By Leslie Gallagher
I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. All of my vet friends who had seen Maverick were grim about his prognosis. Call me stubborn, call me stupid, call me whatever you want, I was going to get this puppy walking again REGARDLESS of what any of my vets said! I have almost two decades of experience rehabbing animals and maybe it was a gut instinct but I truly believed that I could get the puppy to walk. His walking might not look great or be anywhere near normal but I still thought I could give him a pretty good life, however twisted and funny his legs would end up. None of them had had any hope but, to be fair, none of them had ever personally rehabbed a dog before. I’ve rehabbed thousands.
I picked up the phone and called the one vet in town who I knew would support me, Dr. Dody Tyneway. Dody and I have been friends for years. She is a vet certified in both rehabilitation and homeopathy, she really knows her way around herbs and all kinds of holistic medicines AND she’s been rehabbing dogs for eons, as well. I knew she’d be on my side and that she would agree with me that not only was Maverick not a lost cause but that he should be “fine”. And I really wanted her expertise about how to potentially clear the vaccine and its toxic effects from his body. “Of course!” she said, “bring him in tomorrow!!” So the next day I made the long trek to Agoura Hills and presented her with my disaster case. She took one look at his tongue and pronounced his Chi as stagnant, or blocked. “Look at it! It’s brick orange, almost brown.” She was right. I’d never even noticed his tongue. Where it should have been a nice pink, it was closer to the color of a dirty basketball. Hmmmm. She felt his pulses, which were very fast (I’d noticed this and wondered why) and I told her that he was always hot and panting. She poked and prodded, flexed, extended, looked into his eyes, ears and mouth and said, “I’ll be right back”. After a while she reappeared with a remedy to dissipate the Chi stagnation, reduce the heat in his body and facilitate normal circulation. She also gave us some herbs called “Cool the Blood (how cool, pun intended!!) and some other herbs for his bones and joints. Yay, Dody!
The other thing she asked me to do was to start using Electrical Stimulation on him. I didn’t have an E-Stim unit as mine had mysteriously “disappeared” from my office (don’t get me started), so she graciously loaned me one of hers and told me where she thought I should be stimming him. E-stim basically involves shaving the hair over the muscle groups that you want to stimulate, attaching electrodes to the skin and sending an electrical current through muscles that aren’t firing. Man, oh man, was he going to hate this. We had already been doing acupuncture on him and you would think it was water torture. He HATED the acupuncture and we had been gritting our teeth as he moaned and groaned and tried to bite us constantly. The good news is that he would immediately stop all the histrionics if he was given a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter. Oh, how that puppy loves his peanut butter!
Dody then said something that landed in my gut like a lead balloon. She said that she thought it would take me a good six to eight months to get him walking again. Ok, I was thinking about four but, then again I’m optimistic! The other thing she said was that she thought he would probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Oh.
We said our good-byes and I headed back to L.A, doubt and uncertainty swirling through my mind. But it’s a long drive from Agoura Hills to Los Angeles and by the time I reached home I was already looking forward to that wonderful day when I proved all these people wrong!!
The next day we started his E-Stim and, as predicted, he hated it with a passion. All sorts of drama ensued with Maverick insisting that he didn’t need any dang E-stim and a trio of technicians telling him that he did! Miraculously, though, as soon as the peanut butter-stuffed-Kong appeared he quieted right down and spent the next 20 minutes nuzzling his favorite treat. All was good in his world again.
It seemed hard to believe but by that night I swear he was using his legs fractionally better as we did our usual post-dinner workout. He seemed to be placing his feet slightly more appropriately. I sweat bullets on our nightly workouts as I’m hunched over, stretching the heck out of back feet that want nothing to do with me and certainly don’t want to touch the ground in any sort of normal fashion. But that night I felt like I was getting a little less grief from his feet. Progress?
The following morning we checked the color of his tongue. It was pinker! Dr. Wisely was so happy when she saw it resembling something more normal. It would take another week or so to be a nice bright pink but we were on our way. The treatments were working!
If you’d like to contribute towards Maverick’s recovery please call the front desk at Two Hands Four Paws. Thanks!