We help your pets who are physically challenged, painful or uncomfortable, using professional veterinary care, physical rehabilitation and hydrotherapy, to improve your pet’s quality of life and to provide you with peace of mind.
 Dear Friends and ColleaguesApril has been a bumper month of activity for the Hydro and the team members of the Hydro.
Dr Tanya is in Cape Town, where she was asked to present her first aid workshop, – Dr Tee’s First Aid For Dogs: Improving Survival In Cases Of Emergency. A lot of learning and fun was had by all the delegates
Dr Tanya attended the World Veterinary Association Congress 2024 while in Cape Town. She presented two lectures. 1. S.O.A.P. for Self-Assessment – A tool to manage stress as a veterinary professional. 2. Conscious Business – A Practice Model for the Health of the Veterinary Profession.
Rehabilitation Exercises for Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Disease and Therapeutic Exercises for the Canine Orthopaedic Patient were presented as posters at the congress, Veterinarians and vet nurses could read the posters and access the videos via a QR code on the posters. Dr Tanya was also on hand to answer any questions.
Bianca has continued to compete in triathlons as well as open-water swims. In May, Bianca will be competing in the Suzuki Ultra Triathlon being held at Sun City. We wish her all the best for her upcoming competition.

Courtney took part in the Two Oceans Marathon and ran a personal best time. Well done, Courtney!
Bianca is available on certain afternoons at Pierre Van Ryneveld Veterinary Clinic for appointments and treatments. Please contact AHAH Pretoria to book your session.
In this month’s newsletter, we look at My Companion Is Going For Intervertebral Disc Disease Surgery, Now What? My Companion Is Going For Intervertabral Disc Disease Surgery. Now What?

My companion is going for InterVertebral Disc Disease surgery, now what? Don’t panic! Vets know a lot more now than they did 20 years ago. This condition is treated successfully.  InterVertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is one of the most common neurological conditions in dogs. The condition manifests as a syndrome of pain and neurological deficits caused by the displacement of part of the disc. IVDD is most prevalent in the thoracolumbar spine (mid back), followed by the cervical (base of the neck) region. In all cases of IVDD, regardless of the chosen treatment, physical rehabilitation plays an integral role in the overall care and recovery of the patient.What does IVDD surgery involve? The type of surgery performed depends on the site of the problem. In the neck, a ventral (underside) approach is usually taken, and this procedure is called a ventral slot decompression procedure. A window is drilled through the vertebral bodies to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. For disc problems in the thoracolumbar region, there are a number of different surgical procedures, all of which are aimed at relieving the spinal compression and removing the herniated disc material. Each process involves the removal of bone in order to access the disc.What is the recovery time? The post operative recovery time and the time it takes for your dog to be able to perform functions of daily living (moving, urinating and eating with little to no assistance) is variable. Recovery is dependent on the procedure as well as the complexity of the IVDD before the dog had surgery. Recovery from surgery, however, is 6–8 weeks.What can I expect post-surgery?Your dog will be painful, as this is major surgery. Use the medications and follow the veterinarian’s instructions. Your dog will soon start to feel better and want life to return to normal. Do not be tempted to allow unsupervised movement! Once the pain is controlled, any exercises that stimulate awareness and proprioception, especially touch, are useful. Tellington Touch body wraps, or tensor wrapping, and kinesiotaping can create a connection between the front and rear ends. Vigorous massage of limbs and areas not associated with the wound stimulates muscle tone, thereby delaying or preventing contracture. Massage improves circulation, stimulates proprioceptive awareness, and aids in pain management. Please consult a veterinary rehabilitation practitioner.What are the post op do’s and don’ts? No running, no jumping, no playing. No off leash exploring. Your dog’s movement must be managed. This may be as extreme as crate rest for 6 weeks. It is important for patients who are not walking to begin with exercises that will help improve their proprioception as soon as possible. This will stimulate the neural pathways to create new pathways. Once the nerves connect, function can be restored. Repeating the exercises promotes the relearning of motor skills that were lost or damaged during the IVDD incident or surgery.What do I need to look out for after the surgery? Swelling, heat, or oozing around the wound. Persistent pain If there is a lack of improvement in the pain levels. If the dog was walking and suddenly is no longer walking or becomes uncoordinated. If any of the above occur, call your veterinarian or surgeon, or return to the practice with your dog. Will my companion need physiotherapy? Yes! Your dog will require physiotherapy after the surgery. This will hasten the healing and strengthen the neurological pathways that were damaged by the incident or disrupted by surgery. Basically, your dog needs to learn to walk again. When looking for a physiotherapist for your animal companion, please ensure that the service provider you select is registered with or authorised by the South African Veterinary Council.When should I book an assessment for my companion? As soon as your companion goes in for surgery, call and book your assessment at your closest AHAH Branch. This will enable us to see your companion as soon as you are given the go ahead by the surgeon to start physiotherapy.How long will my companion need to come for physiotherapy? After the assessment, we will book 6 to 8 sessions with a reassessment at the 9th session, where all the measurements will be redone to see what progress has been made and if therapy needs to continue.How many times a week will my companion need to come for physiotherapy? We recommend a minimum of once a week but more sessions a week may be needed, especially for neurological patients. This will be discussed at your assessment. Your registered/authorised physiotherapist may give you a home exercise program. Patients whose pet-parents follow the exercise program tend to return to function more quickly. However, never push your companion too hard. Remember that sometimes “less is more”.Will my medical aid cover the physiotherapy sessions? Check what is covered within your policy with your Pet Medical Insurance provider. 
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