Thursday, September 9, 2010

2 Thumbs Down For UC Davis Small Animal Rehabilitation

If your located in Northern California and your looking for a small animal rehabilitation service for your furry feline friend, the Small Animal Rehabilitation Services at UC Davis are definitely a pass...To say that I was greatly disappointment by the Small Animal Rehabilitation Services at UC Davis, would be an understatement. To say that I was down right appalled would be more like it...Needless to say, this girl and her cat won't be going back, and she recommends that you don't bother taking your furry feline friend there either...

Within minutes of meeting the physical therapist, before she had a chance to get to know Moki, his condition or his medical file, the physical therapist was questioning me about Moki's quality of life. While she didn't quite say the words her actions indicated that she believed Moki should be put down. As I sat there in disbelief providing the physical therapist with an answer she didn't quite want to here, I watched her carefully gauge a response based on the answer I had provided, which ended in her making the statement, well "it's a question I ask all my clients."

Now maybe I am a little off here, but in my opinion as a physical therapist, one should be at least vaguely aware of the fact that, quality of life is an issue for all animals needing rehabilitation. For whatever reason, i.e., illness, a physical injury etc., something has happened to an animal which has in turn impacted its quality of life, i.e., an illness has caused paralysis, an animal was run over by a car, broke it's leg, and can no longer run, etc. Call me crazy but it seems to me that the job of a animal rehabilitation specialist is therefore to help improve the quality of life of an animal. If these animals had a perfect quality of life then they wouldn't need a physical therapist, their owners wouldn't be seeking out a physical therapist, and ultimately there would be no need for the field of small animal rehabilitation...In my mind that just goes without saying...and it seems to me that that should ring true in the mind of any good physical therapist too...Perhaps I am just asking and expecting to much...

So ok, the first red flag went off and it wasn't too shortly after that that the second one went off as well. When I explained to the physical therapist that I would like to take some photographs during Moki's appointment because Moki has many followers on his blog and Facebook page who make donations to his medical fund, and who in a very large part make getting Moki the medical attention he needs possible, she was really hesitant. Now I can understand being camera shy, but it wasn't like I was asking her to pose so I could take some photographs of her, I was only asking to photographically document his treatment. A request which no vet, or any of Moki's prior physical therapists ever had a problem with, (too bad Moki's old physical therapy office is now closed,) and with that said, her response really made me call into question why she would be so hesitate about my taking photographs, and really instilled in me a lack of faith in her abilities as a physical therapist, for the only thing I could keep thinking is, this lady is not confident in what she is doing, which explains why she feels uncomfortable with photographs being taken...

As for the actual physical therapy part of the appointment, the physical therapist more or less preformed a series of stretches on Moki, and used some mats placed under his stomach to help Moki stand in a more normal manner. She then tickled the toes on his back feet in order to get Moki to lift up one leg at a time, while placing a hand over the front of his chest, to keep Moki from pushing forward and out of a normal stance. She then said that I should repeat this exercise for 3 to 5 minutes a day with Moki.


Despite stressing Moki's thoracic inlet issues, the physical therapist then decided to try out a series of slings on Moki to see if any of these slings might help keep Moki in a normal standing position, so that we could try to improve his walking. While the sling which went over Moki's back legs wasn't so bad, it caused Moki to push forward and threw him off balance. In order to try and correct this behavior the physical therapist decided to place a second sling on Moki, which fit tightly around his chest, and applied unnecessary pressure to his thoracic inlet, which anyone with any common sense would know and recognize couldn't be good for him given the condition of his thoracic inlet, and it's curvature upwards towards his spine. I mean honestly it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that applying pressure to this area is only going to make Moki's problems worse, so you would think that certainly someone with a P.h.D. should be able to figure this out...

As you can tell from the above photograph, I believe that Moki was expecting to get a little something more out of the physical therapy appointment as well, other than the possibility of adding another injury to his already long list of medical problems...lol.

So at the beginning of the appointment I had mentioned Moki's prior physical therapy appointments at Healing Touch Small Animal Rehab, and how the hydrotherapy had help Moki to improve his coordination and that the hydrotherapy had been yielding some positive results until we had to quit as a result of what can best be described as the viral part of his condition coming back and causing his body temperature to drop. Of course the physical therapist just kind of blew off this information, so at the end of Moki's physical therapy session I thought perhaps it was best that I make it clear, that hydrotherapy was the treatment we were seeking. I showed the physical therapist some videos of Moki in the pool, and how the weightless environment allowed him to move his front legs in a way that he was unable to move them on land, or that she herself was able to get him to move them during the course of her session with him. I then asked her about doing hydrotherapy with Moki, since we had seen such positive results in the past, and to this I was told that she felt "uncomfortable with doing hydrotherapy with Moki, because he may inhale water and get it into his lungs." What the....are you honestly telling me that as a physical therapist you are afraid of drowning my cat because you are incapable of handling an animal which weighs less than six pounds in water...and keeping that animal from inhaling water into it's lungs...come on now...Oh and to top it off, the physical therapist after seeing Moki walk, thought that no ongoing physical therapy appointments were necessary...thus despite Moki's very obvious condition, she sent us on our way with a very basic home rehab plan and said see ya...

So needless to say, there is no way we are going back to the Small Animal Rehabilitation Services at UC Davis and we would highly recommend that if you have a feline needing physical therapy services, based on our experience, that you avoid them at all costs...Perhaps someday UC Davis will get the message, but until then...stay away...far, far, away!



On a final note, while UC Davis was unable to preform up to par physical therapy, Moki had an accident on the ride home, which gave me the perfect opportunity to do a little hydrotherapy with him myself, since he needed a bath anyways...The little guy kicked and moved those stiff front legs in the most positive of manners, and it was an absolute delight to see. (We still need to work on getting him to move his back legs more...) Oh and did I mention that I managed to keep water out of his lungs without a P.h.D., sorry just had to through that in...lol


So with all of that said, we have developed a new plan...after conducting an online search we discovered this really cool animal rehab center located about two hours away from our house, called Scout's House. We'll be calling them tomorrow to set up an appointment, and the best part is, this rehab center seems to REALLY value special needs animals! So we are definately very excited about checking them out!!! We think you should click on through their link and check them out as well. The place just looks so cool...

19 comments:

Sparkle said...

I really hate when someone whose job is to be helpful instead is so negative. Good luck with Scout's House - that sounds like a much better fit for Moki!

Anonymous said...

I've been following the Moki saga now for a couple years. I admire your dedication, and your heart for helping a tiny helpless cat. But I can't help but feel like you have so much of yourself wrapped up in saving this cat, and helping this cat, that perhaps a therapist telling you something contrary to that idea causes you to think they are incompetent -- rather than perhaps they are right.

I also can't help but feel like all this effort and all this expense could be going to help people -- fellow human beings that need help. I've heard it said that world hunger could be solved FOREVER, with the $$ the U.S. spends on vet bills in just one year.

Lastly, it makes me wonder if you are trying to rescue this cat so vehemently because perhaps you feel like someone should have rescued you in your life. Maybe it's time to put the suffering cat to sleep, and get on with your life?

Niko and Cloud said...

Hi Moki

Did you move? Is that why your Momma can't take you back to the first water therapy place?
Anyway, hope you get some better help soon!
Purrs,
Niko and Cloud

Anonymous said...

Mary said:

Dear Anonymous,
Go to HE double hockeysticks! We all love and admire Moki's and Crystal's courage in the face of adversity.

That said...Crystal keep up the good job. I know Moki wants to be here on this earth and really appreciates his Momma for making it possible for him to be here. Good luck with Scout's House, we'll keep you in our thoughts always.

Brian said...

I don't blame you, Moki deserves better, we love you Moki!

Hey, did you ever notice that only cowards post negative comments as Anonymous!!!

Elvin said...

I think you are doing a fabulous job with Moki, and it is obvious that even though he has physical struggles, he also has very happy moments in his life. It never ceases to amaze me when people (ie, the physical therapist and anonoymous above) think it is okay to view animals as disposable: "oh, this one isn't perfect, better put it down." People seem to think it's okay to say these types of things to pet owners. It's not okay. Pets are part of our families. You would never hear someone say that about other (ie, human) members of the family.

I suspect that Anonymous probably posts this same "if everybody would just dedicate their resources to hunger, it would be solved forever" comment on many blog posts (whether if has to do with cats, helping people with cancer, etc.) It IS sad that there are so many issues that need to be addressed/solved in modern society, but the solution isn't to just focus on one issue and ignore all of the others. I guess Anonymous thinks s/he is the ONE who has the right to decide what we ALL should focus on. I'm just happy that you are focusing on Moki!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

what a waste of time and money! She doesn't sound like she has any concern for her patients. And you were so fond of UCDavis This "quality" of PT seems beneath them.

Save Moki said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for sharing and for following Moki's story for so long…your comment has proven to be very enlightening. In using logic, I can reasonably assume that one, you are either in therapy yourself, or have some deep seeded issues which you need to work out, or two you have a degree, or are specializing in psychoanalysis, and that is why you feel the need to psychoanalyze me…given based on your ability to leave comments on blogger, that you are fully capable of using blogger, and have as you put it been “following Moki’s saga now for a couple of years,” I can assume that one, you are fully capable of signing your comment with your actually blogger profile name, or two in the event that you don’t actually have a blogger profile, you are fully capable of creating one so that people can associate a name with the comments you leave. Hence a conclusion can be drawn based on your own decision to sign your comment anonymously, which allows me to reasonably dismiss the possibility of you studying psychoanalysis, in favor of drawing the more reasonable conclusion based on your actions, which indicate as a result of your failure to back your convections with a name, that one you are insecure, and afraid of having people actually associate your own ideas with a name for fear that they might not necessarily agree with you, and two your need to psychoanalyze me, stems as a result of your own deep seeded issues…
With that said, I should like to point out that if your concern about feeding Americans hungry, was indeed a valid issue of concern for you, then perhaps you might find your time better spent actually doing something about the problem, such as volunteering, or helping to raise money for a food bank, instead of sitting back, doing nothing about the issue other than spending your time complaining about the issue on Moki’s blog.
Actions my friend speak much louder than words…and simply having good thoughts or good intentions does not equate to actual good deeds…so in the future, you might want to consider and may actually find, that you would be a far happier person, if instead of complaining about, trying to psychoanalyze, or knock the meaningful actions of others, you actually spent less of your time trying to associate negative thoughts with good deeds, and spent more of your time performing actions which are both meaningful and productive…

Enough said.

Save Moki said...

Hi Jan,

I am still very fond of UC Davis and would continue to recommend them for a number of their other programs, I would just suggest that people do not take their animals there for physical therapy...

I was definitely bummed about having blown $80 from Moki's medical fund on this service, but am glad that it lead me to seek out and find a physical therapy company who's goals and interest, when it comes to special needs pets, seems much more in alignment with mine.

:)

Save Moki said...

Hi Elvin,

One of the things that has drawn me to this new physical therapy facility is their stance on special needs pets which is reflected in their mission statement and reads:

"These unique pets are a forgotten segment in our society, too often overlooked or seen as dispensable by many pet owners, animal shelters, breed clubs, even rescue groups. But we’re here to tell you a dog’s inability to walk does not diminish his ability to love and be loved. And an old cat’s incontinence does not lessen, in any way, her gratitude for affection and care."

If only more people and animal related facilities felt the same way...

Save Moki said...

Thanks Brian. I think I summed up my feeling in regards to the Anonymous comment quite well...

-d ma said...

that sounds like an awful experience. hopefully scout's house will be willing to work with moki and you, and listen to what you have learned already...

Karen said...

Hi Crystal & Moki,

I am so sorry that you had such a negative experience for the physical therapy session..but hopefully this has led you to a better place at Scout's House.

I was just wondering you have ever tried or considered acupuncture or acupressure treatment with Moki? I don't know that much about it but a few of my pet owner friends have used these treatments for a variety of reasons.

Cheers to you and Moki..I applaud both yours and Moki's dedication to each other :)

possumlady said...

So sorry you had such a bad experience at UCDavis. The blurb you copied from Scout's house actually made me teary! Sounds like a wonderful place.

And honestly, I'd be a rich person if I had a dollar for every comment about "you should be helping people not animals" whenever our paper has a story about animal rescue. I just shake my head and move on. I won't even engage them anymore. It just takes time away from....helping more animals!!!

possumlady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junior and Orion said...

Well, we are very impressed with all the care you give Moki, and we know that Moki is a happy cat. If he was not happy and not wanting to live we know you would do the right thing.

That said, yes, Anonymous needs to put away the negativity and do something positive.

We certainly hope and purr that Scout's will be a wonderful place. We look forward to hearing all about the appointment.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Honey P. Sunshine said...

may i show anonymouse da catbox.....obviously not an animal lover,,

moki yoo look so cute wif wet furs all cuddled in dat towel. we hope dat scouts house works out fur yoo

Anonymous said...

Awesome, that’s exactly what I was scanning for! You just spared me alot of searching around
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