? Have you recently found yourself thinking “what am I suppose to do now, my vet is only taking emergency cases?” ?
When your dog hurts, it sucks. ? Having limited access to help adds to the frustration. ? So what do you do?
The answer? P.O.L.I.C.E.! ?♀️⁉️?♀️
❌Not that kind of police!
This acronym is a comes from the physical therapy and injury recovery world.
✅Early (this is actually Elevation but I prefer Early and will explain why)
⚠️ Now it goes without saying that if you dog has a catastrophic injury, you should have them seen by a vet as quickly as possible. These guidelines are for non emergency injuries.
?PROTECT – Create a safe environment and protect the injury site. This may include creating non slippery surfaces, hazard avoidance (stairs), a wrap or a bootie, etc.
?OPTIMAL LOADING – Once you know that there is no fracture or catastrophic injury, movement is best, but not too much too soon. Gentle passive to active range of motion (P/AROM) with gradual (days to weeks) introduction to functional activities is usually appropriate. You may require a harness or a sling to assist with this gradual process while protecting the injury.
?ICE – This is a controversial one because research shows that too much cold can actually slow the healing process. If there is a lot of swelling and pain, a cold pack wrapped in a cloth may assist with pain management along with prescribed medications. Sessions are 10-15 minutes max and discontinue after a couple days.
?COMPRESSION – While icing, you can add compression with vet wrap, an ace bandage or even a long sock or scarf. Not too tight! And check ever couple minutes.
?EARLY – This is usually Elevate, which can be tricky with a dog. But, Early refers to doing this protocol sooner than later. Early intervention after an injury has been shown to provide faster recovery.
?These recommendations apply to dogs and people!?
P.O.L.I.C.E. is the updated R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compression Elevation). Optimal Loading encourages movement. Movement keeps the injured area mobile, reduces stiffness and may help with a faster recovery. ?
⚠️ONE MORE THING⚠️
If your dog has suffered an acute injury, a visit to your vet or canine rehab therapist is a necessary first step. He or she may recommend the P.O.L.I.C.E. method to help treat your dog’s injury. Following this method may help your dog return to normal activity quickly and safely. ?
?Stay safe and healthy!?