Jill St. Germain & Zorro

Dear Dr. St. Clair,

The vet who did the ACL surgery on my dog, Zorro (a very active 11-year old Siberian husky), recommended your website as part of his rehabilitation instructions. It was amazingly helpful and here’s why:

1) Written instructions regarding exercises are fine, but actually seeing them — as in your helpful videos — is extremely helpful. They were very clear and I was confident in implementing them with my dog.

2) You anticipated all the questions I had, right down to things that might seem self-evident. For example, when you suggest warm pack therapy, you actually say “Here’s what you can use…” I appreciate that you offered alternatives — a gel pack, a towel/facecloth rinsed in warm water, or, for a cold pack a gel pack or a bag of frozen vegetables! These are the kinds of instructions that people who have not been involved in rehab therapy before need to know. It sounds obvious, but it isn’t always. I always felt very comfortable following your instructions.

3) I liked the weekly prompts and expectations. They told me what I should be looking for so that I was able to measure my dog’s progress. I also really liked your frequent cautions and reminders that this is a slow process. It helped me to keep in mind that this was an ongoing process rather than an immediate cure.

4) The exercises were all useful for Zorro and also well within my capacity to do with her. I knew exactly what I should be doing, for how long, and what to look for.

5) Registering for your program was very easy and your website is very accessible and “user-friendly.”

This is the best informational website I have ever seen, and I’m not kidding. I have looked at websites for different purposes, not just medical/rehab, and I was impressed from the beginning with the thoroughness, the clarity, and the usefulness of the information supplied.

Zorro had ACL surgery 2 years ago on one leg and I did not follow up immediately with rehab. When we started a rehab program, it did produce startling results in terms of her return to normal. But our delay in opting for surgery in the first place and then in taking proper rehab action led, unsurprisingly, to her tearing the other cruciate about a year and a half later. The second time, we had her at the vet’s immediately after the injury, had the surgery promptly, and then started rehab right away. In addition to that, we also had your website supplementing our own fantastic rehab vet/team and through it had answers to any question that came up.

I am confident that if I’d had this kind of support the first time around, Zorro might have avoided a second operation.

We had the first ACL surgery done at Cornell University’s Animal Hospital (we live in Canada, but Cornell is the best veterinary care closes to us), and we were very happy with the treatment there. But we didn’t follow up with the rehab. We had the second surgery done in Ottawa (ON, where we live) and embarked immediately on rehab, supplemented by your program because the surgeon in Ottawa directed us to your website. I urge you to suggest to Cornell that they consider adding a referral to your website as part of their post-operative instructions. It would help anyone who is in this situation.

I had no problems or issues with any of the information you provided, any of the instructions, or any of the presentation. It was all extremely well done. As I said above, this is the best informational website I have ever seen for ANYTHING. Apart from helping people recover their dogs from the ACL surgery, your team could be helping other people design effective websites.

Thank you very much for all the information and for the assistance you have given me in helping my dog Zorro to recover from her ACL surgery. We will continue to do various exercises as part of her maintenance. And Zorro, at 12 weeks, is now pretty much back to normal. I am still careful with her and will continue to be, but she thinks she can do anything.

With much appreciation,