Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Road to Recovery - HOTLR's Malibu

Whether it was blunt force trauma from an angry cow's hoof, or some other painful accident, only Malibu knows the real story. What we know at HOTLR is that Malibu is yet another reason why this rescue group exists. The heart and spirit of a Lab are second to none in my book, and Malibu is a great example of a Lab with both heart and spirit. Just one look at her biography and video on HOTLR's website and I am sure you will agree. See Malibu's bio here. Malibu is well on her way to recovery from the surgery that fused her shattered shoulder and front right leg back into place.

Physical therapy is vitally important to a dog recovering from serious orthopedic surgery just as it is for people. No one knows how long Malibu has been lame, but now that her leg is working again, she must learn how to use it again. We thought you'd like to see her in action during a recent physical therapy session at the Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Center. Sandra Hudson is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner and heads up the physical therapy program at CRCC located at 12419 Metric Blvd. Last Thursday Malibu visited Sandra for another session. It was her second week of PT.

The session began with cold laser therapy in which a laser is directed at the scar tissue and incision sites from Malibu's surgery. This type of therapy aids the healing process by entering the mitochondria (the energy power house of the cell) and helping remodel scar tissue. This therapy is also instrumental in relieving inflammation and pain.

Next, Malibu found herself on the balance board. The balance board is reminiscent of a see-saw and forces the dog to redistribute her weight to maintain balance. This exercise is helpful in reminding Malibu that she now has a fourth leg that is able to hold her weight and will teach her to trust in using the limb again.

After the balance board, Malibu found herself placed on top of a giant rubber ball. Although this type of exercise therapy also teaches her to redistribute her weight, this particular exercise is more about massaging Malibu's tired and overused back muscles. Malibu's other body parts have taken on the burden of supporting the weight that her unused right front leg should have been handling. Therefore, it's important to massage these overused muscles to prevent her from causing injury to other body parts. Malibu could could not have been more relaxed as Sandra manipulated the muscles of her back releasing tension and tightness.

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for arrived. Malibu was placed in the underwater treadmill tank. The water helps support her body weight as she becomes more buoyant in the water just as we do when we swim. She spent 20 minutes in the tank which really required her to work her leg. It was amazing to see her injured foot on the ground, supporting her weight, toes splayed out looking exactly like her left leg. The slow motion underwater resistance really allowed her to focus on using her leg. It was amazing to see her walking normally. In fact, during the treadmill session, her speed was increased numerous times as she kept placing her recovery leg on the latch to the door, attempting to escape. Each time the speed was increased, she responded until it was obvious that she was tired. Way to go Malibu!!

Malibu still has another six weeks before she is fully recovered. If you are interested in meeting her after her recovery, be sure to put in an application at our website. This is one pup that will go the last mile with you and will definitely be worth the wait. Click here to fill out an application to adopt Malibu.

16 comments:

  1. What a great story. So grateful for this group and everything it does! I'm glad to be a part of it!

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  2. Yay for Malibu! She is a brave girl :) It will be one lucky family that adopts her!
    - Lucy the Lab

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  3. AWESOME BLOG, Marcy! Thanks so much!! I miss my "Boo-boo" girl... it's been really quiet around here since she left the house for her surgery & recover/therapy time!
    -Former foster parent of Malibu's

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  4. What a great story. So grateful for this group and everything it does! I'm glad to be a part of it!
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  5. Malibu still has another six weeks before she is fully recovered. If you are interested in meeting her after her recovery, be sure to put in an application at our website
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  6. The slow motion underwater resistance really allowed her to focus on using her leg. It was amazing to see her walking normally. In fact, during the treadmill session, her speed was increased numerous times as she kept placing her recovery leg on the latch to the door, attempting to escape
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  7. In the rain,
    The pavement shines like silver,
    All the lights are misty in the river,
    In the darkness the trees are full of starlight,
    And all I see is him and me,
    Forever and forever...
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  8. No more lives torn apart
    That wars would never start
    and wars would never start
    And time would heal all hearts
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  10. That dog is a bit of a national hero and has quite a substatial cult following :)
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  11. So grateful for this group and everything it does! I'm glad to be a part of it!
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  12. In fact, during the treadmill session, her speed was increased numerous times as she kept placing her recovery leg on the latch to the door, attempting to escape. Each time the speed was increased, she responded until it was obvious that she was tired. Way to go Malibu!!

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  13. kept placing her recovery leg on the latch to the door, attempting to escape. Each time the speed was increased, she responded until it was obvious that she was tired. Way to go Malibu!!

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  14. This type of therapy aids the healing process by entering the mitochondria (the energy power house of the cell) and helping remodel scar tissue. This therapy is also instrumental in relieving inflammation and pain.
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  15. The slow motion underwater resistance really allowed her to focus on using her leg. It was amazing to see her walking normally. In fact, during the treadmill session, her speed was increased numerous times as she kept placing her recovery leg on the latch to the door, attempting to escape. Each time the speed was increased, she responded until it was obvious that she was tired. Way to go Malibu!!

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