Here is a short story for the weekend that will put a smile on your face. A professor and a group of undergraduate students from the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University have built a working canine exoskeleton brace for paralyzed and three-legged dogs. The brace is not science-fiction or a model that needs years of tweaking before a real dog can use it. No, it is a fully functioning device that dogs can use today. [Read more…]
Would you know if your dog had a stroke? The symptoms are different than those for a human stroke. Over the course of writing Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog, I’ve shared two stories about dogs who have suffered a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE) stroke. Ironically when I looked back at those posts, both are eerily similar.
The first story was about a sweet Italian Greyhound named Ricochet who was playing in his yard on March 29, 2014 when he suddenly fell to his side unable to move and gasping for air. And last month I wrote about little Mia who also ran outside in her backyard happy and healthy one minute and the next minute she had collapsed to the ground barely breathing. Strange set of circumstances….right? Or are they the warning signs pet parents should know? [Read more…]
I’ve been curious for a long time about how a hyperbaric chamber for dogs heals victims of stroke and spinal cord injuries. The concept of hyperbaric oxygen therapy where a sick dog is placed inside a box and comes out feeling better, has always seemed more like magic than science to me. So when the pet mom of a shepherd mixed dog named Mia credited a hyperbaric chamber for saving her pet’s life after a FCE stroke, I saw it as an opportunity to dig deeper and learn more about this treatment. [Read more…]
Dogs today are lucky compared to those in the past when it comes to diagnosing and treating health problems. Science has opened a whole new world of diagnostic imaging tests for our canine and feline fur kids that can see far into their bodies. So why then do so many of us pet parents dread hearing the news that our dog needs an MRI?
When my veterinarian said Sophie needed an MRI to determine which part of her spine was causing her paralysis; I wanted to grab my dog and run out of the office. It’s my opinion this new technology is confusing to pet owners. We aren’t sure about the difference between an ultrasound, a CAT scan and a MRI and we worry which test will be the best for our dog’s condition. I was afraid an MRI might be too stressful for Sophie and make her problem worse. I worried about the cost of the test and wanted assurance the MRI was going to give us a confirmed diagnosis.
If your veterinarian is suggesting an MRI for your paraplegic dog, here is information how the procedure works, what problems it’s best at diagnosing and what you need to know to prepare your dog. But before reading ahead, I found one piece of excellent advice you should keep in mind, “An MRI is used to confirm a diagnosis that cannot be confirmed another way. It should not be scheduled as a way to make an initial diagnosis.”
This Wordless Wednesday we’re sharing news that July is IVDD Awareness Month. It’s the time of year when our friends at Dodgerslist teach pet parents about IVDD and let veterinary professionals know about their Free Educational Client Literature program. We hope you’ll help us spread the word.