Hello, I'm Leslie Gallagher, owner of Two Hands Four Paws, which focuses on innovative rehabilitation techniques for dogs. Recently, I shared several case studies about laser therapy in rehabilitation, and today, I'm excited to discuss the incredible case of Pearl, a little Chihuahua with a severe spinal injury.
Pearl's Rescue and Diagnosis:
Pearl's journey began when she was discovered in a trash heap, around one year old, having suffered extreme trauma. Her X-rays revealed a shocking 'step fracture' in her spine, with vertebrae sitting atop each other—a serious condition that rendered her unable to walk and was deemed "inconsistent with life" by a neurologist.
Choosing an Alternative Path:
Despite a surgeon's opinion that surgery wouldn't help and a neurologist's suggestion of euthanasia, we at Two Hands Four Paws decided on a different course of action. Pearl began a rigorous rehabilitation program in our care, focusing on strict cage rest, electrical muscle stimulation along her spine, and intensive laser therapy sessions multiple times throughout the day to encourage any possible healing.
Integrating Canine Acupuncture and Pain Management:
In addition to the physical treatments, we introduced acupuncture to Pearl's regimen and administered two pain medications, meloxicam and gabapentin, to manage the intense discomfort from her spinal fracture.
Pearl's Miraculous Recovery:
The results were astonishing. In just four months, Pearl began walking on all four legs. Though she continued to experience delayed conscious proprioception on her right side and lacked sensation in her back legs, we developed a custom leg splint to protect her foot from scraping the ground. She still requires special footwear for her right leg, but Pearl's life was not only saved—she regained the ability to walk and run.
Adoption and Ongoing Success:
Pearl's story reached a heartwarming conclusion as she was adopted into a loving home. Today, she is a cherished pet, often carried around and given the love she deserves. Her case stands as a testament to the success of alternative rehabilitation methods and the resilience of injured dogs.
Pearl's story is a powerful example of the potential for recovery in dogs with spinal injuries, especially with innovative treatments like laser therapy and acupuncture. Her successful rehabilitation at Two Hands Four Paws highlights our commitment to giving every dog a chance at a better life, despite challenging diagnoses.