Angus Update - Demodex + ACL

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by QY10, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    Thank you. Me too. She's a tough and resilient little dog and there's already a noticeable difference in her eye, so I'm fairly confident that she'll fully recover.

    On a side note, it's very tough to break up a dog fight by candlelight!

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  2. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    Angus has his first hydrotherapy session yesterday. It was odd because that morning he had started holding his leg up again and wasn't using it. Could be a weather thing because he still hasn't been off-leash and is generally pretty low-key in the house.

    He is naturally a very cautious dog and nervous of new things, so most of the time was spent with just trying to get him to warm up to the new, unfamiliar place and person who was handling him.

    The place we went to only has a pool, so he started by walking around the pool and sniffing around. Then he put his lifejacket on and did another walk around to get used to walking with a bulky lifejacket on. Then we worked on getting him onto the ramp that goes into the pool. Then he sat on the ramp for a bit and slowly worked his way down the ramp until he was in the water.

    She had him swim in a small circle and then go back to the ramp. He did this a few times to get used to swimming and to learn where the ramp was. Then she took him a full lap around the pool. To do this, I had to be walking around the pool and he would follow me around. He soon learned that if he cut the corners, he could catch up to my walking, so at that point I would turn around and go the other way.

    He did a few laps around the pool and was genuinely tuckered out afterward. We dried him off and when we got home, he CRASHED! He flopped down on his bed and slept like a snoring angel for a good while. He continued to hold his leg up for the rest of yesterday, but this morning he is putting some weight on it again. I think he is still tired because he is not keen on waking up yet hahaha. If we can do this every week, I will be happy.

    He goes back tomorrow to further reinforce that it's a good place with good people. I think he will quickly come to learn that it's a place where really fun stuff happens and he gets to exercise.

    On a side note, I had been looking for stats on equivalency of walking/jogging vs. swimming. I had read somewhere that something like 5 minutes in a pool is equivalent to a 5 mile walk, but I did not find any further info to back that stat up. I asked her and she gave the analogy that for Angus, swimming is like trying to sprint through jello and that the resistance from that creates about 6x more exertion than walking.
  3. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good start-- did Angus seem to enjoy the swimming/water? We are still doing the underwater treadmill for now, but Mateo pulls towards the pool every time we go-- I can't wait to get him in and swimming, 'cause he's just a giant waterbug, LOL.

    And yes to the energy exerted during these hydrotherapy sessions-- it's a lot of work, because of the resistance. But the good part is they are not pounding that weight with gravity, rather building up the muscles and joint in a more bouyant (sp?) manner. Mateo is always very tired after each session.

    Keep us updated on his progess, and with the water therapy- and I will do the same!
  4. QY10

    QY10 Active Member


    I think the pictures say it all! Look at the big smile on his face. :)

    Oh! The lady he's working with said his muscle has gone down about an inch on his injured leg. I can't remember if your people said anything about Mateo's muscle?

    I will definitely keep everyone posted. I have a really good feeling about this!

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  5. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    He looks happy- yay, Angus!

    When the vet there measured Mateo's legs, he said he has lost 2 cm on his right, rear leg, which is about 3/4". He told me he has seen far worse, so not to be too concerned. Also, that what takes many weeks of injury and inactivity to lose muscle can be rebuilt in a much shorter time with water therapy. :)

    How many weeks did you sign up for? Or are you taking it week by week?
  6. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    I just paid for the one visit, so far. I wanted to ensure that it was something that Angus would be okay with before committing to X amount of weeks. The lady is so sweet to him though and lets him go at his own pace. I will be purchasing 8 sessions, which will be 8 weeks. :)
  7. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    Okay, so Angus has received consent from his vet to start a therapy program at another facility which will include official hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill and such) along with massage therapy etc... We go for a consultation tomorrow at 9:30am to do an assessment and develop a plan for my boy. I will try to get some pictures of him on the treadmill, assuming he gets the hang of it. He's very cautious and doesn't like being forced into doing things.

    His swimming has been going well though. He has been getting used to it and even chased a toy in the pool this morning.
  8. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    So Angus will be going to this new facility 2x a week. They are going to have him on the underwater treadmill, K laser therapy and electro-muscle stimulation. After 6 weeks they will re-evaluate him and see where he is at. They will also start sending us home with at-home exercises. They checked his knee and said they could feel SOME scar tissue growth, which is a very good sign.

    They requested that he not do any free swims for now, but as long-term management, free swimming will be part of the plan.

    He did the underwater treadmill and did so well! They also did laser therapy with him. He was cautious, but she commented that she could tell he was trying very hard to trust her.
  9. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    That sounds almost exactly the same plan Mateo is on, except he is only going once per week (twice per week would break my bank, for sure, even if it was recommended)...especially since I have to pay $60-80 for a pet car service each time we go.)

    The free-swim comes later; they want to make sure the dog will not cause more damage if their kick is a bit unstable. Now, we are doing the cold laser, pt exercises, underwater treadmill, and some free swim. No surprise: Mateo is a very tired pup after our session there.

    Next Friday will be out 5 week evaluation with the vet there. I am worried, because he came into the pool area yesterday when Mateo was swimming and asked how he was doing, and was he still limping. I said, yes, he is definitely still limping. I don't know that I would expect him to be limp-free at this point, but the vet looked concerned. :( I am hoping that he will, after examing him, find some good news (scar tissue? that you were talking about), and not want to start talking about surgery. We will see.

    I am so happy you found a good place for Angus- let us know how things go!
  10. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    I have pictures to post later on, but for whatever reason the forum is not working on my phone right now. Might need to do the update for my phone.

    $60-$80 just to get there and back? Yeah, I wouldn't be able to do that twice a week either. Right now, his treatment is $67/session x2 a week. Things will definitely be a bit tighter for us financially.

    Yes, they are concerned that a free swim could cause more damage to him. The way they explained it to me re: the scar tissue is that the ligament will never heal back together per se. The goal is to build enough scare tissue that it will help stabilize the knee, mimicking the ligament I guess. Building muscle mass will further stabilize the knee.

    The lady is so amazing, I just have to gush about her for a moment. Angus is wary of all new people and even some people he's known his whole life. I told her this over the phone and expressed that he didn't like being handled by strangers and that I was worried he would fight the underwater treadmill. She was so loving toward him and just let him do his thing. She was patient and kind and something with him just clicked. He was still a bit resistant, but did the treadmill no program. After the laser therapy, he pressed his nose against her face, which is as close to a kiss as most people will get from him. AND THIS WAS HIS FIRST MEETING WITH HER. Not only this, but she's realistic, honest and did not push anything on me. Then, she goes a step further and gives us the electro-muscle stimulation for free, otherwise each visit would have been closer to $90/session. INCREDIBLE.

    5 weeks seems like a short time to notice a significant improvement. Angus' "team" definitely let me know that this is no guarantee to work, which is troubling and stressful to think about. They also cautioned me that Angus is almost sure to suffer from arthritis later on in life. I am sure they will see improvements with Mateo. If he had a full tear it seems like it would take longer than 5 weeks to start to really heal. Keep us all posted on what happens! Angus and I send lots of healing and positive thoughts to you and Mateo. ^_^
  11. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    That sounds like such good news: both that the team you found is so supportive, and also that Angus is able to warm up to them and work with them. I have found the place i am at to be similar-- in fact i probably gushed in my first thread about this place, about how i never experienced so much support and concern for his well-being and follow-up, etc... it's such a good feeling. :)

    I am sure the vet didn't expect him to not be limping (I think I was projecting a little, hehe); and the therapist was telling him how strong his kick was in the pool...Also another therapist told me that he couldn't feel any "clicking" when massaging his stifle (clicking I guess refers to severe laxity in the joint)- so another good thing.

    My "team" also said the same thing in terms of guarantees...but did say that there will definitely be benefit- and I do believe that. Also, yes about the arthritis...but, that can be managed. I just want him to be relatively pain-free and be able to run about every now and then...

    Sorry for rambling! It's just so great to talk "shop" with somebody going through the same thing, with the same therapy...

    I hope for all the best for both our boys!
  12. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    Oh, and I'm paying $120. per session. But then again, in NYC everything is expensive!
  13. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    It is such a good feeling to be able to talk to someone who understands and is going through the same things. I update my family on what is going on, but they don't really understand and some of them don't understand how I justify pouring so much money into my "mutt".

    Yeah, I remembering you talking very highly of the facility and team you work with. I actually remember thinking to myself, "That's what I need to find for Angus!" Such a relief that I found it.

    It sounds like a lot of good things are happening for Mateo! Definitely sounds like progress!

    What is his limp like? For Angus, it doesn't seem that noticeable on a good day, but he sort of hobbles and when standing, he kicks his leg out to the side too reduce the weight he puts on it.

    I've never been to NYC, but I imagine costs of things/living is similar to Vancouver here. Luckily, I live a bit away from the city so costs gradually decrease the further from the city you go.
  14. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    Mateo's limp is similar. When walking slowly (which is how he walks most days), one can hardly tell he has a problem. But, as he is sniffing and moving around a tree or bush, he stumbles more and is kind of unstable. (Although he does sometimes use his injured leg to stand on as he lifts his other leg...)

    When he moves anything faster than a slow walk, he hobbles more, and doesn't want to put much weight on it.

    And, yeah, what they call "toe touching," where they compensate with the stronger leg, and the injured one is just there to stabilize them, with just the toes, and kicked out to the side more...that's what mine does, too.

    Sigh... the other thing that I may never know is, how much pain he is in...these big guys are so stoic.

    Anyway, onward! I am certain progress will be made by both, in time. :)

    Oh- I have an uncle in Vancouver, BC--- very pricey, but sooooo beautiful. :)
  15. QY10

    QY10 Active Member






    Some pictures of Angus from today. ****

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  16. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    Go, Angus Go!

  17. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    I have been keeping fairly detailed notes on Angus' responses to Hydrotherapy and Laser Therapy and I am already seeing positive results.

    After each visit, later in the day he would lift the injured leg off the ground and just walked on his 3 good legs. This would be after 15 minutes on the treadmill and probably another 15 minutes of laser therapy.

    Yesterday, he walked longer on the treadmill before shifting his weight, but did the same amount of time with laser therapy. I was told that he would probably be tired and sleep well, but he was actually very energetic afterwards. All 4 paws remained on the ground though. This morning, he is still walking on all 4 paws and he is visibly putting more weight on the injured leg, which is fantastic news.

    During the session, she was feeling up his legs and pointed out this large bump on the inside of his leg. I told her that I had noticed it, but had no clue what it was. She had some technical name for it that I cannot remember, but essentially she said that it's Angus' body building some more bone to help stabilize the injured knee. She said it's a tell-tale sign off a cruciate injury, but that it is a good sign.

  18. sjdavenport

    sjdavenport Well-Known Member

    Media buttress is what I think it's called. Good to hear his therapy is helping and hope Angus continues to improve!!
  19. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    Sounds like he is doing well! All of this takes time, for sure...

    Mateo also takes awhile to "come down" from the workout of hydrotherapy...but then he does sleep well.
  20. QY10

    QY10 Active Member

    Yes! I think that's what she called it!

    It is amazing the improvements I have seen in him. Someone who doesn't know/see Angus might not notice, but I notice improvements every single day. I am so excited for his 6 week assessment. I have such a good feeling about it.

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