College of Veterinary Medicine

Development & External Relations

Gifts in Action 2007: An Underwater Therapeutic Treadmill Helps a Dog Learn to Walk Again Thanks to Two Generous Friends of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Extraordinary Care: The underwater, therapeutic
treadmill allows animals to use their limbs
 without bearing full weight.  Their muscles strengthen
faster and with less pain, so they can
recover more quickly.
After running for months with two broken legs, “Chocolate,” a stray Chesapeake Bay retriever, was brought to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital from a clinic in the Kennewick, Washington.  WSU veterinary orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steve Martinez, performed several surgeries to help Chocolate regain the use of his injured front legs.  When the bandages came off, Chocolate began physical therapy in a special, underwater treadmill that allows animals to use their limbs without bearing full weight.  The treadmill, a gift to the college from two generous donors, makes it possible to begin the rehabilitation process earlier, which speeds recovery.   

“We absolutely could not have done this without the underwater treadmill,” said Lori Lutskas, a licensed veterinary technician and WSU’s veterinary physical rehabilitation specialist.  WSU was able to purchase the treadmill thanks to generous gifts by friends of the college. “This was critical in his recovery.”  

Following his remarkable recovery four months after coming to WSU, Chocolate returned to Kennewick and now lives with a family who can care for his long-term, special needs.
Last Edited: Nov 26, 2012 12:46 PM   

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