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Rehabilitation for a Rescued Cat

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, News Updates

Acorn was one of eight Havana Brown cats rescued by Five Acres Animal Shelter in St. Charles, Missouri. Living in horrific conditions, Acorn was suffering emotionally and physically. His rescuers noticed right away that he wasn’t walking normally, and he was in a lot of pain. It was discovered that both his kneecaps were dislocated. Five Acres Animal Shelter reached out to AMCMA for help. The surgery team at our Maryland Heights location quickly pulled together. Acorn needed double luxating patella surgery, something that is more common in dogs than in cats. He would also need extensive rehabilitation after his surgery. 

Acorn’s surgery went off without a hitch, and the next day he started rehab. Our team created a customized plan to help minimize pain and speed healing. He received laser therapy, which relieves pain and inflammation, stimulates tissue regeneration, and helps the body release endorphins to fight pain naturally. Acorn also received Assisi Loop therapy twice a day. The Assisi Loop is a device that emits a pulsed electromagnetic frequency. It is a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatment for pain and inflammation. 

In addition to the laser and Assisi Loop, it was important to get Acorn moving as soon as he was feeling better. He started range of motion exercises to both of the legs, where we moved his legs into the normal range of motion to his comfort level for 10 repetitions three times a day.

We knew that the underwater treadmill would be extremely beneficial to Acorn’s recovery. The water provides a low-impact workout while strengthening the muscles. But, as you know, cats don’t usually like water, so we started desensitizing Acorn to the treadmill. Each time Acorn was in the rehabilitation room, we filled the treadmill with water and turned it on. He became used to the sound in no time.

Next, we gave Acorn plenty of opportunities to get in the underwater treadmill without the water. He was soon comfortable enough that it was time to add water. Using a cat harness with a leash for safety, we slowly added water to the tank. Because we took time to get Acorn familiar with the sights and sounds of the machine, he didn’t seem to mind the water at all.

Not only did Acorn’s ability to walk improve after using the underwater treadmill, we noticed that he was happier and more affectionate after his rehab sessions! He is finally feeling better and he is getting around so much easier now.

Acorn’s next step is to find a forever home. Hopefully it will be one with a kitty swimming pool or in a family who will allow this water-loving cat to play in the bathtub!

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at three locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.