Animal Shelter Calls Swimmer Puppy’s Progress A ‘Miracle’

A California animal shelter is hailing one disabled puppy’s progress a “miracle.” In early December, the Sacramento SPCA welcomed a young Labrador retriever puppy, dubbed Duckie, into the shelter – the pup was suffering from a condition known as Swimmer’s Syndrome, which made standing and walking impossible.

On December 11, the animal shelter introduced Facebook followers to the disabled puppy:

“This 5 week old Lab puppy cannot stand or walk and will need several weeks of therapy and love before we can help him take his first steps.”

Duckie began physical therapy to help him improve his muscle tone…with the goal of getting him to stand and walk on his own. Nobody expected the pup’s progress to be so swift! On December 27, the shelter announced miraculous news to Duckie’s fans:

It’s a holiday miracle: Duckie, our puppy with swimmer’s syndrome, is already walking after only three weeks of therapy!

His front legs are still a little bow legged due to his condition, but they seem to be catching up with the rest of him. We’ll let you know when he’s ready to start looking for his new home!

It turns out that Duckie’s adoration of “tug,” coupled with his love of other dogs, was the perfect therapy to get his little body working properly. Sarah Varanini, a spokeswoman for the SPCA explained to SF Gate:

“The main goal is trying to find something that they enjoy doing, then turn that into therapy that will help them use their muscles and start to orient their bodies in the right formation. For Duckie, that was a combination of playing ‘tug o war’ as well as using his love of other animals to get him up and moving.”

Duckie’s amazing progress means that he will be ready to be adopted in the near future – keep up the good work Duckie!!

Find the Sacramento SPCA on Facebook here.

Find the Sacramento SPCA website here.

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

1 comment

  1. Susy says:

    What a wonderful story of love anf physical therapy!

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