Paralyzed dog has miracle recovery from water therapy
A paralyzed dog that was left abandoned on a city street has made a miracle recovery thanks to a nifty underwater treadmill.
Penny, a one-year-old pomeranian, was unable to use her hind legs when she was brought to Animal Haven shelter in January.
X-rays revealed she had a spinal fracture from suspected abuse which left her unable to walk or even stand on her own.
But that didn’t matter to her new owners Gary Nord and Michael Giaccio.
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The couple, from Brooklyn, New York, adopted Penny in February and decided to make it their mission to set her on the road to recovery.
The pom’s new parents enrolled their pooch in a rehabilitation program, Water For Dogs, which saw Penny take part in hydrotherapy once a week ever since her adoption.
The determined pup took to the facility’s underwater treadmill for an hour weekly and patiently underwent regular laser spine treatment.
Penny’s new family, which includes another Pomeranian, 8-year-old Heidi, have been astounded with her progress in such a short period of time.
The water-loving pup has regained the strength in her hind legs and can now run up and down the stairs and jump on furniture in her 57th-floor apartment.
Penny’s owner Nord said: "When I walked into the room in Animal Haven and saw Penny, we just had an instant connection.
"Even though she was paralyzed, there wasn’t even a question for me, I just knew she was ours.
"We’ve been doing a lot of hydrotherapy and Penny has been working hard on the underwater treadmill once a week.
"Her therapy is really fun. She puts on her wetsuit and does laps of the pool.
"She’s actually a very good swimmer. It’s cool because the side of the pool is glass so you can watch her.
"She’s also having laser spine treatment, which has really helped repair the damage to her spinal cord.
"She’s made such a remarkable improvement. Our vet is amazed. She has so much energy, she’s jumping up on the bed and the furniture."
Nord and his partner Giaccio said they were inspired to adopt a special-needs pet after losing their cat Oliver, twelve, to cancer in June 2017.
Nord said: "We sadly lost our cat Oliver in June. He had a rare form of cancer and he went through a lot.
"Unfortunately chemotherapy didn’t work for him. We loved him so much.
"When he died, we decided we would only adopt an animal who needed a lot of help, who needed a lot of care medically.
"We’ve had Penny for just a few months but she is such a part of our family.
"She loves her sister Heidi, who is also a rescue pom, and they're glued at the hip now.
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"It’s brought us so much happiness to watch Penny recover.
"Luckily our vet does not think there will be any long-term damage, and that’s thanks to the work of Animal Haven and also the amazing people at Water For Dogs in Tribeca.”