Dotty, a lovely 4-year-old cockerpoo was referred to us in April 2021 as she had become paralysed and unable to walk. She had an MRI scan that revealed a T13-L1 disc extrusion and was taken straight to our Neurology team for spinal surgery.
Unfortunately, she continued to deteriorate due to myelitis (a progressive disease of the spine) so went home paraplegic with no sensation in her pelvic limbs and tail.
However, after two to three months of weekly physiotherapy at DWR and home exercises prescribed for the owners to do twice daily, she started to develop reflexive movement of her pelvic limbs known as spinal walking. When a dog spinal walks, they move their legs using involuntary reflexes and muscle memory even though there is no communication between the nerves and the brain.
Over the following months Dotty’s gait and strength continued to improve and eventually she was amazingly able to walk again unaided! This was due to her owners’ dedication and her continued physiotherapy. This means that Dotty can lead a relatively normal life, go for walks, and enjoy her holidays again.