It is quite understandable why so many pet owners provide the best of care for their pets - because they consider them as a part of the family. I sometimes feel like "the other family doctor." Clients routinely refer to their furry four-legged family members as "our baby." They really do feel the same undeniable, unquestionable, and unconditional love for their pets as they do for other family members.
This is obvious when one of these extremely fortunate animals sadly passes away in their owner's presence. Emotions are uncontrollable and even more evident if the pet has to be euthanized. This scenario has played out more times than I care to remember. However, on occasion, a unique and inspirational case comes along that touches my heart and the hearts of my staff and quite frankly, everyone that has been blessed just to have met this patient and his owners.
A couple of weeks ago I sort of left you hanging about the final outcome of a patient named Max. At that time, Max's fate had not been determined, however, he was the inspiration to me for the article entitled "Miracles Can Happen." Max is a six-year-old doberman that came into the clinic with back pain. Unfortunately, his condition got worse very quickly. Max's condition progressed to paralysis of the rear legs. He had a ruptured disc in his lumbar spine. He lost all feeling to his rear legs. Most dogs that become paralyzed only loose motor function but retain feeling in their legs. To complicate matters, Max began to bleed severely in his urine which suggested he may not be a good candidate for back surgery. However, if a dog loses feeling in their legs, they need surgery immediately to have a 50 percent chance of ever walking again.