Having no front legs didn’t stop Kandu from getting around. And it didn’t stop him from becoming a therapy dog. Maybe it even made him a better one.
It was seven years ago that Ken Rogers and his wife Melissa, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, saw a piece on the news about a dog missing his front legs who was in need of a home.
They adopted him, and didn’t stop there, taking in other disabled dogs and a handicapped cat.
“We tend to adopt pets with disabilities and do everything we can to try to help them,” Ken Rogers told KUSA, which reported on the amazing dog in Januray..
Now both Kandu and Lucy, who also lacks front legs, make regular visits to the Yampa Valley Medical Center, where Melissa works, to bring hope to the lives of others — as shown in the video above, by the good news website, HooplaHa,
Seeing their determination, the couple decided both dogs would make great therapy dogs.
“It shows people if this dog can do it, you can do it too,” Melissa said.
“We don’t think they’re any different than any other dog,” said Ken. Kandu proves that regularly, living up to his name.
“… Nothing’s going to stop him,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attitude, can do, colorado, devices, disabilities, disabled, dog, dogs, kandu, ken rogers, legs, melissa rogers, no front legs, pets, steamboat springs, therapy, therapy dogs, Yampa Valley Medical Center
What your dog sees as humpworthy may include other dogs (male and female), your child, your ottoman, your favorite pillow, your house guest, a stuffed animal, your leg, or anything else he — or even she — can latch on to.
It’s one of those canine behaviors we humans find less than endearing, downright embarassing and highly confusing; and, as a result, our reaction is usually to bow our heads in shame, holler at the offending dog, or pretend it’s not happening.
So it’s good to see somebody boldy jumping on the subject — and getting across the point, among others, that the behavior is totally normal.
Julie Hecht, who manages Alexandra Horowitz’s Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College in New York City, explores the ambiguous and often avoided topic of non-reproductive humping in the latest issue of The Bark magazine.
“From tail wagging to barking, dog behavior is riddled with nuance. A wagging tail might convey ‘I’m quite scared’ or ‘This is the best day ever!’ Like tail wagging, mounting is far more complex than it may appear, and there is not one simple explanation. But there are some likely candidates.”
Hecht holds a master’s degree in applied animal behavior and welfare from the University of Edinburgh, and she’s an adjunct professor at Canisius College. More important than any of that, she’s not afraid to tackle a subject that offends the more prim and proper among us.
So is humping sexual, or part of an instinctual urge — “must … reproduce … now” — to create offspring? Is it a display of aggression, an assertion of dominance, or just a way to relieve some pent up energy? Clearly, it’s not always and entirely motivated by sexual arousal, Hecht notes, for pillows aren’t usually that arousing.
For nearly as long as ethologists have studied dogs, they have taken note of dogs’ tendency to hump outside of reproductive contexts, she writes.
University of Colorado ethologist Marc Bekoff observed way back in the 1970s that young canids — pairs of three- to seven-week-old wolves, coyotes and dogs — were prone to pelvic thrusting, and that females also engaged in some of that behavior.
“It’s what dogs do. It’s a completely normal behavior,” explains Carolyn Walsh, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, who studies the nuances of dog behavior in dog parks. “Both males and females mount, regardless of whether [they are] sexually intact or not.”
It can come from a surge of emotion, anxiety or arousal, Walsh explains.
“Dog parks can be quite stimulating, and for those who are highly aroused physiologically, mounting behavior could easily come out. There can be such a buildup of social motivation and the desire to affiliate that some of that energy spills over into the sexual motivation system. You see sexual behavior coming out, but it’s mostly out of context.”
Hecht also interviewed Peter Borchelt, a certified applied animal behaviorist in New York City, who pointed out, “There are only so many behaviors a dog has access to, and dogs do what is part of their species-typical behavior. It is something they know how to do.”
Many dog owners equate humping to dominance and control, but it can also be a friendly and less than lecherous attempt to get another dog to play. It may be a cry for attention, a way for dogs to gauge the bond they have with other dogs, or to test just how much a play partner is willing to tolerate.
“This is the idea that dogs perform potentially annoying behaviors like mounting to test the strength of the recipient’s investment in the relationship,” said Becky Trisko, a behaviorist and owner of Unleashed in Evanston, Ill., who has studied dog-dog interactions in the dog daycare setting.
“It’s like saying, ‘How much will you put up with?’ ‘How much do you really like me?’”
Despite all the dirty connotations we humans attach to pelvic thrusting, with dogs the behavior seems — while stemming from various emotions — to be more of a celebration of life than anything else. Cooped up in houses all day, a trip to the dog park, or even just seeing the leash come out, can get dogs excited to the point that something else comes out. Humping, or even an erection, it seems to me, isn’t all about sex when it comes to dogs — that’s just how we’re prone to interpreting it.
We humans equate it with sexual lust, but, with dogs, humping might just be a natural way to celebrate, like the high-fiving or chest-bumping of frat boys, or that “woo-hoo” noise girls make when they get together.
Looking at it through a less tainted lens, one could even make the argument that the behavior — humping, not woo-hooing — is more charming than it is revolting.
For the dog, joy is joy; and embarassing as it might be for us to see any overlap between sexual pleasure and just plain happiness, dogs don’t seem to get all bogged down in what might be the appropriate expression of their various happy and excited emotions.
Is that dirty? Or is there a certain purity there? Do dogs have their emotions confused? Or do they have it right?
None of this is to say you should try it at home, at the corner bar, or anywhere else. Civilized society dictates we don’t engage in that behavior. It’s only to say we shouldn’t get too bent out of shape when our dogs hump.
Rather than punishing a dog for exhibiting glee, it makes more sense to gently redirect the behavior. Watch closely at the dog park and you’ll see that many dogs — the humpees, as opposed to the humpers – do that themselves, with a growl or snarl.
My dog Ace does not tolerate it — whether it’s him being humped, or another dog. He feels the need to break it up, and, should he see one dog mounting another, he will generally rush over and do so.
I’m not sure where that behavior comes from.
Maybe he has become too human.
(Painting by Lachlan Blair, from his father Stuart Blair’s blog)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, animals, arousal, barnard college, behavior, behaviorist, boys, canines, carolyn walsh, causes, chest bump, children, civilized, control, cushions, dog, dog cognition lab, dog park, dogs, dominance, embarassing, embarassment, ethologist, excitement, female, girls, glee, happiness, high five, humans, hump, humped, humping, humps, humpworthy, instinct, interpretations, julie hecht, legs, male, marc bekoff, mounting, people, peter borchelt, pets, pillows, play, reasons, reproductive, sexual, socializing, society, the bark, urge, woo hoo
Warning: This video is graphic and disturbing
The Coast Guard is defending its practice of using live animals for combat medical training after PETA released a video this week of goats having their legs removed with tree trimmers during a training exercise.
A Coast Guard spokesman, while not commenting on whether those on the video were Coast Guard or Coast Guard-hired personnel, confirmed that live anesthetized goats are used in training, according to the Associated Press.
“Animals used in trauma training are supported and monitored by well-trained, experienced veterinary staff to ensure that appropriate anesthesia and analgesia prevent them from experiencing pain or distress,” Lt. Cmdr. Jamie C. Frederick, spokesman for the Atlantic Area, told the AP after PETA released the video and called on the Pentagon to stop the practice.
A congressman also has introduced legislation that would phase out the use of animals by the military for such training.
PETA said the undercover video it released from a whistleblower shows military instructors contracted by the Coast Guard cutting off an anesthetized goat’s legs in Virginia Beach.
In the video, the faces of the participants are blurred and they are not in uniform. The goat is motionless while its legs are cut, but it later makes a noise and moves, at which point one of the men asks for another “bump” of anesthesia.
“Effective combat trauma training and treatment results in lowering the fatality rate of U.S. troops deployed in combat situations,” Frederick said.
Other branches of the military use similar training on goats and pigs and have defended it as a way to replicate wartime injuries and prepare medics and front-line troops for treating catastrophic injuries, according to the AP report.
PETA says the practice is cruel and unnecessary — and that similar results could be gained by using simulation instead of live animals.
“Learning how to apply a tourniquet on a severed goat’s leg does not help prepare medical providers to treat an anatomically different human being wounded on the battlefield,” according to Dr. Michael P. Murphy, one of several medical professionals who signed a letter PETA sent to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta seeking an end to the practice. Murphy is an associate professor of surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves who served two tours of duty in Iraq.
PETA has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate whether the training practices violate the Animal Welfare Act.
“With these animals, they can break their limbs, or they want to simulate broken bones or a gunshot wound, and it’s not clear if they’re anesthetized or not,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, a California Democrat who has introduced legislation that would phase out such use of animals by the military. “You’re torturing animals when you don’t have to.”
According to PETA, more than 10,000 live animals are shot, stabbed, mutilated, and killed in military training exercises each year.
“But the training exercises that are taking place in these highly secret courses bear no resemblance to real battlefield conditions — and they don’t help soldiers save the lives of their injured comrades,” the organizaton noted.
The undercover video footage leaked to PETA shows a Coast Guard training course in Virginia Beach, where members of a company called Tier 1 Group, hired by the military, are seen breaking and cutting off the limbs of live goats with tree trimmers, stabbing the animals, and pulling out their internal organs.
One instructor can be heard whistling on the video as he cuts off goat’s legs and a Coast Guard participant jokes about writing songs about mutilating the animals. Later in the day, according to the whistleblower who came to PETA, goats were shot in the face with pistols and hacked apart with an ax while still alive.
“Cruel exercises like these continue regularly across the U.S. even though most civilian facilities and many military facilities have already replaced animal laboratories with superior lifelike simulators that breathe, bleed, and even ‘die,’” PETA said.
“Unlike mutilating and killing animals, training on simulators allows medics and soldiers to practice on accurate anatomical models and repeat vital procedures until all trainees are confident and proficient.”
PETA says those wishing to voice opposition to the practice can contact U.S. Department of Defense officials.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amputations, anesthetized, animal welfare, animals, coast guard, combat, cut off, department of defense, disturbing, goats, graphic, legs, live, medical, military, pentagon, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, simulations, simulators, surgery, tier 1, training, tree trimmers, undercover, video, warning, whistleblower
It was the monthly meeting of the Northern California chapter of Tripawds, an online community for canine amputees and their owners.
The members started getting together about three years ago, Ralph Kanz of Oakland, who cares for three, three-legged German Shepherds, told the Marin Independent Journal.
The dogs played, socialized and ate a cake made from peanut butter, bananas and bacon, brought along by one San Francisco member.
Referred to as tripods by many owners, some of the dogs had lost limbs due to accidents, others due to cancerous tumors.
Jim Nelson and Rene Agredano created Tripawds.com after their German Shepherd, Jerry, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2006 and had to have a front leg amputated.
“For a lot of people, it’s a shock to see a tripod,” Agredano said. “What we do is we try to change their reaction from pity to amazement and get them to see these dogs don’t care.”
“When you see these dogs getting along on three legs and not caring about anything except having a good time, it’s a great reminder that we should all live our lives like that,” Agredano added.
(Photo: Angie McGraw of Novato pets Lylee, a 12-year-old dog who lost a leg to bone cancer. McGraw’s dog. Sadie, stands behind her; by Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, amputate, amputations, amputees, animals, california, cancer, canine, club, community, dog park, dogs, health, jim nelson, legs, marin, mill valley, online, pets, rene agredano, resilience, surgery, three legs, three-legged, tripawd, tripod, website
Four months ago, Bobby was dragging himself through the streets of Nicaragua.
The big white and tan dog would use his front legs to get from one place to another — not that he had any place to go.
Now, due to an inspiring chain of events, he’s getting treatment in Florida, before moving to a forever home in Oklahoma.
“A perfect storm of generosity helped by social media” is how the Florida Times-Union describes it.
First, Bobby was taken to Casas Lupita, a shelter that is part of a project called Building New Hope. There, his backside was fitted with a cart that restored his freedom of movement.
Patti Snyder, a veterinarian at North Florida Neurology in Orange Park, Florida, saw the story and pictures, and World Vets was contacted with an offer.
“If someone can get him to Jacksonville, we’ll treat him.”
Jill Murray, a veterinary technician in Stillwater, Oklahoma, saw the post too, and offered to give the 70-pound dog, estimated to be about 5 years old, a forever home.
Money was raised to send Bobby from Nicaragua to Jacksonville, and other offers of help were made and accepted, including one from a volunteer with The London Sanctuary, a Jacksonville-based large breed dog rescue group, which offered to provide Bobby with transporation once his plane landed.
Diane Meyboom, a caretaker from Casas Lupita, accompanied Bobby on the flight and went along Tuesday for tests conducted at North Florida Neurology.
“We’re so happy,” said Meyboom. “We don’t even know if surgery is possible, but even if it’s not, we just know he’s going to get the best treatment.”
Vets are awaiting the results, and say they will do what they can to try and restore feeling and movement to Bobby’s rear legs before sending him to his new home in Oklahoma.
(Photo: Diane Meyboom sits inside an enclosure with Bobby at North Florida Neurology in Orange Park; by Kelly Jordan / The Times-Union)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, animals, bobby, body, building new hope, casas lupita, crippled, diane meyboom, dogs, dragged, facebook, florida, help, jacksonville, jill murray, legs, mixed breed, mutt, nicaragua, north florida neurology, oklahoma, patti snyder, pets, rescue, shelter, shipped, spine, stillwater, stray, street, street dog, surgery, tests, the london sanctuary, transported, veterinary, world vets
Yesterday, in updating you on Ace’s miracle recovery, we acknowledged in a backhanded kind of way all the prayers and well wishes you sent his way.
Allow us to do it in a forehanded way, too: Thank you.
Ace remains, from all appearances, over whatever it was that seemed to make him lose control of half of his 130-pound body on Monday.
He’s raring to go, darting all over the place when I take him outside, grabbing my hand in his mouth to pull me along for what he’d like to be a long walk. He seems to have totally forgotten the condition he was in two days ago. I, on the other hand, have not, and so, like an over-protective parent, offer up the kind of buzzkill only humans can provide.
“Let’s wait one more day. Slow down. Be careful. Stop frolicking, dammit.”
It’s the main difference between dogs and people. He being a dog, doesn’t let his past, even recent-as-yesterday past, bring him down. He doesn’t let fears of the future dictate his behavior, or maybe he knows better than me that the possibility of being hobbled tomorrow is all the more reason to run your ass off today.
I don’t know if your responses made Ace better, but they absolutely served that purpose for me. (I have more friends than I thought — or at least he does — and lots of them are strangers.)
Through comments left on ohmidog! and Travels with Ace, through personal emails and phone calls, we heard from several dozen people, including a few of those we encountered during the past year as we criss-crossed America.
Our intent in Travels with Ace was not to bog you down with reports of our physical ailments, not to bemoan the obstacles we were confronted with, not to get all cantankerous about the small stuff life throws our way.
Just as we didn’t ignore the country’s warts, we shared our personal bad moments, too – not to evoke sympathy, not to tug at heartstrings, but to reflect reality. The same holds true of our financial condition. Being unemployed was one of things that sparked the trip; and traveling, with the dog, on a shoestring, was an exercise in frugality mandated by the times and my own personal economic situation.
I, like a lot of Americans, and like America, am having trouble paying my bills.
Embarassing as that may be, I’ve admitted it — far more often than my mother would like me to — and I acknowledged again during Ace’s trauma that, short of draining what little remains in the old 401 K and pulling off a heist of some sort, I’m likely not in a position to scrounge up what any surgery he needed would probably cost.
One of the people we heard from yesterday was a woman who offered to pay for any veterinary care Ace needed. We declined her kind offer, given Ace’s recovery. I wrote her back, thanking her, telling her Ace seemed to be doing fine now, and, for some reason, baring my soul. (Apparently, much like a stripper, I will bare my soul for tips, or even the offer of them.) I explained to her how, in selfish pursuit of doing what I want to do, I’ve decided to scrape by without a job, and in the process have become an insufficient provider.
Putting personal dreams above salary and health insurance may be noble, or it may just be stupid. In any event it’s a choice that, for me, leads to some feelings of guilt during times like this week — times that seem to say, “Get a job, doofus.”
I did suggest she buy my book, which would add several cents to my portfolio.
She wrote back: “That’s wonderful news about Ace, John! I bought your book long ago, it’s how I discovered your blog and “met” Ace. It’s a fascinating book, btw, you’re a compelling writer. I understand your reservations about the money – been there, done that, so to speak. Ace is your family though, and by virtue of your blog, he’s my friend, so I hope it will never be necessary but if it should become necessary, I hope you would let his friends help. And pursuing your dreams is a great way to spend a life. Give Ace a good belly rub for me!”
The belly rub has been given, her compliments have been read and re-read (they serve as a belly rub to me), and her email address has been put in a file marked guardian angels, in the second drawer of the file cabinet on the right. (I write that here in case I forget, should I ever need to find it.)
Wrote another total stranger, upon reading of Ace’s improvement, “ …Amen And Pass The Kibble that Ace is doing well this morning. Having read ohmidog! for the past few years, you and Ace are a couple o’ ramblers that I’ve come to care about in that funny internet way. You just about killed me when you described losing your composure when he leaned on you. I know, I know! I was with you, in that moment. I was with you yesterday in the midst of your nerve-wracking vet visit with an IV bag tied to your roof rack. That would be why you’re an award-winning journalist. Big hugs to both of you, and if you’re ever in the upstate NY area, give a holler on-blog beforehand. We would love to meet “our” sweet Ace. Oh, and you, too, of course. You know how it is.”
More belly rubs for me, but, more than that, it was another note that reinforced what we learned during our travels: However down America might be right now, its people, and its dogs, are a resilient bunch; and people still care about people, especially dog people.
Having invited any theories readers might have, I also heard from several people offering guesses on what it might have been that knocked Ace’s legs out from under him
“My vote still goes with ‘ate something that disagreed with him.’ I woke up absolutely dreading this day for a number of reasons. I checked here before I even looked at the news. Now I’m smiling. You guys stay cool, and we’ll keep rolling out those prayers and good thoughts.”
That one was from Anne, one of several from my friend, technical consultant on internetty issues and web space provider in Baltimore, who, though she lost her husband at the end of last month, though both she and her beagle are still working through the grieving process, took the time to pass on her best wishes.
Some thought it might be heat related, and another reader suspected tick paralysis.
“I’m so glad ACE seems to have had a spontaneous recovery! We had a situation eerily similar to what you described with a newfie mix of ours several years ago. Our vet diagnosed tick paralysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick_paralysis), which he had seen kill several dogs over the years. I had never heard of it, despite living in a state where Lyme and such are common. I thought I’d mention it since our vet said there are a lot of vets who aren’t familiar with it due to its rarity. Warm hugs to Ace!”
And, after our initial report on Ace’s affliction, there were many like this — both from people I know and people I’ve never met:
“I’m crying, and my own dogs are wondering why. Much love and all of our support to both Ace and you. Nothing scarier, for me at least, than a sick pup. Please keep us updated. You two are FAMILY.”
The pesky part of me wanted to write back and ask if my room is ready and what we were having for dinner tonight. Here’s the thing — some of my friends, possibly even some of those stranger friends I’ve never even met, would say come on over. However cash poor America is, it’s rich that way.
We send thanks, too, to Dr. Raymond Morrison, Ace’s vet at Ard-Vista Animal Hospital, here in Winston-Salem, who went beyond the call of duty — and didn’t charge for it — when I ran back into his office after our visit to inform him Ace was copiously vomiting in the back of my car. He strung an IV bag to my roof rack and had a technician adminster about 20 minutes worth of a subcutaneous drip that seemed to immediately improve both Ace’s panting and his legs.
Once he was back home and out of the car, the ailment seemed to disappear as quickly, and mysteriously, as it had arrived.
That we’re living a somewhat insulated life here — partly by choice, in pursuit of another dream, which is to turn our travels into a book — made all the comments and notes, from old friends and new ones alike, worth even more.
What restored Ace’s legs back to full power may be a mystery, but it’s no mystery what reconfirmed my faith in humanity.
It was you.
(Graphic: Pawprint thank you card available at Etsy.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ailment, america, americans, animals, belly rubs, control, dogs, dreams, economy, faith, finances, friends, heat, humanity, legs, letters, mystery, notes, ohmidog!, pets, recovery, resilience, road trip, strangers, support, thank you, thanks, tick paralysis, travels with ace, veterinarian, veterinary
I don’t know which one of your prayers or well wishes did the trick, or if it was the power of them combined, or if it was the puking, or if perhaps it was the nap (I think they can cure about everything), but six hours after he could barely walk, Ace was unexplainedly up and running.
“Stop running,” I told him.
But given I was smiling, tearing up and having difficulty working up the stern tone sometimes required for him to obey, he apparently didn’t feel the need to pay attention. Either that, or he was as happy as I was.
Six hours after he could barely stand up, he was ready to romp.
What befell him yesterday morning is a mystery, and your conjecture is welcome, because I’d like to figure it out.
You’ll recall, maybe, that he had some disc problems a few months back. Those, treated with steroid pills, vanished after the second round of drugs. While that ailment didn’t affect his ability to walk, it was clearly painful and led him to yelp out, whereas yesterday he didn’t seem to be in any pain at all.
After sleeping in yesterday — til almost 11 a.m. — he got up to find he couldn’t get up. It seemed to be just one front leg affected at first, but then I noticed his rear leg on the same side was dragging, splaying out, and clearly not following his brain’s command.
The vet, who had recommended he see a dog neurologist, came out to the car, tied an IV bag to my roof rack and administered what’s called a subcutaneous drip to restore his fluids.
During it, I noticed some slight signs of improvement. Ace sat up, and seemed to be putting weight on the bad side. Once back home he seemed even better, though the right front paw still seemed to have a mind of its own, flopping down on the ground in an exxagerated motion.
After the nap, he insisted on going outside, where he proceeded to walk 99 percent normally, run 99 percent normally and pester me to play 100 percent normally.
I calmed him down, insisting that he chill, and told him we would withhold any celebrations until tomorrow — after seeing whether he gets up with the same problems or not.
It was a scary day, and I can’t tell you how many roads my mind went down. Was it going to be something as serious as it appeared, could I afford the tests to have it diagnosed, much less to have it treated? Would it prove fatal? How badly would I fall apart if so, and could I ever be put back together again?
Sitting in the exam room, waiting for the vet, I reminded myself every minute or so that it wasn’t about me. I reminded myself that I’m a cool-headed sort. But inside, I had turned drama queen.
Ace has given me some scares before during our travels, with his herniated disc, when he disappeared through a swimming pool cover, when he jumped over the fence at Niagara Falls. This one was by far the worst, because there was no explanation for it, no precipitating event — just a sudden loss of limb control.
It’s nothing to take lightly, and even if he seems 100 percent today, I know he needs to be checked out by a specialist. Some breathing room to do that would be nice, though.
I am of that percentage of society that places their dog’s health above their own. Lacking health insurance — for me or him — I am also of the ignore it and maybe it will just go away school.
Yesterday was so frightening I made an exception.
While his problem may not truly be gone, I’m glad it’s gone for now. Borrowed time? We’ll take it.
On our way to the car, for the drive to the vet, Ace was barely able to walk, even with me lifting up on his harness. He leaned his weak side into me for support. He’s normally a leaner, but not when he walks. That it is when I first lost it — it being composure.
That simple trusting act, on his part, somehow pushed me over the edge — partly because he did it without thinking twice, partly, truth be told, because of the realization that I lean on him much more than he leans on me.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bond, control, difficulty, dogs, fear, health, leaning, legs, limbs, neurology, pets, road trip, sick, specialist, travels with ace, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, walking
I was typing away at the computer when Ace finally decided to get up this morning.
That’s the general routine. He sleeps in while I, an early riser, work. Around 9, or 10, or sometimes not until 11, he finally stretches and gets off the futon.
This morning, though, he found that hard to do. Once on the floor, one of his front paws didn’t seem to work. He seemed to have no control over it. When he got off the carpet and onto the wooden floor, it was even worse.
I let him outside and he walked spastically. Maybe his leg is just asleep, I told myself, even as a sick feeling started rising in my stomach.
I noticed that in addition to his right front leg not seeming to cooperate with him, the right rear leg wasn’t either. He managed to go a few steps and pee, then kept veering to one side, falling down and struggling to get up on his way back.
I called his local vet, and though they were booked solid they said to bring him in. On the way to the car he got worse. He leaned his left side on me as he walked, and his right paw dragged, his claws scraping rhythmically on the concrete.
Even with his ramp, it was hard to get him in, but he managed, thankfully, because I’m not sure I can lift 130 pounds now, or for that matter, if I ever could.
At the vet he stumbled and fell some more as we worked our way to the door. He didn’t seem to be in any pain – unlike when he had what was diagnosed as a herniated disc a few months ago. He seemed to have completely recovered from that.
He managed to get up the three stairs into the vet’s office. When I checked in, he didn’t jump up and put his front paws on the counter like he always does. He did perk up when, as we were walking into the exam room, a puppy was walking out. He stopped to sniff and say hello, his tail wagging wildly.
Inside the exam room, as we waited, he was drooling more than he has ever drooled, and sliding all over the floor as he tried to sit and then lay down.
They checked his legs, his ears, his heart, his eyes. I was wondering if he had a stroke, but he seemed responsive, just totally lacking coordination on one side. They asked if he’d eaten anything unusual; I assured them he hadn’t. They asked if he’d had any ticks recently. No, I answered. They took some blood for testing, and recommended a neurologist, but upon calling to make us an appointment they learned the only one in town was out of town – until Aug. 10.
They suggested one in Charlotte, 100 miles away.
We agreed to wait until the blood work up was done, in case Ace made another miracle recovery, as he did from his herniated disc.
“This doesn’t look to be the sort of thing where he’ll just wake up from a nice nap and he’ll be over it, does it?” I asked.
“It could be,” the vet said. “You never know.”
I managed to get Ace back in the car, but just barely as he kept sliding off the side of the ramp, his legs seeming to be working even less well by then.
In the car, I gave him some water, and wondered if we should just head straight to Charlotte, before getting him in and out of the car got to the point where it would require a forklift.
As I pondered, he puked.
Up until then, he hadn’t seemed to be in any discomfort, just stressed out by his limbs not functioning and the veterinarian’s probing.
I ran back inside and found the vet. “Now he’s started throwing up,” I said.
It was yellow, with hunks of what appeared to be chicken – even though I thought the canned food I’d added to his dry food the night before was beef.
The vet came out to the car to look at him again, told me to turn the air conditioning on, and had a technician bring out an IV bag to replenish his fluids with an subcutaneous drip.
During the drip, he got up from his laying down position, and sat, seeming to be put more weight on the malfunctioning front paw than he had been.
By the time we were home, he had little trouble getting up, and little trouble walking down the ramp. His right front paw, though, still seemed to flutter about wildly as he stepped.
In the house, I noticed a large swelling on his back, near where the needle had been — something like a camel hump, but smaller. When the vet called to tell me Ace’s bloodwork was all normal, I asked about the hump. He told me that was routine after a subcutaneous drip.
That’s where things stand now, and I have felt sick all morning, and frightened.
I’m frightened by what may be wrong with him, and frightened that I won’t have enough money, or credit, to pay for what the specialists advise. That is an awful feeling.
The camel is taking a nap now. I am going to join him.
The plan for now is that, when we wake up, it will all be better.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, control, dogs, health, herniated disc, legs, limbs, nerves, neurological, paws, pets, travels with ace, veterinarian, veterinary
Believed to be the first dog to be fitted with prosthetic paws on all four legs, Naki’o is a red heeler who suffered severe frostbite after his foreclosed upon family abandoned him in Nebraska.
At just five weeks old, Naki’o and his littermates were taken to an animal shelter in Nebraska, according to IncredibleFeatures.net.
Veterinary technician Christie Tomlinson organized a fundraiser to have Naki’o — who previously got around by scooting on his belly — equipped with prosthetics on two legs.
The prosthetics, which allow him to run, jump and swim, were designed and fitted in a procedure by Martin Kaufmann, founder of Orthopets. After equipping him with the devices on two legs, Orthopets decided to complete the process for free.
It was the first time they’d fitted an animal with a complete set of new legs.
Naki’o adapted quickly to walking on four prosthetics, and it reportedly just took him a few days to be able to run.
The prosthetics are built to mimic the muscle and bone of dog limbs, allowing them to do everything a normal dog would do.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, all four legs, amazing, animals, disabilities, dogs, foreclosure, four, frostbite, handicaps, legs, limbs, naki'o, paws, pets, prosthetic, prosthetic legs, prosthetic paws, veterinary, video
First, he was swept away by the April 27 tornadoes when they passed through North Smithfield.
He survived, but with two broken legs, and managed to find his way back, using his two good legs to drag himself home, or to what was left of it. But by then, his family, who’d been searching for him and had all but given up, wasn’t there.
When they showed up the next week to sift through the debris, they found Mason waiting for them on the front porch. But the tornadoes had left their life in such disarray they didn’t feel they could care for him, and brought him to a shelter.
At the Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control Shelter, he was diagnosed with two fractures, according to WBRC.
Vets at the Vulcan Park Animal Clinic offered to lend a hand.
Last week vets performed surgery, using plates and pins to mend the legs and getting Mason started on what’s expected to be a long road to recovery.
The animal shelter was prepared to start seeking a new home for Mason, but now comes word — according to the clinic’s website — that his family, still in the process of rebuilding their lives, is ready to take him back.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animals, birmingham, broken, crawled, disasters, dog, dogs, dragged, home, legs, mason, north smithfield, pets, rescue, shelter, tornado dog, tornadoes, vulcan park animal clinic