Thursday, February 01, 2007

Belated Thank You to Pet PTs

I have been meaning to post this for many months, and had some time today.

Almost a year ago, my dog W's left knee was rebuilt by a kind and capable surgeon named Dr. Franczuszki. See this blog post. He suffered from a condition called "luxating patella," widespread among Italian Greyhounds (although our other fellow, who came from careful breeding, does not have it). W had endured it all his life, but the constant slipping of the kneecap eventually caused him so much wear and pain that he had stopped using that leg altogether, several months before we decided on surgery.

The operation was a success and his new joint was A-OK. However, W persisted in not using his new knee, despite my applying all the recommended therapies at home. W was not only stubborn, he was comfortable with things how they were. Enter the two experts at West Chester Veterinary Rehabilitation Specialty Center.

Dr. Ann Caulfield and Michelle Lazarski treated my sweet but timid rescue hound like their own child. They walked him in the underwater treadmill, they massaged him, they talked cuddly to him and they, in short, made a friend of my quivery paranoid pet. And over the three or so months we made our visits to their facility, W improved. Of course, he put on his brave face and used his leg in front of the two therapists, but when we would get home and he was free in the backyard, he'd revert to his three-legged lope. It was frustrating, but I continued our homework. And by the end of the summer, he was walking on all fours again, where he remains to this day.

We know that his right knee is deteriorating from the same condition, but he doesn't seem to be in any pain. Yet. When he first shows those signs, I will be consulting with the surgeon again, and will then be sure to use Caulfield and Lazarski for our follow up PT. They are miracle-workers.

If you are in the vicinity of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and have a pet that would benefit from therapy, I would highly recommend the rehabilitation center and the two women that head it. Thanks, ladies, from W and me!

No comments: