One of the amazing things about IndyVet is the intertwined workings of the specialized departments. Instead of traveling from specialist to specialist, we house several specialized departments to make things more convenient for our clients but to also have a more in-depth and seamless diagnosis for our patients. This includes everything from neurology to physical therapy for pets.
Lilly is a great example of how our departments work in sync with each other.
Lilly is a 12-year-old small mixed breed. She was traveling with her family in late October when suddenly they were in a car accident. Lilly experienced blunt force trauma and her family brought her into the Emergency Department at IndyVet.
Upon arrival, it was noticeable that she was unable to use her back legs. They seemed to be paralyzed. She was transferred over to our Neurology Department for an evaluation with our neurology specialist, Dr. Mossine. It was decided that an MRI would be performed.
The MRI revealed a traumatic (concussive) disk injury in the middle of Lilly’s back. This particular injury is a bruising to the spinal cord, not a compression of the spinal cord, therefore surgery is not able to be performed to fix the disk.
Lilly had sensation in her legs so Dr. Mossine and her team were hopeful she would be able to walk again with therapy. We then recommended that Lilly start rehabilitation sessions to help her recover. She started coming to see our Rehab Department where laser therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, land exercises, and water therapy were performed.
Kinds of Physical Therapy for Pets
- Laser therapy is a form of light therapy that enhances cellular function to promote healing. It reduces inflammation, assists with pain, and accelerates tissue and nerve repair.
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation uses a current to stimulate muscle contractions and is useful in pets that have lost function of their limbs. It helps to prevent muscle atrophy while she is not using the limbs and provides muscle re-education.
- Land exercises were utilized to help with balance and coordination, and then Lilly spent some time walking in our water treadmill.
At first her rear limbs had to be gait patterned, which helps with gait retraining. With several rehab sessions now under her belt, Lilly is back to walking on her own!