It's time to meet Tobi the three year old Frenchie from Pasadena, USA.
Tobi is a 3 year old French Bulldog living with paralysis from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Tobi had his first episode with IVDD in November 2016, after 4 weeks of rest and medicines such as steroids, pain killers and anti inflammatories he healed up.
In April 2017 Tobi woke up one weekend morning in a lot of pain, his mom Chrissy figured he hurt his neck again so she gave him the left over medicine from the last episode and put him on crate rest waiting for Monday morning to make an appointment with the vet. Late Sunday night Tobi became paralyzed in his hind legs and he was rushed into surgery to remove a ruptured disc from his spine. The surgeon said there was a lot of bruising and blood clotting on the spinal cord and that Tobi would not regain feeling or the ability to walk again.
Now almost a year later Tobi enjoys going to physical therapy once a week where he walks on an underwater treadmill, gets electric stimulation therapy, cold laser therapy and lots of love and rubs from all the staff at the clinic. He has regained some feeling in his legs and can stand for short periods of time outside the water. With each physical therapy session he grows stronger and stronger!
Can you tell us what a normal day is like with Tobi?
Every morning Tobi has his diaper changed and we expresses his bladder on puppy pad, freshen him up using baby wipes and put on a new, clean disposable baby diaper, followed by a cloth dog diaper over the top. Tobi gets his multivitamins and supplements in the morning with breakfast. We encourage Tobi to stand up to eat helping him keep his balance and build the strength in his legs. After breakfast Tobi goes back to sleep with dad and I go to work.
In the afternoon dad changes Tobi's diaper and expresses his bladder on the puppy pads. When I get home from work in the evening I change Tobi's diaper again, expresses his bladder and clean him with baby wipes or waterless shampoo.
At dinner Tobi is made to stand again while I hover over him to help keep his balance so he doesn't fall. After dinner Tobi plays with his toys then snuggles on the couch with mom. Before bed Tobi's diaper is again changed and bladder expressed on the puppy pads. Tobi sleeps in the bed with us every night.
What do you guys get up to on the weekend?
On the weekends Tobi loves to go for walks, have playdates with friends and go to the dog park. His wheels allow him to run around and play with other dogs which makes him super happy. We also give Tobi a bath on the weekend and do lots of snuggling on the couch watching tv and playing with toys.
What products, tips or tricks would you recommend?
Always use baby powder in the disposable diaper, Tobi got major diaper rash when we first started it was not nice. Baby wipes are a must in between baths. Also, get a peekeeper. It will hold your dogs diaper on while they play, otherwise as soon as your pup starts to get excited and scoot around the diaper will slip right off and you'll have pee all over your floors.
Have you tried any rehabilitation or treatment? How did it go?
Tobi loves going to physical therapy and it is definitely helping, I highly recommend cold laser therapy, hydrotherapy and electric stimulation therapy.
What advice would you offer someone who has a dog in a similar situation?
Always have patience, it's not easy but it's even harder for our pups. Never give up, dogs have brighter out looks on life than most humans, they want to live and will be happier if you let them live as close to a normal life as possible. Get them a set of wheels and let them get out to run and play with other dogs.
Keep track of his recovery by checking out Tobi's Instagram page.