One-year-old puppy, Darla, is on the mend after undergoing major surgery in August to repair her two broken back legs.
The Boxer/Terrier puppy was originally adopted from the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) as a baby in February but, unfortunately, was found as a stray months later with her two hind legs broken. After unsuccessful attempts to contact her adopter, the SAHS medical team was determined to give her a second chance.
Darla received two surgeries on the same day and has been healing for several months. According to SAHS Associate Veterinarian Dr. Amanda Preczewski, Darla is not letting her injuries hold her back.
“Darla is definitely a special pup and is one of the happiest dogs I’ve met,” Dr. Preczewski said. “Her injuries were extensive, but you would never know it by looking at her. Her tail never stops wagging.”
Darla is working hard on her rehabilitation in the Leeu Naylor Medical Building, which is adjacent to the main shelter. Shortly after her surgery, she began to walk again with the help of a harness and mobile lift. Now, she’s getting stronger by doing underwater treadmill therapy and passive range of motion exercises. She’s improved so much and can finally go on short-leash walks!
Throughout her long recovery, Darla has gotten plenty of “office time” in the afternoons with staff and volunteers. She loves lounging in a comfy bed and looking out the window.
“Even with ice bags on both sides of her hips in place after surgery, she would put her head in your lap and lick your hand affectionately – brave girl!” SAHS Volunteer Martha Lupo said.
Her first birthday was on Dec. 28, which was the perfect occasion to celebrate her healing progress. She was surprised with treats and a pink “paw-dicure.” SAHS Rehabilitation Technician Michael Johnson loves pampering Darla every step of the way.
“She is such a sweet, sweet girl. She deserves the world. She loves to play, and we try to stimulate her the best we can,” Johnson shared.
Darla has been cleared for adoption and hopes to find her new forever family that’s committed to helping her continue her healing process at home. She has a lot of puppy energy but also makes the best snuggle buddy when she’s tired. She knows “sit” and “shake” and is highly treat-motivated.
“Darla is expected to make a full recovery,” SAHS Associate Veterinarian Dr. Leslie Hopes said. “The most difficult part has been keeping her crate restricted and calm as she is a young puppy who doesn’t realize she isn’t fully healed. She enjoys her leash walks the most.”
Darla would benefit from a loving and patient home where she can slowly return to normal activity. Due to her unique medical case, veterinarians are offering her adopter four underwater treadmill sessions (once a week and to be scheduled after adoption).
Interested adopters can stop by the SAHS lobby, located at 4804 Fredericksburg Rd., to visit Darla during special visiting hours between 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.