Saturday, July 12, 2014

Indy's Story - 1st March 2005 - Part One

Introduction:  In 2005, Indy was a young, fighting fit Beagle.  Over a week, he became progressively weaker, starting at his head and neck, and then progressing to his legs. He was eventually transferred to the Animal Referral Hospital, who ran a series of tests, which were all normal/negative, and concluded that he had a neurotoxin.  With time and patience, it was possible that he would make a full recovery, but it was not going to be an easy  journey. He stayed there until he was able to swallow and move his eyelids, and then he came back to Wollongong to me, for rehabilitation.

It is a credit to Indy's family that they gave him a chance to live, and gave my family and I a chance to be a part of his recovery.

In those days, canine rehabilation medicine was new in the US (and non-existant) in Australia.  Indy is the inspiration for my "All for Joints" page, as he introduced me to rehabilitation medicine.

As his owners lived in Sydney, I wrote updates on my website with photos, so they could see how he was going. I share those posts here.

Tuesday, 1st of March 2005.

Indy arrived back in Wollongong on Thursday night.

Today he has eaten some chicken (freshly cooked by his Nan), played in the backyard with some puppies, had some muscle massaging and infrared muscle heating.  He finished the day with swimming a few laps in a heated pool (finishing in the spa).

Wednesday, 2nd March 2005.

Nan came to visit in the morning and the arvo, bringing with her some beautifully cooked roast chook.  After a massage, a rub and lots of TLC, Indy spent the day either in the backroom of the clinic or outside, weather permitting.

No swimming today as the weather was a bit cool. The day started with a thunderstorm also, which is a bit rough.

Thursday, 3rd March 2005.

Indy's combat crawl has improved and he has even managed to get his ass into the air. He is also able to propel himself forward heaving his chest off the ground.  Of ocurse, such work is exhausting, so we motivate him in short spells.

His weight is stable at 11.9 kg, which is good considering his increased physical activity.

We try to assess what motivates Indy.  Food, of course, is a motivator, but the desire to get up and move is even stronger.

We use a variety of techniques, including ring -ins... like TJ, the bunny, or Pommy, the stray pomeranian (who absolutely loves Indy). Having such movement around him, makes him want to move also.  We can see his frustration when he can't do what he wants to do, but he is trying and moving.

No swimming today, due to the wonderful electrical activity and high breeze factor.

Our current aim is to improve his truncal muscle control, motivation and desire, as well as spoil  him rotten.

I am just glad that he can't really talk, otherwise he will pass on the message that Liz and Dirk are weird.  They have bunnies loose in their backyard at work, they have cats and dogs loose in the backyard at home, as well as Ja Ja (one of the neighbours dog) that turns up on their doorstep whenever there is  a storm brewing.  Ja Ja is the best storm detector that we know.

I am also very glad that Indy can't talk, because I would hate him to go home and say "well, my foster parents let me sleep inside and stay up late."

To be continued......

I am Dr Liz, and I am the mad vet from Bellambi. As you can see, I am as mad now in 2014 as I was in 2005 (and obviously earlier too). Keep an eye out for Indy's story.