Little D's Story,
In October 2009, after deep consideration, I had to make the decision to perform patella surgery on my dogs left, hind leg Although a large dog, Little D is my baby and a complete mommas boy so I was extremely fearful and anxious for a quick recovery.
Several months prior to surgery Little D was showing signs of advanced arthritis and having difficulty both walking and running and, although I had taken him to two additional consultations, it was all the same news. The x-rays consistently confirmed what the others had been saying, Severe arthritis with minimal ligament and tendon support around the patella.; there seemed to be no other options but medication and surgery. Pain relieving medications alone were no longer an option as it only succeeded in making my dog drowsy and less tolerant of everyone around him. Feeling frustrated and without options, I scheduled the surgery.
While in the recovery period, Little D had to follow a strict on-leash rule. Normal activities were restricted, and in order to climb our stairway, I had my husband build a ramp so that Little D still had access to all the comforts of home. Although we followed all professional advice (even having family members board our other dog for over a month), I was confronted with continuously having to explain to our veterinarian that Little D was still not using his leg.
The operation had further limited my dogs movements and the restrictions were no longer temporary, but were becoming a part of our every-day lifestyle. Only after numerous and disappointing visits to the vet, did the doctor recommend a final option; water rehabilitation!
After the initial shock and disbelief that I would be paying for swimming lessons for my dog, I called Bill at K-9 Care Center and gave the details of Little Ds surgery. Bill patiently explained the benefits of swimming and what muscles could be regenerated from such treatment. Without any other option, I scheduled our first appointment that day and have never looked back with regret!
From our first appointment on Thanksgiving (ironic because Bill has given Little D more than I could have asked for!) to each subsequent session, Little D has been excited and thrilled to swim. Each week, Bill would inquire as to how D was progressing at home and give us signs of progress to watch for at home.
If Little D showed signs of being more tired than usual, or his muscles were a bit stiff, Bill would modify the days swim class to Little Ds needs: never pushing D past his breaking point but encouraging Little D though praise and enthusiasm. Much to my surprise, Little D began to walk, using all 4 legs within four short weeks!
Today, Little D is a happy, pain free dog. He LOVES Bill and greets him at each visit with a wagging tail and a mouthful of slobbering kisses! I now have to spell out the word swimming. If Little D overhears me say the word, he goes running to the door all ready to go! Currently D continues to swim once a week.
Although he is now in perfect health and the best physical condition that he has ever been, I continue to swim Little D simply because it makes him happy. Every Wednesday, as I drive down Bills street, Little D whines as I pull up to Bills house. As soon as I open the car door, Little D is off and running to greet his friend.
I am grateful to Bill for giving me back my joyous and active, loving dog. Regrettably, I wished that I had learned of K-9 Care Center earlier. I truly believe that if Little D had been given the opportunity to begin swim class prior to surgery, a lengthy and painful recovery period would have been avoided!