Rehab categories: Chiropractic,Nutritional Supplements,Therapeutic Exercises
Mr. Whiskers is a delightful older gentleman who lives in the South Bay with his awesome mom, Kate, who contacted me after a recommendation from her dog trainer, Mandy. Mr. Whiskers was experiencing mobility problems, had started limping on his left rear leg, and was not responding to the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. In fact he seemed to be getting worse.
On my first visit I palpated his rear legs and could feel a significant difference in the size and texture of his thighs. As well as having severe muscle wasting on the left side, he had a large 'knot' in the middle of his left thigh - it was about the size of a firm grapefruit and it was tender to the touch. Poor guy! It was so hard for him to function and his left kneecap was popping in and out of its place when he flexed his knee. He could not get up from a sit to a stand without pain, had trouble walking, and his balance was very poor. Since a car ride was out of the question, we began his Chiropractic Care and Physical Rehabilitation at home!
Initially I thought that the prognosis was guarded: since he had such significant muscle atrophy, and I suspected he might have soft tissue cancer called a Sarcoma. His mom and I decided to focus on comfort care and pain management, and we set the initial goals for pain-free movement, ability to walk, and improved balance so he could go for longer car trips to the hiking trails, which he loved so much.
On his first visit, Mr. Whiskers had Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT) also known as Chiropractic care. The treatment helped to reduce muscle tension in his lower back and eliminated the postural change that had led to spinal twisting. This twisting was causing him back pain and was stressing both his hips and pelvic joints. In addition, I started him on Gabapentin (a pain blocker) that is great for nerve and soft tissue pain and is often used to help with cancer pain. I also prescribed nutritional supplements from Standard Process to help with both muscle and nerve function. And finally, he started on weekly Adequan injections to help heal injured cartilage, to lubricate his slipping knee joint, and also to reduce pain.
It quickly became clear that his muscle and nerve pain were becoming better controlled, so we began a Home Exercise Program. Kudos to his mom for being a real hero in doing her homework and following a daily home exercise routine as much as possible!
And it paid off! Mr. Whiskers began using his leg more and his mom encouraged him in partial weight bearing on his left rear leg again! He was also doing active stretching and strengthening of his left rear leg- using targeted exercises to stretch and strengthen his quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles on the side of his thigh. The idea of this was to help keep his knee cap in place, to improve his ability to sit, stand up, and lie down again for normal daily living. And he began taking increasingly longer walks on even surfaces and on trails - even just one week later, it was clear how much stronger his muscles were becoming! And even better was the fact that the 'grapefruit-sized mass' in his thigh was shrinking!
I concluded that his diagnosis was most likely a Grade 2 Quadriceps Muscle Strain (a partial tear in the muscle) with a Hematoma (blood blister). He was improving so rapidly from his muscles stretching and his active muscle use. He was going to get better!
Mr. Whiskers has continued to make steady progress and looks forward to his treatments. He is now hiking for a few hours each week on his favorite hiking trails, skipping down to the street corner and back, as well as barking at the mailman once again! He reached all of the Physical Rehabilitation goals originally set for him and he is 'well adjusted' and thriving once more! His goals for the future are to live a long and happy life with his mom and sniff lots of horses on the horse trail! Go Whiskey Go!!!