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--Success Story--    

Billie

    by Brenda Johnson

  

Billie was paralyzed in her bed. At the time, I thought it would be my last picture of her.

In March of 09 we were puppy sitting a beagle who was a high energy and would jump on Billie's back! We noticed Billie wouldn't get up from her bed so we took her to the vet. She diagnosed her with calcified discs. We were shocked, and devastated. I have owned Doxies my entire life and never have I had one with a back problem. Our other Doxie who is 11 has never had a single problem. We took Billie home wondering what the future would hold.

Her back slowly recovered and we thought that all was well...and then in June somehow Billie developed pneumonia. She nearly died and when we picked her up from the vets she was so excited to see us she twisted, turned, and jumped; by the time we got her home she was dragging her left back leg. The paralysis was progressive. Over the next 30 hours she became paralyzed in both back legs and bowl and bladder function were lost.


We made the difficult decision to put her to sleep, but our vet encouraged us to give her some 'time'. So we did. On day 7....miraculous day 7....she started moving one back leg....little by little over the course of the next 2 weeks she got back her mobility. It took 3 days from the first movement for her bowel and bladder to come back. She is a miracle and we know it!


Now she is restricted from jumping (as much as we can) and she uses ramps to go in and outside. It is hard to always prevent her from doing things she shouldn't and on the occasion that she jumps I find myself holding my breath
.....My dad gave me Billie as a birthday gift, and then days later he was killed in a car accident.....she is the last thing I have from him. Last year when she was paralyzed the thought of loosing her was like loosing dad all over again.

Billie is a gentle soul. She loves everyone she meets and definitely expects everyone to love her. She loves kids, adults and dogs equally. But the very best about Billie is her complete devotion to me. Every time I come home from everywhere at all...that love comes pouring out of her..

About her recovery...Billie first became paralyzed in June of 2009. On day 7 of her paralysis my husband put her outside to see she would go to bathroom. He called me out to say that Billie had tried to stand briefly on her rear left leg. I immediately phoned our vet (she had even given me her home number!) who told us if movement was going to return that would return in the reverse that it had left...and sure enough it was her left leg that had been the last to loose movement. It took her about 4 days to stand. When she first was standing I would hold my hands on each side of her so she wouldn't fall over. When Billie started walking again she was very wobbly and it took about 2 weeks to regain some balance. For a few weeks after that she would fall over if she would turn wrong, or sometimes she would get her back legs 'crossed'. Surprising for several weeks she could run better than she could walk, and so if she was outside and would get wobbly I would see her start to gallop a little. She was often very tired and would sleep a lot (although that could have been from the pneumonia). Her improvement at first was visible daily. Gradually the improvement slowed. What she was left with that she would drag her back toe nails ever so slightly (you could hear them). However I notice in the past 6 weeks that has also disappeared! Now she runs and plays with our dachshund and sometimes even plays with her beloved 'stuffies'.

She still has some outstanding medical issues. She is being treated for some heart damage from the pneumonia she had and she is also still coughing and has some congestion. As far her back goes it continues to improve (now that I have said that outloud....I hope that I haven't jinxed things!)

I am beyond grateful for everyday that I have Billie with me. There is absolutely no sound to compare to her contented sigh as she cuddles beside me. As I said before I hold my breath sometimes....my vet calls her a walking miracle....and believe me I know it.



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