On 30th May 2020, we received a desperate request for help from the owners of a 4 years old Kokoni dog with spontaneous paralysis. Little TUFFY had suddenly cried out in pain when his owner was putting his harness on him prior to their walk. TUFFY seemed fine so they made their walk but by the time they returned home TUFFY was struggling to walk. He was rushed to the vet but was paralysed! The vet, and also a 2nd opinion vet, said there was no hope of TUFFY walking again. The owners were told to contact us because we specialise in rehabilitation.
We acted immediately! We asked for TUFFY to be brought into our temporary care, and we took him to our specialist who diagnosed spinal stroke. TUFFY underwent a Mylography to confirm the diagnosis of embolism and paralysis. We were warned that there was a chance TUFFY would die within the first 2 weeks following this devastating stroke, but we began work immediately anyway to preserve his physical and mental health!
TUFFY was double incontinent, paralysed from the waist down, sad and confused. We created a treatment plan for him and got to work! We put him onto our trusted regime of supplements for neurological support, took care of his intestinal health, changed his diet onto a grain free diet to help his bowel function, and put him on a natural remedy for his heavily concentrated urine and we re hydrated him. Next we focused on his mental health – his owners told us what a happy and active dog TUFFY had been, so we planned activities for him to participate in everyday. He took car trips and walks in the doggy buggy. He spent time with other dogs, and watched tv! He went all round the farm in his buggy and met visitors. We filled his days with interest!
At the same time, TUFFY received daily physiotherapy and relaxation massages. We manually expressed his urine and bowel functions in order to maintain muscle health in those areas. He received hydrotherapy. We supplied him with a brand new wheelchair so that he could be independent and exercise himself. And we gave him many, many cuddles!
The feeling is returning to TUFFY’s legs.He is mostly toileting himself but we keep a close check on his performance. He is trying to stand when he eats and drinks. His spine has stretched our again and we have had to adjust his wheelchair to fit his straightening spine! These are the signs we look for – these are the signposts to recovery! We are supporting and encouraging every advancement he makes, and already, only 4 weeks after his stroke, TUFFY’s brain is taking back control of his body.
We cannot predict if little TUFFY will walk independently again but we are moving him towards this goal every day. We are leading him towards a point where he can return to his home and once more be with the loving owners who wait for him.
Remember that we work free of charge for the benefit of all animals – street strays or family pets. We finance all our work and our Sanctuary ourselves, and we hope that the public will support us with donations. We have only 2 paralysed dogs permanently resident in our Sanctuary – we have many more dozens of disabled dogs who have walked out of our gates with their mobility restored to them!