After Cory’s miracle at the lake, we discussed what may have been the cause for his unbelievable recovery. We decided that it was probably a combination of the fluid movement of his joints in the water, helping to lube up and loosen his joints, coupled with the cold water which may have had a soothing effect on the pain.
Determined to help Cory feel that sense of freedom again (and hopefully regain his ability to walk unassisted), we bought a pool for him last weekend (we got it on craigslist for $50). Unfortunately, the pool is not quite deep enough for him to swim, but with his life jacket on his buoyancy is enough to keep almost all pressure off his legs, allowing him to move freely in the water.
Watch as his eyes just lighten up as he gets to play with his ball. We think this must be a very freeing experience for him since he gets to move about in the water wherever he wants. He’s still unable to stand up or walk on his own outside of the water, and improvement has been evident but slow since we bought the pool. We are hoping that with 2 swim-sessions a day, his atrophied muscles will strengthen enough to allow him to at least stand and walk on his own.
If you have any suggestions for arthritis relief for dogs, please tell us in the comments!
If you read Sandy’s last blog post, you’re aware that Cory’s health is declining. For the last month or so, he has lost the ability to stand up on his own, and he can’t take more than a few steps without his hind end collapsing.
But to our complete shock and amazement, this weekend Cory stunned us. Apparently driven by his undying love for water, he swam for the first time in months. But the fact that he could swim wasn’t what really shocked us. It was when he actually exited the water and began walking with a little spring in his step. He proceeded to grab a tennis ball and demand that we throw it for him, fetching it numerous times and bringing tears to our eyes as we witnessed the sparkle and life returning to his. Take a look… we would have never expected this to happen.
And here’s Cory walking on his own for the first time in months.
First off, let me assure you that the book, Cory’s Story, will not have a sad ending. It is about the life of our dog, Cory, and his success in conquering canine epilepsy. I don’t like books that make me cry at the end, and I believe in the power of positive energy. But I can’t continue this blog without being honest with you, many of whom have contacted me both publicly and privately expressing such kind wishes for Cory’s well-being. The truth is, the surgery which Cory had on his spine last March (see the Cauda Equina section of this blog) did not bring him the cure we were so hopeful for. Cory’s hind end has completely failed, and his shoulders are so full of arthritis he cannot walk without assistance. He cannot get up by himself once he is lying down. With tears choking my words I called the woman who owns the place where Cory has been getting hydrotherapy and cancelled the rest of his hydrotherapy sessions. Her response was to inquire how he is doing otherwise. (You mean other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?) So I told her that his mind is still sharp and clear. He has no problem with his hearing or with seeing. He sleeps peacefully by my side of the bed every night without any signs of discomfort. He wants very badly to be with us and he responds with pleasure to hearing us talk about him and having us hug and pet him. She listened intently and then told me that she has a “doggie wheelchair” which she will lend to us. I don’t know that that is, but I can’t wait to pick it up this evening. I will let you know how it works for him. We are remaining guardedly optimistic. I will keep you all posted on how it goes.
I just wanted to give an update on Cory’s back. This photo was taken about 15 weeks after he had surgery for Cauda Equina syndrome. As you’ll recall from an earlier post, we started using DERMagic skin care lotion to help speed the healing and hair regrowth process.
It’s definitely working. Take a look and you’ll notice a light layer of hair growing back almost all over the shaved area. Interestingly, you can also see some small patches of hair that seem to be growing faster than other areas. We’re hoping he gets his entire coat back soon!
Just a quick update to show you a picture of Cory’s back, taken on May 27th, 2010 (about 9 weeks after surgery for cauda equina syndrome). His scar is showing tremendous improvement, and the DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion appears to be starting to work some of its magic as well. It’s hard to see in the photo, but hairs are sprouting up all over the bare area. We’re staying hopeful he’ll get his shiny coat back soon!
Cory’s last seizure was on May 22, 2005. I was very concerned that the recent MRI and surgery which he had for Cauda Equina Syndrome would cause his seizure threshold to lower and he would be having them again, but he is getting a little stronger every day and it seems if it was going to happen, it would have by now. My heart goes out to anyone who is still battling the seizure monsters. Cory wishes all of you a happy day!
It’s been 7 weeks since cauda equina surgery, and Cory’s hair still isn’t growing back very well, so we applied Dermagic Skin Rescue Lotion to help heal the wound and promote hair growth. Here’s the video!
Quick update: Cory’s Story is in the hands of the publisher now and we’re so excited! We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
P.S. – If you’re interested in the Dermagic Skin Rescue Lotion, visit Dermagic’s website at http://www.dermagic.com
There was family in town on Wednesday so I got to go home and visit Cory. I’m very happy to say that I am seeing tremendous improvement! Sandy beamed as she told me that she had just taken Cory for the best walk he’s had since the surgery. She described how he’s figured out a way to walk “like a panther” in which he just seems to get into a zone and walk very methodically, seemingly without any pain. When he walks around the house he still limps on his front shoulders, but there doesn’t seem to be any pain in his hind legs anymore.
He definitely also has much more feeling back in his hind legs. Before the surgery, it seemed that he would just lose control of them. He’d be standing and then his hind end would collapse underneathe him. I haven’t seen that happen once since the surgery, though he is still a little wobbly in the hind end. This is more likely due to atrophied muscles though, since he hasn’t been able to get much exercise since the surgery.
He had his first hydrotherapy session a couple weeks ago and his next one is coming up in a couple days. We have talked with several people who absolutely swear by the effectiveness of it, so we are staying positive about the potential results. Of course, the goal is to get Cory physically healthy enough to be able to swim and take care of himself this summer during our usual camping trips.
Oh, and one last thing – Sandy has submitted the book “Cory’s Story” to a publisher, so it’s just a matter of time before the book is released! Hang in there!
I took this photo of Cory last night. He likes it when I let him babysit his beloved tennis ball. He is not yet able to chase after it. It has now been 5 weeks since his surgery for Cauda Equina (ruptured disks). He is so happy to be on the mend!