Sweet little Banjo. He is a guy with a lot of personality and a will to survive. SCARS visits rural communities to collect owned pets for transport for spay/neuter, and after a period of recovery return to their homes. During a recent visit, we heard that a dog had been hit by a car and had tumbled into the bush on the roadside. SCARS volunteers searched and found him. Turns out he was a dog that is known to us. Banjo was one of our spay-neuter-return pets and we had groomed him on two occasions. His owner surrendered him to us so he could get the emergency care he needed. He was happy to see us, but clearly in distress as he was dragging his body around. We rushed him to our friends at the Westlock Veterinary Center for a medical assessment. We feared the worst, but as always hoped for a miracle.
When he arrived at the clinic, Banjo couldn’t move his legs but could move his tail slightly. He was unable to pee on his own, which would have been causing him pain. X-rays were taken and we were certain the diagnosis would be a broken back… but not this time. No broken bones. There was swelling and clearly nerve damage, but no fractures. What to do? Could he regain the functions he needed to live a quality life? The treatment answer was decided. First of all, Banjo would need some time. Mother nature is an amazing healer. Second, he received steroids to bring down the swelling, and then he would need physio to keep the muscles active.
We are happy to report Banjo is making great progress. He regained bladder control and is showing signs of being able to walk again. He is full of energy and excited to investigate everything at his foster home. Special thanks to foster volunteer, Liza, for taking on this special needs dog. Fostering takes a great deal of commitment with any animal, but a dog like Banjo requires even more dedication. Our hope is that Banjo will make continued improvement and perhaps a full recovery. But with the progress he has made so far, at a minimum he will be able to manage in a wheelchair. As always SCARS would appreciate any support you can give. Improving the lives of animals enriches their lives and the lives of people in our communities.
March 3 update from Banjo’s foster mom (Liza): “Banjo is doing really well if he is on solid ground (yoga mats or rug). He actually did a squat to poop one day and took 20 steps in a row on his own without falling over. If he is tired or distracted, his back end flips and flops to one side or the other. But I think there is slow and steady progress. The right hind leg is by far the stiffest when doing exercises and I have to keep putting his back feet in the correct position. I made ankle protectors to prevent him from getting rug burn on the tops of his back feet.”