A woman has shared how a rare spinal condition caused her pug to completely lose mobility.
In a series of videos shared on TikTok, Luana Tollan, from Glasgow, Scotland, shared the health journey of her 13-year-old pug, Alfie.
“It happened so fast,” Tollan said Newsweek. “One day he was fine, then the next day he wasn’t. He stopped cocking his leg to urinate, then very quickly after that, within a few days, his condition got progressively worse and couldn’t stand himself. stand on its hind legs.”
After an initial visit to the vet, the owners learned that their dog was suffering from a liver problem that would require over $200 worth of medication per month.
Tollan explained, “I felt it was a pretty extreme and expensive fix, no trial and error. I switched vets who recommended an x-ray.”
The x-ray revealed that Alfie the pug had neurological issues, with a lack of signals sent through his spine and legs. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy.
Degenerative myelopathy describes a set of symptoms that result from severe spinal compression – when something compresses the spinal cord so that it cannot function properly. This can lead to pain, loss of sensation, or difficulty moving certain parts of the body. The disease resembles forms of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Along with this, Alfie has also been diagnosed with arthritis, spondylosis and scoliosis, and has only months to live.
“Over the months, there were several times where we were recommended to consider dropping him,” Tollan said. “The care for him was very demanding and during those worst months he had accidents around the house, was unpredictable and while eating and interacting he struggled.”
But Alfie’s owners didn’t want to abandon him. Working with a mixture of laser therapy, steroids and painkillers, they were able to help him improve.
“Although he couldn’t use his back legs again, he learned to stay mobile. His fighting spirit and willingness to keep pushing was inspirational,” Tollan said.
TikTok users were inspired by the heartwarming story. One commenter said: ‘What a handsome boy. He has the best parents’, while another viewer wrote: ‘You have done so much while others have let them down.’
Over the past few months, Alfie has lost sight in his right eye and has become partially sighted in his left eye, but continues to grow.
“We have a pram to let him go for walks and he loves it,” Tollan explained.
After the vet’s initial pessimistic view for Alfie and seeing him grow and struggle every day, his owners made the decision to stop all medication and see if it made a difference. Surprisingly, the change was amazing.
“He started playing with his favorite toy, interacting more with our other dog and relaxing more,” Tollan said. “He became relaxed and happy again and was less restless. Accidents around the house stopped and we were finally able to sleep through the night without being woken up by gasps or distress.”
Following his new life, Alfie’s owners decided to provide him with wheels to facilitate his mobility. It has given the little pug a new life and Tollan is thrilled to be able to walk her pup again.
Alfie also suffers from epilepsy and is unfortunately not expected to live much longer, but for now he is enjoying a fantastic life.
“I decided to put his journey on TikTok and I’m so inspired by him,” Tollan shared. “He defied the odds, pushed himself on a daily basis and found the strength to carry on. I truly believe it’s because he loves his life.”
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