Rufus is a 5 year Miniature Dachshund who I started to visit in 2016. He had a back issue presenting with recurring limping of front leg. This all stemmed from an injury when he was 1 with someone treading on him while out walking.
Massage and physical therapy worked wonders with him. He loved it. His Mum loved giving it to him daily – turning petting time into therapy time. But after several months I was asked to visit as an emergency. On visiting I recommended an immediate visit to the vets where it was discovered he had 5 fenestrated vertebrae in his mid to lower spine.
Rufus may be small, but he is so strong. When his Mum collected him from the referral centre, he immediately was able to walk on the grass for a wee. Several weeks rest, care and gentle massage and Rufus was back to normal.
Until June this year when I was contacted again – he had 2 more fenestrated vertebrae on his lower spine with resultant weakness on his left side. Although he was in pain, he wagged his tail enthusiastically as he was taken to the referral centre again thinking he was going back to that great hotel. This time after the surgery his left hind leg still not working correctly.
During the limited exercise phase of his recovery, the downstairs neighbour bought some turf slabs and carpeted their front patio which was all pebbled before. Rufus had his own local Dog Park. Handkerchief sized, but then that is Rufus sized too. That is neighbourly spirit and the power of cute Rufus eyes.
His Mum was left with a new massage routine workbook which seemed to work. She wrote ““Les, this is just wonderful. I can definitely do this without worrying now. We had a little bit more of a neck massage with sighing and relaxing (him, not me!)”
And then “Morning Les, I opened Rufus’s crate door this morning he straightaway lay on his side on the carpet and waved his left leg at me, staring at me, clearly saying ‘well, go on then!’. After 10 mins or so he rolled over for me do the other side. All this before breakfast! He loves it! We did a very relaxing 20 mins or so. We think you’re wonderful.”
3 weeks later and Rufus is almost 100%. Muscle wastage is being reversed. He is on short walks so his weight is going back down again. Stitches are all out. He starts hydrotherapy later this week. And he is happy. He was even diving into my bag to get to the treats he knows I carry.
Size is not relevant with dogs. He may be a Miniature, but he has the strength and determination of a Maxi dog. His Mum said “Think how we would be if we’d burst a couple of discs. We’d be off work for ages”. Not Rufus. 3 weeks and he is back to himself thank you very much.
The strength and determination of dogs is so inspiring. I love helping them and being inspired by them every day.