Being put into lockdown for client and staff safety provided the ideal opportunity to adapt services and find new ways to continue treating our patients, while abiding by the government restrictions. The below example of how we maintained Riley’s rehabilitative goals remotely is a great demonstration of how we at Kentdale Referrals were able to help our patients during lockdown.
- 6-year-old male Doberman.
- In December 2019, he presented with diagnosed left hip dysplasia and Osteoarthritis and undiagnosed right hind lameness.
- He was diagnosed with cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease in both stifles, with joint effusion and a significant CCL rupture in his right stifle.
- In January 2020, a TPLO was performed in his right stifle with successful results.
- In February, he presented with sudden left hind lameness. After diagnosing left CCL rupture and joint effusion, a TPLO was performed in his left stifle.
In his first physiotherapy session, Riley presented with significant muscle wastage and weakness in both back legs. Consequentially, he had developed several compensatory adjustments in his posture and in how he moved. From a postural perspective, he adopted a wide behind stance and offloaded both hindlimbs in a stand, shifting his weight forward. Dynamically, he was unstable during walking with short hindlimb strides and reduced joint flexion. He stepped with an outwardly placed stride in both back legs, with his tail held high and to the left. Upon palpation, he had significant muscle wastage in his bottom and inner and outer thigh muscle groups in both back legs. Additionally, he also had compensatory spasm in the top of his neck and in both shoulder muscles.
Riley’s rehabilitative goals include:
- Reduce compensatory pain in his neck, shoulder and triceps muscles on both sides.
- Strengthen his spinal and abdominal core musculature as well as his inner and outer thigh muscle groups in both back legs.
- Improve his hip and knee range of motion and re-educate his gait pattern in both back legs
Lockdown did not hinder achieving these goals. We are now using video physiotherapy consultations where applicable. These enabled Genie, one of our Veterinary Physiotherapists, to remotely re-assess Riley and successfully adapt his home treatment plan accordingly. This allowed us to consistently develop his progress and performance at a safe rate from the comfort of his home.
Before remote video consultations, Genie asked Riley’s owners to send videos of him walking on the lead, with specific instructions to comply with the requirements of a dynamic assessment. The videos prove to be useful, particularly when clients have poor WiFi connections (which lead to moments of pixelated screen quality during consultations), and act as a wonderful comparison tool. In this instance, it helped us gauge Riley’s progress or identify any deterioration in his movement.
During the video consult, Genie examined Riley’s free moving gait and motion. She guided his owners through performing selected checks to determine his progress, which were needed to amend his rehabilitative exercises. As a team, they were able to be creative by safely using household items to establish a physio gym at home for his exercise progression. After the video consult, Genie customised Riley’s home treatment plan based on the findings and discussions within the video consultation and emailed it to Riley’s owners. The plan was made up of a variety of manual therapies and rehabilitative exercises specifically aimed at achieving Riley’s rehabilitative goals.
Riley is now progressing well with his owner’s hard work and continued support from Genie.
For further information on how we can support you and your pet with remote physiotherapy consultations, once referred by your primary veterinarian, please contact us.