No one ever wants to think his dog will suffer a back injury, but accidents do happen and now there are two reasons for hope if something does occur.
First, in the August issue of Dog Fancy magazine is an article, “Recycling doggie carts” by Holly Ocasio Rizzo.
Rizzo writes that the organization, For Paws Hospice in Ozona, Fla., is the keeper of a list of used wheeled pet carts for pets with paralysis of either front or hind legs. With this database, carts that are no longer needed can be matched up with dogs that do need the support in order to be mobile.
For those with unneeded carts, they can either call the organization at (727) 639-9285 or write them at For Paws Hospice, P.O. Box 6685, Ozona, FL 34660. They will be asked for a picture of the cart, the location, rough dimensions and the name of the manufacturer, according to Rizzo’s article. When I checked the website, I learned the organization will refurbish carts that are given to them, in which case, the original owner will get a tax credit. These carts can then be loaned without cost.
So far, requests have outpaced donations and the agency is hoping to have a stock of 30 to 40 used carts on hand eventually. They need a variety of sizes. The hospice’s CEO says donated carts can be used many times, helping an unlimited number of animals. If you have an unused cart, consider donating it.
The second reason for hope comes from two recent news articles from the Internet. The first came from Newsmaxhealth.com and is titled “Hope for Those Paralyzed by Spinal Injuries.” It seems that in Britain some scientists have restored movement to dogs’ hind legs by using olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) taken from the dogs’ noses to fix breaks in the spinal cord. This study was conducted at Cambridge University.
The random controlled trial used 34 pet dogs with spinal cord injuries causing paralysis. One group of dogs had cells from the lining of their noses placed in Petri dishes where they grew for several weeks. These cells were then injected into the injury site in 23 of the dogs, while the rest of the dogs were injected with a neutral fluid.
All dogs were tested at one-month intervals. Those injected with OECs experienced significant improvement in their movement, and were able to move previously paralyzed hind limbs, according to the findings reported in the journal Brain. The transplanted cells regenerated nerve fibers across the damaged region of the spinal cord. None of the dogs in the control group improved.
These scientists are hoping this research will provide a future role in the treatment of human patients with similar spinal cord paralysis. However, they feel at this time the success rate in dogs may not be duplicated in humans, but it could be used as part of a combination of treatments, with drugs and physical therapies.
Some information also taken from: www.everydayhealth. com/pet-health/1120/paralyzed-dogs-walk-again.