Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rehab Refresher

Katie has done remarkably well since her Fibrocartilaginous Emboli (FCE) in October 2007. There is still a "twist" with every step of the left hind leg, but she no longer drags it or walks on her knuckles. However, I feel that we are having a slight set back. I probably feel it more than I can see it. I believe she regained about 90% of her function, but now has dropped to 88%.

Another concern is that Katie has some swelling near the site of the toe amputation on the same problem leg. She does not appear to be in any pain, but there is puffiness (see above). I doubt that Katie is pain free, but she is always asking to do more. After her recovery, I scaled back what she is allowed to do and the frequency, but only to maintain as much soundness for as long as possible. My fear is that if she lives to be really old (14 or 15 years old), her joints will be in terrible shape and physical pain may finally slow her down. For now, I try to allow her to do something everyday.... for fun, to stay in shape, and to help maintain soundness.... but not so much that I use her all up.

So I have started having her do cavelettis again. I upturn my broad jump boards and walk her slowly over them encouraging her to exaggerate her walking motion. The agility training makes her want to just hop over them, but it is important that she deliberately step over each one with each leg............... "ok, anything for a treat" she says.

I have also scheduled her for acupuncture, swimming, and some water treadmill work. This time around I think I will try to do better about maintaining the progress through regular therapy rather than stop all together like last time.