Some hospitals do rounds for patients, but here at Resurge, we do rounds a little differently. We do what we call Patient Parades. We started out with our very first episode of Patient Parades showing Dr. Dena Lodato rounding with her surgery patients to evaluate their post-surgical conditions. She meticulously checks each patient’s incision, appearance, pain levels, lung and heart sounds, as well as their spirit. Surgery can be stressful and scary for patients, owners, and veterinary staff. We make every attempt to keep the atmosphere upbeat, fun, and as stress-free as possible. Keeping our patients happy and comfortable is a top priority, especially as they are away from home and their loved ones. During episode two, we show our comedic side and how we keep things lively and light. Episode three shows how body language and subconscious cues affects dogs, who are extremely keen in picking up on stress, anxiety, or distress from owners and staff alike. We try to keep this in mind during our day-to-day interactions and cultivate a fun and healthy environment for patients and employees. A happy staff makes for happy patients and happy clients. In episode four we focus on laughter and smiles. Laughing helps to lessen anxiety in stressful situations and smiles are most definitely contagious. We spread laughter and cheer all day every day to everyone who comes into our hospital. Keeping each other laughing is one of the ways that we show our love and care.
Getting to share these moments with our clients through episodes of patient parades is just one opportunity we just can’t pass up. We all truly enjoy making others smile and sharing the joy of helping our patients. We want people to see that we love what we do, we get attached to our patients, and we are definitely attached to each other. We want others to enjoy seeing a small glimpse of what we enjoy so much. Life at a veterinary hospital is incredibly hard. It’s filled with late nights, weekends, emergencies, unforeseen problems, and sometimes tears. One of our gifts is the gift of creativity. Getting creative to help patients and coworkers is one way that we overcome the challenges of Veterinary Medicine. When stress stacks up, it can be easy to fall into a negative mindset. But negative mindsets do not perpetuate positive outcomes. So, we give our all to stay positive, motivated, happy, and silly. We let our unique and quirky personalities show to keep the environment upbeat and fun. We are very serious about the level of care we give to our patients, our communication with clients, and providing surgical solutions and rehabilitation to our veterinary community. During difficult times, it’s important to laugh, and Dr. Dena Lodato knows how to do just that. She is by far one of the most humble surgeons we have met. Her empathy and compassion are unmatched, and she inspires our staff to aim for nothing short of success. As episode five shows, our staff is never scared to talk with Dr. Dena or approach her with a problem. She always gives 100% to every situation in which she is needed. We hope through our series of Patient Parades that our love of animals and laughter lead to successful recoveries and happy, healthy patients.
Written by Brittany Murphy and Robert Porter
I headed out to a Dock Diving competition and to teach some injury prevention classes last week. I was able to stay at a friend’s house near a lake and fit in some family vacation fun in the process. After watching and filming dogs dock diving, and boring my kids, I thought I would also give handling a dog and jumping off of a dock a try. Being the handler could help me see through the eyes of the other trainers and bring me closer to what the sport is about. I had a little experience sending my own dogs out into my pond, but that was about the extent of it. During this trip I also planned on jumping off a dock myself at my friend’s lake house on my BMX bike. That probably sounds crazy to most, but I was hoping it would help me empathize with the dock diving canine athlete on some level. It also sounded super fun to me. But in all seriousness, trying to empathize with patients and their humans is a big thing in my world. It can have profound impacts on patent care, and the understanding of pathology, prognosis, and recovery process with the veterinary patients’ humans.
Once I got to the Dock Diving event, I borrowed a friends dock diving dog, named Risk. I started up the maze of fenced ramps and gates, with a super excited Golden Retriever on the end of the leash who was eagerly anticipating his launch into the pool. I then made it to the end of the dock overlooking the pool. I asked “Risk” to sit and stay, then walked to the end of the dock that was two feet above the water. All of a sudden my thoughts were filled with details like, how I should throw, which side of the dog should I be on, is Risk going to stay and wait for me to get to the end of the dock? Is Risk safe with me handling him? Is everyone looking at me? Are they laughing? Am I doing this right? I took a deep breath, gave Risk his release word, watched him charge toward the end of the dock and I did my best to throw out his bumper (dog toy) facilitating a world record jump. Instead I got him to 12 feet. He generally jumps 16-18 feet so there was a lot of room for improvement. I repeated the process several more times with minimal improvements. Then, our turn was over and I got lost trying to exit through the maze of gates. Me getting lost on my way out was my oldest son’s favorite part.
Now on to empathizing with the canine athlete and for some BMX fun. My kids and I drove to my friend’s house from the Dock Diving event. I then put together a small BMX style jump and placed it on the end of the dock. I strapped a life vest on an old bike of mine and then sent it into the lake, full speed, about 10 times in a row before becoming completely exhausted. It was fun, it hurt, and I would always do it again.
Before I tell you what I learned, here’s a little back story. I have ridden some form of BMX since I was a kid. I am no where near a professional athlete, I battle old injuries on the daily, but each day I live, I continue to have a goal of riding everyday of my life. Ten to eleven years ago, I put the BMX bike away after sustaining a compressive fracture to one of my lumbar vertebrae and having several doctors tell me to change my lifestyle and sport. At that point I completely stopped riding, but the thought of it never left my mind. I had tried to replace my daily BMX exercise with other sports or hobbies but they never were as enjoyable, creative, or inspirational as the times I spent on my bike. I grew increasingly more depressed and just felt lost without my sport. I started physical therapy, worked hard, exercised daily, and started riding again several years after my injury. I’ve spent the last four to five years building dirt jumps in my backyard, relearning old skills, conditioning my body and mind, and I get to engage my old goal of riding my bike each day.
I say all this because many of my clients ask me if they should stop their dog from competing after an injury. I find this question very difficult in the aspect of ethical physical protection of an animal in someone’s care and also in the animal’s mental and physical wellbeing. Many people and dogs enjoy competition on numerous levels. Competition can help motivate, improve performance, and provide a goal to work toward. There’s also a social aspect of competition as well as a human-animal bond that can be damaged. If the competition does not exist, the motivation tends to decline, people within the community suffer and the canine athlete loses their sport and possibly their purpose in the human world. This decline can lead to depression for both the animal and the trainer. Many people tell me, “It’s okay, I don't have to compete them to have fun with them,” but dogs tend to know the difference, even when you think they don't.
There is not an easy answer for an animal athlete’s return to sport or not. Every case should be looked at individually and that decision should be based on all the above details and more. Details should be explored thoroughly before making a decision. The best advice I could give anyone is to do their best at keeping their four-legged athlete in shape. Keeping up with current training techniques and always working on becoming a better handler is top on the list. Good nutrition and a healthy body weight is an easy thing to do for most. Finally, conditioning exercises that are targeted at injury prevention should also be preformed on a regular basis. Many of the exercises I do within my conditioning program are also investigative and allow trainers to spot abnormalities before they become truly “career ending”.
We would love to hear about your experiences in how or why you have kept your dog in sports or taken them out due to injury. I think we all need to continue to look for solutions to continue to help our canine athletes live long and purposeful lives filled with joy and lots of fun.
Written By Robert Porter
Robert Porter, CCRP has been teaching his canine conditioning program all over the world, for close to ten years. The same positive approach to therapeutic exercise seen in his workshops is incorporated into post-operative recovery regimens at Resurge Veterinary Surgical Specialists and Rehabilitation. Each rehab plan is custom curated to every individual patient’s ability, needs, and goals. Robby's exercise and training system serves surgical patients just as well as agility, working, and sporting canines to provide an enriching approach to exercise, strengthening, conditioning, and recovery. In this video, Robby’s students can be seen utilizing his positivity-packed methods of canine conditioning and fitness to bring a sense of joy and fulfillment to both dogs and owners alike.
#resurgerehab #canineconditioning #caninerehab #positivereinforment #lowstresshandling #makeexercisefun #itspossible
It’s difficult to imagine loosing your ability to move, to walk, to drink, to eat or go to the bathroom by yourself. I can only guess what an emotionally frustrating roller coaster of not knowing why, when or if you may get control of your body back could feel like. Louie suddenly lost everything. He didn’t know why, when or if he was going to get better. On top of having a life changing spinal cord injury, Louie is also an insulin dependent diabetic. None of this stopped Louie. He never came into therapy and felt sorry for himself. He never refused a challenge and he never gave up. He looked past fear, past failure, embraced the process and knew exactly what he wanted… chicken:)
I hope Louie can be an inspiration for dog parents and veterinary professionals to push through the challenging moments and stay focused on creating New Movement, a New Life and a New Beginning for their loved ones and patients.
#ANNPE #typeIIIdisc #veterinaryrehab #louiethegreat #newmovement #newlife #newbeginning #spinalcordinjury #nevergiveup #cantslowdown #runbeforeyoucanwalk #veterinaryrehab #underwatertreadmill #LASERtherapy #inspiration
Max came in 2 weeks ago unable to sit up or do anything by himself. He was in a lot of pain and instead of moving his head to look around his world, he could only move his eyes. Dr. Dena Lodato MS, DVM, ACVS, CCRP took him to surgery and removed the compressive herniated disc that was pushing on his spinal cord. He was then put into our rehab program where he learned new movement, started a new life and is now ready for a new beginning. Thank you for never giving up, Max. We can’t wait to see you improve even more.
Gobbles was born with a rare condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. Basically, the part of his brain that helps regulate movement and impulse never developed correctly. Gobbles has been coming to therapy for the last month and has made some good progress so far. There was a time when he couldn’t walk well and would even just drag himself around. We all just love Gobbles. He always gets everyone dancing and sharing the purple green and gold love. He truly brings the spirit of carnival everywhere he goes. Thank you for brightening everyone’s day Gobbles. You’re the best!
Barley has a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy or DM for short. DM causes a slow loss of function to the rear limbs and other parts of the body as the disease progresses. Unfortunately, there is no cure. However, therapeutic exercise can help slow the progression of the disease. It is a sad diagnosis but a positive point is that it’s a non-painful disease. Our therapists, Melissa O’Brien RVT, CCRP and Robby Porter CCRP, have really enjoyed seeing him the last few weeks and will be rechecking him on a regular basis. Barley's hair is especially magnificent and his personality is too. Great working with you Barely, stay strong!
Marley is going home to start a new beginning. No more pain in her knee, no more rehab (even though that part is fun), no more meds, and soon no more rest. She has been here at Resurge since we opened in January and was the first TPLO performed here. Marley's owners live in Memphis,TN which is a pretty far drive… This made rehab and aftercare pretty difficult but we all wanted Marley to have a new life. We decided that as long as Marley wasn’t very stressed about staying with us she would have surgery with Dr Lodato, then start rehab with Melissa O’Brien RVT, CCRP and Robby Porter CCRP. We would then send Marley home when we thought she was ready. At 4 weeks post-op Marley is looking great! She still has a little R and R left until her bone completely heals but she is well on her way. We will all miss you, A LOT Marley!!!! Congratulations on your new beginning!
This is Colton’s new movement, his new life, and his new beginning.