Meet the dog who inspired this blog…
Cali came into my life about 5 years ago. At the time she was a tiny little puppy with a huge personality. She was smart, brave, sassy, and affectionate and my boyfriend and I instantly fell in love with her. We promised to always give her the best life that we possibly could, no matter what. She became our best friend and adventure buddy. We took her hiking in the canyons, swimming in the ocean, climbing up mountains, and trekking through the snow. She had endless energy and she was fearless, always down for the next adventure.
One month before her 4th birthday things took a major turn. Suddenly, Cali’s hind legs became paralyzed and she was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). After an MRI she was also diagnosed with Progressive Myelomalacia. We were told that she only had 2 days left at most, and we were left completely heartbroken.
We couldn’t imagine a life without our Cali. The neurologist insisted that we put her down, but we couldn’t. We took her home, instead, and made her as comfortable as possible. We prepared to help her go peacefully when the time came, before the paralysis started to affect her breathing, and we prayed for a miracle. The next day we started giving her CBD oil with her medications, which instantly provided her with relief and calmness. We made beds on the floor and hardly slept for days, checking her every 30 minutes to see if her paralysis was starting to progress, but it wasn’t. After a long couple of weeks we knew for sure that we had received the miracle we had asked for. She survived! And she was so full of life!
Since then, we have learned so much about caring for a paralyzed and incontinent dog. From conservative treatment and different therapies, to purchasing a wheelchair and figuring out what diapers to buy. We learned as much as we could to make sure that we kept our promise to Cali. To always give her the best life that we possibly could. NO MATTER WHAT. Today she is back to her happy and playful self, sassy as ever and living a great quality of life with the help of her awesome wheels. She is here to show you that IVDD does not have to stop you.
This website is for all of the people out there, battling IVDD with their beloved dogs. You are not alone! Here I will share what I have learned through my research and experiences, what treatment options there are, what therapies you can try, advice and tips, products to get, and many other things related to IVDD and paralyzed dogs. I hope this can help you feel much more prepared and less overwhelmed. My goal is to make the transition to caring for a special needs dog a lot less stressful. Rest assured that many dogs can, and do recover their mobility, and return to life as a fully abled dog. But even if they don’t, they can still have a great quality of life. A life on wheels!