About Exercise Physiology-Based Veterinary Rehabilitation, Rehabdeb, Rehabilitation and Conditioning for Animals, and Move2Live
As you may have seen on social media outlets, our Moving2Live interview about Rehabilitation and Conditioning for Animals is now live on the Moving2Livewebsite.
The interview discusses my background and exercise physiology-based veterinary rehabilitation. You may also find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify and other platforms by searching “Moving2Live.”
Move2Live has posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so you may find the podcast there. I’m posting on all of my social media outlets as well, so you may find the podcast link there.
Please subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or your favorite platform, and please write a review!! This will help the interview get found by others.
You probably already know how the internet works regarding “getting the word out”. Please spread the word if you have benefited from this rehab. It’s a great idea to share the interview with co-workers, friends, and family! You never know who needs the help or who knows someone else who needs rehabilitation and conditioning for animals.
After you listen, please feel free to add your experiences with my rehabilitation services in the comments, below. You are welcome to compare and contrast rehab experiences if you have information about that, too.
Capillaries need to heal and they won’t do that if she keeps getting her blood pressure up (playing). Splitting the stitches or staples is a secondary problem cuz the stitches are in place so that the tissue can heal, and all the activity is going to tear the healing tissue and open up the healing capillaries.”
Her Response –
Response to my response: “She’s keeping her in a crate. She has a donut (e-collar), but I don’t think she’s keeping her on a leash in the house.”
Further Discussion –
This is a question based on a situation I encounter *all* the time. Pets very often tear out stitches and staples, in many ways and for many reasons.
If a pet you know that has had surgery has torn out their stitches, staples, butterfly bandages, etc, then that pet will need to have the wound(s) and incision(s) inspected and may need to have the stitches replaced. That advice is the smartest I can easily give on this website.
There are many different issues a medical practitioner will be looking at depending on the type of surgery the pet had. This means you should probably just go to the vet and not take a poll of your friend’s and family’s opinions first. If your veterinarian told you at the last visit that you didn’t need to return if the pet tore out the stitches again, then perhaps you don’t need to go. However, if you were told that you didn’t need to return yet you see blood coming from any area, I recommend you have the area evaluated medically.
The pet caretaker mentioned in this Q&A text was returning to the vet for care, to my knowledge. So, the question that they came up with was how to tire the pup so she quit busting her stitches.
I recommend, in addition to what I’ve already said, to give all pain medications as the veterinarian prescribed them. Please double-check the medication labels. I do that for people when I am in-person at an appointment. You might be surprised at how often people are making mistakes with the medications. Make a chart or record that details when you give the medications.
Positive Vibes –
Follow the restrictions with a good attitude toward them and pass along a “positive vibe” to your pet. Animals pick up on our emotions. I often need to discuss with clients that their feeling sorry for their pet is rubbing off and they need to switch to praise and encouragement with a “normal” tone and voice. More of a “move along, nothing to see here…” attitude, with empathy instead of pity.
Pets feel the worry and pity that their people feel toward them. Often the pet will worry about their people. That usually makes the pet seem “worse”, and the people worry about the pet worrying about the people. In my experience, dogs and people do this cycle more than cats and people do.
I explain more in my booklets about the positive benefits of restriction plus the right kinds of exercise for recovery. “The right kinds of exercise” includes progressive work that is relative to healing and includes many restrictions. I have found that if people restrict themselves or their pets as I urge them to do plus take their pet on specific outings, for potty or rehab work, the people end up doing a lot more attention-giving activities with the pet. This helps the pet to stop being so crazy or anxious in the house during recovery.
I intend to write more on the psychology of how we humans mess with our pets in other posts.
Bottom line –
In this case, the dog doesn’t need exercises to tire her out. In fact, as I’ve said, that will open healing capillaries. Too much exercise obviously caused other problems, too.
This pup and others like her need to start with a structured recovery plan which includes a lot of restrictions.
A quick bit of info for you after your pet has had surgery.
I do work on lots of cats and a variety of other animals. If you want to know more about cat specifics now, please search for cat in the search box. I’m still working on developing the cat information pages.
For more specific info on a particular condition, please refer to the menus at the top of the page. If you do not see what you are looking for, please use the search box on any page.
If the injury is a torn knee ligament, then pleaseclick here to read more info about that condition. After that, please go to the instructions on this page!
“My pet just had surgery… …and now that I’ve gotten them home, I realize I’m not really sure what to do!!”
First and foremost: pay attention to the discharge instructions your veterinarian has given you if your pet just had surgery or you have received instruction about an injury. Please pay special attention to the part about no running, jumping, or playing. You and your pet will be doing good work for recovery if you exactly follow my booklet instructions.
If your veterinarian did not say so, please note there should not be any flying over couches, no galloping on stairs, no jumping into or out of cars and trucks, no jumping onto couches or your bed, no jumping off of couches or beds, no twisting very fast in tight circles, no sliding on ice or slippery floors, and no freedom in and out of doggie doors. No owner jumping out from behind things to scare the dog into running crazy funny around the house like you sometimes like to do.
No running really means no running…
…to the door when the doorbell rings, no running away from Halloween costumes, no running from one end of the house to the kitchen every time the fridge or a plastic bag is opened, no running to you when you yell to ask the dog if it wants to go outside, no kitty running from anything right after surgery, and no running inside after the ball, which is very similar to no running outside after the ball. No, no swimming until at least eight weeks after surgery and then only if no lameness is present at a slow walk.
This bookis specifically addressing surgery after a torn knee ligament. Until I am able to publish the books I am working on that deal with soft tissue surgeries, hip issues, other knee issues, elbows, spinal issues and more, this book will be very helpful to you for the first four weeks of recovery if your dog has had one of these other surgeries.
This book has the information, restrictions and advice I would give after almost any surgery. If you follow the restrictions and the practical applications in the booklet, your pet should do well and recover progressively if there are no additional issues. These restrictions will match a lot of what your vet surgeon gave you to follow after surgery.
My recommendations are based on decades of information we have in human sports medicine recovery. These methods matches up very well how your pet thinks and moves and behaves. This program matches up scientifically with how the body recovers.
These instructions incorporate steps for functional recovery, so there is a LOT more structured and guided info in the book. The links to the book I made for this page will take you to Amazon. You may order the book from any bookstore using the ISBN.
I also have info elsewhere on this site about cats and surgery. Cats aren’t small dogs. Unless your cat will walk on a leash, which some do very well, I recommend looking at this page for now.
So, the following book will help you calmly and methodically approach recovery from your pet’s surgery. The book will guide you to establish a functional base of activity. You have to build a good base to help recovery and to of avoid additional injury. This is only the base. I have more strengthening programs and other drills for you to do to return your pet to a rambunctious lifestyle.
A good recovery plan helps guard against future or further injury, especially in the opposite limb! I am very happy to report that people and dogs that follow both this and the non-surgical program for 12 weeks do not end up with the other knee ligament tearing. It’s all a matter of balancing the work. I design programs based on decades of experience with exercise physiology recovery principles. My programs also help encourage people being connected to their pets!
Physical Therapy as Effective as Surgery for Torn Meniscus and Arthritis of the Knee, (Human) Study Suggests –
“Surgery may not always be the best first course of action.
A physical therapist, in many cases, can help patients avoid the often unnecessary risks and expenses of surgery. To reinforce that, this study should help change practice in the management of symptomatic meniscal tears in patients with knee osteoarthritis.” Mar. 21, 2013 — A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study showing that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery in patients with meniscal tears and arthritis of the knee should encourage many health care providers to reconsider their practices in the management of this common injury, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
The study, published March 19, showed no significant differences in functional improvement after 6 months between patients who underwent surgery with postoperative physical therapy and those who received standardized physical therapy alone.
“This study demonstrates what physical therapists have long known,” explained APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS. “Surgery may not always be the best first course of action. A physical therapist, in many cases, can help patients avoid the often unnecessary risks and expenses of surgery. This study should help change practice in the management of symptomatic meniscal tears in patients with knee osteoarthritis.”
According to lead physical therapist for the trial and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member Clare Safran-Norton, PT, PhD, OCS, “our findings suggest that a course of physical therapy in this patient population may be a good first choice since there were no group differences at 6 months and 12 months in this trial.
These findings should help surgeons, physicians, physical therapists, and patients in decision-making regarding their treatment options.”
Researchers at 7 major universities and orthopedic surgery centers around the country studied 351 patients aged 45 years or older who had a meniscal tear and mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients were randomly assigned to groups who received either surgery and postoperative physical therapy or standardized physical therapy. Within 6-12 months, patients who had physical therapy alone showed similar improvement in functional status and pain as those who had undergone arthroscopic partial meniscectomy surgery. Furthermore, patients who were given standardized physical therapy — individualized treatment and a progressive home exercise program — had the option of “crossing over” to surgery if substantial improvements were not achieved. In this situation, thirty percent of patients crossed over to surgery during the first 6 months. At 12 months these patients reported similar outcomes as those who initially had surgery. Seventy percent of patients remained with standardized physical therapy.
According to an accompanying editorial in NEJM,”millions of people are being exposed to potential risks associated with a treatment [surgery] that may or may not offer specific benefit, and the costs are substantial.” Physical therapist and APTA member Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, MTC, Cert MDT, chief of physical therapy at Harvard University, said, “Physical therapists are experts in improving mobility and restoring motion. The individualized treatment approach is very important in the early phases of rehabilitation in order to achieve desired functional outcomes and avoid setbacks or complications.”
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by American Physical Therapy Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.
Journal Reference: Jeffrey N. Katz, Robert H. Brophy, Christine E. Chaisson, Leigh de Chaves, Brian J. Cole, Diane L. Dahm, Laurel A. Donnell-Fink, Ali Guermazi, Amanda K. Haas, Morgan H. Jones, Bruce A. Levy, Lisa A. Mandl, Scott D. Martin, Robert G. Marx, Anthony Miniaci, Matthew J. Matava, Joseph Palmisano, Emily K. Reinke, Brian E. Richardson, Benjamin N. Rome, Clare E. Safran-Norton, Debra J. Skoniecki, Daniel H. Solomon, Matthew V. Smith, Kurt P. Spindler, Michael J. Stuart, John Wright, Rick W. Wright, Elena Losina. Surgery versus Physical Therapy for a Meniscal Tear and Osteoarthritis. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013; : 130318220107009 DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1301408
“Once again, thanks for engaging the veterinary industry and client owners with your work and experience. I enjoy your enthusiasm and passion for the area.” DVM, ACVS (American College of Veterinary Surgeons), South Texas
“Thanks so much, Deborah! The book is impressive. Maybe you should leave a copy at (some shelters) since they put so many cruciate dogs on the euthanasia list…Great work and thank you!” DVM, Austin, TX
“Read your book. Excellent job. Now at ACVS they are all for non surgical acl (rehab)…Good job!” DVM, Austin, TX
“Finished reading “instead of surgery” kindle booklet. Bueno! Great discussion on importance of pain control, in particular. ” DVM, Austin, TX
“Hi Deborah! I read your book the night I got it. I really like it and have already recommended it to a client last week. I hope she bought it. I will write a review for amazon for you, too. I hope you are really successful in this. I know how hard you work!” DVM, Kerrville, TX
“Once again, thanks for engaging the veterinary industry and client owners with your work and experience. I enjoy your enthusiasm and passion for the area.” DVM, ACVS, South Texas