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Alfie's recovery - beats all the odds!

Last year Alfie suddenly was unable to stand or move...scary stuff. There were then points in his recovery where the vets felt he would have no quality of life and difficult decisions would have to be made. However his owner did not want to give up without a fight and nursed him 24/7 for months. This is a case study of dedication, motivation and love.

In February when he suddenly became unwell he was rushed to the vets and after an x-ray was diagnosed with lumbrosacral disease. This is where there is compression on the spinal cord at the level where the last lumbar vertebrae joins with the sacrum (pelvis area). This junction is designed to cope with a lot of stress and movement - as your dog runs at full pelt the joint flexes and extends a great deal to cope with the movement required for high speed galloping. However in Alfie's case this caused injury over time, stopping the messages being passed through to his hindlimbs and caused initial paralysis.

When I first met Alfie he had had a prolonged period of rest and pain medication to allow the area to heal. He had gradually got some movement back in his legs again but was still weak and unsteady at times, and his walks were limited to only short plods.

Over the next few months I treated the injured area with low level laser therapy (used to speed up the natural healing process by providing the cells in the tissue with more energy and therefore work harder). We also performed some manual techniques to mobilise stiff joints in his spine and increase circulation to the area. The main aim of treatment was core stability, core stability, core stability! This is hugely important for dogs with spinal issues (and any dog really for injury prevention) as will improve the support the spine has from the muscles, prevent joints being over stressed and to prevent issues in the future.

Alfie gave every task which gave him 100% and was thoroughly enthusiastic (as long as there were treats involved!). Exercises involved wobble cushions, gym balls, obstacle name it he did it! His owner was also great and kept these exercises up on her own during the weeks. Over time Alfie became stronger and stronger and gradually increased his walks, exercise and general activity. He is now back to doing 1 hour walks and running around in his favourite fields. He has had to give up on high speed chasing of balls, now that we know there is a weakness there but he doesn't mind too much and uses his brains on lots of other games.

Last week was Alfie's 7th birthday. At times during this last year his owner never thought he would see another birthday again so he was well and truly spoilt with roast chicken and roast potatoes to celebrate...and he deserves it! Here he is with his birthday bunny feeling very proud of himself.

Alfie beat all the odds and made a fighting recovery from all his issues and is now back to having new adventures. Good work Alfie.

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