For the Love of Spooky Boo
Sadly, not all the stories you share with us are happy ones.
Earlier this year, Tan Morris told us about her much-loved Lurcher, Spooky Boo who fell while out on a walk, sustaining a severe spinal injury. She and her partner Ed have set up a Facebook page, which allows others to follow Spooky Boo’s progress and also warn other dog owners about the danger of falls. We caught up with Tan to find out more.
The story began on New Year’s Eve. Spooky, who is also deaf, had been out walking when she slipped and twisted her back, losing control of her back legs. At the vet’s, an examination revealed that she had damaged two discs in her back – but after two days she showed no signs of improvement so she was admitted to Willows Veterinary Centre for emergency treatment.
Tan explained: “Spooky had to undergo a number of examinations, including an MRI scan, and we later found out that a piece of disc had damaged her spinal column, which left her with severe spinal trauma.
“Following examinations and MRI, a fragment of disc matter had exploded at high velocity into her spinal column, causing bruising, swelling and compression. This injury cannot be decompressed with surgery. Unfortunately the MRI also showed Myelomalacia in a small portion of her spinal cord, where part of the cord had 'died' due to severe trauma.”
Myelomalacia is extremely rare and only five to 10 per cent of dogs with spinal trauma will suffer this. It can also be fatal should the condition get worse or creep along the spinal cord, causing problems and failure of other organs, particularly the lungs.
Spooky returned home on the 5th January to start her long rehabilitation. At first, Spooky was completely dependent on her owners for all her needs, which include emptying her bladder, physio, turning to reduce pressure sores, keeping her clean but most importantly giving her stimulation and interest whilst the disc heals itself.
Slowly but surely, and with plenty of TLC from Tan and Ed, Spooky began to make progress. Thanks mainly to the regular hydrotherapy sessions she has received, Spooky has managed to re-build the strength and mobility in her legs and is now walking unaided.
Tan explains: “Spooky is now walking unaided and has surpassed our expectations, although she still has a way to go and we’re hoping she will continue to improve.
“She can now get around the downstairs part of our home on her own but her left leg still has a mind of its own. We still need to use a sling when she’s outside but she is now enjoying walks . . . with a little help from us! She can also play with her doggy friends and even chases them around in a spider-like way. It’s wonderful to see her enjoying life again.
“We hope with that with more hydrotherapy and physio sessions she will gain more strength and mobility.”
If you are faced with a similar problem or just want to follow this story, please visit Spooky Boo’s Facebook page.
If you would like to share your pet story with us head to our Facebook pages at hilifedog or hilifecat or tweet us at @HiLifeDog / @HiLifeCat.