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June 2015 VMC Pain Management Patient of the Month

Puccini’s Story

Puccini

My husband and I are proud owners of our 11 year old standard poodle named Puccini. Since Puccini was the runt of a litter of six, he weighs only 42 pounds, whereas, typically, the breed weighs between 60-70 pounds. During Puccini’s initial veterinary visit, Dr. Davis at Lyndon Veterinary Clinic, advised us that sometimes the runt of a litter can develop a variety of health challenges. Clearly, this has proven to be so for our dog. Beginning as early as 3 yrs. old, Dr. Davis diagnosed Puccini with hip dysplasia, with the right hip significantly worse than the left. Just looking at the x-ray of Puccini’s right hip, Dr. Davis commented, “you wouldn’t think he could walk.” Dr. Davis prescribed Cosequin double strength twice a day, and he modified Puccini’s playtime eliminating the run/stop action which was bad for his back legs. In 2009, Dr. Davis diagnosed Puccini with Intervertebral Disc Disease. Dr. Davis referred us to Cornell Companion Animal Hospital where they discovered that Puccini’s hind limb muscles had atrophied. At that time, they recommended Lis Conarton and the Physical Rehabilitation Service at the Veterinary Medical Center. Lis evaluated Puccini, and provided us with a thorough understanding of the problems and challenges he may encounter. She highlighted the various techniques she would use on Puccini including: laser therapy; the underwater treadmill; the “agility course”; and the importance of addressing the Myofascial Trigger Points (muscle knots). We were impressed with Lis—her breadth of knowledge, her professional demeanor, her patience, and Puccini who doesn’t like meeting people warmed right up to her immediately. Lis has been able to markedly improve Puccini’s muscle strength and maintain his muscle mass. Due to Puccini’s aging process, Lis has continually modified his rehab sessions, along with the home exercise program. She informs Dr. Davis of her observations about Puccini which has produced a “winning team” for our dog. We are convinced that Puccini’s quality of life is very good because of Lis. We are not taking anything away from Dr. Davis, who is a great veterinarian, but Lis has skills that are not widely available. We refer to Lis as the “animal whisperer”. Lis is an amazing and talented young woman, who possesses the desire to stay abreast of everything related to her profession. We are always recommending the VMC and Lis to anyone who has an animal in need, because she treats each animal as if she is the owner. To this day, we count our blessings that physical rehabilitation is available in Syracuse and that a highly knowledgeable, competent, and talented woman by the name of Lis Conarton manages the area.
~Puccini’s Family

Puccini

  • 11 year old Standard Poodle
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cervical Disc Disease/Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Right Cruciate Ligament Strain
  • Compensatory Muscle Strain & Myofascial Trigger Points
  • Irritable Bowel Disease

Current Treatments

Weekly Rehabilitation Sessions Including:

  • Hydrotherapy Exercise
  • Under Water Treadmill
  • Low Level Laser Therapy
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Massage Including-Myofascial Trigger Point Release
  • Home Exercise Program
  • Home Massage Program
  • VMC Pain Management Service's Patient of the Month November 2014 Coco CoCo: 17 year old Shih-Tzu Cervical Pain and Right Forelimb Lameness Current Treatments: Multi Modal Pain Management Program Acupuncture Mobilization & Massage Laser Therapy Home Exercise Program Nutrition & Supplements In August of 2013 we thought we would have to put down our beloved Coco. He was suffering from severe back pain. At times he could not lie down. Coco was in a great deal of pain. Walking was very difficult also, so much so that we would carry him around. We had Coco on many medications for the pain, however, it was not enough. At times he was still barely able to walk. We were recommended to the Veterinary Medical Center by our veterinarian Dr. Megan Williams from Animal Wellness of Skaneateles. Dr. Williams thought that with a good evaluation by their Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Robinson, they could make some recommendations for other therapies that Coco may benefit from.  Those therapies turned out to be acupuncture with Dr. Michelle Burnett and Physical Rehabilitation with laser treatments with Lis Conarton. Lis showed my husband and I how to work through Coco's exercises. Dr. Burnett was so patient with Coco while trying to get his needles in place for his acupuncture. Who knew that a 10 lb dog needed two people to hold him in place at times? The first month brought very good results. Coco was 17 yrs. old at this time. His gait became much stronger and more balanced and his pain was much less. We have worked with Dr. Burnett on his pain management medications. This took some trial and error, but we were fortunate to get the right combination of meds to help manage Coco’s pain. At first we started coming every 2 weeks for treatments and after a few months were able to taper off to once a month which is where he continues today. All this hard work paid off. Over one year later we are still going once a month.  Coco will be 18 years young in February. He is able to get around fine now: at times he will even attempt to sit up on his hind legs which he used to do all the time. When he is feeling really good (which is most days now) he will run around  the back yard like he used to. Without all the hard work of Dr. Burnett and Lis, Coco would not have the quality of life he has gotten back. Like for all of us it is all about the quality of life and being able to enjoy it. You can tell from his picture he has it back!!!! Thank You Dr. Burnett & Lis                                                                                                          ~ Coco’s Family “Education may be key in understanding the link between species, however one will learn the most while quietly observing.” ~Lis Conarton

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