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The Story of Maeko

Patient Maeko, Yorkshire Terrier, Female, 9 years old
Owner Christine Tan
Referring Vet Dr Jean-Paul Ly, Animal Recovery Veterinary Referral Centre
Main Issues Management of chronic neurological conditions


Total loss of mobility: unable to sit, stand or utilise its 4 limbs due to multiple IVDD ( invertebral disc disease) with spondylosis and arthritis. Observed to be shivering and exhibiting hypersalivation (likely from pain) with mild head tilt towards her right. Fortunately, nerve reflexes were present even though reduced.

Prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids by vet. Referred to RA for physical therapy and Dr Tai for acupuncture.

Therapy Conducted

LLLT (low level laser therapy) and electrical stimulation for pain management. Massages and static weight bearing exercises helped to reduce Maeko’s pain and she became much calmer. Owners used warm packing on her back and gentle massages as home care to expedite recovery. Acupucture once a week by Dr Tai.

Outcome of Therapy

Was able to stand and walk after 5 sessions of therapy but revert to original condition when therapy lapsed for 4 months and Maeko suffered a fall. She was immobile for 1.5 months before owner resumed physical rehabilitation thrice a week in conjunction with weekly acupuncture.

In one month, Maeko was finally able to regain mobility. The intensive therapy was continued for ½ month more before it was reduced to twice weekly. This programme will continue for another 2 months before reaching maintenance mode of weekly or fortnightly.

As IVDD is a chronic condition, it is best that fortnightly therapy be maintained.

Her current programme includes water therapy, static exercises, deep tissue massage and electrical stimulation. This cases show that different complementary medicines and conventional vet care may be combined effectively.


Cold Laser Treatment

  • The role of cold laser treatment and osteoarthritis.


NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation)

  • The role of NMES and Canine muscle atrophy prevention.


Osteoarthritis, Arthritis
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is defined as the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. 


Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
There are many dogs diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease that do not require surgery. These dogs can be effectively managed with rehabilitation. Early intervention and support is vital as is a thorough assessment and implementation of a staged rehabilitation treatment plan.


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