This is Halfie, one of the canine residents of DogChance. She was hit by a car 6 months ago, suffering traumatic injuries to her spinal cord which left her paralysed in her hindlimbs. She has since then been using her front legs to move around, dragging her back half along the floor behind her. Despite all of that, she is still very bright and playful, often creeping along the shelter floor and exploring her surroundings.
The muscles of her hind legs have wasted away as she does not use them anymore, and she has many bruises and wounds on them as she cannot fully perceive where her hind legs are. The good news is that many of her reflexes are still present, she is still continent, and she is able to voluntarily move some muscles of her hind legs. This tells us that some of the nerve pathways survived the accident, and physiotherapy would really help maximise her recovery.
We have made a rehabilitation harness for Halfie. The harness has an elastic band to compensate for her stifle and hock flexors, which are the leg motions she has lost. Repeated physiotherapy sessions with the harness on will hopefully teach her how to balance and walk on all four legs once again.
We are currently half a week into the physiotherapy sessions, and she has already wow-ed us by taking a few baby steps on all fours. We expect that as she takes to the harness and gets the hang of moving around with it on, the increased usage will give her a little boost on the long road ahead to recovery.