I want to begin this post by saying that since I started Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog 2 ½ years ago I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the most dedicated and caring pet owners from around the globe. The story below proves that point because it begins in Africa and ends in Canada.
Recently I ran a story that started in Namibia where a pet mom named Natasha shared a video of the miraculous recovery her paralyzed dog Savannah made after a traumatic injury to the dog’s spine. When Karen Brandson watched the video from her home in British Columbia a flood of memories came rushing back to her about her dog Calli and the nearly identical video she had taken of the dog’s recovery from a blunt force trauma. Both Savannah and Calli had similar injuries and recoveries.
Karen reached out to share the connection and the video she filmed about Calli.
Click to read: Paralyzed Dog Savannah Learns To Walk
Here is Karen and Calli’s story from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada:
On June 9, 2006 Calli was attacked by a dog while she was taking a walk with Karen. She was hit hard and knocked into a ditch. Her legs were hanging uselessly when Karen picked her up.
Calli spent the weekend in a veterinary hospital and then went for a second opinion. Both veterinarians agreed the dog had lost the use of her hind legs. Each vet performed a “deep sensation” test where they pinch a dog’s toes to see if there is a reaction from the dog. When Calli did not respond, the veterinarians told Karen it was an indicator that the nerves in the spinal column were not registering correctly and they could not send messages to the brain.
“The prognosis was not good,” said Karen.
While being hospitalized Calli developed a bad urinary tract infection and lost control of her bladder and bowels. When Karen brought her home she had to quickly learn how to handle an incontinent dog with a catheter who also needed help to make her bowels work.
It sounded like an impossible task, but Calli responded to the care Karen gave her. When the dog was feeling stronger Karen took her for chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, laser therapy and hydrotherapy.
“I was hoping one of the treatments would find the magic key to open the ‘prison’ door for Calli,” said Karen.
It turned out the underwater treadmill worked best and it slowly started to stimulate Calli to use her back legs and try to walk. One month later she began to spinal walk.
Spinal walking is a genuine miracle the body produces in some paralyzed dogs. Reflexes in the muscles and memory from the brainstem combine to help a paraplegic move their legs.
Calli never regained awareness of what her hind end was doing and she still remained incontinent, but she got along spinal walking for the next 7 years. She roamed all over the farm where her family lives.
“She lived in the moment and never worried about what she might be missing.”
When Calli first hurt her back Karen bought a wheelchair for her, but she only began to use it during the last 3 years of her life. Calli passed away in June, just short of turning 16 years and 5 months old.
Here is the video of Calli’s amazing recovery:
Here is Calli at age 16:
Click to read: Deep Pain Sensation and Why You Want Your Dog To Have It
Karen lives on a 10 acre hobby farm called Wyndson Farm in the Bradner area of Abbotsford, British Columbia. She and her family are vendors at farmer’s markets where they sell a wide variety of organically grown fruits, vegetable, herbs and flowers. They also sell free range eggs, jams, jellies and marmalades as well as sewn items. You can read more about the farm on Karen’s blog: Wyndson Farm.