Client Comments and Reviews

A few client comments and reviews from the web to get you started! See some individual testimonials here.

“Scientific”
“I’ve known Deborah Carroll for several years and she has worked with us rehabbing our 90lb Hound/Lab mix. I have always found her to be chock full of great scientific information in rehabbing your pet, and the booklet simplifies all that into simple to understand protocol and reasons to follow the protocol to help your dog. Short read but well worth it. I love it!”
D.B., Amazon Review

“Good Advice”
This book is very easy to read, with good advice for pet parents after a cruciate repair surgery. Compliance is a major cause for surgery failure. In a humorous way, the book gives good guidance on what NOT to do as well as a guideline for healing after surgery. I have recommended this book to several clients already and I wish I had the book last year after my dog, Rufus had his TPLO.
Thank you for the new resource,
Melanie Fox Vanicek, DVM
, Amazon Review

“Effective”
“Deborah Carroll provides effective exercises for physical therapy that are non-invasive and can be done at home with successful outcomes.

This is a great introduction book that explains the physical therapy instead of surgery route and what it means for you and your pet. These guidelines and exercises are a way of treating a torn ligament that works as long as you and your pet are ready to take the time to achieve results.

Surgery is not always inevitable and Deborah Carroll provides an alternative. My dog has followed these guidelines and has had great results. At the time of her injury she could not walk on her back leg (torn ACL, meniscus).

Through working with the support of our veterinarian for pain management, the physical therapy and suggested diet changes, she not only walks on all her legs again, she can go for long walks, climb hills and stairs and pull me down the sidewalk. We are proof that you can successfully rehab your pet at home without the trauma and recovery of surgery.”
Katie, Amazon Review

Easy Plan
“The book easily outlines a plan to rehabilitate your dog from a knee injury. I now feel like there is hope for his long term recovery. Thanks Deb!”
Amazon Review

“Completely Rehabilitate”
“Using the methods described in this book, we were able to completely rehabilitate our Labrador Retriever from a torn ACL without having surgery. Very thankful that this book was so easily accessible!”
H.P., Amazon Review

No Surgery
“I chose not to have my 9 year old Lab put through the stress of surgery on his torn CCL – knowing that he is already showing signs of the other leg being injured. After much research, I found Deborah’s website and read a lot of the blog posts where I learned of her book. I have been using the therapy in the book now for about a month and it is working well in conjunction with some holistic remedies and massage, Since the process of healing is really the same for both non-surgery and surgery dogs, this book will help either way! Easy to follow, but you do have to stick with it to see results.”
Amazon Review

“Expertise”
“I have worked in a variety of animal care fields – as a veterinary technician, pet sitter, and behavior consultant – since 1997, and have several mutual clients with the author. As such, I have seen first-hand what she can do for both her clients and patients. Her knowledge, skill, and bedside manner are impeccable, to the point that she has become the only person that I refer people to for small animal rehabilitation in the Austin area. I am so glad that she has written this book, so that people who live outside the Austin area can benefit from her expertise. I highly recommend it!”
Emily S., Amazon Review, From Beaks to Barks

“Practical”
“This was an easy to read and understand guidebook. There were lots of practical tips offered. Her program is something I can follow on a day to day basis. The author has obviously had lots of experience with dog rehabilitation and wants the best for our dogs.”
Lori L., Amazon Review

“Love”
“I love Deborah Carroll and her approaches to rehab/conditioning- we see her next week.”
Courtney K, Austin, TX Courtney’s Agility Page

 

Add your client comments and reviews in a comment, below, and I may add it to the site. If you have a pet-oriented business and you have used my program(s), please include the link to your business when you write your comment! Thanks!

Updated February 10, 2018

Blue Heeler Recovers From Torn Knee Ligament Without Surgery-

Sputnik Takes A Break From Trails in Colorado-

“I’ve been a client of Rehab and Conditioning since last November (2014).

My 9/10 year old heeler had/has a knee injury. In lieu of surgery, I decided to seek out a specialist to help and educate me on my dog’s injury and rehab plan.

Deborah is great! She’s smart and knowledgeable. She listens. She helps me to learn more so that I know how to work with my dog and gives me options for his recovery plans/schedules. Specifically, she works with my schedule – both with how to do exercises and also for scheduling meetings to review progress. She is even available for phone and email consults – where I can send her videos of progress and get her feedback.

I would recommend to any owner who is working with an animal who has an injury to seek out Deborah. She’s wonderful and if you follow her advice and her program, I have total confidence in saying that she will be so helpful to you and your pet.

Thank you Deborah. I have so much gratitude for your help, your patience, your knowledge, all of your support during this journey in my boy’s life!”

Renee S. Austin, TX

(Last I checked, 2017, Sputnik continues to do well and runs amok on trails in Colorado–Rehabdeb)

Top 5 Tips For Successful Dog, Cat, and Other Pet Rehabilitation After Injury or Surgery

Here they are!

The top 5 tips to help you and your pet get back to doing more of the things you like to do together:

 

Crate with white plastic rails a client put in her bedroom for her Dachshunds after spinal surgery. Example number 1 of top 5 tips dog, cat rehabilitation
Small Dog Crate for Bedroom

1) Do only controlled exercise in a sequential and methodical manner and otherwise restrict your pet as much as possible.

The exercise programs I have developed and that I and others have applied to thousands of cases work extremely well. I consider them to be like Goldilocks’ porridge…not too much and not too little. Resist the urge to jump ahead into advanced drills or harder work if you haven’t put in the time to build a solid foundation. Please do not only keep your pet crated, and, more importantly, do not allow any loose activity outdoors or indoors during recovery! Crates are great, and I want them to be used. I also want you to use them or other tight restrictions along with a competent exercise recovery program!

 

Bag of freeze-dried duck hearts links to purchase on Amazon to help give medications2) Give all medications as your pet’s veterinarian has prescribed them, especially antibiotics…especially pain meds…especially all medications 🙂

My booklets and other posts on this site explain this in more detail. I have written a lot about pain in this post: Pain & Limping . I included info about pain and infection in that post. Pain is the top reason people contact me after a pet is injured or has had surgery. I know some medications are hard to dose, so I have posted some links to products that can help without using unhealthy options (unhealthy=Cheeze Whiz, marshmallows, most dairy, etc…you probably already know) on my Resources & Tools page. Pain=limping=pain. Surgery also = pain…so either way, surgery or no surgery, your pet most likely needs pain medications.

 

Spaniel dog wearing an Elizabethan collar to keep her from licking her hip where she had FHO surgery
Jicky E-Collar after FHO

3) Use the e-collar after surgery.  

The Elizabethan collar (e-collar) is the best and fastest way to allow healing and stop pets from licking their injury or surgery site. Based on my extensive experience fixing messed-up stuff after surgery, I can tell you there aren’t any other great options available that work as consistently well as the e-collar.

Some pets will pull it off if you don’t tighten it down to 2 fingers placed flat under the neck tie. If your pet pulls it off, that is usually due to operator error (yours or mine or vet clinic staff). The e-collar is very important.

I’ve dealt with the resulting problems when people don’t use the e-collar. There are many reasons people don’t use the collar. Maybe it’s because the pet crashes it into everything around the house, or the people say “he doesn’t like it”. The problems I deal with when the collar isn’t used are ruined surgeries, dogs licking an area on their bodies down to the bone, cats fussing with the staples or sutures and pulling them out, extensive infections that sometimes cause loss of life, etc.

I recommend people keep the e-collar on the pet until about 2 days after suture removal. Have you had stitches? Surgery? The sutures can cause itching when removed, as you may remember if you’ve had them. Often nerve reactivation to the surgery area can cause the area to “feel weird”.  Keep the collar on your pet. More often than not this move will save you and your pet a LOT of trouble!

 

Dog walking in a backyard in a harness, close to person, doing controlled cavaletti work
BJ Cavaletti Work in Harness with Short Leash

4) Use a good harness with a very short leash to control and protect your pet if you are walking them. 

I discuss this at length in my books and videos. Harness and leashes I recommend are here. Use a harness and not the collar when you are working on rehab with your pet. Use a super short leash, keeping your pet close by your side so they don’t hurt themselves.

 

 

 

Cat doing cavaletti work by walking and stepping over tv clickers lined up on a bar top
Casey Cat Doing Cavaletti Work

5) Don’t cut corners.

Unless you have extensive experience with physical recovery science applications in a variety of settings, don’t change the rehab plans I recommend. You and your veterinarian most likely won’t know when you can shorten a program without doing damage to your pet. If you cut corners, you also run the risk of not getting the same positive results following the plan brings. It’s easy for me to help clients to see where their omission or addition of parts of the plan turned the recovery plan the wrong direction. Since I don’t get to work one-on-one with most of you in person, I return to recommending that you find a well-described plan and follow the plan and not add to it and not cut corners 🙂

 

Parting thoughts…

My list of recommendations could go on and on, yet these are the top 5. I made this list based on problems from many cases over many years. Like so many things in life, pet rehab can be very easy, yet it’s our wrong thinking about solving the problems that often stands in the way of following a good program well. Feel free to write and email using the contact form if you have had a learning experience with any of the recommendations I listed above. If I think it’s helpful to others, I will publish it under this post!

Blessings-

Deborah

Updated Jan. 19, 2018

Thank you 🙂

How You May Help Rescue Organizations and Animal Shelters with Rehab!!

This is an exciting opportunity to help animal shelter and rescue rehabilitation to save money and pets!!

Dog in Blinds

This is a great way for you to get involved in rescue rehabilitation and rehab for animal shelters in the USA right now (and maybe around the globe later)!

WHAT?

If you read  >>> the reviews <<< on this site, you will see that several veterinarians and others have mentioned that this book ∨∨∨

should be available to more shelters and rescues for new caretakers of adopted pets, and we’d like to offset the expense to shelters of handing out these books to new pet adopters. (Note: if you have blocked Amazon, the book link will not show up above. If you are interested in searching for it on your own, you may use the ISBN 9780615900476 for more info.)

To donate to this program through me, you must use the PayPal link below for the discounted price. Otherwise, if you just want to purchase some and hand them out or use for yourself, then use the Amazon link, above ∧ ∧ by clicking the pic of the book.

HOW?

There is a drop-down menu associated with this PayPal button ∨ ∨ so that you may choose your donation amount…
check it out-


After Torn Knee Ligament Recovery Book
Message From You to Recipients



(This is a secure site & so is PayPal, just fyi)

WHY?

People want the book for dogs in rescue organizations and dogs in animal shelters so that the inexpensive and less-traumatic recovery options offered in the book may be followed instead of immediately pursuing surgery for torn knee ligaments.

IMPACTFUL CONSERVATION…

The other exciting part of this equation is that by following the rehab protocol outlined in the book, instead of first going to surgery, more funds could be made available for other newly admitted pets with much bigger medical problems! This is a very exciting effort toward overall conservation and community wellness.

MORE DEETS-

I am currently editing these original 4-week, foundation-building rehab books, and in the meantime, for every $5 donated, I am able to give one of these original books to an established city/county shelter or verified rescue organization in the contiguous United States.

These books will accompany new pet caretakers at adoption, and the new adoptors will be able to follow the directions while working with their veterinarian on follow-up for pain control, continued recovery, and additional wellness.

SO MUCH NEEDED HELP, IN MANY WAYS (AND THANK YOU ALL)!

I will be posting pics below this post as books are donated so that you will be able to see the benefits of your donations. I will also post pics and follow-up info from the new pet parents too, when they share it with me!

Thank you in advance for participating in this adventure!

Blessings-

Deborah

Q & A

May we buy books from you at this same discount for our clinic, to hand out to clients?

If you are a clinic owner or associate, you may also use this option to purchase books for your clinic. Many of you are already doing this though personal contact with me. If you have not previously ordered from me, be sure to include your clinic name and shipping information in the comments section of the Paypal purchase. Also, to make sure the info gets sent to me, fill out the short private contact form below.

When will this option be available for clinics and shelters in other areas besides the United States?

On the one hand, I could implement this option at any time. On the other hand, I’d need to first know shipping destination outside of the US. Then I would know how many books I could send for a particular donation amount. Currency exchange rates are a factor. Please contact me using the form below, and we will work out the details via email. Please include your clinic or shelter email where the contact box asks for it.  You may provide your personal email if you are a principle veterinarian at the facility. The info you put into the contact box goes directly to  my email, so no one else should see your information.

Should My Dog (or Cat) Still be Limping After ( Knee ) Surgery?

Pain, pain, and also pain –

This info about pet limping and pain could apply to almost any orthopedic surgery…
and some of it applies to almost all injuries as well!

Chocolate Lab lying on floor with bandage on leg after surgery

 

 

 

Pet limping after injury or surgery is overwhelmingly due to pain. The pain is caused by one or more of the situations I introduce in this post. Continued pain is so common that this post on my website has been the most visited post for over a decade. The most common answers I give to questions about limping are as follows, based on what I have found true in my practice:

Limping –

If your pet is limping, your pet is very likely in pain.

Many clients say they don’t think their limping pet is in pain and/or their vet said their pet isn’t in pain. Trust me, limping is usually because of pain.

Bandage –

If your pet has on a bulky bandage, as Jake does in the photo, and your pet is limping, it is likely because of the bandage or cast, that they are bulky…and there may also be pain.

Eating, Drinking, Happy –

Eating, drinking, running, tail-wagging… if your pet is doing some of these things, it doesn’t mean they are not in pain. (Hint: Most pets shouldn’t be running anyway after surgery)

In contrast, if your pet is NOT doing these things (wagging, eating, drinking, seeming  happy), that could indicate pain.

Pain – 

There will be general pain on average for about 2 weeks after surgery, because…surgery. Plus, sometimes the surgery doesn’t go well or complications occur with surgery methods. In those cases, the pain will last a lot longer.

There may be other pain, on top of general pain, due to overuse of the body part that had surgery and…

There may be pain due to an obvious or a hidden infection. This one happens A LOT.

Lesson is: your pet can be in a lot of pain and could still be wagging their tail, eating well, and chasing prey!

That’s the short answer section.

Your pet is not limping “just because he/she had surgery”

I put part of that sentence in quotes because many times I’ve heard people (clients, veterinarians, clinic staff, etc…) say the pet is limping because of surgery or injury as if surgery and injury are somewhat abstract and causing the pain. Surgery is painful, and torn ligaments and other soft tissue damage are painful, too. Your pet is usually limping because they are in pain.

I try to bring people around to understanding factors other than a good surgery or injury can cause the limping. Pain is the #1 reason for limping.  Additionally, injury is painful, surgery is painful, infection is painful, bandages are awkward and may cause a feeling of instability, torn connective tissue may lead to a feeling of instability, and all these factors can contribute to limping.

When we work out a cause for the pain/limping/lameness, then we may work  on more correct solutions to the problem.

Your pet is limping because he/she is painful after surgery (or injury) in almost every case.

Your pet should not be limping more than a couple of days after surgery if

1) they have enough of the right pain medications,

2) don’t have an infection,

3) the right procedures were followed in surgery,

4) your pet didn’t destroy the surgery by chewing or with too much incorrect activity.

I have worked with many pets that have limped or been lame more than a full year after surgery. In some cases the lameness has been going on for a few years. Some of these limping cases are because there are problems with the surgery.

All of my cases have improved when we have done the right work as best possible for the true problem causing the lameness. This may mean getting x-rays to check the surgery if there was surgery. This may mean getting another opinion if necessary about post-surgical limping. You may need to try out antibiotics if the other factors I’ve mentioned are all eliminated. You may also need to get better pain management drugs plus use them to the best benefit to go with rehabilitation work.

An exception to the “limping due to pain” rule would be as in Jake’s case (above photo), because if your pet’s surgeon is using a bandage on your pet after surgery, the bandage or cast will be a little awkward. The awkwardness will make your pet walk funny. Your pet will probably act a little weird with the bandage in place. They may not want to walk in the bandage, they may be a drama queen, they may take exaggerated movement strides, etc…

Most surgeons have discontinued bandaging after knee surgery.

Don’t worry that your pet does or does not have a bandage after surgery. Without bandage is proved to be best in general.

Whether they have a bandage or not, most pets will do best with the e-collar around their neck until 2-3 days after stitches or staples are removed if they have had surgery.

The post-surgical or post-injury pet limping is not an abstract limp caused by mystery forces.

The limp and lameness have overwhelmingly turned out to be because of pain, in my experience with hundreds of cases.

With right amounts of pain medications for your pet’s particular situation, body chemistry, and processing ability, the severe lameness almost always stops. Sometimes “right amounts” of pain medications for your pets particular situation” includes antibiotics. The “particular situation” may be a sneaky little persistent infection. Medications for pain usually do not help very much in combating infection pain; usually only antibiotics will stop infection pain.

Next step is often to try a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Infections are not always hot, not always swelling tissue and joints, and they do hurt! At the same time, your veterinary team should be checking out the surgery area to see if it is in tact from what they can feel. They will likely want to do another x-ray to see what is going on inside your pet. This is a good idea in most cases; an x-ray shows random surgery failures as well as cloudiness from swelling in the area, among other things.

If the pet limping does not stop after thoughtful application of treatments I have mentioned in this post, then other factors may yet need to be discovered. Again, your pet should not continue limping more than a day or two after surgery if the above factors are met. The same goes for pets that have had re-do surgeries; if they are limping, there are other problems. The main problem in these cases is usually not enough of the right pain medications.

There is probably some “odd” discomfort and/or feeling of instability after surgery or after those injuries that involve tearing or rupturing of supportive connective tissue, and…

Maybe things feel a little “different” or unstable to your pet. Usually you will notice pets being reluctant to walk on slick floors or are using more caution over tricky surfaces when they feel unstable. I have torn connective tissue in my shoulders, hips, and knees, and I find that I guard my body while doing certain movements. Sometimes I subconsciously tend to be suspicious of my joint’s dependability in some situations. I have been active in body science for many decades, and I know my body well.

This body guarding happens in pets, too, and overcoming this disuse is a big part of my work on them and with their humans to achieve better overall function.

I do in-person and phone consults to help people help their pets to solve pain issues. I will write more on topics that are introduced in this post. In the meantime, please search the words “infection” or “pain” in the search box. Please look over the Q&A and some case stories on this site. I have hundreds more stories than I’ve had time to post, and I’d like to post them to help you. I will as time allows 🙂

It is often a LOT of work to get to the bottom of continued limping problems. In my opinion getting to the bottom of limping diagnosis takes so much time because

1) people do not know that their pet should not be limping after a few days in most cases.

2) people have not followed a solid recovery base program like this for injuries or this for surgeries,

3) veterinarians are hesitant to override the medications the surgeon has given.

Sometimes they are not well-versed in multi-modal pain moderation. Most doctors are not taught a lot about pain evaluation and pain control in school. What your vet learns about pain control is mostly from drug reps, journals, through word of mouth from colleagues, from conferences, and personal experience working with hundreds of cases. I have also learned this way over the decades. Personal experience with hundreds of cases is the best long-term teacher if the learner is open to making changes and solving puzzles.

4) In some cases the surgery has failed.

Surgery failure happens most often because the pet is too active, the pet’s body rejects some of the surgery technique, or the surgery technique wasn’t complete. The last event happens frequently in FHO surgeries, in my experience. I have created successful non-surgical programs for recovery from all hip and knee issues without surgery. I have recovered lots of pets that had too much bone remaining on the femur after FHO and the client didn’t want another surgery. In those cases, we followed deep pain control protocol and my foundation-building programs as well as my advanced drill programs.

If you can get your veterinarian to work with you on the steps I mentioned while you are following strict restrictions and a program like mine, then you will be able to solve the limping issues much sooner. I have a local “team” of veterinarians who have come to understand working on pain in a more focused manner. Some are members of IVAPM and have worked on discovering more about animal pain. Some of them also perform acupuncture as therapy for pain, and often the client and I bring one of them onto the evaluation and treatment team. More on this later or elsewhere on this site…check Q&A for now.

me giving laser therapy treatment for pain control and nerve regeneration on Magnolia the Weimaraner after spinal surgery

These are some basic bits of information for your thought. I mostly deal with continued pain cases, surgery complications, non-surgical interventions, and neurological cases. Daily I work with people and pets to help them pursue avenues to in order to get to the bottom of things and reduce or eliminate pain.

Blessings-

Deborah

(Revised January 27, 2018. Originally posted 2007)