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Monday, March 28, 2005

The Road to Recovery

Wow! A lot has happened since my last entry. Tinker has had 3 hydrotherapy sessions as well as 1 acupuncture/aquapuncture session. The first two hydrotherapy sessions weren't too productive. Tracy starts out by using laser therapy to promote circulation and healing. Then it's into the hydrotherapy tank. Beagles are not generally water dogs and Tinker is no exception. He didn't seem too thrilled to be in the tank, which fills as he stands there (I'll post pictures after next Saturday's session). Then he is supposed to walk on the underwater treadmill. Tracy, the rehab technician, stands behind him in the tank and helps support him and makes sure he is on the treadmill and facing the right way. C went to the first two sessions. She stood at the end of the tank, holding his neck lead, and enticing Tink with treats to walk forward. He wasn't buying it. He actually would move his back feet, but not his front. Then he kept trying to get to the non-treadmill part of the tank along the sides. So, we weren't making too much progress there.

On Friday, we went to a holistic Vet, Dr. Karin Johanson, for acupuncture and aquapuncture. Aquapuncture is the injection of a liquid (in this case Vitamin B-12) into various acupuncture points. Tinker wasn't thrilled with getting poked, but he did stay still. Virginia wasn't too thrilled watching it. Dr. Johanson told us that the B-12 gives the dog an overall good feeling and sometimes will help their neurological functions, even within the first 48 hours. She wasn't kidding.

Friday night brought quite a surprise. Prior to the injury, Tinker would always go nuts waiting for his food. Whining, barking, whistling, an uncanny imitation of Eyore (the donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh), and jumping. All this took place in the kitchen, where we could control him somewhat. Nothing doing now. He goes crazy waiting in his crib in the living room. To try to avoid this when both of us are home, one of us will walk him while the other prepares the food and leaves it waiting in the crib. This is what we did Friday night. I placed a squirming, thrashing, hungry boy into his crib...where he stood up- yes stood on all fours- while he ate...the entire meal. C and I stared at each other with our mouths open. His back end swayed a little and he wasn't standing perfectly, but he stood for the entire length of his meal (a good minute or so).

Saturday brought more progress. I attended my first hydrotherapy session with him. After a laser treatment, into the tank Tinker went. He wasn't loving it at first, but all of a sudden he got interested in the treats I was dangling over the side. This time he started walking with all 4 legs. I looked from the outside through the side of the tank under the water and could see him slowly pick up first his left back leg and then his right. He was doing it! Tracy said what we all think, "Tinker you are one awesome dog".

Tinker is getting better control of his bladder and bowel functions. We've been very lucky. He has had few accidents in the house. His housetraining prior to the injury has stayed with him. He's one remarkable little boy. :)


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