Preece presented non ambulatory on December 11, 2013 at Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology after being relinquished to Maxfund by his second set of owners. Maxfund took Preece under their wing and financed his diagnostics. This consisted of an MRI, which was performed on December 12th. The findings, recommendations, and cost were discussed with the non-profit organization and surgery was scheduled the following day. It was either perform surgery or have him humanely euthanized. Operating was Preece’s only chance.
Preece had a large subdural hematoma smashing his spinal cord over several vertebral lengths. Many people, including staff, asked Dr. Stephen Lane (Board Certified Neurologist/Neurosurgeon) if Preece’s condition was trauma related. He did not feel that it was. The cause was determined to be idiopathic (unknown).
Surgery was performed to remove the hematoma and went well, with no complications. We do not know how long Preece was without motor function to his forelimbs and how long his spinal cord was compressed. His prognosis is open.
Fast forward to today. Preece can move all four legs, is gaining strength and is happy! Most importantly, he is living without pain. Still hospitalized, he goes through continual physiotherapy including supported standing, massage and passive range of motion. We take him to CRCG daily for hydrotherapy. He goes on frequent walks in his Doggon Wheels wheelchair.
Several technicians have taken him home for a few days here and there for sleepovers. This way he can get out of the hospital, get socialized, and not get depressed. He’s also made marked physical improvement over the last few weeks. He can get himself from laying on his side to sitting upright.
He is stronger on his left side than his right and can move a few steps in his wheelchair. He is getting stronger and stronger in the pool as well. We are hopeful that he will continue to improve. A new skill he’s mastered is holding a bone with his front legs to chew on it. I know this seems silly, but he couldn’t do this before!
He has gotten really good at letting people know, through vocalization, when he needs to do his bathroom duties. Although, if you are not quick enough, he does have accidents from time to time. Preece has become much less troublesome to care for now that he has become more mobile. His mobility has improved enough that he can now move away from his accidents.
Maxfund, and Preece’s technicians and friends at VRCC, would love nothing more than to find a loving foster home for Preece. Better yet, a permanent one. The person or family who adopts or fosters Preece should be made aware that he has special needs. He would do best in a home where at least one person is present at all times. We can show you how to “support” walk him and help him with his physiotherapy.
Animal lovers out there, do you have what it takes to take Preece into your home?