Free Rehab Evaluation for Tri-kitty Sashya
Thank you for this opportunity, it will give us some financial relief. I also want to express my gratefulness for the Tripawds community, it has gotten me through this ordeal.
Sashya is a 6-year-old Norwegian Forest Cat. She lost her front left leg after two loose pit bull mixes tore through the screen in our breezeway and attacked her. She managed to hold her own against them until I realized what was happening and chased them out.
The recovery process has been slow, but steady. Learning her limitations has been the hardest part. At times, she ignores the handicap accessible platforms we put in place for her and sadly, sometimes ends up in a face plant. Some of these jumps, and her weight (she lost 2 lbs since the attack, but needs to lose 2 more) have contributed to unwanted strain on her shoulder. She has tried to compensate when walking by shifting weight to her back left leg, which in turn has caused some issues with her lumbar area and affected her movement. Her veterinarian (at MedVet Akron) said we will need to manage her pain and help her develop flexibility, but was not concerned with her strength, she has plenty of muscle.
What’s interesting is that she recently started doing one of the eight exercises assigned naturally (stretching up the wall). She also positions herself to use me as a warm compress to alleviate pain in her neck, shoulder and lumbar areas. I noticed it was getting worse when she started scratching her neck often and relaxing when I gave her a massage.
I was not allowed in the rehabilitation room with her. I was told she was not a good candidate for Tens units stimulation due to her long hair and strong will (there’s no way she would tolerate being shaved), or acupuncture because she actively explores and marks territory which can impact the needles. She also has a strong dislike for water so hydrotherapy was out of the question. However, they were able to follow her around the room and use laser therapy on her on and off. They keep the rehab experience as stress free as possible so tried not to force anything on the “pawtient”. She did not react well when they pressed on her lumbar area so they took it extra easy with her.
The doctor has prescribed:
- laser therapy twice a week to help with pain management
- metabolizing dry food diet to help her lose two pounds
- a warm compress on her back and shoulder after long sleeps to help with stiffness and pain
- massage of the lumbar region, neck and all over to relax muscles
- two supplements (Duralactin and Free Form) which help with inflammation and overall health
four exercises which include:
- passive or active joint extension x10 for the shoulder and elbow
- full extension stretches enabled by pointing a laser part way up a wall 1 to 2x daily for two minutes,
- feather on a stick play once a day or every other day for 1-2 minutes at a time
- low wheelbarrowing which involves lifting her from the abdomen and slowing moving her forward for 30 seconds once a day
I have been given access to videos of all these exercises. If she is still showing signs of pain after a month, we will need to start giving her Neurontin (Generic Name: gabapentin). The thing I have learned above all is how well cats can hide their pain. I was also ignorant to the fact that her kangaroo style of walking was a sign that she was not doing as well as I thought.
~Vanessa (aka: sashya)