Helping Russell the Paralyzed Puppy to Walk Again
Organized by: Christina Fan
Russell, is an adorable 6 month old puppy, who was surrendered to Pasadena Pets Veterinary Hospital after fracturing his spine running into a glass door. X-rays show a focal fracture in his spine, leading Russell to become paralyzed in his back legs. Russell still had pain sensation in his back legs, so there was still a chance. The owner was not able to give Russell the time & care he needed, so he surrendered him to the hospital. With his sweet personality and goofy disposition, we had to give him a fighting chance.
A surgeon has looked at his x-rays and he has been evaluated by rehabilitation specialists, and the consensus is that since the fracture is mild and he is a young motivated dog, Russell has a chance to walk again -- with the right combination of time, medications, physical therapy & some help from some caring strangers.
**Part One -- Getting Russell Help**
CARE (California Animal Rehabilitation) -- a physical rehab center for pets in West Los Angeles has generously donated their time and services to give Russell the treatment and care that he needs 5-days a week, including acupuncture and physical therapy sessions every day, in order to rebuild Russell's strength and re-teach his back legs to walk again.
**Part Two **
This means, that we just need to fundraise money to cover Russell's medications, x-rays, boarding cost for the weekends, and of course toys & treats for our little pup to keep him happy while he is being rested in-between therapy, as his fracture heals. Remember, every dollar helps towards giving Russell the treatment he needs to give him a chance to walk, and the food & toys he needs to keep him happy & socialized.
Any donations that are not used, will go towards CARE (California Animal Rehabilitation) to thank them for their generous & compassionate care, as well as the Pasadena Pets Veterinary Hospital's Angel Fund.
We are also looking to get Russell's story out there, because he is the sweetest people-loving puppy and will hopefully one day be adopted by an amazing family. He loves to just sit by people and get head pats and belly rubs. We hope that with each week, Russell gets stronger and stronger, and may one day be able to walk again. Stay tuned for weekly updates and pictures!
Week 2 -- After 2 weeks of physical therapy, Russell is starting to get a little stronger in his back legs. The staff at CARE is currently working on assisting him to stand on his back legs, building up the muscles in his back legs that have weakened since he was first paralyzed. They're motivating him with lots and lots of treats (which you can tell he loves). Next week, they start underwater treadmill therapy.
Week 4 -- Russell has started underwater treadmill therapy! In doing this, the staff at CARE hopes to strengthen his muscles and help guide Russell's back legs through the motions of walking again. He is now able to stand with very minimal support for 5-10 seconds, and every week he is showing some improvement. He is also spending time getting around in a wheelchair, and remains a happy treat-loving trooper!
Week 6 -- Russell is showing improving every single week! This week, with very minimal support up by a staff member at CARE, Russell is starting to walk on the treadmill with his backlegs. This therapy under water is giving him a chance to practice using his legs again while being supported in the water. He also needs to learn to re-build his muscle strength in his back legs.
**Most Recent Upate (Nov 8th, 2014) -- Russell is a little less than 3 months into the program, and still improving every week. In the last few weeks, he has started being able to wag his tail again, and now that Russell has started taking huge strides in his back legs (literally & figuratively), the therapists at CARE are helping him to regain the strength he has lost in his back muscles. Even though he is weak & still working on regaining his coordination, he can stand on his own and take steps to move around.