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Rescue dog who survived paralysis, distemper continues to inspire her veterinary team

April 13, 2010 |  6:17 pm

Many readers have come to Dr. Heather Oxford for advice on animal health and wellness through Unleashed's Ask a Vet column. But when she's not answering your pet-health questions, Dr. Oxford is a practicing veterinarian at L.A.'s California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE), helping animals to bounce back from illness and injury. Dr. Oxford shares the story of one special patient who's fought both paralysis and distemper with the help of some devoted animal lovers. Here's M.J.'s story:

MJ in the UWTM This past month, M.J. has continued to make steady progress with gaining neuromuscular coordination and strength in her hind limbs.

She is standing herself up with ease now and you can hardly ever catch her lying down. She is so eager to get around on her legs now that she doesn't need any help at all.

She hasn't had to use her cart for almost three months now, and hasn't needed a supportive sling or pelvic harness for about a month. She hasn't needed the help of her blue booties for a few weeks now either.

She has been walking longer distances and even shaking and doing tight turns without losing her balance now! 

We are so excited that she has come so far. Even her urinary control has improved and she is not dribbling between potty breaks anymore.

The photo above shows M.J. during an underwater treadmill therapy session. (After the jump, see another photo of her receiving electroacupuncture treatment.) She's such a cutie, and she's sweet; she will make the ideal pet for some lucky person.

MJ getting acupuncture

If you are interested in adopting M.J., please contact the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation.

One rescued dog, one inspiring story: M.J. the shepherd mix overcomes paralysis, distemper
Resilient rescue dog M.J.'s condition continues to improve after 'wheelchair' training, laser therapy

-- Heather Oxford, DVM

Dr. Oxford received her bachelor of science degree at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She also received a master's of public health degree in epidemiology from Emory University and went on to work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She then went to the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine, where she received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree. She practices at California Animal Rehabilitation and is also certified in veterinary rehabilitation and acupuncture. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Wade, and German shepherd, Tess.

Check out more of Dr. Oxford's work in Unleashed's Ask a Vet column.

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