1-16-07  Still improving after 3 years and 4 months

She has continued to improve even now. I really thought the 2-year point was pretty much the extent of her improvement, but I didn't give her enough credit. Our new accomplishments may seem subtle, but those who have paralyzed pets will understand.

The first one is that this week she learned to walk and bark at the same time. This means she can chase the postman and bark her head off, which is great fun! :) There is a smiley postman who likes dogs, and we were over at the shopping center and he was standing about 10-12 feet away from her calling to her, "Come on, you can walk, come on, you can do it!" She started barking at him and chasing him. It was great! Everytime she barks she throws her head back, which affects her balance, so that's what makes it an acheivement. I had to thank him for teaching her that!

A couple of weeks ago at PT she was walking around on the tile in the waiting room and found a super size green dog biscuit, the kind you would give to a lab or a german shepherd. She picked it up in her mouth and carried it out to the carpet mat in the entryway to eat it, managing to carry it across the slick tile without slipping. I was so proud of her I let her eat the whole thing right before PT. :oops:

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is her bladder. I am still expressing her, and it is still necessary and I assume always will be. But usually we express, rest, express, rest, about 4-5 times during an expressing session. When I'm pretty sure I have her empty, I rest and then do it one more time for good measure. Starting about 2 months ago, she began telling me not to do that last express. She knows she's empty! She knows when she's done. :)

I have also noticed that she is helping squeeze out the urine more than before. She started helping after about the first 5 or 6 months. Now when I express her, I do part of the squeezing, but I can tell sometimes I don't have my fingers in the exact right spot, yet she is still urinating. She's the one that's doing it. :)

One last thing is that she is carrying her tail slightly higher than before. I reported on seeing her do it once before. Well, she is doing it more consistently. Chihuahuas have sickle tails and like to carry them up. My dog usually carries hers at about half-mast, but it is almost up where I can see her bottom now.

There was something else, but if I think of it I'll add it later. Just want EVERYBODY to know she is still improving after 3 years and 4 months of paralysis.

1-27-07  Still showing minor improvements

My dog with complete rear paralysis could walk a distance of 4 feet at 9 months, and is still showing minor improvements (that are still just as exciting!) at 40 months (3.25 years) after surgery.

2-3-07  Hibernating for the winter

It is cold and my dog is hibernating! :) She has made a cocoon out of her blanket. This is her crate on the kitchen table. You can see her pillow in the back, little Squeaky Squirrel, and her water. The water is in a Corelle bowl inside a kennel crock.

dog under a towel


I thought this deserved capital letters. My dog was paralyzed from a spinal fracture 9/23/03. She has still been doing new things in the past few weeks. A couple of weeks ago at PT, her therapist said she was in the treadmill and 2 dachshunds ran by outside the door and she started howling. (I have never heard her howl.) The therapist said she would let herself be carried to the back of the treadmill, then run to the front howling. It was so funny the therapist had tears in her eyes from laughing. I told her she had just learned to run and bark at the same time recently, after she chased the postman.

Last week, my dog was in the parking lot and she was eager about something (going for her walk) and she did a little thing that was like a prance. It wasn't quite a full prance, but you could tell that's what it was. I've never seen her prance before.

This morning we went to PT again and when the therapist brought her out, she said she had done something else she had never done before--she ran on the treadmill. She said she was fully running, placing her feet just right and not crossing. The therapist has never seen her do this.

This is all totally new, and we are at 3 years 5 months this week.

4-7-07  Crossing

She crosses her legs, then they get locked together, then she trips and drags. Then I am running along behind her calling, "Uncross! Uncross!" or I reach down and uncross them for her. I don't know of a way to cure crossing, I try to keep my dog's legs stretched and we just live with it. She does it less on pavement, more in grass. She has been walking (and crossing) since 2004.

8-30-07  Center of gravity

My dog also keeps most of her weight on her front feet and sometimes even does kind of a hand stand.

9-11-07  Still doing therapy

I still do PT with my dog twice a day and her injury was in 2003.

9-23-07  Four years ago today

Four years ago today they called me out behind the building at work where a little white dog was lying half in a puddle, paralyzed. She had a gash across her hips with ants in it, blood on her toes from dragging her hind feet, and her legs were cold. She was showing so much dignity and presence while people gathered around her. I carefully picked her up and took her to my vet, who referred her to specialty surgery. She had no deep pain and they said she was unlikely to walk again. In the coming month, I was unable to find her owner and she became mine.

Since that day I have expressed her approximately 5840 times, taken her for walks or PT approximately 2800 times, and given up untold hours of sleep due to the expressing schedule combined with being a shift worker. We have also been through her spay surgery and her surgery for mammary cancer. We have travelled across country twice. I wish we could go more places together.

I am so happy to have this little dog. She is a total pleasure, as I told her this morning. I would do it all again with 10 times the eagerness. I am so glad I found her...4 years ago today.

10-22-07  Still loves PT

My dog has been helped greatly by hydrotherapy on an underwater treadmill. They got her used to it by putting her in for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, building up to 30 minutes. She was so scared one time she started hyperventilating and we had to take her out and get her calmed down. Now she loves it so much she squeals when we are still on the highway getting close to the rehab place.

Dog exercising in underwater treadmill

11-19-07  How bladder infections affect walking

When my paralyzed dog has had a bladder infection, her walking really went all to heck, which is another example of how a normal thing (like a bladder infection) has greater effects on a pet with a delicate condition.

11-24-07  Good at uncrossing

My dog still crosses sometimes, but she's gotten very good at uncrossing so it isn't such a problem.

12-14-07  Continuing improvement

My dog was completely paralyzed 4 years ago and continued to show noticeable improvement for 2 years, and has even shown a tiny bit more in the past month.