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Boston Terrier special needs spotlight

If you would like to contribute to the Special Needs Program, please be sure to send your donation clearly marked for the "special needs spotlight Fund"

Updated - August 23, 2009

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When we first saw Snuggles she was with her owner was in the parking lot of a local shelter, about to taken inside to be put down. Her hind quarters showed loss of muscle mass, with very little ability to move about. Mostly she was just dragging herself about using her front legs. Although he swore that this had only been going on for the last week, with that amount of muscle loss we certainly knew better! We took her on the spot and got her to one of our Vets immediately for X-rays, shots (he said she'd never had any) and a complete physical.

The news got even worse from there......she was also heartworm positive. What kind of life had this little dog been suffering through? She was pretty malnourished.....skin and bones, only 9.2 lbs., and barely 3 yrs. old. On top of that, they had been using her for breeding!

This is what has transpired so far:

Visit #1:

We took her in to see an Orthopedic Surgeon. The Ortho Vet took more X-rays and, after a complete evaluation, determined that "Snuggles" (she lives up to her name) had suffered a "blown disc" at some time in the past (months ago, at least), and, having never received treatment, the nerve involvement may, or may not be permanent at this point.

So......off we went to a very special Specialist....a Vet whose specialty lies in acupuncture, and physical therapy. We were told that If there was any hint of improvement after the first treatment or two, there was a very good chance of recovery. So, we made the first appointment and prayed.

At the first visit the Vet went over every inch of her, moving everything to its limit to determine how bad it was. It was pretty bad..........most of her muscles were shortened from lack of use, and pretty much locked in position. This wasn't going to be easy.....!

The next thing was to try to loosen things up, so one of the techs came out and gave Snuggles her first LASER treatment. This device creates deep heat within the muscles, and helps loosen things up. By the look on her face, Snuggles seemed to be enjoying it immensely.

Now for the really interesting stuff. A dozen or so acupuncture needles were inserted deep into the muscles of her back and rear legs. Then electrical probes were attached to the needles, and a low-dose current introduced. It did not seem to be making Snuggles uncomfortable in any way, but the way the little muscles were dancing away beneath the skin was interesting to watch, to say the least!

After about 20 minutes of that we were instructed in what we would need to do as "homework" until the next appointment, 4 days later: daily range of motion exercises would be needed, preferably in water! Well, thank goodness one of our foster Moms has a spa! We were also told that we should measure Snuggles, and get a wheelchair ordered for her immediately. Apparently, the wheelchair will act as a support mechanism during rehab, and will hold her in the proper position for further muscle-building exercises. Since it takes approx. 2 weeks to build one to suit her needs, time was of the essence.

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The Veterinary Specialist checks out her range of motion
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Snuggles actually seems to be enjoying the electrical sensations produced by the current

Visit #2:

Noon Saturday we were again at the rehab facility, and our Specialist was extremely happy with Snuggle's progress! Our foster Mom had been as good as her word, and her daily workouts with Snuggles had her range of motion showing a vast improvement!

After another LASER treatment, and some stretching exercises, another round of acupuncture w/ electric current followed. What came next was very interesting, indeed. One of the Technicians came in (dressed in swim trunks) and asked us to follow her to the hydo-treatment area. What we found was a large glass-walled walk-in tank with seating at one end, and a treadmill across the bottom. The surprise was that after seating herself in the unit with Snuggles in front of her, she hit a button that began filling the tank with warm water!

Once the water reached shoulder height on Snuggles, the tech turned it off and started the treadmill. Snuggles worked her front end automatically, while the Tech worked the back legs in a normal walking pattern. After about 20 minutes of this the tank was emptied, and everyone dried off. What a workout! Snuggles slept all the way home........

With all of her improvement in such a short time, and our commitment to work hard with her, our Vet is now hopeful that some real progress can be made for Snuggles. We hope that you can help us to give Snuggles that chance.....................

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Snuggles 1st dip in the hydrotherapy chamber
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Here the Tech does the "walking" motions in the hydrotherapy chamber w/ the treadmill moving beneath Snuggles.
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A closeup of Snuggles.

“Snuggles” has been going to the Rehab Center every Tuesday morning, and staying there until Friday afternoon when we pick her up, bring her home, and do the required repetitions daily until going back to Rehab again the following Tuesday...grueling for all. While at the center she receives the deep heat LASER treatments, hydrotherapy, acupuncture (w/ electric current) treatments twice daily. She is also working with the Physical Therapist on a daily basis.

This Specialty Clinic has been wonderful to us...! Snuggles heartworm treatment has begun, and the cost has been donated by the Vet. Much to our surprise, and with our deepest gratitude, the Rehab Center has offered to handle her rehabilitation free of charge! And, due to your generosity, we have been able to purchase a custom-made wheelchair for “Snuggles”. She has now built up enough strength she even took a step on her own this week……..unaided by the wheelchair..!! Although her recovery will take many months she is making great progress, and seems to enjoy her therapy sessions and the attention it brings her.

We thank you all so very much for your support of “Snuggles”, and all of the Special Needs Bostons.

snuggles in her wheelchair
Snuggles in her wheelchair.
snuggles wheelchair
“Snuggles” will be available for adoption once her rehabilitation is complete. Since snuggels has been in rescue she has been expreiencing false pregnancy tests for most of the time. Last week during her spay surgery the vet found a tumor on one of her overies. Since she had everything removed she'll have no more issues. Snuggles is running around in her special cart and having a wonderful time. Updated 9-20-09

Donate to the special needs spotlight Fund:

If you would like to contribute to the special needs spotlight, please be sure to send your donation clearly marked for the "special needs spotlight Fund" to Boston Terrier Rescue Net, via PayPal to BTRN2000@insight.rr.com or by mail to:

P.O. Box 734
New Albany, Ohio

Donors names will initially be posted to the special needs spotlight
page and subsequently to the Wall Of Thanks.

Your donation will be tax deductible to the full amount allowed by the law.


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