I adopted a male, 1-year-old Chow Chow/Australian Shepherd mix back in May 2009.
I noticed a limp with his right rear leg and had him examined by our Vet, who recommended a follow up with Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Robin Holtsinger. Both his knees were weak, but not necessary for surgery. Eventually, in 2013, he tore his ACL and that did require surgery. His total recovery was slow. After 6 months he showed signs of still being in pain and we determined he needed to have his implant (which had already helped rebuild his ligaments) removed. After that second surgery, he rebounded quickly.
During this time, Dr. Holtsinger encouraged me to have him examined by a professional physical therapist and recommended Shari Sprague, PUP Rehabilitation and Conditioning. She works at VCA Promenade Hospital in Lauderhill.
Shari was great with Rollo. She gave him her complete, undivided attention. Every visit usually lasted an hour. She identified his weaknesses and targeted exercises, massage and laser to strengthen his legs, hips and spine. In the beginning, we made appointments for three times a week, eventually spreading it out to once every couple of weeks as he got stronger. She also gave me an exercise regimen to follow in between visits. Rollo loved going there, and I was very comfortable leaving him in her care. If I left to run errands and returned late, she would put him in a room because I had specified that I didn’t want him kenneled. She also diffused and massaged him with soothing, calming and healing essential oils which he loved.
After the second surgery, we both were so excited to see how quickly he was responding to the therapy, showing no more signs of pain. However, we still needed to rebuild his leg muscle that had atrophied. He had also put a lot of strain on his good leg, so therapy was still required to strengthen both legs.
He hasn’t been back for a couple of months, and yesterday I took him in for a follow-up. Shari was absolutely thrilled with his exam. No weaknesses, no pain and breezed through all his exercises enthusiastically!
I am so relieved. Anyone who loves their companions like their children will appreciate what Shari can do. She knows what to look for and how to make it right – oftentimes avoiding surgery altogether and develops a close loving bond. So I strongly urge anyone if they are worried about their companion, pay Shari a visit and put your mind at ease. Your companion will thank you and love you for it!