Feedback, Reviews, and Testimonials –

Welcome!

Since you got to this page, you are probably hoping to find out more about other’s experiences with these rehabilitation programs. I have three different areas of feedback for you to discover. Click on the bold purple headers below and that will take you to that page of feedback.

Q&A Category –

You probably have this category figured out!

cat with inquisitive look about feedback reviews animal rehabilitation

It’s a collection of posts made from questions people have asked of me and my answers to them at the time. I have taken time to edit a few answers if my perspective has changed over time or if I think I need to make the information more clear.

I’ve got hundreds more questions on file that I have answered that I might get to make into posts, so stay tuned! Probably easier if you subscribe to this website. If you do, then you’ll receive email notice when I make new posts.

Reviews –

This page directs you to both veterinarian reviews and client reviews of my booklets and programs. I have copied most of the reviews from other business places on the web, such as Amazon. I really need and want to edit my booklets to add more info and photos and such, so, stay tuned, again.

In some cases, veterinarians wrote emails to me when they read my booklet(s) for the first time, and I copied some of the mail into posts for you to read as reviews.

Testimonials –

This  section has posts I made out of people’s feedback about the programs after they worked on rehab as I directed. In these posts clients tell how this rehab worked for their pet(s).

Social Media –

I completely deleted all of my Facebook pages and profiles in November, 2016, but I did save my files. I also deleted Twitter at the same time, but I have since begun a new Twit account. Once in a while I make a post based on feedback I received on Facebook or my old Twitter. The Twit changed in the time I was off of it, and I don’t have the same engagement type as I used to have, so there’s not a lot on there as of May, 2018. Feel free to engage me on the Twit.

Anyway, you get the idea. My other sm accounts are represented by words or badges in the sidebar or footer of this site. I aim for reciprocal connections.

I am my own social media person, and that takes a backseat to seeing patients, communicating with clients, and improving this website. There is already plenty of feedback for you to read on here, though, so I hope I’ve hit your topic of concern in these web pages.

Want to Comment?

I turned off comments on this site for a long time because I couldn’t keep up with answering people’s questions in what I thought was a timely manner. One of my former WordPress themes even stopped telling me I had comments when people posted them on the site.  I have been on the road a lot and was not able to check the site very often. Sometimes people’s questions went unanswered. Not good, imho.

I have comments after most posts turned on now. If you have feedback about this program or a post, you may write that as a comment or contact me with questions using the form on this page.

I have also been working hard on upgrading this site for you. I turned comments on again because I have easily covered info about the most frequent pet rehab questions searched on the web and on this site. I’m hoping people will read and search the site for the basics before asking me in a comment or contact form 🙂

I’m Desperate!

Please be aware that if you have a pet emergency, you really need to contact your veterinarian, a veterinary emergency clinic, or a 2nd opinion veterinarian if need be. 

Also, sometimes people do not think they are getting answers they need or want from their veterinarian. I do a lot of patient advocacy and navigation in human medicine and veterinary medicine, and I am a big fan of getting a 2nd (or 3rd or +) opinion on some issues.

People ask very many questions of me in comments and via contact forms about topics I have already covered on this site. Please search and read a lot of the info on this site so that you hopefully have your questions answered more quickly than you will waiting for me.

AND, if you read my basic post-injury or post-surgery information, you will know more details that will save you time if we later get together about your pet!

I am open to working with clients in paid consults from all around the world. I work in person and via phone for consults at this time.  You may find out more about my practice by looking at the info on the pages in the first drop-down menu under my main site banner.

Happy Reading, and Happy May Day –

Deborah

First Published March 9, 2017. Updated May 1, 2018

Braces for Dogs With Knee Problems

Braces for Dog Stifles (Knees)

This post is not meant to trash knee braces; no, instead it is meant to point you, the reader, toward more broad thinking. I have utilized tarsal and carpal braces very often in my practice, and soon I hope to write about the benefits and timing of using them.

I have the knee brace discussion occasionally with veterinarians and every time they ask my opinion. Most of the time, it seems that vets hear about therapy concepts at seminars or in journals, and they naturally think, “that’s a good idea!”.

There are lots of “good ideas” out there in the world. I am working to broaden the idea pool in my corner of practice with concepts I have encountered in over 35 years of athletic program design and wellness practice. Many ideas crossed over into veterinary medicine are not the greatest for our companion animal friends; however they have been a start to get a bunch of balls rolling.

Braces are a good idea for stabilizing a leg instead of surgery, especially if the person(s) designing or desiring stabilization don’t have any strength and conditioning program design experience. Most rehab practitioners and veterinarians do not have this valuable experience. Notably the veterinarians are busy with a plethora of medical issues. Strength and conditioning is its own specialty, and rehabilitation practice is often a subset of this specialty. Physical therapy in human medicine ties into this subset as well, however the designs of physical therapy work best with an intuitive practitioner that is well-versed in strength and conditioning protocol. Volumes of time and money have been spent to prove this point, and I won’t rehash it here!

In marrying several aspects of science, I believe we can practice toward a better outcome.

Stabilize the leg and joints by building the strength of the connective tissue, muscles, joints, and even bones. No, this is not exactly the same as stabilization by surgery, however I will say that not all knee surgeries “work”, and if you do opt for surgery, you STILL need to do a 12 week (optimal) progressive recovery program. As it is, all of my cases with torn knee ligaments that have followed protocol have had successful outcomes, returned to very good or great function, and more often than not, surprised the veterinarian. Most vets who see these results then embrace the protocol for their patients, however this protocol does require an owner follow the guidelines or pay me, another practitioner, or the vet to do the work! (ahhhh, the caveat…)

I do often point out that surgery is not magic, and in practical recovery using science and biology as a basis, any of us should be doing rehab after surgery or injury…

Volumes of research have been done regarding evaluation of the best gravity-based exercise methods and protocol. Since our companion animals have bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc…just like we do, the research regarding strengthening is valid across species. While I haven’t had money to run research projects and individually prove the concepts I use for Great Danes, Doxies, Maine Coons, and New Zealand’s, just to name a few, I do have the knowledge to build individual and collective programs. There are and there aren’t one-size-fits-all formulas, however some basics weigh in equally across the board.

For a start on the homework for torn knee ligaments, please go to this page: http://rehabilitationandconditioningforanimals.wordpress.com/category/how-tos-for-you-to-rehab-your-pet/homework-instructions/knee-issues-homework-homework-instructions/

Problems that I have found with braces:

*very expensive

*often very difficult for most people, including veterinarians and me, to put on the pet

*cause additional abrasions and actually stifle (no pun intended) “normal” movement and recovery.
fitting is difficult, and, as in the case of bandaging after surgery (which has thankfully           been eliminated in most areas and cases), rubbing causes additional problems that often outweigh any potential benefits of bandaging…

*well-intended, however not a great substitute for a well-designed return-to-function program.
the braces came on the market about the time I was beginning to write exercise therapy and sports- medicine-based activity programs.
Following the programs I have designed, as written, will substantially increase function       and stability naturally, and such programs weren’t in evidence in animal rehab when I came into practice at the end of 2004. I marry concepts of advanced athletic recovery and simple sport science with veterinary rehab to achieve simple programs to improve function and recovery from surgery, injury, neurological conditions, and arthritis.

*if the brace is used in lieu of an active recovery program, people get a false sense of stability regarding their dog’s knees (or other joints), and when the dog does more crazy activity in the brace, they run the high chance of going ahead and tearing the opposing ligament, which is already a recognized issue in veterinary medicine.
If you follow my simple and progressive return-to-function programs for 12 weeks, you will see a gentle and stabilizing treatment of injured limb(s) as well as the other limbs (arms and legs, if you prefer :))

*so, to save money by not purchasing something you may not need and to promote the best interest of your pet as well as acknowledge good tools at hand for non-surgical
interventions, work toward doing 12 weeks of active, progressive recovery, which                 should level out bilateral leg use and potentially help with some other health issues along     the way and THEN if the knee are still unstable, get the brace if you want to hike                   mountains with your dog!

Thank you!

RehabDeb, revised August, 2014

 

 

18 Month-Old Lab/Weimer With Dysplasia, Luxating Patellas, Torn CCL/ACL

From Leslie T:

We have an 18 month old lab/weimer shelter rescue. We found out around Thanksgiving that he has hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and on Jan 2, he tore his ACL in his right leg. We’ve been restricting his activity, he’s on meloxicam daily, dasuquin, and I give him Exclusive senior dog food that is very high in glucosamine and chondroitin. We had taken him to a chiropractic vet to check his hips after the initial diagnosis of dysplasia and he agreed with our regular vet that FHO surgery is in Jack’s future, but nothing we need to do right now.(Double hip replacement isn’t in our budget) My question is, is your rehab protocol something that I can do with Jack considering he’s such an ‘orthopedic train wreck’ as my vet described him? We have noticed that Jack’s front left leg is starting to turn in, almost like being pigeon toed, since he tore his ACL. Is this because of the additional strain he’s putting on that leg now? I’ve been impressed with what I’ve found on your website, but I don’t want to do something that could further injure Jack. He’s tentatively scheduled for surgery on 2/17, but we can always reschedule. I hadn’t scheduled it until this week because we were trying to put it off to see if we could work with him at home without surgery. It was going GREAT until he took off in the backyard after a bird. He limps on his back leg and when he’s standing and eating, he will put his tip-toe down. Before he took after the bird, he was beginning to put a little more weight on that leg. He still is very happy-go-lucky and wants to try and run. Other than the limping, he doesn’t appear to be uncomfortable most of the time. We do have tramadol if he seems to be uncomfortable and we have had to give it to him a couple of times. One problem we are running into is that he absolutely REFUSES to go to the bathroom while on a leash. What we had been doing is walking him on his leash out into the backyard and then letting him off. Since his leg was starting to feel better, as soon as we unleashed him, he would run. I don’t know how to stop this. There really isn’t a way to confine him in our yard. We have a pool and when it warms up, I do plan on getting him in the pool. Right now, it’s just WAY too cold for this Texas gal! 🙂
Submitted on 2014/02/03 at 5:48 pm | In reply to Leslie T.
Hi!
I’m going to move this conversation to the Q&A section after this response, so go ahead and find it there to respond more 🙂
Let’s see…My first thought it that you’re so close to Austin, we should work on getting together! I will come to your vet’s clinic in Houston if we can get together a couple of rehab clients and maybe do a lunch-n-learn with the clinic…but you’d have to set up all that 🙂 I would charge you for a consult but not for mileage ;O

Ok, some quick answers, and I apologize for taking a while to respond…just busy over here-
*Restricting like you have been doing is great.
*I have over 30 years experience in nutrition and supplements, for performance and for wellness and for chronic disease…and everything in-between. It is my preference that even when feeding a great food people supplement with specific amounts of additional fish oil (specific to EPA and DHA) and a glucosamine/msm/chondroitin/green lipped mussel supplement that is of the higher pharmaceutical quality available.
*I deal mostly with multiple-issue pets, train wrecks :), and very definitely the beginning course for everything you have listed is to start at the very beginning of one of the books I have out. The first four weeks are very much the same for all the issues you have named. The specifics come in the future and depending on lagging parts. Almost everyone thinks they don’t have to start at the very beginning, mostly because they have in mind what they have been already doing with their pet. Almost everyone really does need to start at week one of my protocol. Fact is that most of these pets are not taking enough pain relief for their complicated and compiled issues, and most of them have NOT been made to go very slowly on their sore parts. Slow is essential to get all parts back into the game. Pain meds are essential to help all those sore parts as we get them back on board.
*I will tell you I have successfully rehabbed dogs with the “worst” hips I’ve seen (and I do this a LOT, rehab bad hips, see bad hips) using exercise physiology and progressive sport training program design. These dogs are able to build muscle, pull the femur away from the cup, and not need surgery so long as whatever is needed to maintain their physical improvements is pursued.
*You are correct about the front leg (based on what you said and my experience with the same), and pain meds will help that discomfort and the altered carriage.
*Thank you for the kudos about the website!
*Most conservative recommendations, even those from vets who aren’t as familiar with exercise physiology return-to-function like I am, say to give the dog 6 weeks (as does Slatter’s Veterinary Surgery text) of time, and that without a specific program! In your case, if you get the post-op book, because it has the most info right now, then you’ll be ahead of the game, and if you follow it as exactly as possible, not cutting corners and not assuming that parts don’t pertain to you (start at the beginning, get 2-3 analgesics on board, restrict, do the massages, etc…), then you will be surprised (maybe…hopefully) at the outcome, and you’ll be ready for weeks 5-8. Then maybe we can figure out how to consult together.
*Give him the Tramadol 2-3 times per day (hopefully that’s the script your vet wrote), and if he can stand it, for now also give the nsaid. If he cannot take anti-inflammatory, then see if your vet will script Gabapentin to go with the Tramadol; that’s what we use in Austin to get weight-bearing accomplished if need be. Within a couple of days, I can work with a vet to get the right meds and along with home and leash restriction, take a dog that is 4/4 lame (not using injured leg) and get them to 1-2/4 lame…WITH the RIGHT amount of medication and restriction. THEN we can work on the best productive exercise to build the strength of the muscle and connective tissue.
*So, obviously no more bird chasing and no more off leash in the back yard. I’d say that about 1/3 of my client patients purportedly won’t go potty on the leash…but really I see all but less that 1% of those come around when they aren’t given a choice. They eventually figure out they aren’t going to outlast you, and they will go…it almost always works if you have patience, and in this case, Jack would be much worse off after surgery if you don’t get on top of this behavior, you know? You definitely cannot let him off leash to do whatever he says he wants to do while he’s tricking you if he has surgery. He will also (from the sound of personality) HAVE to wear an E-collar after surgery…I’ve seen some dogs do minimal licking, once or twice, and end up with a raging infection…MUCH worse to deal with than the E-collar 🙂
*And definitely don’t use the pool for his conditions until after 12 weeks of my rehab…longer for other protocol. Dogs don’t generally use their hind legs when swimming, and when they do, it’s at an odd angle that adds to the problems in the knee (simple answer). It doesn’t build the muscle we need to stabilize and support the knees and hips. So, the best exercise for Jack will be progressive, land-based, weight-bearing exercise 🙂
I think that answers all your questions for now. If you’d like more info, we should email and set up a paid phone consult that I put on the books at a specific appointment time in order to give you better attention for Jack!
Blessings-
Deborah