Have you heard the term “spinal walking or “spinal reflex walking”? The phenomenon happens to a small number of dogs (and cats) that are paralyzed after a spinal cord injury. These animals are able to use their reflexes to move even though their limbs no longer communicate with their brain.
Choosing a Halloween costume for an able-bodied dog is a fun project. There are so many cute selections. But it gets a little more complicated to find perfect Halloween costumes for dogs in wheelchairs. They need a design that won’t cause them to lose their balance, obstruct their vision or keep them from moving freely in their cart.
So, if you’re planning to take your disabled dog trick-or-treating this year, we’ve got adorable costumes ideas that will keep them safe as well. [Read more…]
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Laurie Edge-Hughes, BScPT, MAnimSt(Animal Physio), CAFCI, CCRT. If you aren’t familiar with her name, the long list of credentials that follow it should give you a hint that Laurie Edge-Hughes is one of the leaders in her field of canine physical therapy.
After earning a degree in human physical therapy in 1993, Laurie realized she had a special interest in working with animals. She completed courses offered by the Canadian Horse and Animal Physical Therapists Association, which was the only form of animal PT education available at the time and then opened Four Leg Rehabilitation Therapy in Canada. It was the first rehab clinic for dogs. Her goal was to fill the gap between the level of care given to large animals and the type of treatment available for small companion animals.
Laurie also developed the first course in canine physical therapy in North America so other professionals could learn canine physical therapy. Today, she’s still at the forefront of the field teaching students and speaking at symposiums around the world.
If you’re the pet parent of a paralyzed dog, you know that most pups with spinal cord problems are usually incontinent as well. Most of us get used to this idea and get on with life. We learn to express our dog’s bladder or keep them dry in a dog diaper. But even with a strict bathroom schedule, accidents happen. And many of those accidents happen during night while your dog is sound asleep.
Well, I found the best bed for incontinent pups. It’s designed to catch urine, keep your dog dry and let them get the rest they (and you) deserve.
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 pet parents dread hearing the news that your 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 her and run out of the office. Hearing the words MRI for the first time was frightening and confusing. I didn’t know what to expect. I think my reaction was pretty typical. Pet parents know the names of tests like ultrasounds, CAT scans and MRIs, but we don’t know how they work or which test is best for our dog’s condition.
I was afraid the MRI was too stressful for Sophie and would make her condition worse. I worried about the cost of the test and wanted assurance it was going to give us a confirmed diagnosis.
If your veterinarian is suggesting an MRI for your paraplegic dog, here is information about how the procedure works, what problems it best diagnoses and how to prepare your dog. But before reading ahead, I was told an excellent piece of advice from a veterinary neurologist that 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.”