Some of our most challenging cases are those that we encounter in a serious emergency. They require quick thinking, elegant action and masterful communication with the animal's owner to succinctly explain the situation, gather enough information to help treat the animal effectively and to delicately handle the owner's emotion, which might be extreme at times.
The immediate priority is stabilizing our patient. We ensure that they have an open airway, regular respiratory rate; their heart is beating rhythmically and regularly, their circulation isn't compromised, by excessive bleeding or shock for example, and that they are not seizuring.
Various treatments are employed at this stage to aid with the above and support the animal. These might include intravenous fluids, drugs to support or control vital signs, positioning the animal appropriately, dosing specific homeopathic remedies, applying acupuncture and even various energy modalities such as Reiki.
Once we have a stable patient, and if it's not obvious from the above examination, obtaining a diagnosis is the next important step. Often after an accident radiographs are very useful to identify fractures or other mechanical defects which might require specific surgical treatments. Other diagnostic tools might include running blood tests, analysing urine samples and muscle testing which can give an indication which areas need to be addressed.
A treatment plan is then devised, oriented at supporting the animal to ensure that healing takes place as quickly, comfortably and effectively as possible within the care and financial constraints of the owner. This allows for the integration of many diverse modalities.
To illustrate a case, I'd like to introduce you to "Fubu", a friendly and exuberant 5 year old Boxer cross who impacted at high speed into a bank while chasing a possum leaving her unconscious and paralysed.
She was stabilised with intravenous fluids and dosed with pain killers and high doses of anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and Proanthocyanidins as well as Vitamin B's to help to support her nervous system. Complex homeopathics as well as Arnica and Hypericum were used in addition to Emergency Essence. We began therapy with NIS (Neurological Integration System), a highly effective and gentle way of re-establishing balance in the body. Radiographs were taken and revealed no fractures of her spine.
Fubu also underwent several sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy which allowed for a high concentration of oxygen to be available through her body. This had profound anti-inflammatory effects on her spinal cord and encouraged accelerated healing.
Gradually Fubu showed improvement and after a few days she could again stand with the help of her extremely dedicated owner! Fubu's owner helped her with weight bearing exercises to strengthen her muscles, massaged her body regularly which aided her circulation and also built her a trolley with wheels to help her move around which she loved!
Three months later, Fubu was running around the paddocks at home with only a remnant of nerve damage in her one leg which continued to heal. She regained full use of her leg and will hopefully remember to be careful when chasing possums!!