Help Strawberry to Walk Tall
When animals arrive to Animal League America, we don’t always know what they have endured. For 12-week-old Lab mix Strawberry, the exact cause of her trauma will remain a mystery, but we do know we’ll do everything in our power to help her.
Strawberry came to Animal League America from Louisiana as part of a rescue mission with our partner, Paws4Life. It was initially thought that she was a ‘swimmer pup.’ Dr. Gerard Laheney, Animal League America Senior Veterinarian, explained, “Swimmer puppy syndrome is the term for a newborn that can’t support its body weight, so they tend to paddle around at first, but ultimately do gain normal motor function.” Once we were able to give Strawberry a thorough examination, however, it was discovered that her issue was much more complex.
“We noticed that Strawberry was experiencing deficits in her hind limbs,” Dr. Laheney said. “For example, you can see when Strawberry’s paw is turned over, she does not reposition it properly, and that means there is a disruption in the neurologic connection between the brain and paws.” Radiographs confirmed Strawberry suffered from earlier fractures to her tail, which impacted her spinal cord.
We don’t know how Strawberry’s tail injury occurred — it’s possible her tail was pulled or stepped on — but fortunately, we have the experts on our Pet Health Centers staff to help her heal and thrive. Strawberry’s treatment plan will include acupuncture to help stimulate her nerves, and targeted rehabilitation and physical therapy to build her muscle strength.
Strawberry will remain in our Foster Care Program while she receives the benefit of all our specialized services. Playful and exceptionally friendly, Strawberry is eager to engage with both people and animals, not letting her awkward gait slow her down.
Our goal right now is to give Strawberry the best chance for a pain-free and active life. With your support of our Help Me Heal Program, together we can give Strawberry the care she needs and the compassion she deserves.