Veterinary Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Clinic

4604 Fuqua Street
Houston, TX 77048
4604 Fuqua Street
Houston, TX 77048
Specializing in complementary therapies and rehabilitation
Phone: (713) 991-9500
Fax: (713) 991-9503

Referring Veterinarians​​

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Birthdate: On or around January 22, 2014

From Sandy's Mom: Sandy is a 13-lb. mostly poodle mix. She may have some Maltese or terrier in her.  She is cream and tan colored, just like her name - “Sandy” – which was the name she apparently had since birth. I can safely call her hypoallergenic. Sandy enjoys EVERYONE.  All she wants is to be petted and loved.

When Sandy was rescued in January 2018, she had been living on the streets.  Her owners were found and when approached they said, “We don’t want her” and closed their door.  It is unknown how long she roamed the streets alone; however, when she was rescued, she was immediately taken to a vet.  She was positive for heartworm which was taken care of. Her teeth were in such horrible condition that she needed several teeth extracted.  

Additionally, when rescued, much to the surprise of the rescuer, the vet determined she was pregnant.  Because of her pregnancy, she had to remain in foster care until June 2018. I adopted her the moment she was available to leave her foster home.  

Sandy was and is the happiest, most loving little dog you can imagine.  Her tail never stops wagging, except when she sleeps. She came to me perfectly house trained.  When asked, “Is Sandy allowed on the furniture?” my response has always been, “Anywhere Sandy can reach, Sandy is allowed!”  She travels happily and perfectly in her tethered car carrier. She loves riding in the car. She adores outside walks around the neighborhood. Her favorite activity is being in the backyard chasing little lizards, or pawing the grass to find worms.  She also enjoys jumping to try to catch June bugs. Yuck.

The first seven weeks of having Sandy with me were perfect and I was the happiest mommy in the world with a dog that I adored and couldn’t stop snuggling with and she was the happiest anyone could imagine because she just wanted love, love, love from me which I gladly and constantly gave her.  We were both in heaven.

In the afternoon on Monday, October 15, 2018, I noticed that Sandy was walking “differently.” I couldn’t put a specific on it, but I watched her carefully from that moment. Around 7:30 p.m. that evening, both of her hind legs were totally stiff and seemed swollen.  Within one hour, her hind legs were giving out on her. I rushed her to the vet (an emergency vet since it was after daytime working hours at my vet) and she had gotten worse by the time I got there. They felt her diagnosis was a ruptured disc in her back. I got to the surgeon’s office within about 1 ½ hours and the surgeon performed a physical exam as well as all types of radiological testing including an MRI and she confirmed that Sandy had a ruptured disc and needed a laminectomy. 

Sandy stayed in ICU in the surgeon’s hospital for four nights and I was able to bring home my baby, her rear still paralyzed, on Saturday, October 20, 2018.  The surgeon explained the exercises I should do on Sandy (stretching her legs, bending her knees, tickling her toes, etc.) several times a day. Sandy was not allowed to move around.  I couldn’t bear for her to be in a little sleeping kennel all the time (which would keep her from moving around), so basically for the six weeks that she wasn’t supposed to move, I sat on my bed 24/7 with her snuggled by my side.  If she started to move a muscle, I was there to stop her. She was FABULOUS during her recuperation period, not once making any indications that she was in pain, although I KNOW she had to have pain. She was a real soldier.

During the beginning of the six weeks, I had to manually manipulate her bladder so that she could urinate on a pee pad on my bed; and as far as bowel movements, they would just “fall out” at no specific times – sometimes when she was just laying down, sometimes when I would pick her up from her sleeping kennel (I had to put her there for a few hours off and on so that I could get a couple hours sleep, or I could go to the bathroom or make something to eat), sometimes when I would be manipulating her bladder . . . I never knew when it would happen nor where it would drop (on my bed, on the floor, on a pee pad, in her sleeping kennel).  It was a challenge – a real “crap shoot!”
After a few weeks, I was allowed to take Sandy in the backyard with a sling under her stomach, lifting her rear legs just far enough off the ground so that her toes touched the grass (she wasn’t putting any pressure on her rear legs but the surgeon wanted her rear paws to hopefully begin to FEEL the grass), and I would bend over and hold the sling securely so that I could “walk her” around the backyard.  She began to urinate on her own that way. I was to walk her around the yard for five minutes at a time, several times a day, with the sling under her.  

Once Sandy was allowed to put weight on her back legs (although she couldn’t walk yet, but her legs were getting strong enough to hold her up), I would add the exercise three times a day where I stood her on a towel on the dining room table and made sure her four paws were in proper standing position, and then slowly release the pressure of my hold to get her used to the idea of standing.  After several days, she was able to stand for a few seconds before she would start to lose her balance. That was when I felt there was a chance she may once again walk. She still was not able to wag her tail. Nerve regeneration, especially after neurosurgery, is not a mathematical science.

When I took Sandy to the surgeon for her two week post op appointment on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, the surgeon told me something she had failed to tell me at the time of deciding whether or not to go ahead with the surgery or not, although I am not saying that it would have changed my decision.  At this appointment, she told me that I was going to have to take Sandy to rehab in order for her to have a chance of walking again. I then called my vet and asked for a referral. The ONLY place they would allow me to take Sandy was to VETERINARY CHIROPRACTIC AND REHABILITATION CLINIC, hereinafter referred to as “VCRC” at 4604 Fuqua Street, Houston, TX 77048 (phone: 713-991-9500). The facility is about 30 minutes from my home.  I called VCRC right away to make an appointment for Sandy to be seen for a consultation. My appointment was for Monday, November 5, 2018, with Anna Costin, DVM.  That day was the beginning of magic happening right in front of my eyes!
Sandy’s physical condition at the time she first met Dr. Costin was that she was able to walk using her front legs, but her rear legs were stretched out under her body, pointed toward the front of her body, but resting on the ground.  She would “hop” around on her front legs, dragging her rear legs underneath her. That was better than being completely paralyzed in the rear, but she had a LONG, LONG, LONG WAY TO GO to becoming a fully walking, running dog.

Dr. Costin began treating Sandy three times per week for five weeks. I was then out of the country for six weeks and was unable to find someone to get Sandy to Dr. Costin during my absence.  Upon my return, Dr. Costin treated her two times per week for three weeks; then once every three weeks for a “tune up” up through and including today, Thursday, June 20, 2019, although there were a few other visits with Sandy when I observed she needed some extra therapeutic treatment.  

Throughout the time Sandy has been seeing Dr. Costin, I was instructed to walk Sandy in the neighborhood two times per day for 10-20 minutes at a time, depending upon what Sandy could handle.

Each visit included electro-acupuncture and a chiropractic adjustment by Dr. Costin, and physical therapy exercises and laser therapy done by Dr. Costin’s assistant, Donnette.  

With lots of prayers and the expertise and brilliant and superb treatments at VCRC, Sandy has regained all use of her little body, with one exception.  She has fecal incontinence. No matter where she is when she needs to go, she goes. She cannot control it. She may go several times on a walk and just have an “accident” once in the house; or she may go in her sleeping crate at night, and another time in the bedroom, and then once again as she is running to the back door to go outside.  It is not predictable. Her stool is hard, coming out in a consistency similar to the way her kibble breakfast and dinner go in! Her urinary habits are fine. She will hold it until she goes outside.  

I cannot speak too highly of Dr. Costin.  She is gentle and loving and caring toward Sandy (and I have seen the same demeanor toward all other animals I have seen her treat), and she is patient, kind, understanding and compassionate toward me as well as every other owner I have seen her with. She is a Godsend to the veterinary field, and anyone who has an animal who is lucky enough to be treated by Dr. Costin could not be entrusting their animal to better hands (and intelligence).

When I adopted Sandy a little over a year ago, it was with the no-questions-asked intention of her and I being together for the rest of her (or my) life. As someone nicknamed Sandy when they saw us interacting, Sandy is my “Velcro Dog.” She wants to be by my side every moment, and that is just the way I have wanted it!  However, my personal situation has changed such that I must move across country, obtain employment and live in an apartment. This was not my plan when I adopted her. I am currently “retired” and living in a private home. Due to Sandy’s fecal incontinence, when I go to work, she will have to be in a large wire crate ALL DAY, BY HERSELF.  This happy, bouncy, joyful, loving dog deserves a life better than that. I love her with every ounce of my being, and this is the hardest decision I have ever made.

Please consider taking Sandy into your home and let her love you (and you love her) and she will become YOUR “Velcro Dog.” You have never known such sweetness. She will melt your heart.