Thursday, March 25, 2010

rehab visit

Oreo's trip to the rehab vet went very well. Whew. I felt sick to my stomach all day. Nervous. Worried I was going to hear, "Your dog needs TPLO surgery."

What I heard was, "What is your goal for Oreo?"

I said, "Keep him from having surgery."

The vet said, "What if that means Oreo is out for the season?"

I told him I was fine with that. Then, the exam started. We were on the same page.

Measurements were taken. Oreo was manipulated.

The news was good.

The vet believes Oreo's ACL tear is less than 25%. Based on Oreo's athleticism, weight, and age, recovery without surgery is very likely. Not 100%, but a very good chance.

Oreo's legs were perfectly symmetrical, and his extension of his right leg wasn't that far off from his good leg. His back is slightly skewed, probably due to not bearing all his weight on his right leg. However, Oreo hasn't lost any muscle mass in his right leg.

Here is the plan. A 6 week plan, to be reevaluated on a two week basis.

Hydro-treadmill two times a week, starting a week from Saturday. Continue laser treatments.

Homework:
  • Warm pack
  • warm up Oreo's legs with some range of motion exercises
  • Go outside and do agility! OK, modified agility. We will do weave poles at 30% normal speed, on a leash. Go over jump poles on the ground. Stand on a dog bed. All done in a circle, clockwise. Some figure 8's. Sit/stand/sit/down. For 10-15 minutes.
  • Ice.
  • Massage

We can also do 10 minutes walks, on flat ground, 3 times a day.

Still no jumping or running.

We will increase exercises and length of time over the next 6 weeks.

By the 6th week, the vet thinks Oreo will be walking uphill in the treadmill for 30 minutes, with the water just above knee level.

He also recommended adequan injections.

Overall, I was pleased with the prognosis, and happy to have something TO DO.

I'll be out of town until Sunday (going to NJ for my nephew's 4th birthday). So, we won't start until then. Then, Oreo & I will be A+ students doing our homework.

We also are still anxiously awaiting the radiologist's report on Oreo's X-Ray. That could throw a loop into all these plans, but right now, I am feeling very positive.

Even over the past few days, I have noticed Oreo holding his leg straight under his body, rather than off to the side. That shows me he is healing. I'm doing the right thing. I just need to be patient.

Thanks to everyone for being there for me this past month, and I'll be sure to keep you posted on our rehab progress.

23 comments:

AC said...

Good to hear! Your rehab vet started things off with such a great question. That would have had my confidence.

I don't know if I missed something in a previous post, but how do you know that it's Oreo's ACL?

So good that he should make it through without surgery, and I'm also glad to see all the cool homework assignments you two have! You have to let us know how Oreo does with the hydro-treadmill.

I know that sick-to-your-stomach nervousness. It's sure nice to have scary visits out of the way.

Sam said...

I am... SO... happy for this news! I think that going to this vet was a very, very good idea. And, the new plan sounds excellent. Honestly, I wish I had access to a water treadmill for Marge.. I think it would freak her out at first, but I think that the physical benefits of it are great!

The fact that you'll be doing agility is awesome. Sounds like a really solid plan. Good for you!

BTW, I third that sick-to-your-stomach nervousness.. even when I'm taking my pets to the vet for a simple checkup, I get SO worked up about it.

Sara said...

AC,
Oreo has had swelling in his knee for several weeks, and other syptoms (non weight bearing, stance) that indicate a tear in the ACL. My vet didn't suspect his ACL was torn at first, but when dogs are nervous, they can tighten up, and give the illusion that their knee is fine. She was concerned about the swelling though, so that is why we initially had him restricted. Over the past few weeks and further examination, my vet has told me that Oreo's ACL has been compromised. When she mentioned surgery as a possible solution, I got really nervous.

Hopefully we don't have to go that route. That means up to 8 weeks of strict crate rest following the procedure. Can you imagine?

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Sara - Awesome news!! I worried about Oreo all day and was hoping you would hear good things from the rehab vet and you did! It's great that Oreo can most likely be cured without surgery. And I like that fact that you now have homework and a plan and that includes doing some fun activities! Not having a concrete plan of action is the worst! It's all such good news (except I am still trying not to think about the x-ray report). I also know the sick-to-your-stomach nervousness all too well - I can totally sympathize with you.

Hope you have a good visit with your sister and the kids - hope they are doing well - I think of them from time to time and wonder how they are. Go and have fun and relax! When you get back, I will look forward to hearing all about Oreo's rehab!

Chris

Sam said...

What exactly is a rehab vet? Are they like an orthopedist, or do they specialize in sports-related injuries? I meant to ask in my comment before and I'm very interested, in case I'm ever in your shoes.

Sara said...

Sam,
As far as I know, rehab vets have some sort of certification in rehabiltion, which involves physical therapy in all sorts of modalties (hydrotherapy, PT, laser therapy, etc.). They help pets like Oreo, and also pets following surgeries.

I found ours at one of the larger veterinary hospitals in our areas. I'm sure their is one in Staten Island. Here's one I found on long island http://www.nyvsc.com/rehabilitation_braces_prosthetics.html

Sara said...

I think you live on Staten Island...

LauraK said...

That's great news! Sounds like you have some great vets and awesome facilities. Laser treatment, water treadmills- wow Oreo is getting the works!

I'm glad that you've been able to get through being patient- it's so hard. I hope that being patient for a month+ with Riley will pay off so we can start playing again. Hope you don't have to deal with 8 weeks of crate rest- I think anybody would go crazy dealing with that, but especially having an agility dog--- nightmare! Have a good trip, we'll be waiting to hear about your homework!

madcobug said...

Sounds like a good plan to me. I think you and Oreo will be able to handle all those things. Helen

betty said...

Thanks for the posting. We have all been waiting to hear how your visit to the Reh. Center went. It is good news to learn that Oreo will not need surgery. With his youth, strong body,good health, love, and support from you, he will continue to heal. Big hug and smiles!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh - so happy to hear the good news!! Yay for Oreo! And whew for you! I can just imagine how worried you must have been feeling. It sounds like a very good plan you have there and I know what you mean about feeling happier when you have something TO DO! Waiting in limbo is always horrible.

Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about Oreo's rehab progress!

Hsin-Yi

Diana said...

I was thinking about you all day today. Im so glad that you got good news and Oreo can start doing things again. WhooHoo!! Have a fun and happy party with your family. Diana

Dawn said...

Very good news! Though I'm trying to picture Oreo on a treadmill. In water. I remember Miley's pictures of that and somehow I'm thinking Oreo is not going to like it at first!

Tell him we're all rooting for him and there will be TREATS after! LOL!

Priscilla said...

Sara, that's great news!
I'm so glad there's a huge chance he can recover without surgery. That's the best news.
Your 6 week plan sounds great, Oreo will be fit and strong in no time at all!

Jules said...

Hi Sara, I am so glad you have a plan of attack and surgery doesn't look like it is in the cards. A friend of mine had great success with acupuncture with her Golden who had a partial tear. Totally recovered and no surgery.

Just curious, why are they recommending adequan? I could be wrong, but my understanding was that adequan was used specifically for joint issues and arthritis? Do they also suspect Oreo has HD? Or is it because they think it will help repair the tear? I know it is supposed to have really positive effects on cartilage.

I just scheduled Bug's first cross-training PT appointment for next week. I can't wait to get him back to working. I am jealous you already have a plan!

Sara said...

Jules,
I'm not really good with all this medical stuff. The vet watered down most of the info for me, but some was over my head. He indicated that the fluid around Oreo's knee is damaged due to the tear. The adequan will help make the fluid healthy, thus promote healing.

I am going to ask my regular vet what she thinks before going ahead with the injections.

No one has mentioned HD. Thank goodness.

There is an accupunturist at the rehab place, but they didn't recommend it as a modality yet. I do want him to get a chiro adjustment though.

I'm sure you'll feel better when you have a plan. I know I do.

new hip dad said...

good to hear that they think the problem can be handled without surgery. it always better to at least try the conservative approach before letting them loose with the sharp knives.

Jules said...

That makes sense if they feel the fluid surrounding the joint has been impacted. My husband just had the human equivalent (Synvisc) of those injections in his knee!

Good idea re chiro. Currently using both modalities, I see more of an impact with chiropractic adjustments (I will NEVER have a dog that doesn’t see the chiro in the future), but my friend had an amazing experience using acupuncture for her dog’s tear. Every dog is different.

It could be if I were just using acupuncture I would notice more, but I am a very impatient person and tend to think the more I can throw at a problem the sooner it will resolve!

It sounds like they gave you a very thorough plan with explicit directions – so nice (and reassuring!).

Sam said...

Sara, thanks for the info. I do live in Staten Island, but I don't think we have one here, actually. But, there are several big vet hospitals in Manhattan, NJ, and, like you said, a couple on LI.

Kathy said...

Sounds all very positive, the ACL tear is what Breeze had and hers had gone on a lot longer before it got diagnosed, she had one leg an inch and a half less then the other leg, by 6 weeks after I saw the rehab vet they were both equal, one leg had lost an inch because she was not compensating and the other leg gained an inch. We LOVED the balance disc and did a lot of our exercises on that, I think I have video from that time when Breeze did that....Anyway, she did great and I am sure Oreo is going to to.

Kathy said...

I had totally forgot, but Just thought I would mention that when Breeze was diagnosed with the same thing, the ACL our rehab vet had us start her on fish oil, for the omegas to help with the healing and the joint, Adequain which I gave IM to prevent arthritis, some ginger and garlic-I used those chopped minced stuff in tubes in the fresh produce section and just added a little to her food, I think the ginger was because it is a warming food for the body and the garlic to help with healing, then she put her on Sam E, I think that was for the glucosamine, she wanted her on a good quality glucosamine to make sure she was getting what it says it has on the label because so many of those supplements do not contain what they say... and the Cosequin DS for the joint protection-I get that mail order because it is soooo much cheaper that way. So especially the fish oil or omegas....could not hurt and might help a lot ;-).

Bob said...

Hi Sara, I hope all goes well for you and Oreo.

Sara said...

Kathy,
Oreo has always taken fish oil, and I have him om Dasuqin. I'm glad to hear that you used the adequan too. I have been leaning toward having him get the injections.

The ginger/garlic is something I haven't heard of. I know he would like it!