Can’t Fix the Lameness? The importance of Post-Op Rehab for Canine Patients

Why won’t the dog put its leg down? The radiograph shows that surgery went well. Does this sound familiar? Have you see this after your cruciate or patella surgery?

The importance of post-operative rehabilitation and rehabilitation to complement the pain management plan for your old arthritic dogs cannot be ignored.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy should be a valuable service that you can offer your patients. Post-operatively, healing can be optimized and accelerated if collagen fibres are encouraged to heal to maximize strength. Compensations in associated muscles, soft tissue and associated joints can be addressed. Any restrictions is similar to having your brakes half on while trying to accelerate at the same time.

It is all too common for our non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to be less effective over time. Have you ever wondered why? Do you just switch to another pain killer or increase the dose? The cause could actually be as simple as poor delivery to the intended site due to a compromise in local circulation. Tight muscles and inactivity reduce perfusion. Properly managed physical therapy and rehabilitation can reverse this.

The old saying, “Use it or lost it” is a wise saying. It is no longer acceptable to cage rest for six weeks after cruciate surgery. Human patients are up and about the day after their knee replacements and they want the same for their pets.

 

Dr Kim Lim BVsc (Hons), Cert Vet Ac (IVAS), M Chiro (RMIT)
Educator for Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Hosted by VetPrac  |  Aug 30 – Sep 1st 2019 |  Connect with Dr Lim on LinkedIn

 

Join Dr Kim Lim by registering now for one of the final remaining positions in this 3-day practical workshop. More details are available by downloading our brochure.

 

This article proudly features in May 2019 issue of Vet Practice Magazine.