Do you have your certification in animal rehab, but don’t know where to start? Setting up a rehab department in your clinic can be an expensive proposition and take up a fair bit of space. But one company has designed a system that’s small enough to fit in a closet and strong enough to support patients from 10 to 200 lbs.

The Eddie’s Wheels Adjustable Therapy Stand was created specifically for space-challenged offices or mobile practices. The system folds up and stores against a wall, or tucks neatly into a vehicle the size of a Honda Fit.

Ed Grinnell, a mechanical engineer by trade, and his wife, Leslie, developed the Eddie’s Wheels line of professional rehabilitation equipment from their experience rehabilitating their own dogs. They discovered that the simple act of supporting a disabled dog in a normal healthy stance enhances healing and rehabilitation. The idea for the Adjustable Therapy Stand came from a group of holistic veterinarians the couple met at an International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Congress. While it was originally conceived as a way to support paretic dogs in a normal healthy stance during acupuncture and chiropractic treatments, its uses have multiplied after a long period of use in the Grinnells’ facility. The Stand adjusts for pets from 6” to 26” to the pelvic fl oor (Dachshund to Great Dane) and telescoping legs allow the therapist to adjust the amount of weight bearing on the front and rear legs.

It’s designed to fit over the DogTread treadmill, and practitioners can order an adjustable therapist’s bench, so they can sit while working with their patients. The optional resistance/ assistance system allows the practitioner to add resistance or work the dog’s legs much like a marionette.

CASE STUDIES

1. Beau, an 11-month pitbull, presented with paresis of the hind end due to a crushing of T-13 to L1. Scar tissue consistent with puncture wounds at the site of the lesion, plus scars on the shoulder and badly cropped ears suggested he had been a victim of a dog-fighting ring. He had a severe scoliosis with displacement to the left so that his ribs touched his pelvic wing. He had overdeveloped hamstrings, and underdeveloped pectorals, so his front legs splayed out on the floor and he was unable to stand. Ed and Leslie Grinnell adopted Beau and immediately began rehab.

Beau’s first therapeutic modality, other than his wheelchair, was traction in the Adjustable Therapy Stand. Once positioned and bolstered in the stand, Beau’s reflexive spasms calm down, allowing his legs to drop. Creating stability helped the body’s function to return. As the spasm cycle receded, his muscles softened and his body opened to receive new information. With use of the resistance system of bungees and straps, Beau achieved proper limb positioning and re-directed his reflexes to achieve successful motor involvement.

2. Dr. Patricia Young, DVM, CCRP, of Steele Creek Veterinary Rehab uses her Clinic Quad Cart to rehab Hope, a Newfie who was down for six months following an apparent cervical FCE. “Hope could move her limbs in the water, but keeping her up during the day was a true challenge, both due to her size and her lazy attitude,” explains Dr. Young.

“She was immediately happier being up in a comfortable position versus being over a physio-roll or a sling/hoist system. She regained control of eliminations and could comfortably urinate and defecate in the Cart as well as stand to eat. The Cart allowed Hope the opportunity to strengthen her limbs and her core since she turned it herself around obstacles. As she has improved, we have lowered the Cart so that when Hope is ready to walk, she actually pushes up to a stand, her torso now lifted out of the harness and her pelvis above the saddle. She remains balanced by the Cart, and is now able to stand unassisted briefly without it. Without the Quad Cart, I am certain our backs would have limited her opportunity to recover.”

QUAD CART SAVES ANIMALS… AND THERAPISTS’ BACKS.

Eddie’s Wheels also developed the Clinic Quad Cart, designed for use in animal hospitals and veterinary schools. It adjusts in height and length without tools to accommodate patients from 50 to 150 lbs, and comes with brakes, a tow handle and detachable headrest.

“The adjustable Clinic Quad Cart has been a lifesaver for our non-ambulatory pets in the neuro-surgery department,” says Dr. Mark Troxel, DVM, ACVIM and staff neurologist at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital.

Dr. Cory Sims, director of the rehabilitation department at North Carolina State University Veterinary School Small Animal Hospital, appreciates the benefi ts the cart brings to staff as well as patients. “The Quad Cart allows two small women to process 13 rehab patients a day through the department without hurting themselves by lifting and transporting dogs,” he says. It’s also used post-operatively to support the dogs in a sternal standing position, lessening the risks of aspiration pneumonia when coming out of anesthesia. For more information on these portable, storable and affordable rehab tools, visit EddiesWheels.com.