Vet Technology
RENEE LANE’S living room had been transformed into a spa. Candles twinkled on the coffee table; lavender oil scented the air; lilting guitar music played softly on the stereo. Grace, Ms. Lane’s 2-year-old caramel-colored toy poodle, leaped onto the sofa and, in response to Ms. Lane’s cooing invitation (“Want to lay down for Mama?”), got into position for her evening massage. Ms. Lane took a deep breath and began making long stroking motions down the length of Grace’s back with her palms. With her thumbs, she kneaded the tissue around the dog’s delicate shoulders, and then began working her way toward the muscles in the dog’s legs. By the time the 20-minute massage session was done, Grace had entered a state of canine bliss, eyelids drooping, tongue lolling. “Grace absolutely loves it — she just turns into a puddle,” said Ms. Lane, 43, a public relations and business development consultant in Edgewater, N.J. “I want to keep her around as long as I can, and I think it’s going to keep her healthy. She helps reduce my stress, so why shouldn’t I reciprocate?” That is a question that a number of dog owners — and even some cat owners —…
Dogs with pain or injuries benefit from veterinary rehab specialists. About a decade ago, my then-young Bouvier, Jolie, had surgery to repair a herniated disc. From reading Whole Dog Journal, I was vaguely aware that veterinary physical therapy or rehabilitation existed; these specialties were mentioned in “Recovery From a Fetch Injury” in the August 1999 issue, as well as October 2000’s “Swimming Back to Soundness.” I decided that a similar modality would help Jolie, and set out to find a veterinary rehabilitation specialist to help us with her recovery. I asked the veterinary orthopedist who had diagnosed Jolie’s condition, but while he thought some sort of pool-based therapy might be useful for my dog, he didn’t know anyone who offered such a service. I was unable to locate anyone in Georgia to help Jolie, but finally found a practitioner in Alabama – Jan Steiss, DVM, PhD, PT – who was able to give us a variety of exercises to practice with Jolie to speed her recovery and help with mobility, strengthening, and flexibility. Fast forward 10 years, and the field of veterinary rehabilitative medicine, sometimes referred to as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), has blossomed. Just as physical therapy clinics…
Over the past 10 years, pet rehabilitation has emerged from a boutique service to what is fast becoming a mainstream treatment option within veterinary medicine. With animal rehabilitation services becoming increasingly commonplace, more and more clients are recognizing that physical therapy is not just for people but can also mean pain relief, increased mobility, and an improved quality of life for pets as well. Horse owners have long understood the value of rehabilitation in restoring an injured animal to health as have sporting dog enthusiasts. It's only recently, however, as pet owners in general have come to expect their companions will have access to the same medical options they themselves have, that the interest in physical therapy for pets has exploded. The expectation really isn't all that surprising, according to Dr. Hilary M. Clayton. "A lot of people, after injury or surgery, get physical therapy, so it's natural to expect that might be available for pets," explained Dr. Clayton, the McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Clayton is part of an organizing committee that's been working with the American Board of Veterinary Specialties over the past few years to make…
Your home is a haven and a place of safety for you and for your pet. But, inside every house are poisons, dangers, and hazards that can injure your dog or cat. Here are some helpful tips to help keep your pet safe and out of the emergency room! According to consultants at PetProTech pet safety products, most pet emergencies result from ingestion of toxins, ingestion of non-digestible materials leading to intestinal blockages, and accidents causing fractures or soft tissue trauma. The ASPCA Poison Control Center urges pet owners to search every room of the home and try to look at it from a toddler's perspective. If the toddler can reach it, so can the new puppy or kitten. Puppies chew to help explore their world as well as relieve stresses. Remember that puppies will often view anything on the floor as fair game. It is important to pick up potential hazards such as batteries, tobacco products, coins, and many household plants. Although new kittens are not prone to chew like puppies, houseplants, especially in the lily family, can be extremely poisonous to cats. To keep your kittens safe, keep dangerous plants out of reach, or, better yet, outside. For…