German Shepherds & Belgian Malinois
Photo : "Jazz" Vanrusselhof JustWatchMe at 10wks This page will be dedicated to my "Spazzy Jazzy" and her journey through her rehabilitation after breaking her right knee as a pup.
This page will be dedicated to my "Spazzy Jazzy" and her journey through her rehabilitation after breaking her right knee as a pup.
Late on the 15th December 2005, at 6 months of age, Jazz broke her right knee by clipping a tree stump while playing. Just a freak accident. I rushed her to the vet only to find they could not clearly identify the injury point without X-rays which could not be done until morning. The following day, I dropped her off at the vet for the X-Rays. Later that day I recieved the phone call to tell me that she had broken the knee and the break went through the joint and the growth plate, and my options were surgery or amputation. My vet made an appointment for me to take Jazz and the x-rays to an Orthopedic Specialist that afternoon. The Surgeon, Assoc. Professor P Moses, confirmed the injury but decided he could repair the knee as the growth plate and cruciate ligament were intact. Being Friday afternoon, Jazz came home for the week-end and returned on Monday morning for admission. She had the surgery and 3 rather large skrews were placed in the knee to hold the two sections together while they healed. A day later Jazz was discharged from hospital with a wound dressing and a pressure bandage to hold the leg bent. There were no stitches to be removed as they were internal and disolving. Professor Moses was extremely positive.
On the Friday of the same week, Jazz revisited the Specialist Centre to have all the dressings removed and to commence physio with Lindsey Connell. The knee was bending well and Lindsay started flexing the hip, knee, ankle and foot. This puppy was just taking everything in her stride. A week after surgery, I found that I was not able to flex the joints as complete as the phsyio was able to, and I could feel the hip and knee joints starting to stiffen. A quick trip back to see Lindsay confirmed this and she spent a long session on her straight away and then again on the following day.
I started swimming Jazz in the kids pool morning and afternoon. It was just deep enough that she needed to stretch to touch the bottom. Just lucky she is 'water baby'. The improvement was amazing. Two weeks after surgery, Jazz had a visit to the Chiropractor who made sure that all her other 'bits and pieces' were in the right spots. As expected, she needed adjustments to her back, pelvis, neck and both shoulders. These were spots that were getting sore due to the way in which she was now moving, laying and balancing. It was easy to see that Jazz felt better after this, as she had a big stretch.
That same afternoon, Jazz saw Lindsey at the Aquadog Health & Fitness Centre. She worked on the joints again, and then into the pool for some hydrotherapy. After popping on her bouyancy vest, she went in. Not happy with being unable to touch the bottom, she had a little panic attack, but then all was well. I walked in front of her with the lead, and Lindsay tickled her foot to stimulate the swim action. In her first session, she did four laps of the pool (10m x 4m). On the final lap, Lindsey had to swim to keep up with Jazzy. She then slept the whole way home in the car, she was exhausted. Lindsay was impressed with her range of movement for only 2.5 weeks after surgery. Everything is still looking good. We will x-ray at 4 weeks post surgery to see how things are mending and to assess if and when the skrews will be removed.
At 3.5 weeks after surgery, Jazz is placing her foot onto the ground and when kept to a slow walk (which is really hard for a pup), she is walking without a limp. She will now start to have a 5 min walk, 2 - 3 times a day, to start building up the amount of weight she can bear and also to start to rebuild some of the muscle tone she has lost. This is a heavy routine she has now. Physio 3 times a week, Aquatherapy twice a week, and chiropractic and magnetic therapy every week as well. With all these people on her side, she will have no choice but to recover fully.
At 5 weeks after surgery, the leg was re X-Rayed. All is good. The knee has healed to normal and looks terrific. The surgeon has decided to leave the skrews in place, and not remove them unless it becomes necessary. We can now start to put pressure on the joint to work. She is weight bearing well, and her slow walk has now become a brisk walk. She has progressed in the aquatherapy to the stage that she no longer requires the bouyancy vest, and she is doing 10 laps of the pool. The walk sessions are to be increased in length, as now she needs to start building muscle. Jazz will still have physio 3 times a week, and we will push for full extension and flexion. It's full steam ahead.
January comes to a close, and 6.5 weeks on, Jazz has managed to start gaiting. She has a very slight limp on full gait, as the hamstring is still slightly restricted, but WOW, she is gaiting. Physio is now only required twice a week, but the aquatherapy and magnetic therapy remain weekly. In the pool now she is up to 14+ laps in a session, with 4 of those against the "water jets". Each lap against the jets is equivalent to 2 normal laps. Jazz is happily doing 20 - 30 mins walking / gaiting twice a day, and this is building muscle tone at an incredible rate. Her leg width measurements at the momment are, good leg is 34cm around and the bad leg is 29cm. All she needs now is some more fur on her leg and butt and she is nearly ready to return to the show ring. Obedience classes have started again for Jazz, as 6 weeks in a crate has produced a mighty feral pup. She is doing well, but we are treading carefully, plenty of time ahead for those obedience titles.
March 2nd, and Jazz has her 10 wk check up with the surgeon. She is given a clean bill of health and a full recovery in the knee. We will continue physio once or twice a week to work on the hamstring restriction, but she is looking great. Jazzy has retained her wonderful personality and her temprement has been unaffected.
Jazz has her first run in a show since the accident. The Belgian Shepherd Dog Club held its Open Show on March 12. The Judge looked past her limp and her difference in coat on the shaved leg and awarded her PUPPY IN SHOW. What an achievement. Lindsey measured her muscle bulk again on the 10th and she has increased from 29cm to 31cm. Getting better.
With the OK given, I have started Jazz gaiting with the push bike, this will enable me to pick up speed and start to stretch the gait and increase the duration. On the 13th March, 12 weeks after surgery, Jazz did approx. 2km at 8 - 9 kph on a grassy surface. This was the speed she could maintain without breaking into a run. By the following Sunday, she was gaiting at approx. 10 - 11 kph on the grass for 3km, so we decided to put her onto the bitumen surface. She started at 11 kph for 1km, so as to slowly harden the pads on her feet. We will keep increasing the speed and duration untill she is stretching out in a fast gait.
March 17th and Jazz has improved still more. She is gaiting much smoother, and her muscle bulk has grown from 31cm a week ago to 32cm. Only 2cm more to go before the legs match.
April saw our official return to the show ring. She was even awarded PUPPY IN GROUP at her second show back, at a Durack Show from a full line up, and the Judges comments were "... you have a very special puppy there ...". As if we didn't know that already !!! Jazz gained her first Herding Title, and the Judges comments here, were that she has a great future with stock.
May 24th, and Jazz is almost perfect. The untrained eye can no longer pick a problem, and she is allowed to start running (in small sessions) and life goes on. Her muscle bulk in her good thigh is 37cm and her "not so good leg" is 35cm. Both Physio and Chiro is only required once a month now to keep a check on things. We will miss our visits with Lindsay and the staff at the V.S.S. (Veterinary Specialist Services), Jazzy and I have become part of the furniture over the last 5mths. Jazz's recovery is practically complete. We cannot thank those involved enough for their expertise and encouragement.
THANK YOU to Lindsay, Dr Moses, Rowan & Nelson
And all the staff at the V.S.S.
Special thanks go to the following people for their valued medical & therapeutical assistance. I can highly recommend these professionals for any related treatments.
Assoc Professor P Moses BVSc Cert SAO FACVSc from the Veterinary Specialist Services, Underwood, Queensland. (07) 3804-3533
Lindsey Connell MCSP MAnST (An PT) from Animal Physiotherapy Solutions, 0403 970 675
Narelle Stubbs BASc PT MAnST (An PT) from Animal Physiotherapy Solutions, 0403 559 776
Aquadog Health & Fitness Therapies for Pets, Nerang, Queensland. (07) 5502-2444
Nelson Edyvean from the Canine Therapy Centre, Pallara, Queensland. (07) 3372-8148
Dr Rowan Kilmartin BVSc MCSc (An Ch) from Queensland VetChiro Services, Ormeau, Queensland. 0408 876 135
Warren & Mandy Doyle
Jimboomba, QLD, Australia
Phone : 0418 983 701
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org