This is the final chapter in our story about Sam, who was known as Revvy when he first came to our Rescue. It has been
a long and painful journey for this little guy, but his spunk and fortitude have pulled him through like a champ.
Sam came to us in late October, 2004, from Ohio. He was 18 months old, languishing in a shelter until he was rescued.
He was born with his knees pointing outward, but that did not stop him from learning how to walk balancing on his front
legs. Email me for videos at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need Windows Media Player to open them.
July 16, 2005: Sam has been doing hydro therapy since April. The deeper the water is, the more his weight is supported, which allows him to walk with longer strides and stretch the muscles. He walks for a period at different depths each visit. This is going wonderfully, and he is gaining muscle mass. He can now jump up and down, and he even goes on one mile walks. He is comfortable using all four legs and gets around like any normal dog. His therapy will continue through September. The treatment is a success!
January 20, 2005: Today Revvy had his second surgery. This was on his right hind leg.
His knee was put in the proper place and now it is a matter of time to see if it stays there or rotates back to where it was before surgery. Only time will tell, but the odds are 50-50 just like with the other leg.
January 16. 2005: Revvy has been walking and running on three legs for a little while now. He even tries to stand on his hind legs to get up on furniture, but he sometimes falls because of the one bad leg.
December 5, 2004: At the 4 week follow-up on his leg, the knee has stayed in place. He is walking and running on it. The vet is very pleased, and now wants to operate on the other knee after he gains some strength. He lost one pound after the first procedure, so they have put him on puppy food to gain weight.
November 10, 2004: Revvy had surgery on his left knee on November 3. His leg bones are some what bowed and twisted, and they feel he has a 50-60% chance of walking fine on that leg after the knee heals. He is in a soft cast that will be removed this Thursday. He can still walk on two legs although he will put weight on the left leg already. So far, so good.
January 27, 2005: The bandages have been removed from Revvy's right leg, Stitches are scheduled to be removed in one week. He got his energy back quicker after this surgery compared to the one done on the first leg, but he holds this leg up and runs like the wind. He hasn't tried to put any weight on it yet, but it took a few weeks for him to do that after the first surgery. He seems to be quite content, and is eating well.
February 8, 2005: The stitches are out but Revvy (now called Sam) has not yet put his leg on the ground and chooses to carry it up like he did before the surgery. The doctor said that was expected and prescribed an exercise in which he is held and his leg is pulled straight. It is not on the list of his favorite things to do, but he needs to loosen the muscles in that area. Hydro therapy is recommended for continued recovery if he does not use that leg. It involves running on a treadmill while in the water.
Sunday, March 6, 2005: The right knee is in place, but Sam is not using the right leg yet and continues to run like the wind on three legs. His foster mom is pulling on the leg as the surgeon suggested to loosen the muscles and exercise the leg, but it looks like he may need physical therapy to help him progress. We won't know if the operation is a total success until he starts using the leg and the knee stays in place.
The Soft Cast
Saturday April 16, 2005: Sam started hydro therapy. While waiting for the appointment, he started using his right leg! Everybody at the clinic fell in love with him. He was very easy going and got right to work. He lets out a little squeak when you extend his leg, but other than that he does everything cheerfully. He has gained a little weight, and now weighs 5lb 3oz. The physical therapist says he is the perfect specimen in the perfect shape to work with, even though his right leg has one inch less muscle mass than the left. His therapy consists of running in a tank of warm water on a treadmill. The water carries most of his body weight, which allows him to take longer strides and stretch the muscles. The water is also 90°, which helps his knee feel better. For a period of time the therapist holds his front paws up, and he trots on his back legs. Sam's foster mom is also doing exercises with him daily. While the therapist feels the leg will never be 100% due to the bone deformities, she is very confident the operation and therapy will turn him into a normal dog.
October 22, 2004
Here are pictures of Revvy working out in the tank with his therapist Jonna, being dried after a session, and relaxing at home.
Northcentral Maltese Rescue's George Bailey writes, thank you to everyone who supported this effort, from Ellen and her family who originally saved Sam from the shelter in Ohio, to all of the generous people who donated to provide the surgery for him him, the vets and physical therapist who worked with him and to his foster mom Darla. Darla cared for him through the two knee operations, carried him when he couldn't get around, and got up at 5AM for months to take him to physical therapy before she went to work. All this time she's fed him, given him belly rubs, brushed and bathed him, and given him love. Darla and her maltese Lola are so in love with him they can't bear the thought of him going anywhere else, and they adopted him.
September 30, 2005: Special Thanks from Darla to Everyone Who Supported This Effort
To the Veterinary Specialty Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Stauffer and Dr. Elkins who did the surgery. They deserve the credit for fashioning Sam’s new hind legs. Dr. Stauffer said Sam was one of his top 5 challenges in the way of deformities. When I was in Dr. Stauffer’s office yesterday, he gathered other doctors and staff around and we accessed the Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc. website and everyone looked at the before and after pictures of Sam. They all were so happy and interested in seeing him on the website.
Tomorrow is Sam’s last swim therapy session with Jonna at All Star Veterinary and Rehabilitation Clinic. All these people deserve recognition as they have performed miracles.
To Dorothy Katz. She is my best friend living in Ft. Lauderdale. I could not afford the adoption fee for Sam and she gifted the money to me to adopt Sam. To her I am truly grateful.
I am so thankful to the Rescue and the people who donated for Sam’s surgery. Sam is truly blessed to have such wonderful people helping him.
I had to take Sam to see Dr. Stauffer yesterday as the pins in his knees are sticking out. There are red bumps on Sam’s knees right now. But, they are not causing him pain, so Dr. Stauffer did not want to do surgery at this time.
Sam is such a delight and brings joy to everyone who comes in contact with him. It is hard to imagine this is the same straggly little circus doggie that came to me. He was so pitiful. He now jumps up on things and runs like the wind. I think he is making up for lost time!!! Thank you all for everything!!!