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Patient of the Month May 2015

Tsubo swimsTsubo

Tsubo was adopted from Baja Animal Rescue – a rare no-kill shelter in Northern Mexico that rescues street dogs, rehabilitates them and finds them happy homes.

“We knew he was going to be part of our family the moment we met him – his calm demeanor and the way he tucked his head into our laps when we said hello won us over. The rescue warned us that he had some issues with one of his hind legs – a consequence of abuse or being hit by a car – both sadly common with dogs in Mexico. His slight limp and awkward stance didn’t seem to slow him down one bit, and we decided that we would deal with it as needed in the future – this was our dog, nothing was changing that.”

-Nina, one of Tsubo’s moms

“About three years ago we noticed that Tsubo had a slight limp into his right shoulder. It wasn’t severe, but got progressively worse after a few months. After watching and dealing with his hind leg for a few years, we were surprised to see something happening with his front leg. Tsubo underwent several tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, nerve testing, CT scans and an MRI in an attempt to understand what was causing the progressively worsening limp – nothing was showing up. Without a clear illness to heal, a specialist at CVSG suggested that physical therapy might help with both front and back leg use. That is how we came to IPC and met Emma and Dr. Ridley.

Over the course of the following two years we were able to keep Tsubo strong and fit, although his limping progressed to a lack of use and he started showing more signs of pain. Emma worked with Tsubo on strengthening his muscles and reducing atrophy, and kept his spirits up with weekly swimming fetch sessions and massages. We often worried that we were going to lose him, but he refused to give up. Visiting IPC and his girlfriend Emma gave all of us hope and encouragement.

A year ago Tsubo’s condition got worse and we had to rush him to the emergency room. Pretty immediately the decision was made to amputate his leg, at which point a large cancerous nerve tumor was discovered and removed. His recovery has been incredible – within the next week we suddenly had our loving, excitable shepherd running around the house. He taught us to not overthink things and just keep swimming and having fun.”  



Tsubo has graduated to the maintenance portion of his rehabilitation program. He comes weekly to swim in our resistance pool and receives shockwave therapy once monthly. Dr. Ridley checks in every 10 sessions to make sure his therapies are still appropriate for his condition. We are so proud of his hard work!!

“Tsubo has a dance he does every Tuesday evening. We ask him if he’s excited to go see his girlfriend Emma, and he starts jumping up and down in front of the door ready and excited to go. That to us really captures everything IPC has done for him.

Tsubo and her therapist EmmaIPC has really given Tsubo the opportunity to live his life to the fullest.  Though we’re still treating his back arthritic leg, he’s in such great shape thanks to Emma, Dr. Ridley, and the rest of the staff. IPC not only makes Tsubo stronger week after week, they also provide us with a pro-active way of keeping him active and healthy.  

We are most proud of Tsubo for his will to live and enjoy life. He’s our little happy tripod, and we couldn’t’t be happier or more proud of him. We are so grateful to IPC for their continued support and unwavering attitudes towards making Tsubo’s life amazing.”


“Tsubo is an amazing dog.  He has adapted wonderfully to each new challenge that he has had to face.  His favorite therapy is swimming and he has mastered it just as well with 3 legs as he did with 4.  I LOVE how excited he gets for his therapies each week.  Tsubo is my hero and inspiration!”

-Emma, Tsubo’s therapist

Make a Difference!

This month, Tsubo has asked that we tell you about the organization Six Legs Foundation. Six Legs was formed for the purpose of providing financial assistance to dog owners in need. Our goal is to keep pets in loving homes and out of over crowded shelters!  Please consider making a donation to further their efforts!