Robert – a dog on a mission!

(Note: This blog has been written by Janet P., Pets Alive vet liaison)

robert1It’s been one week today that Robert came home from the hospital.  And what a hectic week it’s been!  For anyone who doesn’t know Robert’s story, he was found in NYC with some abrasions on his body and no control of his hind end.  He was brought to the city shelter where he sat for three days until his sweet, pathetic face was seen by our staff and he came to Pets Alive.  Upon examination by our vet, he suggested we rush Robert directly to Oradell Animal Hospital (a 24-hour specialty practice) since the extent of his medical needs were beyond the realm of typical vet hospitals.

Oradell Animal Hospital admitted him later that evening and during his week long stay he underwent many tests and procedures (from ultrasounds, MRI, and finally spinal surgery).  His neurologist diagnosed him with several conditions:

  • T3-L3 myelopathy- non ambulatory paraplegia
  • Traumatic disc rupture T13-L1, left sided hemilaminectomy on 3/1
  • Upper motor neuron bladder and suspect chronic bladder muscle injury
  • Suspect HBC (hit by car)—multiple abrasions (head, R elbow, R hock)
  • Traumatic hepatopathy-resolving

Although no one could guarantee success, Robert’s neurologist was hopeful that surgical intervention and ‘cleaning’ up the region surrounding his ruptured disc could help restore Roberts previous functions.  Our biggest setback was that no one could conclude how long Robert sat with this injury before receiving medical care.  The longer he had lingered, the less of a chance that he would be able to regain the ability to walk or have control over his bladder.

robert3His spinal surgery went well and was basically uneventful.  But it took Robert several days before he had an appetite which limited what medications his doctors could get into him.  Finally, with the help of a gastromotility agent, he regained his appetite and thus was released back to our care.  Currently, Robert can not urinate on his own and needs to have his bladder expressed 2-3 times daily.   He is suspected to have some damage to his bladder muscle from having an over-full bladder for a period of time, and thus is on several meds to help regain tone to his bladder muscle.  The doctors are hopeful that by keeping his bladder empty, it can start to heal, however they did stress that he may always have trouble urinating.  For the past week, we have been catheterizing him daily to make sure his bladder stays as empty as possible.  Only time will tell whether he will gain better control on his own.

In addition to his bladder medications, Robert was discharged with six other medications, ranging from pain medications, to antibiotics.  He takes approximately 10 pills three times daily (thank goodness for liverwurst!).  His doctors stressed the fact that Robert needs to stay strictly confined for 4-6 weeks.  He may be carried or sling-walked to go to the bathroom several times a day, but this should be his ONLY exercise.  Dogs are at risk of rupturing more disc material from the site where surgery was performed if they over-exercise during the first month after surgery, so keeping him still is a priority.  We are also keeping him on well padded surfaces and making sure he is not laying in the same position too long as he will develop pressure sores.  Robert also has gentle range of motion exercises performed throughout the day as well as massage of his muscles.

robert2Fortunately for us, Robert has been a sweet boy throughout our handling of him.  It is indeed heartbreaking to see him get frustrated with his immobility, but even if Robert is to use a cart in the near future his spine needs to heal for several weeks first, or MORE damage may result.

Robert now has a small run built outside where he can lay on warm sunny days to help keep his spirits high.  His switch to a high fiber diet has helped firm up his stool and keep it easier to keep clean.  Robert also has a splint on his hind right foot, due to instability from his probable car accident.  We are changing in regularly as needed to keep it clean and dry.  At this point, only time, patience and healing will tell what is in store for Robert.  He is scheduled for a recheck with his neurologist in one week.   And although we are all praying that he regains the ability to walk and urinate on his own, our most important focus is keeping Robert comfortable and happy.  And hopefully, with lots of love, everything else will fall into place!

Filed in Animal Rescue, Case Studies by kerry on Mar 15, 2012.  There are 31 Comments

31 Responses to “Robert – a dog on a mission!”

  1. Rich Eckert Says:

    You are all true angels to these animals.

  2. venessa pignetti Says:

    Thank you pets alive for EVERYTHING that you do for the animals. You are amazing. This is more proof of WHY the no kill movement works!I wish every shelter in NY could do what you guys do!

  3. Amber Says:

    I’m absolutely smitten with Robert! Thank you all for the work you do. Please also give Robert a head scratch for me. :)

  4. christie Says:

    much love to robert and everyone at pets alive!!

  5. Betsey Says:

    God Bless all of you at Pets Alive! Robert desperately needed an angel – and the Good Lord responded by sending him all of you! This has to be one of the most inspirational stories of Pet Rescue I have ever heard of – you are all truly doing the Lord’s Work here, and only have to look at Robert’s beautiful, happy face to know that this is all worthwhile!

  6. Janet Tobin Says:

    Hoping for many more sunny days for Robert!

  7. Andrea Flores Says:

    HugS and kisses for you Robert!!! I’m sooo glad to hear you’re doing well!!!

  8. Justine Says:

    You are continuously un my prayer Robert & to everyone at Pets Alive, you truly are angels may God bless you always!!!!

  9. Lisa Reynolds Says:

    I am so super happy to hear this I have been trying to get updated on him thru Mother Natures Pets…Thank you for loving him <3

  10. Heather Hill Says:

    The sweet smile on his face says it all. Thank you for caring for him and all the other animals you are able to save.

  11. Jan Foti Says:

    Robert’s joy is a blessing to behold. THANK YOU for all you are doing for him. He is blessed, and so are you, for this relationship of caring and love!

  12. Nicole Says:

    Oh Robert I’m pulling for you. Staff at PA are wonderful and I’m sure that you are getting the best care. Many thanks to PA staff for being so compassionate and saving this wonderful little boy and so many others that would have just been tossed away like yesterdays news. I will keep praying for the best recovery possible for Robert and hope and pray that he regains use of his hind legs and bladder.

  13. barbara ann Says:

    Praying for you Angel Robert…Bless Pets Alive for getting you the help you needed so you could get better…Hoping your running in the sun soon..your in our prayers

  14. Meridth Hammer Says:

    What a great spirit he has! He can teach us all! <3

  15. Jenny Says:

    Such a beautiful boy. I hope he finds the Dream Forever Home

  16. Laura Says:

    You guys are just so wonderful! Thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful care you are giving this amazing boy! Robert, may your healing be complete and may the sun warm your beautiful face whenever it shines! I repeat what so many people have said above…about Robert and the beautiful people who took him in and have showed him nothing but love ever since. Thank you!

  17. Dennis Says:

    Thank you so much for this update. We have been wondering how Robert is doing. Sounds like Robert still has some “mountains” to climb but with all the “mountains” this poor dog has climbed already . . . by his successes so far, he gives hope that there are more victories to come. Angels of Mercy at Pets Alive, you deserve the admiration and appreciation of everyone, for what you have done for Rob so far, and for the patience and dedication you extend to him now and will in the days ahead.

  18. Alona Says:

    Thank you for the update regarding Robert. I’m so happy that he is comfortable now and full of love. Please don’t get tired helping him and kiss him for me. Hope to hear more good news abt him soon. Thank you for helping these abandoned animals.

  19. Robert Rocks and Rolls | In Dog We Trust Says:

    [...] a car, and he was a mess. He got the best treatment – after an MRI and an ultrasound, he was rushed into surgery in the hope that he would someday walk on his own again. Sadly, that surgery does not seem to have [...]

  20. Pets Alive Blog » Robert Rocks and Rolls Says:

    [...] by a car, and he was a mess. He got the best treatment – after an MRI and an ultrasound, he was rushed into surgery in the hope that he would someday walk on his own again. Sadly, that surgery does not seem to have [...]

  21. Tretz Says:

    I’m so happy for all the improvements on Robert. I can see how happy he is now with his new wheels. I’m glad he was rescued. I love you Robert you deserve all of this!!!

  22. Donna Varriale Says:

    Would stem cell therapy work for Robert? Could he be evaluated if funds were raised?

    Donna V
    Greentown, PA

  23. Linda Says:

    Thank You for all you are doing for Robert. The animals deserve our care. Sure looks like a healthy dog to me.

  24. Billi Says:

    what’s going on with Robert? How’s he doing? any better?

  25. kerry Says:

    For updates please check our twitter feed (or Facebook). We post frequent updates and pictures!

  26. Billi Says:

    I don’t social networks like FB. thanks anyway.

  27. Annette Says:

    Please, please post update on website. Many of us do not have facebook or twitter. Really want to know how Robert is doing.

    Thanks.

  28. Susan Knerr Says:

    I am very interested in an update on Robert. Please let me know how he is. Thank you!

  29. A Miracle Named Rockin’ Robert | ?????.! Says:

    [...] Source: petsalive.com  /  via: petsalive.com [...]

  30. Arif Blog – A Miracle Named Rockin' Robert Says:

    [...] Source: petsalive.com  /  via: petsalive.com [...]

  31. Donna Villines Says:

    I am very happy Robert is better. You are angels no doubt. I truly wish I lived closer. I would volunteer, but instead I will donate what little I can afford. We have so many animal viictims of the recent tornadoes here in Oklahoma that it will not be much at first, but as soon as we get things under control here I plan to make it more & monthly. Great job! The world needs many more hearts like yours.

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