Dutchess presented to us at Veterinary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in January 2016.  Dutchess came from On The Wings of Angels Rescue in Odessa. She has been with the rescue since early 2014. The trainers at On The Wings of Angels Rescue first noticed that Dutchess was showing some mild weakness and issues with her rear legs in late 2014. When she presented to the clinic she was very weak in the rear legs and would drag her paws often. She was noted to knuckle when walking most of the time and often needed a sling to get up or move around at all.

On The Wings of Angels is a rescue organization that works with dogs that have nowhere else to go. Their mission is to save dogs that would otherwise have no chance. They take in dogs and work to rehabilitate the dogs through customized training that includes socialization, obedience training, and play.

Dutchess presented to the rescue with some aggression issues and was limited in her contact to only a few trainers due to aggression. Her initial exam was mostly visual with some palpation of the legs. She was noted to have significant muscle loss to the rear legs due to her orthopedic problems. She was started on rehabilitation with light exercise in the underwater treadmill to help support her body weight and to encourage the use of her leg muscles to build strength and endurance.

Dutchess started with once weekly training sessions that consisted of walking in the underwater treadmill. She came in again about 3 weeks later for sedation, full examination and x-rays. Sedated exam and x-rays revealed multiple orthopedic issues including lumbosacral stenosis, significant hip dysplasia, spondylosis bridging numerous vertebra, and cruciate injury to the left rear leg with decreased range of motion measured to her hips and stifles on both legs. She had significant muscle atrophy to both rear legs.

Dutchess continued with underwater treadmill training over the next few months. She has improved her conditioning greatly with her exercise both here at the Rehab and Wellness Center as well as at the rescue. Once approved for more rehabilitation treatment, laser and exercise was added to her regimen. Laser treatment was done with her once weekly underwater treadmill sessions and at home stretching and strengthening exercises are changed or updated every few weeks. The trainers have noticed and continue to notice great improvement in her strength. She now walks around a much larger area at the rescue and for longer periods of time. She is able to get up and down without assistance. Her dragging and knuckling has improved significantly. Most importantly she has blossomed socially. She is much more trusting of everyone at the rescue and here at the rehab center.

We continue to get weekly updates with her rehabilitation session of how she continues to improve at the rescue. She will now walk without the sling or any assistance and is up and out walking 4-5 times daily. She allows many of the trainers to interact with her and enjoys her daily stretching and strengthening exercises. Here at the rehab center she continues to improve with her foot placement with rare knuckling when walking and consistent self-correction when knuckles. She now exercises over twice as long as her first rehabilitation session with us.

It has been a great pleasure to watch Dutchess improve over the time she has been with us here at Veterinary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. We enjoy working with her and many of the other dogs from the On The Wings of Angels Rescue. If you would like more information on the rescue you can visit their website at On the Wings of Angels or their face book page at Facebook: On the Wings of Angels.