This week and next, I am going to be posting about some very special Spinal Injury Dogs. The ones that were given up on way before a Vet even saw them. The ones that thought their Life was not over because they made a mistake and ran out in front of a car. The stories are endless and the lives lost are many.
Having a spinal injury does not have to mean your Life is over. Like in Humans, a lot can be done if you have a willing participant in your recovery and the required funds to do the surgeries. These are the two biggest obstacles in saving a spinal injury dog. Sweet Mae Pearl is a ten-month-old terrier mix that weighs 26 lbs. She was injured when she ran out in front of a car. The person that hit Mae Pearl contacted Beaufort County Animal Care Services, and they contacted us.
After extensive conversations, it was agreed BCACS would pay for some of her surgeries, and NAR would take on her care and any other surgeries after the initial one to give her the best possible outcome. Precious Mae Pearl was transported to CVRC in Charleston, SC, and transferred to the Critical Care Team.
Sweet Mae Pearl was in horrible shape and could barely move from her injuries. The impact of the car caused extensive damage to her spine and front left leg in the shoulder area. Mae was in ICU for almost a week before Neurology could get involved in her care. Getting her stable proved to be a much bigger problem than was anticipated. The impact put her body in a terrible state of shock. Neurology finally got their hands on our sweet girl and ordered a Cat Scan to determine her exact injuries.
Mae Pearl has a comminuted fracture of the lumbar body of L3. There is angulation of the spine on the ventrodorsal projection with the angle directed towards the left. There is a fracture of the left spinous process. Mae Pearl needs to have surgery to bridge the span between L2 & L4 to give her stability. The other issue is she has front left radial nerve paralysis that is getting worse by the day. We do not want to amputate her front leg until we are sure it will not recover over time.
Dr. Klopp was in charge of doing her surgery. A String of Pearls (SOP) plate was applied to the left side of the vertebrae and spanned L2 to L4 with only a few screws on L3. A hemilaminectomy (surgery from the top side of the dog) was performed at L2-L3 on the right side. A loose fragment of the vertebral body was removed from the spinal canal at the cranial aspect of L3. Overall, the spinal cord appeared grossly normal. Mae Pearl did well with her surgery and with her recovery.
After another week of recovering in the hospital, we brought Mae Pearl back to our Rehab Facility. For the next six weeks, our exceptional girl slowly recovered and began to walk. She has not had any issues from her spinal surgery and has been able to urinate and defecate independently.
The only issue is she still had radial nerve paralysis in her front left leg. Our wishful hearts were so set on her keeping the leg that we would see things that were involuntary movements we believed to be voluntary. I sent constant videos to her surgeons until the day came when she had to go back to either have her leg amputated or corrective surgery.
We had every test imaginable done to confirm nerve function in the front left leg. Every test came back Mae Pearl did not have voluntary movement. What we saw was her moving the rest of her body to swing or get her leg in position. Sadness moved across our faces like a black cloud. We soon regained our sunny disposition when Mae Pearl had her leg removed and was able to walk as a tripod almost immediately.
Our very special girl can now run like the wind as a tripod. All of our doubts were put aside the first time we saw her run. Mae Pearl loves to play with other dogs and loves all the special attention she is getting. Because she had spinal surgery, she cannot wrestle with big dogs for fear of damaging her spine. Dogs her size and smaller are fine for her to play with. Mae Pearl will be a fabulous addition to any Family with small to medium size dogs.
We have done our part and given Mae Pearl back her Life. She may be a tripod, but that is not holding her back in any way. We now have to pay the balance of her medical bills. Please, Donate whatever you can to help more dogs like Mae Pearl get the medical care they need to survive and thrive during these uncertain times.
We are taking in and helping dogs all the time. Our Facility is backed full of dogs healing and those that need to go to special homes. Our Staff works from sun-up to sun-down to give each pup the care they need to have a wonderful Life. Our Rehab Facility is more a home than a place where we house dogs. Whether in Hospice Care, Medical or Rehab, each dog gets one-on-one care and lots of love and time to play. These animals are our Family and are treated as such.
I am not doing as many posts on the new dogs because I am very sensitive to many people's difficulties. So many good-hearted people reach out to us daily for help with their dogs. I do whatever I can so they do not have to relinquish their dog. I believe in helping our neighbors or stranger in need. Please, Help Us, Help Them by DONATING.
We are a Team of Five taking care of all these pups. Our pockets are always empty, but our hearts are always full. The unconditional love we receive from the pups and our community fills our hearts daily. Thanks for giving them and us the Gift of Unconditional Love. Your Love and Support are greatly appreciated.