Photo: Arrow receives one of his twice weekly electro-acupunture treatments to stimulate his paralyzed back legs. Courtesy Photo
by Sandy Kaczmarski
Elburn—A puppy named Arrow, who was born at a kennel named Texas Aussies, was adopted by a lady in Texas who owns a ranch named Flaming Arrow.
Linda Mikeworth, who breeds Australian Shepherds at her Hampshire kennel, thinks it was fate. But Arrow’s journey included an unexpected stop in Elburn after a paralyzing injury before heading to the Lone Star State.
Sometimes there’s no explaining why something happens, especially in the animal world.
So when Mikeworth’s 12-year-old male dog grabbed one of her 5-week-old puppies and pinned him to the ground, she figured it was just because the older dog was less tolerant.
“A lot of male dogs don’t like puppies,” Mikeworth said. “He just didn’t want this puppy in his face.”
She knew the puppy she called Arrow was hurt, but it wasn’t until a few days later she noticed he was losing mobility in his hind quarters. The veterinarian she works for put him on steroids, but when she realized Arrow’s hind legs were paralyzed, she said she knew the injury had something to do with the spine.
“I looked for somebody that did chiropractic work for dogs and found Dr. Cechner at Elburn Animal Hospital,” Mikeworth said. “I got Arrow in as soon as possible.”
Susan Cechner is one of few veterinarians in the area trained in chiropractic as well as acupuncture. She is certified in both and also provides various types of herbal medicine.
X-rays showed there were three spots on Arrow’s spine that were damaged, ruling out chiropractic treatment, which might cause further damage. Cechner said Arrow was experiencing “very minimal deep pain” determined by tightly pinching the toe and looking for a response.
“We got just a little bit of withdrawal,” Cechner said. “He wasn’t crying. Obviously if you have a healthy dog or cat and you pinch their toe, they’re going to pull away and might try to bite you.”
Because she had successfully treated another dog with similar injuries and was able to get him back walking, Cechner said she was hopeful she might be able to help Arrow.
She recommended electro-acupuncture to “get the muscles firing.”
Based on ancient Chinese medicine, needles are placed into meridians, or points in the body that correspond to different organs. With the copper needles in place, Cechner hooked Arrow up to a machine that generates electrical impulses for up to 15 minutes at a time. Arrow got the treatments twice a week and showed considerable improvement each time.
Mikeworth happened to meet someone while at work who has connections with special needs animals. Within 24 hours and after several e-mails and phone calls, she found Arrow a new home.
“Our goal was to get him walking again,” she said. “He’ll probably never be 100 percent, but he just kept improving after each session.”
Arrow received seven electro-acupuncture treatments from Cechner before moving to Texas with his new owners, who will continue the treatments and also add hydrotherapy.
And following the final treatment before leaving, Cechner said Arrow was able to stand up and actually took a few steps with his hind legs.
So the dog named Arrow now has a new home on a 200-acre ranch that bears his name.
Mikeworth couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“It just sounded like it was all meant to be.”
Texas Aussies (texasaussies.com) is located in Hampshire and breeds Australian Shepherds. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Elburn Animal Hospital (elburnanimalhospital.com) has been in business since 1992 and is located at 403 E. North St. Phone: 630-365-9599.