Tag Archives: rehabilitation

Teddy’s journey: core strength

Teddy continues to be a happy boy.  During his appointment this week, we discussed two aspects of Teddy’s rehabilitation:

  • Variety/mental stimulation
  • Core strength

Jill remarked that she and Teddy now have a routine, but it means the same walk every day in the same location, and of course adjusting to limiting his activities to avoid stress and strain on his joints.

The solution:  variety!  Teddy’s is a smart boy and he needs jobs to keep him mentally active.  Little things like distributing food around the house and garden for him to find will provide Teddy with stimulation and something else to do.  Changing paddocks for Teddy’s walks and even getting other dogs to visit with him for play dates will also give Teddy variety in his day-to-day life.

And, as mentioned last week, Teddy needs greater core strength.  I showed Jill the value of supervised balancing exercises using a large peanut-sized ball from the FitPaws range.  These exercises, done on a soft surface that ‘wobbles’ slightly, require Teddy to balance on his 3 remaining legs.  In doing so, it means he works on his core muscles to keep his body steady.

I want greater core strength in Teddy before progressing to exercises for his proprioception.

And in case you missed it, I’ve already answered What’s proprioception?

Teddy concentrates as Jill helps him to balance

Teddy concentrates as Jill helps him to balance

 

Teddy core strength photo

Teddy’s a little unsure about these exercises, but trusts Jill

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Teddy’s journey: Teddy on wheels

Teddy has had another good week; he’s still getting used to being an amputee, however.

Jill and his acupuncture vet, Susanne, both noticed that Teddy was hopping on his right hind leg – balancing mostly on the stronger left side.  By the time I saw Teddy on Friday, Teddy was already improving thanks to acupuncture and an osteopathic adjustment.  I spent most of his massage session working on tension in his upper thoracic spine, and giving his hind legs a good stretch.

Because Teddy still needs to be confined, without the opportunity to engage in lots of vigorous off-lead exercise, Jill has found some novel ways of getting Teddy around the house and their lifestyle block.

She started with his crate and a flat deck trolley (a dolly to those in North America)…

Teddy's crate

and added Teddy for a trip around the house…

Teddy the Beagle on wheels2

…and then she purchased him a pram on Trade Me (New Zealand’s equivalent of eBay) and can take him around the paddocks with the other Beagles.

Teddy the Beagle in pram

The pram has an added benefit, too.  Teddy has to balance in it because of how it rides on springs.  This is helping him build strength in his core – essential to achieve our goals for rehabilitation.

Tell me what you think of Teddy’s wheels!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

National Holistic Pet Day

Today, 30 August 2012, is National Holistic Pet Day.

This is the day to celebrate all of the ways we can care for the ‘whole’ dog – their physiological health and their mental health.

As a canine massage therapist, I’m naturally a supporter of holistic approaches because I help treat dogs with acupressure, laser and massage therapies.  I also help dogs with rehabilitation programmes, even measuring dogs for mobility carts when necessary.  I also like to use bach flower remedies.

Here are a few ways to celebrate National Holistic Pet Day:

  • Treat your dog to a massage
  • Take your dog to the local hydrotherapy pool for a fun swim
  • Walk your dog in the fresh air and enjoy each other’s company
  • Take advice on feeding biologically appropriate dog food to your dog
  • Brush your dog’s teeth (and keep it up!)
  • Take your dog to a homeopathic or holistic vet for a check up
  • Look in your cleaning cupboard and throw away all of those chemical cleaning products – buy natural based products as replacement or even learn to make your own cleaners using natural products like vinegar and baking soda

Whatever you do – enjoy National Holistic Pet Day together.  The best thing you can give your dog is your time.

I’m friends with a Pit Bull…and so are 2,764 others

A  Pit Bull named Little Red is proving to many folks that Pit Bulls are lovable creatures deserving of a good home.  I’m proud to say that I’m one of Little Red’s 2,765 Facebook friends (and she’ll probably have more by the time you read this).

Little Red was rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz kennels.  From there, she traveled to Kanab, Utah to the Best Friends Pet Sanctuary for rehabilitation.  Known as ‘Vicktory Dogs,’ all of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s properties were segregated from all non-staff at the Sanctuary under court order.

It took years to see Little Red come back to a state where she could be adopted.  Her adoptive owner, Susan, never gave up hope about Little Red after seeing a photo of her shortly after her rescue.  Susan sponsored Little Red and kept in touch about her progress.  By February 2011, Susan was able to go to the Sanctuary to visit with Little Red.  In September 2011, she was cleared to be Little Red’s foster mother.

This is their story:

There are still those who believe in breed-specific legislation and it is dogs like Little Red that prove that these rushes to judgement are unnecessary and unwarranted.

I’ve previously written (June 2011) about Michael Vick and the book concerning the rehabilitation of some of his Pit Bulls.

Thank heavens for the good people at Best Friends who took in so many Vicktory Dogs and worked with them on the long journey to rehabilitation.

Source:  Best Friends Sanctuary Stories

Resolve to be a great dog owner this year

There are lots of jokes that circulate at this time of year about a dog’s resolutions for the new year (e.g., kitty-box crunchies are not junk food, etc.).  But what about your resolutions for your role as a Doggy Mom or Doggy Dad?

Here are my suggestions for new year resolutions:

1.  Resolve to feed your dog the highest quality dog food you can afford.  Not sure what to feed or even if you are feeding the right amount?  That’s where a nutritional assessment comes in.  People like me are trained in reading the labels of your existing dog food and with some information about your dog’s condition and lifestyle, we can tell you a lot about whether you are feeding the right amount and make un-biased suggestions about your core dog food.

In my case, I’m not affiliated with any veterinary practice or brand of dog food (many professionals take their nutrition training from a programme offered by dog food manufacturer – ask about this when selecting a provider for nutritional advice!)

2.  Exercise more – for your dog and yourself!  Exercise is important mental and physical stimulation for both you and your dog.  Discover new walks, link up with walking partners and doggy buddies for more variety, and manage your exercise according to the temperatures of the day (your dog doesn’t have the heat regulation system that you do in the summer; and their paw pads can be irritated by road salt and ice during the winter).

3.  Groom your dog – regularly.   If you don’t know what to do, then take your dog to a professional groomer and get advice on maintenance that you can do at home.  It breaks my heart to hear about veterinary nurses and groomers that have to work on severely matted dogs because their owner has neglected their grooming responsibilities.

4.  Make time for your dog.  I signed off last month’s newsletter to my Canine Catering customers saying “remember that the best thing you give your dog this holiday season is your time.”  It goes for the rest of the year, too.  Your dog is a social animal and needs your love and attention throughout the year.

5.  Keep a watchful eye on your dog’s health, ensuring they are not overweight (or underweight) and that they receive regular veterinary care.  (For a dog to be accepted into my dog massage and rehabilitation practice, the owner must certify for me that their dog is under regular veterinary care.)

6.  Have fun together – play time is essential.  Dog walks are not the only stimulation for your dog.  Choose an activity that suits both you your dog.  It could be agility or obedience training, rally-o, fetch, cross-country skiing, hiking/tramping, or the use of interactive dog toys.

I wish you and your dog a wonderful 2012.  Contact me through this blog or my website for information on any topic I cover in this blog.