Tiny Alvin found himself on the County euthanasia list after being attacked by a large dog. When you weigh only 4.5 pounds, that can do a lot of damage.
The radiographs show some disturbing news…
Alvin’s tail is flaccid and there is little to no anal tone, so we have to assume that the nerve roots entering the tail from the sacrum were severed, given how far apart the fracture fragments are. The trouble is that these are often the nerve roots that allow dogs to be continent. This is a fairly common fracture in cats and it generally leaves you with a cat that can walk but cannot feel the tail and does not have any control over urination and defecation. We have to assume that the same is likely to be true in a dog, so we are not sure what will happen here.
The second problem is that the pelvis has pretty much been torn away from the spine. The nerve function to the rear legs is likely to be intact and he’s not walking because of pain. He’s young (only a year old) so we can assume that the fractured bone will heal and things will solidify over time.
Alvin will be a challenge to keep clean and dry while our vets research what the odds of recovery are and we see how he responds to medication. He is currently on steroids and pain medication.
We don’t know for sure what the future holds yet for Alvin, but we do know that we will do all we can to fix him and give him a good quality of life.
Please, if you are able, donate to Alvin’s medical care chip in fund via PayPal. We can’t continue to help dogs in need like Alvin without your ongoing support. Thank You.
Alvin has officially been adopted by his foster family! We had a feeling from day one that this little guy was RIGHT where he belonged fur-ever. Congrats Alvin!
Update June 9th: Alvin is doing so well, he’s even swimming! His foster mom says: “If there is a large orange Pit Bull being pulled around the pool by the frisbee in her mouth, then Alvin jumps in and follows. He enjoys swimming very much. I thought he must have slipped off the play step the first time, but no. He jumped in a half-dozen times today while we were playing in the water!”
Update, May 7th: Alvin is doing great and gaining strength every day! He is going on walks with his foster siblings and even jumped on the couch all on his own- a big feat for a dog who couldn’t walk just two months ago!
Update from Alvin’s foster mom, April 12th: Alvin’s tail was paralyzed during his injury and he had surgery to remove the flaccid tail. He’s doing okay so far. He’s resting comfortably after being cheered-up with a lick of peanut butter from my finger-something I discovered he loves last week when I opened a jar from about twelve feet away and he started yipping. He’s been a very quiet boy today, but sleep is healing so hopefully he will have a smooth recovery.
Update on Alvin, March 22nd: Alvin must be feeling pretty good, because he’s getting BORED! When I saw him chewing up potty pads for fun, I (again!) tried offering him a toy, and for the first time, he took it and played with it. I started thinking about what else I could do for him with his current limitations…came up with an idea and went shopping. This is PERFECT as I have two seniors who don’t walk well and can now get out more- this little senior in the stroller with Alvin keeps up pretty well but tires soon, and as Alvin walks more he can come outside and take some steps and then rest as we stroll.
Update on Alvin, March 18th from his foster mom: Alvin has had a really good past few days. He has had only one accident in his crate since Thursday and has otherwise cried to be taken out to potty. He is taking more and more steps, although his gait is unsteady and at times it is too much for him-at which time he raises his back end as though doing a handstand and walks on his front legs. He loves his warm water soaks and is a very affectionate and happy little boy. He’s a trooper and I feel so lucky to be his foster mama.
Update from Alvin’s foster mom, March 13th: This morning after I fed Alvin, I left him next to his kennel for a moment as I rinsed his dish. When I came back around the corner he was standing about five feet away from his kennel and had pooped…so not only did he walk, but he must be feeling the urge to have a bowel movement and perhaps has at least a little control, because he didn’t poop where he eats. Later, I decided to see what would happen if I took Alvin onto the grass before tucking him in. He laid in the grass sniffing for a few minutes, stood up, walked a few inches, and peed! I really do think he has some control! As a side note, he has become very demanding of both my husband and me for belly rubs.
From Alvin’s foster mom, March 9th: Alvin has had some nice, alert moments today. He’s in our bedroom as that’s the “quiet zone” for our other dogs and invitation-only (except for one particular little senior who gets to sleep on our pillows every night because he wouldn’t have it any other way ). Some of our dogs came in to check Alvin out today and he kept his head up watching them play. He seems comfortable with other small dogs but didn’t like big dogs getting too close to his kennel (who would, after what he went through?!) and growled. He still has feisty in him.
From Alvin’s foster mom, March 8th: Dr. Katie said it was okay to bathe Alvin and suggested letting him soak in warm water to ease the pressure on his pelvis. He seemed to feel better after a warm bath and he didn’t mind my doing his nails–his dew claws were too long for my liking. He sure does like cuddles and affection. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see any dog in this condition, but such a young pup is even worse. He should be jumping and playing. He did seem to like his bath. He fell asleep during his post-bath rubdown. He ate a little, but didn’t want to drink, so I moistened his mouth a bit using a syringe. Gosh, he is sweet.