Dog found unable to walk with mysterious injuries now free and ‘unstoppable’
Five-year-old rescue dog is finally able to walk after undergoing three major spine surgeries.
His owner, Emma Walsh, never gave up hope that one day Rio would work again, and with persistence, the puppy is now on the right path to recovery.
The Terrier / Frenchie cross was abandoned on a Spanish mountain in pain, and no one knows for sure what caused their injuries. But he then suffered from several broken discs in his spine.
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After spinal surgery, Rio needed another operation to fix another set of broken discs. He lost the ability to walk as well as to feel his bladder and bowels, so Emma decided to buy him a pram so he could still take walks.
The poor pup needed a third operation due to his delicate spine which cost Â£ 6,000 and since then Rio has been recovering for four months.
After his battle, Rio miraculously walks. He found movement in his tail as well as sensations in his bowels and bladder which are about 90% functioning.
Emma, ââ31, from West Kirby, said: âWe bought her some little supportive boots and they just turned out to be a godsend. Now that he knows how to use them, he has been unstoppable.
âThe surgeon said he didn’t expect him to come back this time and that it would be stroller life. But we knew how to deal with it and were ready to take it on. Now it’s just a matter of accepting that we have a dog with special needs.
âHe needs a cage, you have to adapt your house to your needs, but he’s a strong little dog. If I had given up on him on his third operation, it would have been a bad decision.
Rio used to get around in a stroller and still uses it to her advantage for long walks and for relaxing, but her non-slip supportive boots have helped her not only walk, but also run.
Emma has five dogs in total, three of which are rescues. She said: âThe future is looking good for him. Hopefully this won’t happen again, but you can never be sure.
âIt’s been tough when you have the other four dogs running but you have Rio who can’t do that, you can’t tell him what’s wrong or why he can’t play like that. for us it was an easy decision.
âWe made even more adaptations for him and his lifestyle. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, there’s just something special about Rio.
“I think he knows something is wrong with him and he has to take it easy.”
Rio will soon be adopting water therapy to help her regain muscle in her hind legs, and around Christmas, Emma will be reviewing her progress and thinking about expanding her ability to do more things, like longer walks without her pram. .
What Rio went through is horribly painful and incredibly rare. So rare, his surgeon used Rio as a case study – he’s been a surgeon for 30 years but has never had a dog with such a horrific spine requiring three surgeries in the span of a year.
Emma said: âThe surgeon wanted to show that the advice shouldn’t be to just put them on after two or three surgeries because they can continue. He said a lot of people would have put him down by now.
âIf Rio was more around the age of 10, he would not have made these recoveries, he has youth on his side. We just have to hope it doesn’t happen again.
âI didn’t think it would happen a second or third time, so I don’t forget it could happen again – he’s a dog with the mindset of a lion.
âThe best way to describe him is having a dog with special needs. It’s not that important now that he has the ability to walk again, it’s not that difficult. He still leads a life. fun, he can play and meet friends, he just has to go a little slower than the others.Hope it will be lucky third time.