Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cadence Week 1 FCE Rehab: Don't Stop . . .

Now that Cadence has been diagnosed with a fibrocartilaginous embolism, we've been able to start him on some physical therapy, with hopes of restoring as much function as possible.  What has at least been nice is being able to return him to some activity.  As we initially assumed it was an injury, he was being rested at first, which wasn't making any of us happy at all.  This week, in addition to his rehab exercises, we have him up to walking over a mile at a time, and he has been able to run and play in the yard with Maebe again.  He even had a play date with one of his favorite girlfriends, Scarlett, and was able to play chase around the yard with her with no problem.

It's hard to say whether his gait is improving yet, but I think he has shown some improvement in his coordination.  Last week, when I asked him to walk across a dog walk plank (flat on the ground), he had trouble keeping his feet on it, but now he can walk across and even turn around. 

One thing this experience has driven home to me is the importance of doing body awareness and strengthening exercises even/especially with our healthy dogs.  All the exercises given to us by the rehab place were ones that I have done with Cadence regularly for years anyway.  So, I'm not having to train a new behavior in order to do the rehab, and I have a pretty good idea what his baseline pre-FCE was. 

Here is a video of what Cadence looks like walking today.  The very clinical term that one of our vets used to describe it is "wonky":

More interesting though, I think, is watching his progress over the last week with his exercises.  The determination on his face at about 1:57 of the video makes me smile every time:

"Why not think about times to come? . . . "

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