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Paralysed Fifi walks again

There is little help for a paralysed dog in an impoverished township. Such pets usually need intensive care, a home environment conducive to recovery and physiotherapy. This is challenging when pet guardians live with low income. Small homes also easily have six or more people living in them. But Fifi's mommy and our veterinarians went the extra mile to save Fifi...

Fifi was admitted to our clinic after she collapsed the previous evening. Her tail and limbs were paralysed. After examination it was established that she had lower motor neurone disease. She could wee, defecate and move her neck and back but needed to be turned every few hours.

Recovery is possible but it can take up to 5 months. Being in a township environment where pet owners cannot afford physiotherapy and would not be able to do physio at home or give Fifi long term care, euthanasia was considered, however, our veterinarians wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help her recover.

There is no specific treatment we could give her - just supportive care and TLC. We trained our hospital assistants on how to do basic physio and she received daily physio sessions to stimulate her muscles so that they didn't waste away. Every day we gave her some “play time” outside where she got to roll around in the sand too.

Eight days later her tail wagged ever so slightly. A week thereafter she stood up and walked.

Fifi's mommy was overjoyed. "I thought she would never walk again," she said. Fifi was ecstatic to see her mom when she was collected from our hospital. Even with this horrible disease, sweet Fifi never stopped smiling and returned home with a spring in her step.


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