Auggie Doggie is an 11 year old female West Highland White Terrier owned by Shawnie Zahniser. Shawnie first brought Auggie to see Dr. Kovar due to an injury to Auggie’s CCL (cranial cruciate ligament), one of the internal support structures of the knee. Surgery was performed to stabilize the weak joint. Several months later, Auggie sustained the same injury to her other knee, requiring another surgical intervention.
After both procedures, Shawnie had Auggie participate in hydrotherapy. While the patient is moving on an underwater treadmill, the buoyancy of the water removes much of the weight from the painful joints. Also, the resistance of moving against water provides resistance that helps to increase muscle strength. Dr. Kovar also gave various physical therapy exercises for Shawnie to perform at home with Auggie.
Through both Shawnie’s and Auggie’s diligent work, our patient was able to regain muscle tone and range of motion in the limbs that had atrophied from the injuries and disuse.
It is very well documented in the veterinary literature that physical rehabilitation provides great benefits for many of our post-operative patients. Just as in people, exercises help get our pets back to improved function more rapidly. In the Seattle area, we are fortunate to have several certified veterinary rehabilitators. Feel free to ask us for recommendations!