Piper’s Terrible Tree Experience

By: Dr. Carrie Wright

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As a veterinarian, I would only recommend treatments for your pet that I would for mine own.  Recently my own cat Piper escaped into the big bad world and ended up getting stuck in a tree after being chased.  She has a long beautiful tail that was yanked hard by her pursuer, causing what’s called a “tether” lesion.  Fortunately for us, some neighbors were able to dislodge her from the tree but she was unable to walk. 100_0166

After extensive x-rays and a consultation with a specialist in town, we determined that she most likely had a spinal lesion – which may or may not be permanent.  We were considering a CT Scan and spinal surgery (approx $6-8K), yet the specialist thought we could give her a little time and supportive care before engaging in such a costly and in depth procedure.  We decided on a trial course of anti-inflammatories and laser therapy.  Laser therapy? Yes, at Baring, we have a Companion Laser which is a therapeutic laser which uses light waves to decrease inflammation and stimulate healing. And now I have personal confirmation that it works.  Theory is always a great thing, but then there is the proof of your own pet.  Because I had the option to do the treatments on her myself, I started with laser therapy daily in an attempt to decrease her pain. The laser helps stimulate release of endorphins (the feel good hormones) and decreases many other inflammatory hormones like prostaglandins.  Over the next 3 days, she was slowly able to stand.

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Next was bearing weight for a few minutes, and then walking, and then running and finally back to playing. The entire treament plan took about 2 weeks, and I have to say, even understanding the medical reasons for these results, I was shocked at how quickly it really worked.  To this day, she has never once looked back – you would never know that she had faced possible permanent paralysis in her hind end unless you look very closely at how she flicks her tail when she is playing with my other pets.  Then you would notice what we call  “scorpion” tail where she flips the whole thing up and over her back.  And we think THAT just gives her more character! I am a believer, and so is Piper!

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