Case Study – Tongeak

Tongeak is an obedient, clean, good looking Labrador. His owner, Khun Jum, is very proud of him since he is so nice, always listens to her and never causes any trouble for her.

When Tongeak was about 3 years old, he couldn’t walk properly all of the sudden. He had to limp on three legs with troubling left front leg. Khun Jum noticed the abnormality, so she took him to see a veterinarian. The vet diagnosed that he had osteoarthritis on the left front shoulder and that he would immediately require an operation to remove all cartilages and let the body create new muscles. Khun Jum was undoubtedly shocked.

Moreover, the vet also found that there was some infection in his synovial fluid eating away the head of the bone, which would cause some delay of the operation procedure. Tongeak needed to take antibiotic to kill all those bacteria first. If not, they will keep eating all the bones, and things would get much worse. During 6-month of taking antibiotic, the vet found that the muscle in that leg was almost gone. He had to have operation very soon. The vet also informed that even the operation was successful, there was a high possibility that the leg would not heal back and Tongeak had to walk with 3 legs for his life. He suggested that swimming would be the best rehabilitation method since there would be no weight pressure putting on the operated leg and would not cause any further complication to the case.

After the operation for about 2 months, the wound was healed. Khun Jum was searching for a place where Tongeak could swim for rehab. She got to know Khun Pup who recently opened a dog training school, Doggie Doo, which was not far from her house. At that time, swimming pool was still under construction. Khun Pup allow Tongeak to swim as soons as the pool completed. That was when Tongeak got started swimming. At first, he would swim about 15 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week. After a while, he got better then Khun Jum increased the time to 30 minutes and to an hour.
Tongeak has been continually swimming at Doggie Doo right after operation since he was almost 4 years old. Now he is 11. Within these 7 years, it was around the 5th year that Tongeak could walk and run with 4 legs like any typical dog. It is a miracle that surprises everyone from the vet, Khun Jum, and trainers since they all expected that he wouldn’t walk properly for life.

Khun Jum said that after long service with this place, Doggie Doo has been taking care of Tongeak like its own children. All the staffs and Khun Pup always treat every dog very well and remember all their names and personalities. It is like Doggie Doo was founded from their deep hearts not for commercial purpose.
Even today (2012), Khun Jum still takes Tongeak swimming at Doggie Doo consistently at least for an hour once a week. Tongeak becomes physically and mentally stronger like a different dog from several years ago. He is even considered strong compared with the dogs in his ages. This is the biggest reward coming from swimming at Doggie Doo.

Lastly, Khun Jum would like to leave a tip for dog owners out there that exercise is very important for all dogs no matter they are healthy or sick. The exercise contributes to the dogs’ great physical and mental heaths, which make them live longer and stay with us for a long time.