A recent event made me realize that a puppy’s body is made up of lots of complicated and fragile parts. And it only takes one small anomaly to change their future. We usually talk about the major diseases that turn a healthy dog into a disabled pet, but did you know there are little-known conditions that keep puppies from walking? Those diseases inspired me to share the story below. [Read more…]
IVDD (Intervertebral disc disease) is a common cause of back pain, hind end weakness, paralysis and a host of other neurologic problems in dogs. IVDD is often referred to as a ruptured, herniated or slipped disc, but it is actually a disease of the spinal cord that causes the discs to prematurely lose moisture, harden and degenerate. Healthy discs act as cushions between the bones of each vertebra, but in dogs with IVDD these discs compress and become painful. If you have one of the 10 breeds prone to IVDD, it is important to learn the warning signs of this condition.
There are two forms of IVDD: Hansen Type I and Hansen Type II. Hansen Type I is the most common form of the disease and its victims are generally young or middle-aged (3-6 years old) chondrodystrophoid breeds. These are dogs that have short, stubby legs and long backs. These breeds have a predisposition to develop IVDD in part because of their genetic makeup and in part because their bodies are top-heavy and carry a disproportionate amount of weight on a small frame. [Read more…]
Cushing’s Disease is a condition in dogs that can take away their ability to walk or have control over their hind legs. It is a disease that is close to my heart and because of that, I was overjoyed to come across this video about Ruby. Ruby the celebrity dog lived a life filled with all kinds of accolades and achievements until she developed Cushing’s Disease. She was a highly regarded therapy dog who visited patients in the hospital and in nursing homes. She also worked with school kids, had a book written about her and performed on stage. Pretty amazing, right?
Last year Ruby came down with Cushing’s Disease and it weakened her back legs so badly she couldn’t walk or perform her duties as therapy dog and celebrity. Her life was on hold until Ruby was fitted for a wheelchair from HandicappedPets.com and as the video shows, she is back doing all of the activities she loves. [Read more…]
Have you heard the term Spinal Walking or Spinal Reflex Walking? It’s kind of a miracle way to walk that some dogs with severe spinal cord injuries learn even though their legs can’t communicate with their brain.