REHAB 101

THE IMPORTANCE OF REHABILITATION

Whether treating conservatively or surgically, rehabilitation has proven to be paramount in a dachshund’s rehabilitation and future wellbeing following an IVDD event.

At DISA we cannot emphasise enough the importance after surgery that you discuss with your vet specialist an immediate referral to a rehabilitation facility.  The sooner the better normally recommended within a week after discharge as it is important that you are shown how to do the gentle exercises required to ensure you are doing the physio correctly so that muscle wastage is kept to a minimum during the crate rest period.  This also applies to the conservatively treated dog.   Once you are shown this you can then assist your dog at home during the healing process without loosing to much strength.

Each specialist centre has different time frames that they keep your dachshund in hospital for.  Some are discharged after 24hrs whereas some keep the dogs in for anything up to 2 weeks.  It really also depends on how severely affected your dog was and whether their post-operative management can be managed at home sufficiently.   Some vet practices also believe that your dachshund will heal and recover better in their own relaxed home environment.  So it all varies for each individual dog but the most important thing is that an after care rehabilitation plan is put in place on discharge and a referral as necessary is made.

Some dachshunds after surgery do very well and some do get up albeit gingerly within the first 24hrs and others do take a little longer.  If your dachshund is one of the lucky ones and your dog is walking the following day this does not mean you simply go home and resume normal life.   It is all about living the ‘new normal’.

To locate a provider in an area close you DISA has complied a list of rehabilitation specialists which have come highly recommended  to us.  Click here to access Rehab & Allied Services Australia Wide.

BEWARE THE CANINE REHABILITATION EXPERT

What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know When Choosing Rehabilitation Services for Your Dog!

“With popular Canine Rehabilitation now being integrated into mainstream veterinary services, its time we laid out a few facts about this unique therapy so you don’t risk placing your dog’s health in the wrong hands.

If you book a consultation with a human Doctor or Physiotherapist, you automatically assume they are qualified so of course you wouldn’t ask to see their credentials because you don’t need to. In the human world, the title of Doctor or Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Podiatrist etc is strictly controlled by individual governing bodies so it’s hard to claim you’re something you’re not.

Unfortunately, this is not the case when applied in the animal health field where we see an abundance of “therapists” of all different kinds – not all of whom are qualified in their “claimed” area of expertise.

One such modality which is beginning to fall victim to this lack of regulation is Canine Rehabilitation. Every day we see evidence of more people (including veterinarians) using this term to attract people like you to their business because they can.

The goal of this post is to enlighten you about this particular area of expertise – hopefully to help you make the right treatment decisions for your pet.

Don’t assume your therapist is qualified in Rehabilitation. Canine Rehabilitation is a separate and unique modality of study governed by its own strict certification criteria. This means anyone offering Canine Rehabilitation Services must be able to provide proof of certification and can legally use the letters CCRT after their name.

Only a vet with the required training in Animal Rehabilitation can provide whole body care, prescribe needed medications and perform a diagnostic evaluation prior to designing a rehabilitation treatment plan.

We recommend you ask to see evidence of their qualifications before consenting to treatment.
A Human Doctor or Physiotherapist or Chiropractor is no more qualified to treat your pet than vets are qualified to treat humans – period.

Animals are NOT people and no one should be manipulating, massaging or adjusting without proven knowledge of the underlying anatomy and physiology of their patient. Exceptions to this only apply when a practitioner is qualified across BOTH fields as in the case of a person holding the title of Animal Physiotherapist.

An Animal Physiotherapist has qualified in Human Physiotherapy first and has gone on to complete a Masters Level Degree in Animal Physiotherapy, a total of 8 years of combined study. They are registered members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association which entitles them (and no other) to use the term Physiotherapy in their communications.

So, steer clear of the practitioner who has done a six week course in “natural therapies” and calls themselves an animal physiotherapist or rehabilitation therapist. You don’t want someone who is less qualified than your hairdresser to be manipulating your pet.

An Underwater Treadmill (Hydrotherapy Unit) Doesn’t Certify Anyone in Canine Rehabilitation. An underwater Treadmill is great for SEO and drawing a crowd but it’s only part of many tools used in an individualised Canine Rehabilitation Program. Other modalities commonly applied in a rehabilitation program include: Acupuncture – Laser Therapy – EMS – Massage Therapy and therapeutic exercises using specific techniques and equipment. In addition – any such equipment used incorrectly or without proper diagnosis by a qualified therapist can do more harm than good.”

Article reference: http://thevetpractice.com.au/beware-the-canine-rehabilitat…/

WHY YOUR IVDD DOG SHOULD NOT SEE A CHIROPRACTOR

DISA has liaised and spent countless hours talking to peers in the field, including specialists and neurologists, and as a duty of care to owners it has adopted the same caution to chiropractic as Dodgerslist & https://www.dachshund-ivdd.uk/

This article from Dodgerslist explains why a hound with back problems should not see a Chiropractor.  The paper concludes with this:

“Ideally, a neurologic examination and diagnostic work-up should be done if a herniated disk is suspected or if the patient has neurologic deficits. If the MRI or CAT Scan shows severe spinal cord compression, surgery to remove the herniated disk material is recommended. This facilitates a quicker and more complete recovery. If imaging does not show severe spinal cord compression, medical management (crate rest, medications) may be recommended. If advanced imaging and/or surgery is not feasible, medical management can be attempted. However, chiropractic therapy is NOT an advisable component of medical management for a chondrodystrophic dog with clinical signs suggestive of IVDD because of the risk of worsening an existing herniated disk.”
The paper is written by Dr. Andrew Isaacs, DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) and Dr. Jared Galle, DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center in Michigan, USA.

HELPFUL LINKS

The Rehab Vet – Crate Rest

Fitzpatrick Referrals – Rehabilitation of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

DISA Owners Survival Guide

DISA Crate Program Purchase

IVDD Shop – Braces – Belly Bands – Drag Bags – Solvit Car Carriers – Stroller Badges – WiggleLess back braces – Pawz Bog Boots

Sling walking by Hamish

Sling examples

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If you've ever been through a disc episode with your dog, you'll understand what a stressful and overwhelming time it can be. That's why DISA exists - our admin, volunteers and members are dedicated to helping pet owners in times of need.