CHESTERFIELD, SC.........TITUS is a 4 year old Chihuahua that was picked up by an older couple that saw him dragging himself down a rural road in Chesterfield, SC. Once they went back to get him they were horrified at what they saw. He couldn’t walk because half of one leg was gone and the other leg had part of it missing. They immediately took him to the shelter where a vet looked into what was wrong with him. They thought he had gotten caught in a trap and that was how he had lost part of the leg. We agreed to take him into our care and do a thorough evaluation with our surgeons to see exactly what was wrong with this adorable little dog. Titus cannot use his back legs and has no control of his bowels and bladder. He has the ability to drag himself but that is all. He has no pain sensation in one leg and very little in the other. He has terrible pain in his front section. His left leg is necrotic from his hock on down. After several surgeons did lots of scans and x-rays, they all came up with the same conclusion. Titus at some point in the last 6 weeks was either hit by a car or someone hit him. His spine is damaged in his Thoracic and Lumbar region. He has compression on nerves and lots of scar tissue has developed. Because of his spinal injury, his rear legs have no pain but they still have a tingle that is always going through the legs. This sensation drives animals to do anything to make the tingle stop. Titus wasn’t caught in a trap, he has CHEWED his own leg off in an effort to make the tingle go away. His dead rear legs are from trauma to his spine and the missing part of the limbs is from him chewing. We see this too often in dogs with spinal injuries. It is hard to imagine but you have to remember the dog does not not have feeling in the leg. All he has is a tingle that he needs to make stop. The person that had him then abandoned him on the side of the road. We are very fortunate that someone kind enough stopped to pick him up because he would not have made it very long in the condition he was in.
We are in a situation where we have no choice but to do spinal surgery to make the tingle go away. If we do not, he will always be chewing on his legs until there is nothing left. Right now both legs are terribly infected. We will be doing spinal surgery in his Thoracic and Lumbar region. In the Lumbar region, we will have a 50% chance of getting back his bladder and bowel control and should be able to stop the tingle he is having. In the Thoracic area we are hoping to stop the terrible pain he is experiencing. We have decided to do whatever we can to give this incredibly sweet boy the best outcome possible. None of this will change the fact that he will be in a cart for the rest of his life. What we hope to change is his quality of life in the cart. As soon as the infection is under control, we will be doing the surgeries. We will repair the rear legs so he will have enough leg to hang over the cart. Please, keep Titus in your prayers for the best possible outcome. Spinal surgery is tricky under the most ideal circumstances.
Our sweet Titus had one of his spinal surgeries on Friday. The surgeons worked on the Lumbar and the Thoracic area of the spine. We can now say for sure this sweet dog was hit by a car about 3 months ago based on his injuries. The Thoracic area was the worst of all. This area of his spine has been crushed. New bone had formed and his spinal cord was totally compressed. The bone was so dense that it had blood vessels running through it. The surgeons were able to relieve the compression and repair the area as much as could be repaired given the original injury. This area was causing most of the non stop pain our sweet boy was having. The lumbar area wasn't nearly as bad but had a small area that was crushed and has caused him to lose his bowel and kidney control along with the use of his rear legs. Over the next month we will begin to see what has changed since the surgery. We can already tell that we have relieved the bulk of the pain he was having. He is now a lot happier and more comfortable. He has started to use his bladder muscles but still does not have full control over his bladder or bowels. His progress over the next month will tell us if we need to go back in and do another surgery on him. We are now in a wait and see mode. He is being fitted for a special walker so he can be getting around and build up his muscles. Being handicapped is not holding Titus back. If we weren't there, he would be scooting all over the place with his two front legs. He is the happiest little boy that is special in every way. He will ultimately need to be in a special needs home that is familiar with this type of disability. Dogs in wheelchairs have incredible lives given proper care. They adapt and move on and learn to use the wheelchair just like their legs. Thanks for caring about sweet Titus and helping us with all of his medical needs.
TITUS is doing wonderful since his surgery. He is getting back some control of his bowels and kidneys but is still having issues. All of the pain is now gone that he was having and he does not have any tingling in his legs that caused him to chew on them.