Suki – Fibrocartilaginous Embolism
Meet Suki, our August 2020 Pet of the Month. Suki suffered a fibrocartilaginous embolism (aka spinal stroke) on May 24, 2020. When we first met her on June 1, she was unable to walk with her rear legs and needed lots of support to get around. With support, she would try to advance her left hind limb, but showed minimal engagement of her right hind limb.
Our first goals for Suki were to try to improve her nerve communication and to help her get up and moving on her own as much as possible. We fitted her with a Help ‘Em Up Harness and tested her out in a rear-end wheel chair. The plan was to allow her family to use both tools to help Suki defy gravity enough that she could try to pattern her hind limbs on her own. Initially, we saw Suki twice weekly to try to jump-start her recovery and provide as much neural stimulation as possible through the use of specific exercises and acupuncture therapy. Suki made steady improvement and was able to walk mostly on her own in a few short weeks. With Suki becoming more mobile, we were able to start introducing structured exercises to help strengthen the muscles in her thighs and her core, as well as get her into the underwater treadmill.
Suki still has a little way to go before she is back to her normal daily life, but her progress has been incredible thus far. We look forward to seeing even more improvements in Suki’s abilities in the coming months.