Meet Meatball! He’s our foster dog who has been through a lot in his short life. I met him back in March when he was first rescued after being brought in to animal control with a severely deformed front leg. After the rescue consulted with two surgeons, it was determined to amputate the front leg to give him a better quality of life (he was with a different foster at this point). He did not want to walk at all with that front leg. After the amputation, Meatball’s previous foster was concerned she couldn’t give him what he needed because she works full time and she felt like he was depressed after the surgery. It made sense for him to come to my house so I could work with him through massage, take him to rehab appointments and work with the doctors closely on his case.
Meatball fit in very easily with my pack and especially took to Jayne and Hudson. After he came to our house on May 4, I noticed right away that he had pretty bad muscle atrophy on his right hind limb – he also wasn’t bouncing back as quickly as most three-legged dogs do. So we went back in to see the surgeon and sure enough, the poor guy was diagnosed with pretty bad hip dysplasia. They recommended rehab for him for a few weeks and then a recheck. So we started on our rehab journey! I also give him regular massage and light therapy sessions.
We started by having a colleague, Francisco of The K9PT (he’s also on the podcast) come out to the house to meet Meatball and get his opinion. This helped immensely and he showed me rehab work we can easily incorporate into our lives at home. Then we also started rehab at an integrative facility nearby so he could do underwater treadmill, laser therapy, and acupuncture regularly. We started twice a week and then went to once a week.
Back at home, Meatball is learning how to be a dog. He has a huge yard he is loving and he has already mastered the art of hopping in and out of the doggy door! The other dogs (especially Jayne) has been his best teacher. He is learning how to play fetch and how tennis balls are basically gold around here. So far his walking is improving slowly but surely. My husband and I are excited to see how he progresses. One of the biggest things we are being mindful of is not babying him too much. We want him to learn and gain confidence. It is very apparent he needs to build his confidence so even if it takes him 15 minutes to take a tiny few steps in a new area of the house, we wait – we don’t give in and pick him up. This is exercising our patience a ton but it is so good for Meaty 🙂
I will share more progress as Meaty gets stronger and be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I will post the most updates on him! Instagram: @holisticpetwellness – Facebook: facebook.com/holisticpetwellness