A sweet black Labrador puppy born with a muscular condition that left him unable to walk has taken his first steps. Veterinarians and a foster family harnessed his love of tug-of-war to create a custom physical therapy program for him, according to the Sacramento SPCA.
Duckie, a 7-week-old puppy, was born with a developmental deformity called Swimmer’s Syndrome, so-named because the weakness it creates in a dog’s legs makes the animal appear to be paddling when it tries to move.
Physical therapy for Swimmer’s Syndrome usually involves finding something a dog loves to do and incorporating it into the therapy so the dog is motivated to move, according to Sarah Varanini, a spokeswoman for the SPCA.