Calo, a 7 year-old, spayed female dog, sharpie mix, in therapy.

When Calo was less than a month from her 7th birthday, she became uncharacteristically still and quiet. She had been on a run with her owner and that evening was reluctant to jump on the couch. By the next morning, she couldn’t stand up and her rear legs were doing the splits. She was rushed to surgery forty-eight hours later and the surgeon was very pessimistic. He characterized her spinal lesion as a splatter disc and said that the high velocity disc extrusion had caused her spinal cord to turn black from lack of blood supply. He predicted that she would never walk again. Little did he know that Calo was not like any dog he had ever seen before.

Calo’s owners, Lynn and Suzanne, were determined to give her every chance for recovery. They were not about to have her euthanized or put her in a wheelchair. They visited Dr. Martin, a rehabilitation veterinarian at the Rehab Nook, and worked daily with Calo. If Calo needed their Jacuzzi for at-home rehab, no problem.  If she needed comfy socks to prevent her paws from getting hurt, no problem. If she needed special exercise equipment, no problem. The owners dedicated themselves to Calo’s recovery and after months of work, she began to walk again. And she kept getting better.

A year and a half later, Calo was walking without any support and taking hikes again. Dr. Martin said, “Calo is one of the most fit and muscular dogs that I know.  And she's paralyzed!” The canine neurologists continued to scratch their heads in disbelief. Calo’s owners continued with the rehab, not missing a session since her injury, attending doggy bootcamp twice per week, receiving acupuncture, laser, therapeutic exercise, and two a day treadmill sessions. In 2017 she walked over two marathons on the treadmill.  Needless to say, she is a very special dog.

And that is why the Rehab Nook and Calo’s owners would like to give a special thanks to the Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center of Northern Arizona (VESCONA)!  We almost lost Calo in October of 2017 when Calo stopped eating and became very weak. She started vomiting and Dr. Martin took x-rays, suspecting a foreign body. It was on a weekend and luckily VESCONA was open. Dr. Wassef immediately took her to surgery and removed three clusters of woven grass from her stomach and intestines. No one was sure that Calo would survive. Dr. Wassef even collected stem cells for future treatments by the Rehab Nook. When she woke up after surgery, everyone sighed in relief. Calo resumed her crazy antics and quickly began eating again.

Calo is an inspiration to everyone who meets her.  Her disability hasn't stopped her from being the most charismatic and energetic dog you will ever meet!

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