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Veterinary Physiotherapy can restore you pets to good health through acupuncture, hydrotherapy, massage, and more! Below is Jake’s inspiring story.

We are always delighted to share amazing success stories that we experience with pets and families at WestVet. It is not just pride in our work, it’s also feeling inspired as we watch our four-legged friends pushing themselves to heal. One story we want to share with you is the story of a dog named Jake. 

His owners tell us that this sweet boy became ill and lost mobility quite suddenly. They thought he may have suffered a stroke and brought him to WestVet for testing and diagnosis.Dr. Teri Dowdell, Veterinary Rehabilitation and Canine Acupuncture in Idaho at WestVet Teri Dowdell, DVM, and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) recalled that upon Jake’s arrival he was clearly in poor condition,” Jake was unable to support himself or move any of his legs,” said Dr. Dowdell, “He was unable to right himself from lying into a lateral position and he basically needed full assistance for all daily functions.”

When he returned to his family a few days later, his owner tells us that they were not very optimistic about Jake’s outcome. “WestVet specialists recommended physiotherapy and rehabilitation,” wrote Jake’s owner, Stephanie. “However, at that point, we really didn’t think Jake would even make it from our discharge on Monday to his Rehabilitation and Acupuncture appointment that next Friday. But, thankfully, he did. When we arrived Jake had only slight movement in his head and neck.”

Through physical examinations, specialists determined that the nature of Jake’s problems was centered in his spinal cord, in the neck region. WestVet offers Hydrotherapy for dogs to regain strength and mobility with Dr. Teri DowdellThat is where Dr. Dowdell focused her treatments. “We started with low-level laser therapy, electroacupuncture, massage, stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) patterning. As Jake’s function improved, he was able to participate in hydrotherapy.”

 “Low-level laser therapy can decrease inflammation and have a biostimulation effect in healing damaged tissues. Electo-acupuncture has a neuromodulatory effect on the whole body.  Massage, stretching and PNF patterning sends a lot of good signals through the tissues and nervous system to help bring back ‘body memory.’ Hydrotherapy is a great way to build strength, moving against the resistance of the water.”


Jake’s Tale: Mobile After Therapy and Acupuncture at WestVet from WestVet Animal Emergency on Vimeo.

Stephanie says that Jake’s therapies are working – he is improving daily. “We think Dr. Dowdell is wonderful! The progress he has made is truly shocking.”

In addition, Dr. Dowdell is very optimistic about his prognosis. “I think from his initial positive response to therapy, that Jake’s long-term prognosis is good.” Dr. Dowdell said, “He is still not quite as coordinated as before his illness, but he continues to get stronger every time I see him. He is comfortable and happy, and is able to do most of his favorite things again.”

WestVet staff members are inspired by Jake’s sweet attitude. He pushes himself during his therapy and does it all with a “doggie smile” on this face. We thank his owners for sharing him with us during his therapies and treatments. 


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