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#RockinRhonda A Story of Team Work to Achieve Feline Wei

The SPAW Physical Rehabilitation Team, Aldergrove Veterinary Hospital Medical, Client Care Teams, Cleaning Staff, and Surrey Animal Resource Centre all played critical roles helping Rockin’ Rhonda overcome her obesity, improve her mobility, reduce her pain, and improve her quality of life.

She was found as a 22lb stray in August 2015. A team approach to Rhonda’s care has made weight loss and improved mobility possible.

The SPAW Physical Rehabilitation Team, Aldergrove Animal Hospital Medical, Client Care Teams, Cleaning Staff, and Surrey Animal Resource Centre all played critical roles helping Rockin’ Rhonda overcome her obesity, improve her mobility, reduce her pain, and improve her quality of life.

Surrey Animal Resource Centre identified Rhonda’s condition and pain and provided her with an oversize kennel and started her on a weight loss program. They promoted her story via the local news. When Jenn saw the news segment on social media she knew she had to help! Daily care, kennel cleaning, and exercise has been shared between The SPAW and Aldergrove Animal Hospital staff. She is a favourite at the Hospital and has many client fans that check in on her progress. We have a poster in The SPAW, in the hospital entrance, and at Surrey Animal Resource Centre that documents her progress. The use of social media to share Rockin’ Rhonda’s story has been a great way to raise awareness of the importance of a multi-modal approach to treat feline pain and obesity concurrently to improve mobility.

Check our her dramatic (but safe!) weight loss........

Pain Management and Joint Health Plan:

  1. Onsior 6mg PO SID, evaluating efficacy daily and reducing dose in correlation with weight loss.

  2. Therapeutic laser

  3. Glycoflex Chews (loading dose of 3 chews per day for 6 weeks) then 2 chews daily, reducing dose in correlation with weight loss.

  4. Cartrophen Injections (0.33cc subcutaneously every 7 days for 4 doses, then one dose every 30 days reducing dose volume according to weight loss)

Nutrition Plan:

  1. Assess body fat index and create a safe weight loss and management plan using The Hill’s Healthy Weight Protocol

  2. Monthly weigh-ins. Recalculate Nutrition Plan Monthly

  3. Measured and Controlled Hill’s Metabolic Wet and Dry + Glycoflex Chews

Physical Rehabilitation Plan:

  1. Low impact exercise sessions 2-3 times daily for up to 5 minutes increasing length of sessions and reducing buoyancy as tolerated.

  2. Swimming in pool to improve cardiovascular fitness and assist with weight loss.

  3. Environmental Modifications: Low litter box with 1” step in. Padding bedding, Medium Sized Dog Kennel, as hind end strength improves raise feed bowls to promote weight shifting to hind end and engagement of core muscles while eating and return to normal litter box use to promote flexion of stifles and hips.

  4. K-Laser stifles, elbows, and shoulders, 3 watts, 1 cycle each joint, twice weekly for 3 weeks, then re-evaluate. Move to weekly laser sessions when mobility improves.

  5. As pain and weight diminish incorporate therapeutic exercise program to increase core strength, build hind limb muscle mass, improve hind limb strength and plantigrade stance, overall mobility, and ability to complete activities of daily living.

  6. Monthly re-evaluations with Dr. Jeff Bowra, DVM, CCRP or as concerns arise, progress stops, or plan needs modification.

  7. Breaks from rehab at Jenn’s house. Provide opportunities to be a ‘normal cat’ and have a break from hospital environment.

See our PLAN in ACTION!

Hydrotherapy Rationale and Indications:

Underwater treadmill was used to provide buoyancy reducing the impact on the joints while increasing the stance phase of the gait and increasing range of motion in the hindlimbs while building strength to reduce plantigrade stance and promote correct gait patterning and core strength. When plantigrade stance began to improve underwater treadmill put on incline to increase weight bearing on hind end and increased hip extension. Water height adjusted in intervals to shoulder level to provide resistance and build muscle mass and reduced to stifle level to improve strength and endurance. Swimming was used to promote cardiovascular endurance and core strength. Assisted until hind end and core strength improved, then unassisted and supervised.

Therapeutic Exercise Rationale and Indications:

Therapeutic exercise goals included:

  1. Develop core strength

  2. Correction of posture (plantigrade stance)

  3. Improve ability to weight shift to hind end

  4. Increase hip extension

  5. Increase ability to complete activities of daily living.

Therapeutic Exercises Used:

Crunches: Reaching for food from lateral recumbency (left and right and forward) progressing to doing so on a TotoFit Infinity Inflatatble.

Transitions from lateral to sternal, from sternal to sit, and sit to stand supported from behind.

Raising food bowls on 3 “yoga block improved weight shift to hind end. Progressed to standing on 3” yoga block while food bowl placed on two 3” yoga block to simulate exercise of standing on stairs. Incorporated reaching for food.

Cavaletties: Starting at 1”height 9” apart progressing gradually to 3” height 4” apart to increase stifle and hip flexion and promote weight shifting alternating back to 1” height and 7” apart to promote hind limb and front limb extension.

TotoFit Kore Exercise Work:

  1. Walking up Kore Wedge and weight shifting with front limbs on Kore Roller

  2. Weight shifting and crunches on Infinity Inflatables. Practices reaching for ground and flexing hind limbs and pulling self up on to Infinity Inflatable.

Supervised outdoors time on a variety of surfaces including, grass, sand, uneven terrain, and hills.



Day#1 at The SPAW vs. Day #75

Setting realistic expectations for a cat in Rockin’ Rhonda’s condition set the team up for success. Dr. Jeff Bowra set a target weight loss of approximately 1lb per month with earliest achievement of target weight in August 2016. The team is on target and realize that her care requires a life long commitment and continuous management and re-evaluation. Celebration of her success keeps the team motivated and sharing our success with others builds excitement and keeps everyone motivated.

#RockinRhonda says THANK YOU! .......and smooch!

.....Jenn is a "Foster Fail" and has adopted #RockinRhonda

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