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Doris Given the Strength to Walk Again After Devastating Spinal Injuries

Thu 15th Feb 2018

The story of Doris shows how your support and the extraordinary skills of our veterinary team at WVS Thailand allowed a young street dog to recover from a nearly hopeless situation…

Eight months ago, Doris was brought to our Thai ITC by a dedicated local carer, after being involved in a terrible car accident two days earlier. Doris was completely unable to use her hind legs and an X-ray confirmed that she had suffered a severe injury to her spine.

There was a small chance of improvement and an even smaller chance for a full recovery.

With a spinal trauma we knew that Doris would face a long recovery period and would require a lot of effort from the medical and support teams to keep her comfortable, clean and to try and give her back some use of her hind legs.

The team began by treating with painkillers and medication to reduce the swelling of her spinal cord and within a couple of weeks her hind legs started showing tiny signs of life. Some spinal reflexes were back and she was able to control her bowel movements.

The WVS vets applied tailored casting all over her body to try to keep her spine as stable as possible and improve the healing process. For Doris, this was probably the most uncomfortable part of her treatment, but a necessary process in order to avoid further damage.

Our nursing team and amazing volunteers were shown how to massage her legs and perform some basic, passive exercises to keep her muscles moving and reduce the loss of muscle strength. During this period, Ms. T., one of our dedicated volunteers, became Doris’ most passionate champion. Every day, she set aside some extra time to lift Doris’ spirits and help with the physical exercises.

After two long months, our patient was finally freed from her cast. Her spine had healed quite well but she needed to learn how to use her legs all over again and build up the muscles in the lower part of her body. Initially, with the help of a customised wheelchair designed by our veterinarians, Doris was able to start exercising her hind legs and learning to control them.

As Doris slowly improved, Ms. T and other members of the team continued the process by just supporting her with a towel. Very slowly, she got stronger, and more able to control her movements.

Finally, after one of their daily exercise sessions, Ms. T returned to our centre with tears of joy filling her eyes. She reported that Doris had not only been able to stand up on her own, but had taken several unassisted steps for the first time.

Now, eight months after the worst day of her young life, Doris is a happy dog, able to move at will and go on normal daily walks with the rest of her canine friends at our shelter.

None of this would have been possible without your continued support, the exceptional skills of our veterinary team and the unshakable belief of her carers at WVS.

Treatment and recovery has been a long process for Doris, made possible with donations from kind supporters like you. Please donate today and help more dogs like Doris get the veterinary attention they so desperately require.