Age: 8 years
Breed: Golden Retriever
Issue: Recovery from anterior cruciate ligament surgery
Jonah’s reconstructive surgery was meant to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament. But months after the surgery, Jonah’s recovery hit a plateau and he still favored his “bad” leg. “When he’d stand, he’d stand with one toe touching the ground,” Jonah’s owner said. “He was playing and acting normal, but he wouldn’t put weight on that leg and he was losing muscle mass in his thigh.”
Jonah’s veterinarian said his x-rays looked fine – and he displayed full range of motion in the knee – so the surgery was successful. Clearly, though, something else needed to be done.
At her vet’s urging, his owner took Jonah to Natural Healing where he started swim therapy three times weekly, then graduated to twice weekly, once per week and now swims twice per month. Steadily, his leg showed improvement.
He was walking on the leg more, letting it bear weight, and when he stood, he placed more than one toe on the ground. But Jonah’s owner knew he’d definitely turned a corner about two months into therapy while the dog was on a walk. He lifted his leg at a tree, putting full weight on his surgically repaired knee. “He hadn’t done that since surgery six months earlier.” The “bunny hop” moves he’d exhibit when running also faded away into a healthier movement using both legs.
Though the dog was hesitant at first about using the pool, primarily because it was a new experience, Jonah conquered that, as well. He now exuberantly pulls his owner into the pool room. “Now he can’t wait to get onto the lift that lowers him into the water. I know one day I’m going to wind up in the pool because he wants to be in there so much!”