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Dr. Anne Sylvestre Abstracts for April 10th & 11th Lectures

Veterinary Series Lecture
A Variety of Topics Including Gait Analysis, Bandaging and Case Selection

The purpose of this talk is to help the participants identify gait abnormalities in the
canine patients. To identify gait abnormalities, it is important to take a close look
at the normal gaits. We will dissect the three main gaits (walk, trot and canter) and look
at breed variations. We will then examine abnormal gaits and identify the lamenesses.
How to properly walk a dog for gait analysis will be discussed along with other tips and
tricks that make gait analysis fun and accurate. We will also look at how to do an
orthopedic evaluation of a patient and discuss some of the relevant/common conditions
that may arise.

Bandages are a very useful tool in small animal practices, especially for patients with
orthopedic issues. However, if the bandage is not applied properly, this useful tool can
too quickly become useless, or worse, dangerous. In our referral practice we see
patients present far too frequently with a bandage that is either ineffective or causing
significant discomfort to the patient. We will discuss the layers of a bandage, their
purpose, proper order of application and why they are ineffective and/or dangerous if
omitted or applied in the wrong order. Note that this is not a wound management talk
and therefore the various types contact layers will one briefly be mentioned. The focus
of the talk is on creating an effective and safe wrap. We will discuss various types of
commonly used bandages (forelimb, hind limb), their indications and how to effectively
apply them so that they are comfortable, don’t slip and do what they are
intended to do. Through out the discussion we will present tips and tricks to help create
the best possible bandage. Splinted bandages will be included in this presentation.
How to select the proper type/fit splint and where to place it on the limb and within the
bandage. The advantages and disadvantages of the commercially made vs custom
made splints will be discussed. No bandage talk is complete without a serious
discussion on bandage care, as this is where many of the problems occur. To help drive
some of the more important points of this talk home, we will present some of the
‘involuntary learning opportunities’ we have had along the way. There are no mistakes,
only opportunities to learn and improve.

Lastly, we will have a discussion on appropriate case selection. A surgeon’s primary goal should always be to ensure the best possible outcome for his/her patient. High success rates in surgery are dependent on selecting cases that are likely to fit one’s level of expertise, or skill set. Different procedures will be examined and required skill level determined.

Hospital Personnel Lecture
Gait Analysis and Introduction to Rehabilitation

The purpose of this talk is to help the participants identify gait abnormalities in the canine patients.  To identify gait abnormalities, it is important to know what the normal gaits look like.  We will look very closely at the three main canine gaits (walk, trot and canter) and then look at breed variations.  We will then examine abnormal gaits and identify the lamenesses.  A key component to gait analysis is having someone properly walk the dog; this will be discussed along with other tips and tricks that make gait analysis fun and accurate.

The discussion will continue with a look at why rehabilitation is such a useful tool helping pets with mobility issues improve significantly.  Benefits to the patient include: Increase speed and thoroughness of recovery by addressing ROM, pain, swelling, muscle mass, crepitus, and confidence in using the limb.  Also, a good rehabilitation regime will do wonders for the patient’s mental and emotional health.  Also, most clients appreciate being an active participant in their pet’s recovery and taking some responsibility for their pet’s wellbeing.  There are many simple rehab tools available however this presentation will center around the most practical and impactful tools.

Some passive therapeutic modalities and active modalities (exercises) will be discussed.  The key to using the tools that will be demonstrated here effectively is to understand why they work and therefore how to use them successfully.  We start with the walk, why it is important, how to properly and effectively walk a patient to achieve a desired outcome.  It will become evident that the ‘a walk’ and ‘a rehab walk’ are not the same thing.  From there we will add on exercises to achieve different outcomes or address specific issues.

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