Laryngeal paralysis

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

 

 

 

VMC's (Belated) October Patient of the Month!

Abby's Story

Abby 10-15

Abby started her journey with the VMC in 2009 when she was 9 years old. Prior to the VMC, Abby had surgery in the early 2000’s to repair both cruciate ligaments in her hind legs. She was experiencing some discomfort due to resulting osteoarthritis and trigger points in her shoulders (as she compensated for her knees). Abby had also been diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis (LP) which restricted her breathing. We had consulted with a surgical veterinarian regarding the LP; however, he felt surgery was not warranted yet and suggested acupuncture. Hearing Dr. Fleckenstein was the local expert, Abby started acupuncture sessions at the VMC with the added benefit of reducing the pain associated with the osteoarthritis and trigger points.

As Abby’s breathing became more labored due to the LP, Dr. Robinson at VMC  performed a unilateral tieback surgery to reduce the restriction caused by her larynx. Now able to breathe better, and with her joint/muscle pain under control, Abby was back to acting like her old self, an active pup, again. After Abby’s tieback surgery, we continued acupuncture sessions and introduced supplements recommended by Dr. Fleckenstein to help with the osteoarthritis. Abby would become so relaxed and comfortable during acupuncture that she would fall asleep during her treatments.

Dr. Fleckenstein thought Abby could benefit from the addition of physical rehab, so in 2010 we started rehab with Lis Conarton. Abby’s physical rehab includes laser therapy for her joints, manual trigger point release, and walking on the underwater treadmill. Lis also provided us with a home exercise program including massage, range of motion exercises, swimming, and walking at the beach. Abby adores Lis and is very accommodating even when Lis is working out her painful trigger points! In 2013, Abby was diagnosed with a hemangiopericytoma, a soft tissue sarcoma, below her right eye. After consultation with Dr. Rassnick at the VMC, Dr. Robinson again performed surgery on Abby – this time to remove the sarcoma. Unfortunately, the sarcoma could not be removed completely due to the location, so Dr. Robinson implanted a few chemotherapy beads. Dr. Rassnick also recommended the addition of low dose metronomic chemotherapy to prevent the sarcoma from growing, which Abby has tolerated well. We continue to see Dr. Rassnick and we’re happy to report Abby has had no regrowth of the sarcoma for almost 2 years.

Abby swimming 10-15

Abby loves going to the VMC! The office and medical staff welcome her with so much loving attention, it doesn’t matter whether she’s here for surgery with Dr. Robinson, bloodwork with Dr. Rassnick, acupuncture with Dr. Fleckenstein or rehab with Lis. With the wonderful care provided by the VMC, Abby is now almost 15 years old. Abby continues her rehab with Lis, home exercise, and supplements to maintain her quality of life and allow her to age comfortably and gracefully. ~ Abby’s Loving Family

VMC Services Providing Care: • Acupuncture • Surgery • Physical Rehabilitation • Oncology

Diagnoses: • Laryngeal Paralysis • Hemangiopericytoma • Osteoarthritis – Knees • Myofascial Trigger points

Treatments: • Surgery • Metronomic Chemotherapy • Acupuncture • Laser therapy • Manual Trigger Point Release • Home Exercise Program • Supplements • Underwater Treadmill Hydrotherapy