Sammi was a happy and healthy springer spaniel.
He loved to run and fetch and play like any dog. But a bone growing inside his spinal column started putting pressure on his spinal cord and causing problems. It started out by making him limp, but before long, he started falling down. Eventually, he was unable to walk at all and was a quadriplegic.
His owner took him to the vet, where a surgeon attempted to remove the extra bone, but they weren’t successful, and it looked like Sammi would never walk again.
He wasn’t even able to hold his head up. His owner wasn’t going to give up on him, though.
She took him to California Animal Rehabilitation, where they worked with Sammi. They felt like Sammi could learn to hold his head up and possibly even walk again, but it wasn’t going to be easy, and it was going to take some time.
They detailed the rehabilitation process, saying:
“Sammi was an active, happy 8-year-old Springer Spaniel who had suddenly become a quadriplegic, due to bone growing inside his spinal column and putting pressure on his spinal cord. Sammi needed intense rehabilitation following surgery, where his surgeon was unable to remove the excess bone. The prognosis for Sammi’s complete recovery was bleak… He could not walk at all, or even hold his little head up. Nobody was sure if he would ever walk again… Full paralysis in pets is, just as with humans, complicated and challenging to treat.
“After three months of daily rehabilitation to strengthen his core muscles, including electronic stimulation, electro-acupuncture, assisted standing in the underwater treadmill, and sensory rehabilitation over a therapy ball, Sammi was able to master sitting up from a down position. Treatment was continued to pattern his legs to walk again, while constantly fighting them, as they were stiff and rigid from his neurological condition.”
“Then one day it finally happened – he took his first steps, and although he could not even stand and balance on his own that day, through continued rehabilitation, patience, and sheer determination, he learned to walk again and never looked back. Today Sammi not only walks – he runs, jumps, swims, and plays. You’d never know what he’s been through to look at him now! Finally, Sammi took his first steps.”
Then slowly, he started to move his legs on his own.
He learned to hold his head up and stand. He was starting to regain the feeling in his legs. He was going to walk again. His owner was there to see him walk to her, and she couldn’t believe it. She was told to give up hope, and now, her dog was beating the odds.
After Sammi mastered walking again, his owner wanted to make sure he stayed active, so he didn’t experience any other problems or complications.
She started entering the dog in 5Ks with her. The two now run together often, and Sammi is feeling great.
He went from a happy, active pooch to a quadriplegic who didn’t appear to have much joy in his life. Thanks to the California Animal Rehabilitation, he can now walk, run, jump, swim, and play with his owner just like he did before he became paralyzed.
Sammi’s story is not unique.
Many animals have been paralyzed, and many of their owners were told to euthanize because the animals would never walk or move again. Thanks to their loving owners who refuse to give up on them and the dedicated vets and rehabilitators, these animals recover completely and live normal lives again.
Sammi is a strong and happy little dog.
He wasn’t about to give up and let him paralysis affect his life. He proved that he can overcome anything, and he is an inspiration to humans who may be dealing with similar mobility issues. Never give up and continue to push yourself until you reach your goals, just like Sammi.
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