Selma is a beloved 5 yr old 140 lb Great Dane. Since puppyhood, she has always been a healthy, proud, strong member of her family. In February 2014, she walked into a hospital for neck surgery, and was sent home 9 days later… quadriplegic and incontinent.
Her family was unprepared and devastated. Her neurosurgeon referred me to her home for Cold Laser treatments, bodywork, and support/instruction in attempting to guide her back to an acceptable quality of life.
These photos take Selma through her process from Feb 4th to July 1st 2014. I have seen and treated her weekly, while adding to and increasing her exercises to be done at home.
She was initially barely able to lift her head……
Within 10 days (with the help of pillows), she could support herself in a partially sternal position.
At week 7, she could support her weight while standing over a theraball, and weekly acupuncture appointments began with Dr. James of Berkshire Veterinary Acupuncture.
At 12 weeks, I attempted to swim her in the owner’s pool, but her lack of body awareness (“proprioception”) made her movements few and far between and ineffective.
Realizing that swimming was not going to be of use, I referred her to a hydrotherapy facility for underwater treadmill work. Having used one for years, I knew that Selma would benefit greatly from the contact with the ground in combination with the buoyancy of the water. The treadmill stimulated her muscle memory and nervous system, and built her muscle strength and confidence, enabling to begin walking independently.
She now gets up on her own, is continent, and walks and plays daily with her canine brothers. She’s as happy as a clam and is living life to the fullest!