I alwyas enjoy reading and learhing from Susan Davis, PT of JoyCareOnsite.com. In the following article, "“Dear Diary” - A Practical Method to Manage Your Dog’s Care Plan" (hyperlinked), Davis helps owners gain confidence in being an active participant in their dog's treatment process. These articles originally appeared on DawgBusiness.com. by Susan E. Davis, PT “pull in for a helpful refuel!”
A care plan diary can take on many formats, but the best one is that which helps you manage and optimize your dog’s health. It’s one of the greatest gifts we can give our them!
It’s all about guiding and empowering you to help your dog avoid injury, provide practical solutions and achieve rapid restoration of health and function!You’ve probably figured me out by now, that is, if you’ve read some of my articles or book. I have an obsession with helping dog owners gain knowledge and empower them to be proactive in their dog’s health care. It must be the force behind what inevitably connected me to your blog author, Jana Rade and a host of others such as Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Carol Bryant, etc. It’s a trait shared by many physical therapists: that desire to help patients take an active role in their treatment. We want you to be successful in achieving your goals. When I transitioned from human to veterinary care, I quickly realized that now I would have two patients per case: the dog and their owner! So much for getting away from people--people are still attached to dogs! But that’s part of the challenge and excitement. There are exceptions such as a client who called me recently. She expressed financial woes and the inability to afford weekly PT sessions. I replied: “no problem, I can come for just one session and teach you a home program to carry out with your dog!” I knew there was trouble when she exclaimed, “well I don’t know…. How much time is that going to take me every day? I may be too busy!” But most of my clients are eager to learn any and all methods to help their dogs through the recovery and rehabilitation process. A tool I often recommend is a hand-written diary or computer spreadsheet of information, to organize the care plan and document various daily factors. Degenerative Myelopathy which had recently worsened and advanced into the forelimbs. In both cases the owners were frantic with worry and needed a practical way to organize the management of daily care. I set the clients up with a structured diary in Excel spreadsheet format. They entered the data throughout the day, then we reviewed it each time I came for PT. They also printed it out to take to their veterinarian for follow-up visits. Having personally experienced acute illness involving hospitalization with my dachshund Penelope, I relate to dog owner anxiety, worry and stress. I find the diary an effective tool to provide a measure of control and help cope with the enormity of the situation. Here are some sample data points to track:
- List of care activities: such as exercises, walks, sensory stimulation, wound care, dressing changes, medication administration, etc.
- Dog’s response and mood
- Bowel/bladder status
- Eating: amount and type of food
- Drinking: intake of water
- Miscellaneous events of the day such as family visits, outings
- Trends: every few days make an entry of any trends, patterns or correlations that you find
Maccabbee Schoenberg Care Plan and Daily Diary
|Date||Weather||Walk/AM 1||Walk/AM 2||Exercises||Stim||Walk/Aft||Exercises||Appetite||Stim||Walk/PM||Response||Mood||Misc|
|7/14/2014||Humid, Rain||10 min up hill||done 11:00am||5 min wi PT||PT||Normal||play||short||moderate assist of 1-2||depressed||PT wi S Davis||NS Vet Tech pf|
|7/1/6/2014||Humid, Hot||10 min flat||5 min in yard||done noon||done||5 min in yard||skipped||Good||music||8 min in neighborhood||hind quarter sling||fatigued|
|7/17/2014||Warm||10 min||6 min||noon||yes||5 min in yard||3:00p,||Good||patterning||10 min in neighborhood||better||happy||parents visited||rode in car|
|18-Jul||Warm, Windy||6 min yard||8 min street||1:00pm||done||10 min wi PT||3:00p,||Good||brushing||10 min in park||no sling needed||excited, anxious||PT wi Sue Davis|
|7/20/2014||Stormy||none||none||10:00 AM||playing wi ball||8 min street||raining||Good||music||12 min street||a bit limpy||a little painful but willing|
Trends: does better in the evening tolerating longer walks
Editor's note: I had been using a diary (well, I call it a chart) for years. First for Jasmine, and now for Cookie. I find that to be an indispensable tool. I like using colored fields and symbols for an easy at-a-glance overview of trends.
***Susan E. Davis (Sue) is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 30 years of practice in the human field, who transitioned into the animal world after taking courses at the UT Canine Rehabilitation program. She is located in Red Bank, New Jersey. She has been providing PT services to dogs and other animals through her entity Joycare Onsite, LLC in pet’s homes and in vet clinics since 2008. She also provides pro bono services at the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, NJ. Sue is the proud “dog mommy” to Penelope, a miniature Dachshund with “attitude”. For more information see her website www.joycareonsite.com , or follow on Twitter @animalPTsue. Sue is also the author of a fantastic book on physical therapy, Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation For Animals: A Guide For The Consumer. Physical therapy can do so many great things for your dog. Understanding all the possibilities physical therapy can offer will change your dog's life. This book definitely belongs on the shelf of every dog lover.