Can you guess my absolute favorite part of running Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog? It’s the stories I receive from people about the amazing lives they have created with their paralyzed dogs and cats. I am in awe at each pet owner’s transition from novice to expert caretaker.
While everyone’s journey is unique, the theme of each story is the same. It is the courageous moment when they decided to give their newly paralyzed fur kid a chance. Every pet parent made that decision even though they were scared out of their minds about being able to care for a disabled animal.
Linda Pintoff is one of these special people. Last February she wrote to me about how to get a wheelchair for her dog Logan. The little Papillon had just undergone surgery to repair a herniated disc and Linda didn’t know what to expect next.
Now a few months later, Linda has become an expert at taking care of Logan and meeting his every-changing needs. There were weeks of steady recovery and times with serious setbacks, but Linda and Logan keep moving forward.
Here is Linda and Logan’s story. I hope it inspires you the way it did me.
Logan is doing well after his February neuro surgery. He has gone to 2 months of physical therapy at Pieper Memorial Veterinary Hospital, in Middletown, CT where he had his surgery. He has regained a lot of mobility in his rear legs which were paralyzed by his herniated disc.
He should still make additional recovery as he continues his PT twice a week.
About 10 days ago Logan had a setback health wise and my regular vet diagnosed him with gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. She recommended that he get full rest and to discontinue his physical therapy for about 10 days-2 weeks.
During this time his rear legs got more wobbly. I was assured by the PT therapist that this was normal while his two conditions were resolving and while he temporarily stopped his therapy.
We resumed PT as of yesterday and will continue as long as the surgeon and my regular vet think he will gain benefit and build muscle. Logan was a very athletic and muscular little Papillon before his surgery. He has lost considerable muscle on his right rear thigh and lost about a 1 lb. weight. He went from weighing 7 lbs. to about 6.1 lbs. now.
Logan will be on special food for his pancreatitis and will have 4-5 smaller meals a day to aid his recovery.
I have begun to take him with me whenever I go visiting friends or trips out-of-town. My husband is disabled and it’s hard for him to bend down and help Logan up the deck steps so he stays home with Jackson, our 11-year-old healthy Papillon.
I will soon take Logan with me to Cape Cod on vacation with a couple of girlfriends and another small dog. Logan enjoys getting out.
At this time, I don’t think we will need a wheelchair for him, but early in his recovery, I contacted Eddie’s Wheels which is about 1 1/2 hours away in Mass. They were very kind and said I could bring him there to be measured when and if he needed wheels.
Let me also thank you for your amazing blog. I found it during the week Logan was in the hospital following his surgery. I was very sad and very scared.
Logan was sent to the hospital within 3 hours after I noticed his symptoms. He went “down” dramatically fast and was admitted in guarded condition without a great prognosis.
I was warned that many dogs in his condition develop a condition called Ascending Descending Myelomalcia which is fatal and would require immediate euthanasia. The condition causes the spinal cord to become soft.
That’s when I found your blog. It gave me hope and showed options that are available. Thank God Logan didn’t develop Myelomalacia.
He went home with a sling to help begin mobility training and orders for 1 month of crate rest. Reading your upbeat articles and hearing other people’s stories encouraged me to see that I could take care of Logan no matter what happened.
I learned to express his urine and did that 4-6x daily for about 6 weeks until he began peeing outside. He no longer lifts his leg, but pees while he runs and is beginning to squat/run while he poops (mostly outside).
We are hopeful that he will continue to regain rear leg strength and pee while raising his leg or squat, but we are satisfied with his progress. He doesn’t wag his plumy tail any more except to bob it up and down when he poops, but I’ve been told that is normal. I’ve been told he will wag it again as time goes on.
I am happy and grateful for his incredible recovery and love the care and PT he gets at Pieper Memorial. A big part of my own healing came from your stories and help from other pet parents who write in to your site.
If you want, you may use my story if you think it will help someone else.
Stories from other pet parents
We’ve been collecting lots of stories from pet owners who have gone to extreme lengths to take care of their paralyzed dog or cat.
You can read these posts on our tab called: Amazing Handicapped Pets.
And I’d love to hear about your personal journey with your paralyzed dog. Tell us your story in the comment section below.