If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Dolly is a long-haired chihuahua puppy who could fit under Paralysis, Incontinence, Amputation, or Mobility. She was found on a sidewalk in California at 8 weeks old, unable to walk with her legs scraped from dragging. She was diagnosed as partially paralyzed, and it seems likely she was injured by being shut in a door or something similar, and dumped by an owner or breeder. She unfortunately lost one leg to gangrene, but good people gave her vet care and fostering. She was advertised on the Best Friends website and I adopted her March 7 because I already have a paralyzed chihuahua. The adoption experience was a very good one.
When I adopted her she was 7 months old and walked in a sitting position with her leg out in front, using her hands to bounce along on her bottom. She had a tendency to scrape the back of her leg while bouncing, so I did as I do with Katie and put vet wrap on it before letting her outside. After doing this for a while she began acting like her leg hurt when I removed the vet wrap. It seemed the unwinding motion tugged on her leg and it hurt. I also noticed that compared to Katie (same size, also paralyzed) her hip felt wobbly and I thought she must have a shallow socket. Her leg wasn't paralyzed, I had seen her use it when I threw a tennis ball in the yard. A couple of times I saw her put it down for 3 hops before pulling it back up. I had also seen her try to use it chasing the cat and yelp in pain, so I knew she at least had partial control of it.
She wears a diaper which doubles as padding for her bouncing. I took her to the vet to have her bladder x-rayed, as I could never find anything to express. I know of a case of a cat that was not expressable because the bladder was full but flaccid and I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something. I also asked them to x-ray her hip at the same time. The results came back that her bladder was as small as it could be (I wasn't missing anything, she does not need to be expressed) but her hip had been broken and healed wrong with a chip grinding in the fracture. Therefore we got a referral for hip surgery for her comfort. We couldn't have her hurting and I wanted to be able to wrap her leg when needed.
Dolly had surgery and now she is going to physical therapy twice a week with Katie, and she does stretching exercises and goes on the underwater treadmill. She has reasonable flexion in her hock and a little flexion in the knee. Goniometry showed she had a 23 degree reverse flexion (from holding it up off the ground in front of her) and a 30 degree possible normal flexion. She does exercises at home between PT appointments.
I have noticed 2 things since the surgery. One is, she seems to hold her leg up off the ground in front of her better now. And the other is *Yay* she is now able to scratch the back of her head and the side of her neck. This was an unexpected benefit. I think of all the frustrations she would have felt being unable to scratch, and now all the satisfactions she will feel being able to, and I am just so happy for her.
Right now our biggest issue is getting her bowel regulated as she tends toward constipation. She has been here a little over 2 months, but during that time she had a change of diet, then surgery, then pain meds, etc. So we keep having to make adjustments. She will have another change of diet soon switching to adult food.
Christine, I could not say it any better. CarolC, Dolly is the LUCKIEST PUP in the WORLD!
My guy has diarrhea from eating people food. They also can get a loose stool from dairy products.
I'll put on my thinking cap this weekend (a little loose lately )
DOLLY IS PRECIOUS! And so are you!
Aw, she looks like a sweetie. It's too bad she lost the other leg, but great that the one she has is better than they thought. Keep us posted on how she is doing.
"Corgis on Wheels: Understanding and Caring for the Special Needs of Corgis with Degenerative Myelopathy or DIsk Disease available now!
I was reading in the listing that they were going to remove her remaining leg, and I see you are working on that leg. WHAT A WONDER! She's amazing, but no more than YOU!
Folks, if you want to see a spunky little beauty, the listing has a youtube linked. It's taking me about a half hour to get 30 seconds, but the video is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR46_L6a ... annel_page
She is soooo cute, soooooo lively! What does Katie think about this little fireball? I think when she gets used to her that they will be great pals! WE WANT MORE PICS!!!
I am so excited for you! What a precious!
What a spunky little girl - she has no clue that she is missing anything! Carol, this seems like a match made in Heaven. I was also wondering about how Katie is taking her. I can really see them being best buds too.
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
They do get along well. I think this is good for both of them. They tend to stay together in the yard. One will go off and explore something, then soon they are back together again. Katie is about 14 and Dolly is still a puppy but Dolly has always been good with Katie and vice versa. Dolly does have more energy than Katie, but it has not been a problem. There were other older dogs at Dolly's foster home, plus the lady who fostered her worked with her on manners. By the time I got her, she was a dog with very nice manners. We will see how it goes after Dolly is really recovered from her surgery and feels more active, though she's been pretty active already.
Having a paralyzed dog already is such a help, I just try to do everything with Katie first and then Dolly always knows what to expect. Give Katie her bowl, give Dolly her bowl. Put Katie outside, put Dolly outside. Put Katie in her carrier for PT, put Dolly in her carrier for PT. Put Katie to bed, put Dolly to bed. It has also worked for things like give Katie some lactulose, give Dolly some lactulose. Give Katie a piece of cheese (with no pill), give Dolly a piece of cheese (with a pill). Their care is very similar, except I wrap Katie's feet and diaper Dolly, and Dolly has been getting a half bath every night before bedtime. Dolly also gets held for exercises twice a day, but it does not seem to bother Katie, she will sleep.
Here is a picture from the day after Dolly arrived.
And the caption is LOOK AT ME! I AM SO HOT!
She is so precious, you have a princess with so much personality! She is going to make you laugh out loud! I am smiling ear to ear just looking at her! She is PRECIOUS! She is laughter, she is joy, she is so lucky! She hit the jackpot and SHE KNOWS IT! She is QUEEN Dolly and makes no effort to hide it at all! CarolC, this little lady, well, YOU hit the jackpot too! What a little prancer! She oozes vitality and sheer joy. I CAN'T WAIT FOR MORE HAPPY TAILS!
Update on Dolly. Two nights ago I heard an amazing variety of squeaks and looked over and Dolly had discovered the squeaker in Squeaky Bear, who has been in her playpen since she arrived but she had shown no interest. All of a sudden she is all over Squeaky Bear, biting him so he squeaks, pouncing on him and chewing his ear. I think this means she is feeling better after her surgery. She is off the Tramadol except for PT mornings.
On May 7 I gave her a Heartgard chewable and the next day when she came in from the yard it appeared she had prolapsed her bottom between 1/4 and 3/8 inch, which isn't much but it had me really worried. Heartgard gives Katie GI trouble if I don't break it in half and give her half one day and half the next, it seems to affect Dolly, too. I think what must have happened was that she was constipated from surgery and medication and it hurt her bottom when the Heartgard had her moving hard or large stools while bouncing around the yard, not sure. It took her 3 days to look normal and I was scared to express her bottom but we discovered the joys of warm bubble baths. She has tone in her sphincter, which I did not notice at first, it tended to remain a little open. It may be because I was not really getting her empty before.
CarolC, my heart is in my throat reading your care of her. She is so impossibly tiny and fragile, thank God she is with you. I cannot imagine trying to care for her as you do, and I am very thankful a little life isn't depending on me. Gads! You are a wonder! I love the squeeky toy 'tail' Gabriel likes squeekies too, go figure? I had a talking toy that lasted months, for Albin, and he finally removed the voice box. I didn't know it until I heard it talking and the toy was no where near.
I love hearing about your babies and wish I could perform the "Vulcan Mind Meld" with yours! I can just imagine how cute she looks playing with the squeaky toy and how elated you felt seeing her get some normal puppiness in her life. I am so glad she is with you!
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
Update on Dolly. I couldn't believe it. Last night she was bouncing around the family room and I went upstairs to turn down the bed. When I came out of the bedroom, there was Dolly sitting at the top of the stairs. It was 14 steps! I never heard her coming up. I'm pretty sure I closed the baby gate at the foot of the stairs. I remember before her surgery I saw her climb 2 steps, she uses mainly her hands, I imagine that's how she did it. Funny! So then I took her back down and was upstairs another minute and when I looked, she had the baby gate open, so she can open it! She is too smart!! We'll have to figure something out for that. I don't mind her climbing the stairs, but I worry about her going back down.
At her PT appointment last Wednesday, the therapist said she was doing very well. She was really watching Katie while Katie was in the treadmill (Katie's very good at it). When it was Dolly's turn, she was really putting her foot down well every 2 or 3 steps and using her knee, and also not turning her toes under too often. The therapist said she wanted to take a video, she was doing so well, but she couldn't because she was in the treadmill with Dolly. I'm so proud of her!
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