Simba had no history of any physical ailments. He was on a routine walk one afternoon when another dog got away from its owner and ran toward Simba. Simba turned his body and his neck quickly to move away from the other dog, and suddenly dropped to the ground. All four legs were stiff, he was breathing very heavily, panting hard, and his eyes were looking around panicked. He wouldn’t move, and then his tongue started to swell and turn purple. I quickly got him into the car and rushed to my vet, Lyncourt Veterinary Hospital.
There, Simba was given oxygen and examined for the cause of the problem. He still wasn’t moving, and was still very panicked. Simba couldn’t understand what was happening. In fact, he was so scared that he put himself into cardiac arrest and was not breathing at all for several minutes. The vet administered several shots of epinephrine in order to revive him, at which point he was transferred directly to the Veterinary Medical Center.
Dr. Luschini was able to stabilize Simba, although his heart rate was still very high and he still wasn’t moving at all. He couldn’t move his limbs or his tail, and he couldn’t even bark. But he was alive and breathing. He was placed into one of the beds at the Veterinary Medical Center, connected to an IV and a urinary catheter, and kept overnight for observation. Still not moving the next day, Dr. Fleckenstein evaluated Simba and began acupuncture treatment, while Lis Conarton assessed him and began physical therapy. Because Simba couldn’t move or stand on his own, Lis started him in a “cart” with harnesses that held him up in a standing position and moved on wheels to start exercising his legs. We also did “range of motion” exercises to prevent atrophy in his muscles.
After 3 days of stabilization at VMC, and still unsure of the exact cause of this ailment, we transferred Simba to Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine for an MRI. The MRI revealed that Simba had a disc degenerating in his spine in his neck, and a small piece of cartilage had likely broken off when he turn his neck away from the other dog. This had punctured his spinal cord – impacting his entire central nervous system and paralyzing him. No doctor could give us a clear prognosis for his recovery.
Simba returned to the Veterinary Medical Center the next day, and remained hospitalized for nearly two weeks. It was days before he could eat on his own, and a week before he was able to urinate on his own. But he still couldn’t stand. All of the doctors and technicians continued their work and exercises with him multiple times throughout each day.
When Simba finally came home, we still had a lot of work to do. We purchased a “Help ‘Em Up” full-body harness that has handles at either end to help us lift Simba, so that we could carry him outside to go to the bathroom, and help him to get up and moving around for his at-home physical therapy exercises. We also brought him in to the VMC multiple times for acupuncture, PT with Lis, and evaluations by the doctors. Over the next three months, Simba slowly made progress.
Simba is now miraculously up and walking, even running, and nearly 100% back to his old self. Throughout the entire experience, our family had to make tough decisions – but the team and support at VMC saved our dog’s life.
Simba: 5 year old golden retriever mix
Spinal cord damage & temporary paralysis
Home Exercise Program
Pain Management Medications
We had so much fun on Sunday at the Canine Carnival! We helped dozens of doggies cool off in our doggy pool and with some tasty (to dogs!) sno-cones. We heard lots of dogs were adopted thanks to the record-breaking crowd.
Thank you to everyone who came out.
Check out the photos from the event on our Facebook page
And don’t forget to LIKE us while you’re there!
Smiles and sno-cones aside, we did have to put on our Emergency hats for some not-so-fun business: the business of helping our pets feel better. We were lucky to have some of our best emergency folks right there to help a couple dogs who had a hard time with the heat. They knew just what to do!
We hope you’re all feeling better!
3nd Annual Canine Carnival
New location, Live concert, Red Cross Blood Drive and more…
Canine Carnival 2012 is on the way with even more animals and fun things to do including a live concert. The date is Saturday August 4th 10am to 4pm at a new location, Longbranch Park in Liverpool.
Admission is FREE. It will be held rain or shine. We encourage everyone to bring your pets.
Last years Canine Carnival event was another incredible success with more than 50 vendors and animal rescues represented, food, music, 6000 people attending and best of all, more than 100 dogs finding good homes. Our new location features much greater parking capacity with many additional vendors and rescues being represented.
Along with the live concert at 2pm, other new features this year include a Red Cross Blood Drive on site, dog washing & grooming, a Kids Play area and Sports Zone featuring local sports teams. Horse carriage rides around the park will be available. Spay & Neuter Syracuse (SANS) will offer micro- chipping for your pet. Veterinary Medical Center of CNY will have an emergency triage center on site for your pets.
Proceeds from the Canine Carnival go to the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation who has donated nearly $30,000 to animal welfares and rescues in central NY.
VMCCNY is proud to sponsor this event and look forward to seeing you there!
“Thank you all for taking such wonderful care of our “little guy” Bently over the past few days while he got back on his feet again! Your knowledge, kindness and compassionate nature helped to make our medical emergency much easier to bear. We truly appreciate all that you did to help Bently enjoy the rest of his summer!”