not to rush into adopting another dog, but in November we happened to see a picture of two dachshund brothers, Jamis and Arlie, on Facebook that were up for adoption at Chapman’s Dachshund Rescue and our hearts opened up to these two sweethearts. We contacted Chapman’s and made arrangements to travel to York, SC to adopt our new sons.  Unfortunately, a couple of days later, my husband’s mother passed away and we weren’t sure when we would be able to get the boys. Chapman’s was willing to hold them for us, so on Thanksgiving Day we finally headed to Chapman’s to meet our boys.

On November 29, we drove to the rescue which was abound with lots of noisy, but happy, dachshunds of all shapes, colors and types.  Gina Chapman met us and introduced us to a handsome red dapple doxie named Jamis and his sweet brother, also a red shorthair, named Arlie.  Gina gave us a large crate, and soon we were off to my cousin’s home, about an hour away, for the night and on to Syracuse and home the following day. Jamis and Arlie were five years old when we adopted them and had come from a home in Utah.  Their owner was elderly and had to be put in a residential facility that did not take dogs.  Her family took the dogs to their home in Fayetteville, NC, but did not want to keep them.  Gina Chapman came to the rescue and took them to her facility about two weeks before we adopted them.

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Arlie and Jamis

Upon arrival at our home, the boys were very happy to see we had a large fenced-in yard, and proceeded to check out the critters who stood no chance against the doxie hunters.  In the months that followed, they became an integral part of our family and friends.  Jamis’ high-pitched scream and Arlie’s “talking” became a daily occurrence whenever we returned from a few hours away from the house.

In late October of the next year, Arlie began walking unsteadily with his back end seemingly weak.  We took him to our vet who stated that we should either take him to Cornell or the Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York.  When she said that, it brought back memories of a problem our Bosley had, so we felt time was critical so we took him to VMC.  He was admitted that evening and after a few hours he was unable to walk at all.  Dr. Robinson, who had operated on Bosley in 2004, diagnosed that Arlie had a herniated disc and proceeded to operate.  After a couple of days, we were able to take our little man home and begin home therapy.  My husband and I learned how to express his bladder and perform leg exercises.  In the next few weeks and months, we also took him for acupuncture and physical therapy with Dr. Fleckenstein and Lis at Care Pet Therapy.  After a few months of therapy he was almost back to normal, running and chasing any animal that dared to enter our yard.

In June of 2017, we noticed that Arlie had again started to walk oddly.   We thought maybe he had just hurt his leg when running, but in a couple of days we knew that something more serious was happening.  Dachshunds are notorious for racing down steps and jumping off couches and beds, thinking themselves invincible.  This time we weren’t waiting, and went to the VMC right away.   After examination, Arlie was diagnosed with a slipped disc, and once again needed surgery.  Dr. Robinson was quite surprised that he had a disc injury again, as it was extremely rare but not unheard of.  So once again, Arlie began a regimen of acupuncture and therapy, which continues to this day.  However, he is a strong fighter and although his gait is still a bit wobbly, he handles it like a champ.  My husband carries him up and down stairs, we watch him relentlessly so that he doesn’t jump off the couch.  When he needs his alone time, we also have a playpen set up with lots of soft blankets in our family room.  

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Arlie never ceases to amaze us with his attitude.  Although he has endured much pain and hardship in his short life of seven years, he takes his handicap in stride and achieves a quality of life on his own terms.  When he is tired, he rests; when he is happy, his tail wags like a propeller; and when he needs something, he “talks” until we figure out what he wants.  And when he cuddles with us and he looks at us with his big brown eyes, no words are sufficient or necessary.   We love him with all of our heart, and look forward to many happy years with him and Jamis.

With a grateful heart-   Arlie’s Mom and Dad

 

July 2017 Patient of the Month

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Mojo is a rescue dog from Hilton Head, South Carolina. His mom adopted him in 2009… it was love at first sight with this handsome boy. From the moment she saw “the spot,” she knew, he was “her dog.” Despite his crazy behavior during her visit to his foster home where he chased the family cat, pooped in the house and demonstrated terrible leash manners, she packed him up and drove him to Charleston to meet his new family. He sat in her lap the whole way home and never looked back.

In 2011, his mom and dad were married and moved in to a new home. Being his first “real house” with a big yard to run in was very exciting. So exciting, that he implemented a very specific routine of running circles through the house and yard. During one of his routines, he slipped on a rug. It was like a scene from a movie for his mom, who watched it happen in what seemed like slow motion. He seemed fine at first but within a few days, his mom and dad noticed he was no longer following them upstairs. He would sit at the bottom of the staircase and cry instead. Within 24 hours he could barely walk and yelped in pain when his parents tried to pick him up. His mom took him to the vet who did some radiographs but found nothing and prescribed him pain management pills with strict crate rest. Within a few days, he was all better!

In 2012, Mojo experienced more exciting life changes when he got a new baby French Bulldog brother and another new home in Syracuse, NY. His first day here he was so excited to find that NY squirrels are about twice the size of SC squirrels! ...so excited that he exited the moving truck and chased the giant squirrels through the woods and fell into a pond. He is not the most graceful of dogs.

Outside of the giant squirrels, the move to Syracuse turned out to be a blessing because of the staff and doctors at Veterinary Medical Center. In 2013, Mojo was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease or “IVDD.”

IVDD is a condition where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column either bulge or burst (herniate) into the spinal cord space. These discs then press on the nerves running through the spinal cord causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.”

In Mojo’s case, his symptoms of IVDD can be very scary. It always begins the same with his hesitance to use stairs and he becomes a little withdrawn. He starts dragging his legs and feet behind him, he won’t be able to walk and he will be in a lot of pain. He won’t feel his feet even the doctors pinch really hard. Mojo had an emergencyat VMC in 2013 and luckily, within a few months he made a full recovery! He lived a normal happy (spoiled) dog life until his symptoms returned worse than ever in 2014. This time he was not able to relieve himself and refused to eat or drink. It was a very grim and heartbreaking visit to VMC but Mojo also met Doctor Burnett and Lis Conarton for the first time which turned out to be life-changing. Together, Mojo’s team of his parents, Doctor Burnett and Lis all worked together to implement a treatment plan that literally saved his life. A second surgery was not an option, so he began medicine and physical therapy. Mojo made tremendous progress with this plan. Within 24 hours he was eating, drinking and able to relieve himself and continued to improve from there. Within a month we added acupuncture and he was able to feel his feet and legs and stand a little on his own and wag his tail again! Within 6 months he could walk again without assistance.

It’s almost like clockwork; once a year Mojo will have an episode, but thankfully he has Doctor Burnett and Lis to help with his treatment and ongoing therapy so these episodes and his symptoms are MUCH more manageable. As of February 2017, Mojo has made it 6 months without an episode! He is still the happiest dog in the world and he LOVES his preventative therapy visits to VMC. He still needs a little help from his parents and a harness to help with stairs, jumping and for when he gets SUPERexcited and can’t control his tail wags, but that’s no problem for his family. Today, he can walk, run and do all of his normal crazy dog things including chasing these huge NY squirrels. 

                             ~The Arcia Family

 

April 2017 Patient of the Month

I know everyone feels their family pet is the best pet in whole wide world and well, they should!  For me to say my Riley is the bravest, strongest, hardest-working Labrador out there would be an understatement….For the past year and a few months, Riley has gone from being knocked down, literally, not being able to walk or get around (lameness both hind legs at one point), to being able to take hikes, run through a field in a new-kind-of-way, go on canoe rides, swim in lakes, and so much more.  Riley is a fighter and is where he is today because of the dedication, experience and compassion of Dr. Robinson, Lis Conarton and Dr. Burnett.

I knew from the moment I held Riley in my arms at six weeks old he was going to change my life.  Riley is a purebred lab and he came into our lives with the understanding that both his parents were healthy and had no history of medical or physical issues.  Riley was active as most lab puppies are right from the start and at six months old we noticed he was walking a “bit” funny and sure enough, he had elbow dysplasia in one of his front elbows.   However after two medical exams it was determined he had the type of dysplasia that was caused by the way his two bones grew together and there really wasn’t anything to be fixed.  We were like “whoa” and figured, well, if that’s the worst thing that happens to Riley, we can handle it because Riley was happy and was still able to do his “Riley-thing.”

Memorial Day, 2015 is a day, a moment in time, I will never forget.  I had come home from a bike ride and was in the back yard with my husband, and the kitchen door must have blown open.  Riley heard my voice and wanted to be at my side as quickly as possible.  Riley leapt out the door, over two steps, and must have landed wrong, because the next thing we knew from the back yard is we heard a cry that a dog owner NEVER wants to hear in their lifetime, and we soon saw our Riley dragging himself into the backyard. Despite his agonizing pain he wanted to be at my side.  He is my boy and I will never forget his face, his cry and instantaneously Riley’s short life, he was just four, flashed before me.  He needed help and he needed it right away.

The VMC came into my life, into Riley’s life that day.  Dr. Robinson examined Riley and confirmed he had torn his rear left CCL and that he would need surgery to repair the damage.  Three days later, not knowing Dr. Robinson or his staff, I put my boy in their care, and I am glad I did.  Riley had TPLO surgery and he did great!  At that moment I had no idea how challenging, how difficult it would be to rehabilitate a 100 pound lab who used to run fields, jump logs, and swim rivers.  Riley, after surgery, with the support of a tech, came into a room with no hair on his hind quarter, very tired, but so happy to see me.  I remember sitting on the floor with Riley with a blanket for quite some time.  The VMC did not rush me out. They let me just lay with Riley because he needed me.  Riley was there for two nights and then he came home to begin his healing.

When Riley was six weeks into healing, we came for a re-check, and Dr. Robinson confirmed the bone was healing, but had not fully healed. He said that he could start physical therapy.  Riley met Lis a day or two after that.  When he walked in to see Lis she asked if the right had the surgery and I said, “No, the left.”  A day later, Riley was on a very slow, short walk with me down a path into a field at my parent’s farm and he collapsed.  He cried out, just as awful as the last time.  I knew what had happened.  Time stopped for me as I went to the ground holding Riley.  His rear right CCL had torn along with the meniscus this time.  The left leg was weeks from being healed, and Riley lay in the field with two rear legs in bad shape, total lameness.  To say the VMC was supportive when we rushed Riley there would be an understatement.  I cried, they gave me the time I needed to cry, and to accept the reality.  After two long weeks of waiting and good pain management, Dr. Robinson, performed a second TPLO surgery on Riley’s rear right leg.

Riley’s second surgery was early August of 2015 and by October Riley was back to see Lis, this time with two newly repaired hind legs.  It was overwhelming at first with all the exercise suggestions, and massage techniques, but Lis was patient, always a listener, and above all, compassionate.  Lis suggested we meet with Dr. Burnett because Riley had been through a lot and was dealing with a good amount of pain and it was affecting his rehabilitation progress.  Dr. Burnett was phenomenal and got Riley in a comfortable place so his body was able to begin healing with limited amounts of pain and discomfort.  

It has been about a year and half since Riley’s first TPLO surgery and he has experienced some hiccups along the way.  Through it all, Lis and Dr. Burnett have been there for Riley and he is in such a great place now.  Riley is a new version of Riley, now, after all, he has two rods, one in each rear leg with six screws each.  But, what hasn’t changed through it all is Riley’s spirit, determination and fight.  Riley has fought his way to be where he is today and couldn’t have done it without the support of the VMC of CNY.  

Riley continues to do laser and hydrotherapy with Lis on a monthly basis and does re-checks with Dr. Burnett every 3 months.  He takes Duralactin, Tramadol, Gabapentin and Omega-3 Oil Supplements daily to help with discomfort and arthritis/inflammation management. Thank you Lis!  Thank you Dr. Burnett!  And thank you to all of the staff who have reached out and touched my heart and Riley’s heart throughout this journey.  Riley is back to “living the life of Riley, again!”

                                                     ~The Schultz Family

 

March 2017 Patient of the Month

Hemi's Story

One day in July of 2009, we were at our veterinary clinic for a visit with one of our cats. A family had recently left a handsome yellow lab with Doctor Kibiuk, Doctor Jank and staff at the Watertown Animal Hospital. His name was Hemi, he needed surgeryon his left knee, and the doctors were hoping to find a new family for him but knew it would be difficult. They mentioned him to us since they knew we were looking for a dog to adopt. We met him once and that was all it took. He came home with us that dayand we learned quickly that he was a happy, friendly and very energetic guy.

In October of 2009, Doctor Jank successfully performed surgery on Hemi’s ACL in his left knee. Around the same time, pre-existing skin allergies became increasingly worse and unbearable, and he ended up having 2 hematomas, one in each ear, and 2 surgeries as a result. After several years, and several medications that didn’t work, we went to Cornell for allergy testing. Hemi now receives allergy shots and Apoquel and can get through the day and night without scratching continuously. Hemi loves walking in the fields and woods, and one day turned to look backwards and his right knee buckled! Another torn ACL and another surgery performed by Doctor Jank. Unfortunately, this surgery was not as successful and he had to go to Cornell to have a TPLO performed on his right knee. Throughout his recovery, it was a struggle to keep Hemi walking slowly, but he was learning and doing great, until he had a setback. Cornell diagnosed him with Peripheral Neuropathy and Laryngeal Paralysis. He continued to have trouble with his back legs, which weakened and caused pain and stress on his front legs as well. Throughout all of this, he has remained the same happy, friendly and energetic guy we first met.

Desperate for help, we asked Doctor Jank if there was anything we could do for him. Doctor Jank talked to us about looking into acupuncture and physical rehabilitation and he recommended Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York. We called VMC the very next day and set up an appointment with Doctor Michelle Burnett on July 28, 2015 for acupuncture and pain management. We also made an appointment with Doctor Molly Flaherty to begin physical rehabilitation after she arrived from Chicago in early August of 2015. So began our visits at VMC weekly for physical rehabilitation and acupuncture treatments, along with pain management assessments, every other week. 

Our visits with Doctor Flaherty include laser therapy on Hemi’s joints, spinal manipulation and underwater treadmill treatments. Hemi does not like water and barked the entire time he was in the tank until Doctor Flaherty “out foxed” him. A kong filled with peanut butter, that he can lick, makes him forget all about the water he’s in. Doctor Flaherty & Jen have helped Hemi to maintain muscle mass, which enables him to have a better mobility. He can now enjoy his daily walks and move around the house so much easier.

Doctor Burnett has helped Hemi be able to enjoy his daily activities more comfortably by introducing him to new medications and acupuncture treatments. She gets a workout during each acupuncture visit because Hemi is much more interested in visiting than standing still for the needles to be placed in position. Although, by the time the electroacupuncture machine is hooked up, he is worn out and usually dozes until the treatment is finished.

Then, as the weeks went by we noticed that Hemi’s breathing was increasingly labored. This was due to the Laryngeal Paralysis and needed attention. At the beginning of the summer, Doctor Timothy Robinson performed Tieback surgery on Hemi to relieve the breathing stress. Hemi was then able to get through the summer without any further problems.

We are so happy and fortunate to have Hemi as part of our family. Hemi just celebrated his 13th birthday at the end of October and we cannot thank VMC enough for everything they are doing for him. Our experiences with everyone at VMC has been outstanding!

-- The Coons Family

Diagnosis:

  • ALC Left Knee
  • TPLO Right Knee
  • Arthritis in Most Joints
  • Laryngeal Paralysis

Treatment:

  • Laser Therapy
  • Underwater Treadmill
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Acupuncture
  • Pain Management

 

 

 

January 2017 Patient of the Month!

Stella's Story

When we adopted Stella in 2010, we weren’t looking for a young dog. We had our hearts set on a 9-year old female from German Shepherd Rescue who could be a companion to our 9.5-year-old male, Ezra. The 9-year-old female did not want to live in a house with other dogs, so the rescue steered us to Stella, a 2.5-year-old that had been surrendered by her family.  We feel in love with Stella’s sweet personality and playfulness immediately.  Stella and Ezra were running around and playing like old friends shortly after meeting so we knew she was the dog for us. 

Stella had a femoral head and neck osteotomy performed on her left hip when she was 6-months old after x-rays showed hip dysplasia. Despite this early setback, Stella is an extremely active dog who loves to play fetch and Frisbee. Occasionally we noticed that Stella was stiff after her playtimes. We brought her in for Physical Rehabilitation and Pain Management at the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY. Dr. Fleckenstein and Lis Conarton had worked wonders on our old shepherd, Ezra’s issues through the end of his life so we knew they would come up with a plan to keep Stella active. We immediately saw a decrease in Stella’s stiffness and recovery once we added physical rehabilitation. We have kept Stella on a 4 to 6-week rotation of chiropractic care and hydrotherapy and followed a regiment of home exercise and stretches. 

When we adopted Stella we knew she had anxiety issues. Having a strong male role model around helps with Stella’s anxiety but it is still a problem. Stella’s greatest problems occur during thunderstorms. We have frequently come home or woken up to find Stella wedged into a space that is too small for her. Stella has cut herself during these episodes but never caused an injury that required medical care. In early July, Stella panicked during a thunderstorm and wedged herself under our bed. The bedframe is very close to the ground. The only way Stella was able to get herself under the bed was to unnaturally contort her body. Stella was wedged in so tight that we could not pull her out. I was able to pull Stella out after my husband lifted the bed. It looked like she had rotated her hips at a strange angle so we weren’t surprised that she was a little stiff when she started walking around. 

Aside from the stiffness, she acted like her normal, playful self.  The next morning when we took her out to play fetch it was obvious that something was wrong. She was not putting weight on her left hind leg. We brought Stella to the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY for evaluation and found out that she had ruptured her cruciate ligament. Dr. Robinson and the surgical team assured us that this was a common injury in active dogs and that Stella would be back to her playful self about 12 weeks after surgery if we followed a strict rest and recovery program. 

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One week after Stella’s surgery we started Acupuncture. Stella had a lot of bruising and swelling around her knee and ankle and her leg was extremely hot to the touch. A few hours after her first Acupuncture treatment, the bruising and swelling had decreased significantly. We continued with treatments every two weeks through Stella’s 6-week post op x-rays. Once we got the all-clear that she was healing well, we were able to add Physical Rehabilitation with Lis. Visits with Lis for laser therapy were already part of Stella’s recovery but we were happy that now she was going to be able to do something active to burn off some of that nervous energy. 

At this point, we are almost 11 weeks post-surgery and Stella is doing great. Stella now comes in twice a month for her treatments with Dr. Polly and Lis and we follow our home exercise and mobility regiment.  Stella is doing better than we expected at this point and is basically back to her old self. Even though some parts of the recovery process have been difficult, things would have been much worse without the great care and support that we receive from the VMC. You never want anything bad to happen to your pet but when it does, it is great to have such a great resource close by that embraces both traditional and non-traditional approaches to veterinary care. 

                               ~The Sliwiak Family

Diagnosis:

  • History of Left Femoral Head & Neck Osteotomy
  • Left Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture corrected with TPLO repair
  • Noise Phobia
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Secondary Compensatory Muscle Pain

Treatments:

  • Electroacupuncture
  • Laser Therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Massage
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • VSMT
  • Alprazolam (for anxiety)
  • Shen Calmer (Chinese Herbs for Anxiety)
  • Pain Management Perioperatively (and as needed)
  • Tendon Ligament Formula Chinese Herbs

 

 

 

 

December 2016 Patient of the Month

FROSTYN'S STORY

My name is Frostyn and I am an all white Siberian Husky. I am originally from Georgia and they say I was picked up as a stray. I knew where I was and I knew where I was going, but if “stray” makes everyone happy, then that’s okay. I was taken to a place called a kill shelter and fortunately, a rescue organization found me there and got me out. They put my picture on the internet and that’s how my Dad found me. Everyone thinks I’m about eight years old and I’ll let them go on believing that. As everyone knows, a lady doesn’t reveal her true age!

In order to tell you about my journey with the Veterinary Medical Center, I have to begin by telling you about my “sister” Holly. Holly was also a Siberian Husky and even though she was six years older than me, we were the very best of friends. We were both agility dogs (I still am), but a couple of summers ago, Holly became lame. She couldn’t even put any weight on one of her front feet. My Dad was reluctant to use any of those medications on her, so he took her to see Dr. Polly Fleckenstein. To make a long story short, Holly made a complete recovery and returned to agility competition less than a year later because of what Dr. Polly & Lis Conarton did for her. Holly continued to see both of them and continued her agility career until she passed away a little over a year ago, so I have continued in the agility ring without Holly.

My Dad has recently been concerned because, after my first run of the day, whether in class or in competition, I would always slow down. At first he thought it was all in my mind, but then decided he should make sure the problem was not physical. Of course, after the miraculous work done by Dr. Polly & Lis for Holly, the first place my Dad thought to bring me was the Veterinary Medical Center. My Dad had been taking me to VMC when he brought Holly for her appointments, so it was really good to see all my old friends.

Everyone treats me so good when I visit. My Dad already had me on some supplements, but Dr. Polly put me on a couple more. She has been doing acupuncture and spinal manipulation on me and Lis is doing laser treatment on me. Lis has given my Dad lots of work to do at home, including stretching, massage, and exercises to strengthen my abdominal muscles. It’s only been a couple of months, but I feel so much better! My performance in class and in competition has been so much more consistent. Dr. Polly & Lis were able to tell where I was sore and concentrate on those areas. My lower back was really bothering me.

As much as my Dad loves me and understands me, he doesn’t have the knowledge to be able to determine where I’m sore. It’s really important that I feel good since my Dad relies on me to keep him busy. In addition to agility, I take him to rally/obedience class and we also compete in those events. Dad and I are also a pet therapy team with PAWS of CNY. I take him with me to schools where the students read to me and to a home where the people don’t remember me each time we come. We have also done some other activities with PAWS of CNY such as de-stress events at Syracuse University and participated in 4th of July parades.

I’m going to make sure my Dad continues to bring me for treatments with Dr. Polly & Lis so that I’m at my best. Without me to keep him going, I’m afraid he would get bored and lazy!                                 

Frostyn's issues:

  • back pain
  • muscle pain

Frostyn's treatments: 

  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) 
  • VSMT (veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy)
  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Herbal Therapy
  • Supplements
  • Massage
  • Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Postural Balance Exercises & Home Exercise Program

November Patient of the Month

Dorothy's Story, Part II

dorothy

You may remember that we featured Dorothy's story a few months back.  She is a senior dog who was left on the street when her owners decided it was too much trouble to care for her and her medical problems.  If you missed our original post about her, you can catch up here: http://wp.me/p2pFC1-bk

We have an update from her family, about how Dorothy's care has been going since that original article:

Once Dorothy had recovered from all her urgently necessary treatments, it was time to begin focusing on the rest of her.  It was clear by her posture, movements and body language that she was experiencing pain all over her body. Dorothy was evaluated by Dr. Burnett and prescribed a regimen of pain management medications, laser and massage therapy.  Dorothy has been visiting Lis and Dr. Burnett for 10 months now and has shown remarkable improvements.  She has always enjoyed her walks around the neighborhood but now runs around the yard like a puppy, tossing her favorite rubber ducky into the air!  There was a time that she would run away from a massage at home and tremble when you would touch or try to stretch her. Now she can’t get enough of her massages and stretches.  She still needs work and is not 100% but she has come leaps and bounds from where she was 10 short months ago.  If you look into her eyes close enough you will see that she is saying thank you to VMC and CARE for significantly reducing her pain and allowing her to live again!  

We thank you from the bottom our hearts!  

~ Dorothy's Family

 

Dorothy's issues:

  • Suspect chronic arthritis (hips/stifles) with compensatory muscle pain

Treatments:

  • Pain Medications
  • Supplements (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
  • Physical Rehabilitation (laser and massage therapy)

 

VMC's October Patient of the Month

Blackjack's Story

blackjack

Hello, my name is Blackjack, everyone calls me Jack for short and my friends at daycare call me Jack-Jack as they have decided I like to hear my name. I am Lord Blackjack of Rambunctiousness as it could be seen by the look in my eyes I was destined for trouble from the very beginning.

I am a 7 year old black lab. I was having various limping episodes and had gone to see Doctor Goetz and Doctor Rodriguez at Manlius Veterinary Hospital. It was decided they needed an X-ray to confirm that I had a cruciate tear. Once that was confirmed I was sent to Doctor Robinson at Veterinary Medical Center for a consult for surgery. We discussed my options and decided that for my size the TPLO surgery was the way to go. The left side was also showing a tear so it was explained that the likelihood of the other side needing surgery at a later time was probable. So I had surgery in October and the follow-up X-rays as scheduled. I had not healed as fast as expected, (probably due to my inability to sit still) and required more time of sitting watching DogTV. Now don’t get me wrong, DogTV is great but I had things to do.

My Dad had heard that Lis would be great to help with recovery but she was booked weeks in advance and I just could not wait. So we made our appointment with Doctor Molly Flaherty and started laser and treadmill therapy. I get my chiropractic adjustment, too. And there was water involved!

My first session was all about what was expected of me.  Once we got the hang of it and toys got introduced I was hooked.  As expected four months after the first surgery the left leg was weakening and I needed another TPLO on that knee. Doctor Flaherty suggested starting laser the day after surgery and what a difference it made. It made a real difference with swelling and I healed a lot faster. I wish I had known for the first TPLO!

Since December I have been a weekly patient of Doctor Flaherty. I have laser and cannot wait for my turn at the water treadmill; splashes for everyone! I love coming to VMC for water fun, visiting friends, hugs and cookies. My four months recovery after the second surgery is over I still want to continue coming to help build more muscle and maintenance for elbow dysplasia. The goal is to be able to go back to daycare and play with my human and canine friends. There are more lakes out there to play in. I am so thankful that Doctor Flaherty and Jen Waldron were able to help with my recovery and future success in having fun and making people happy.

~Blackjack & Family