As pet owners become more knowledgeable about animal health care, they have growing expectations regarding the level of care for their dogs. With the availability of canine rehabilitation services, we can better meet those expectations.
I cannot say enough about Judy Coates. I should start with the simple fact that she is responsible for my dog's being able to walk again. My 10 year old dachshund, Beta, suffered a ruptured disk and was instantly paralyzed in her two hind legs. She underwent surgery and a week of physical therapy at a veterinarian's clinic in Maine. I was told she would likely not walk again and that her morale and effort were exceptionally poor. Then I found Judy. On our first visit, she worked with Beta for 90 minutes. When I brought her home, Beta stood up on her own for the first time since her accident. They worked together for six months, and by the end of it - Beta was walking on a leash, climbing up our ramp, chasing her favorite ball, tearing up stuffed toys just like she did before she was injured. The relationship Judy established with Beta was also remarkable - she treated her like her own pet! I would catch the two cuddling on Judy's couch when she was writing notes at the end of their sessions. It was truly a remarkable transformation, for Beta, and for me.
The Upper Valley is so very privileged to have a talent like Judy in its midst. She has such a gentle way with animals, yet she draws from them an incredible strength and effort. Her skills as a physical therapist are unmatched, for humans and pets alike. There truly are no words for my gratitude to Judy in all that she's done for Beta.
Toby is a senior dog who had been limping for the past 3 years. We had used both acupuncture and various meds but finally took her to an orthopedic vet, who diagnosed her with elbow dysplasia. He suggested that she would benefit from some PT and a change in meds. I knew Judy, as she had worked on my knee a few years ago, so I called her to set up an appt for her to evaluate Toby. Judy has a great way with dogs and though she was friendly and gentle with Toby, she was able to keep her comfortable while working on the areas that needed stretching etc. I noticed that Toby seemed more comfortable the next day after just one appointment. We continued to see Judy until I left for SC, and after each treatment, Toby seemed more stable while walking. Toby and I kept up with the stretching "homework" that Judy suggested in between appointments. Will plan to work more with Judy on our return to Vermont in the Spring and am very sure that Toby will continue to improve while in her care!
In the fall of 2009 my six year old corgi and agility partner, Marcus, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and resulting arthritis.
He was very lame and had very little muscle on his bad hind side.
As an alternative to FHO surgery right off, I decided to try a combination of medication, supervised by our vet, to address inflammation, pain and cartilage damage, and physical therapy to improve his atrophied muscles and modify his patterns of movement. At the least he would be in far better condition should surgery prove necessary.
A friend had worked with Judy, after her dog had surgery, and recommended her to me.
During our initial session Judy did a thorough evaluation of Marcus' condition, interpreting aspects into my layman's perspective, and worked with us to put together a plan of exercises to help develop his muscles, which would help keep his leg better located in his hip joint.
While demonstrating the exercises she was very good at explaining what each exercise was designed to accomplish and what to watch for when we were working at home.
Her approach has employed a wide variety of "games", including thera-band work, exercise balls, step dancing, patterning and tricks to increase his body awareness, and build his strength as well as his confidence in using his weak leg. He even had a laser treatment to help heal some inflamed tissue.
Over the winter months Judy was great about answering questions, evaluating his progress and upgrading the exercises as Marcus' situation improved, through phone, email and in-person consultations.
Now nearly six months later, my man is now in much better condition - both his hip and overall - than he ever was prior to his dysplasia diagnosis. His hip muscles are much better developed and he moves far more symmetrically. Surgery is no longer being considered and a return to playing at agility to some degree is a good possibility. We still have more work to do, but we could not have come this far without Judy's substantial experience, teaching ability and very caring attitude to guide us along. Thank you so very much for helping return my sassy social butterfly to me.
As you can see I feel very positive about my experience of working with Judy to help Marcus.