Walking in water has been helping one injured central Alberta dog.
Elliot, a collie puppy, was hit by a car about five months ago outside of Edmonton and broke his spine.
The pet was surrendered in hopes he would receive the help he needed after being paralyzed in the back end of his body.
He made it to the Saving Grace Animal Society in Alix three days after he was injured, which unfortunately means he missed out on immediate medical intervention.
Saving Grace executive director Erin Deems said the charity sought out several specialists across the province, but Elliot was deemed to be permanently paralyzed.
Veterinarians suggested trying aqua therapy or hydrotherapy and laser treatments for Elliot. Aqua therapy is a low-impact exercise that includes walking on a treadmill in water.
So far, Elliot’s tail wagging suggests the therapy has been successful.
“We didn’t see that prior to the therapy,” said Deems.
In the water, the eight-month-old dog is able to move his hips and hind legs.
“We don’t believe that he will fully walk again, but he will have a little bit more control in his back end,” she said.
Despite the injury and therapy, the collie is a “delight” and acts like a “normal, happy-go-lucky young boy.”
He “gets around like it’s no problem at all,” said Deems said, who considers his young age a silver lining. “Because he really doesn’t know life any other way,” she said.
Once the pup is fully grown, he will need a permanent wheelchair to replace the one being rented.
Deems expects Elliot will continue his therapy for the next couple of months. She anticipates treatments, which are about $200 a week, will cost $8,000, including a wheelchair.
So far, about $4,000 has been raised.
The Saving Grace Animal Society is still looking for donations to help with Elliot’s recovery. Donations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.