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Tiny's Surgery
Tiny was born just over 11 years ago and gee that time has flown by. Tiny was born a dwarf and at 3 weeks of

age she was the size of a matchbox. In the beginning we did not hold on to alot of hope that Tiny would pull

through but as the days turned into weeks it was very apparent that she was a little fighter. At 4 months of age

Tiny was the size of a 6 week old puppy and had the skin and hair of a typical dwarf puppy. After some research

we had learnt that dwarf puppies generally don't live past 2.5 years. There is a drug called Thyroxine that was

generally given to dwarf puppies many years ago to help their development so we thought we would try it on Tiny.

Well by the time Tiny was 18 months she was 30 kgs and her coat was beautiful. The photos below are of Tiny

before her accident.


Dinner time is quite an exciting time in our house. My dogs run around like crazy and on the night of the 19th May 2016 was no different. Tiny had got up to have her dinner

and she slipped & collapsed. After speaking to my vet that night she suggested to take her to SASH the next morning as she may have had a stroke and will need an MRI to

see what has happened. The next morning we were off to Sash. After speaking to one of the Registrars he gave Tiny a check over and went and done the MRI. It was a very

very long wait but finally we had an answer to Tiny's paralysis. After an MRI was performed it had shown Tiny had disc material compressing on her spinal cord. We were told

1mm either side and she would not have been paralysed. Tiny needed surgery to have this removed. We were given no other options and were told the sooner she had the

surgery the better chance of her recovering. We were also told they done about 30 of these surgeries a week so we felt confident with her having this procedure. I was originally

told that she would be up in 2-3 days and there was a 95% success rate and the cost will be approx. $8000. We left Tiny there over the weekend and we picked Tiny up on

Monday 23rd May 2016 and it was very apparent Tiny was not able to stand at all, she was very frightened and her discharge letter now said it could take up to a month even

as long as 6 months for her to walk again. We are sharing this story to help anyone else that may need to totally understand what is involved in rehabilitation of a paralysed dog.

If you are in this situation please feel welcome to contact us if you need support. This is our diary we have kept to show her progress.


Day 1: At home with Tiny. We arrived home around 5pm after picking her up from Sash. Had a meeting at Sash with the rehab nurse Fran who was very helpful. At this stage

Tiny cannot walk or even support herself. We have a fitted two handle harness for her which helps us in getting her up. She has been operated from the neck side so we must

make sure she doesn't sway her head around. The vertabrae was pushing up from the neck side into her spine. She has quiet a long scar down her neck.
I kept massaging her legs every hour until bedtime. Not drinking so syringing water into her a little at a time. She has two osteo beds, cushions supporting her back and neck,

lays on a vet bed and puppy toilet training pads with towels underneath her. Tried to get take her outside but being a dead weight was very difficult. We couldn't lift her back

inside so we lifted her onto a sling bed and carried her back in. Night time Tiny was a bit anxious but we got up every 2 hours and massaged her legs and as she was only about

8 feet from our bed and as soon as she had a whimper one of us got up to her and straightened her cushions and massaged her legs.
Day 2: Kept her comfortable until our staff arrived. A beautiful sunny morning. We all lifted Tiny outside in the sun and placed her body on a yoga ball and rolled it back and forth

trying to get her to use her legs. She is trying to use her back legs. Done this for about 15 mins. She is exhausted so placed back on her osteo bed in the lounge room and is now snoring.
Day 3: No difference from yesterday. She is still in a lot of pain.


Day 6: Tiny had a session of acupuncture. This has given her relief and she has had a good relaxing night however the

next morning she was back to being quite unsettled. I will give the acupuncture a couple more weeks but feel I need to

look for a long term solution.
Day 8: Bianca has helped with 3 x 45 min sessions on the yoga ball and massaging. Tiny is quite exhausted today.

Day 11: Tiny is still very tired from yesterday so only 1 session on the yoga ball today but lots of massaging. She

actually goes to sleep when being massaged.

Day 12: Back to Sash for her check up. Dr Dan thought she may have been a little more advanced but is still very optimistic

she will walk again. He has given Tiny extra medication to help any damage that may be to her nerve endings. She is on quite

strong pain killers as well. Fran from rehab also checked Tiny and is still very positive she will make a full recovery but it will

be a long slow road ahead of us.
Day 13: Tiny has had her first day at K9 swim (Londonderry)for some hydrotherapy. Sharon & her team are wonderful. They

really put a lot of effort in to Tiny She went very well considering she has never been in a pool before but not a lot of movement.

When she came out of the pool we dried her down and I had bought her a robe which draws the moisture away from her until

we got home and blow dried her. All of our staff have been wonderful in all their support in helping Tiny. She has had three

sessions of physio this afternoon. Her paw pads are starting to dry out so I have massaged heel balm into her pads. About every

hour I massage her legs, neck and back. She urinates small amounts but very frequent amounts so I am using puppy training pads

underneath her with a towel under her back end to keep the moisture from sitting around her. We wash about 3 loads a day just

from bedding. Off to Animal Physio tomorrow.

Day 14: Physio sounded promising but will take quite some time. Aunty Helen as she is known to all the dogs has given

us more exercises to do each day. She also suggested we use an electric toothbrush to stimulate her nerves in her feet. We were also

told that she needs alot of massaging.
Day 15: A little flat today but still taking very small steps forward.
Day 16: Tiny is very lethargic today. She barely wanted to lift her head before 12. Whilst she was on her yoga ball I noticed

blood dripping out her private part. About an hour later she had filled her puppy pad with urine and quite a bit of blood.

All that night quite a large amount of blood had came away. Spoke to my vet, done an xray and she assured me not to worry

and antibiotics will fix the problem, which they did.
Day 18: Had to cancel the hydrotherapy this week but her bleeding has reduced quite a lot. She is so much brighter.

Sam is one of the German Shepherd World team and along with everyone else has been invaluable to Tiny's recovery.

Sam has been with her to her Specialist appt & rehab appts she has an annoying teasing nature that keeps Tiny alert and wanting to try.

Day21: Tiny is still in a lot of pain and gets frustrated and tries to bite us at times. I can only imagine how she must be feeling.

Day 28: Every day Tiny tries just that little bit harder. She does a lot of complaining, very vocal. The photo below shows

her exhausted and not happy.


Week 5: Off to Aunty Helen's again for some more physio tips. This time she has suggested using a vibrating machine to help stop the muscles deteriorating.

Unfortunately Tiny has had a huge accident and our visit had to be cut short.

Tiny is off to our vet in the morning for another check up. After visiting our vet and having another check up everything looked good but she has now developed

a bowel infection. Apparently these sorts of infections are common in animals that can't move around. More anti biotics.

Week 6: Tiny is doing well at swimming. She needs quite a bit of help still to warm up but never stops trying. She still seems to have quite a bit of pain.

The photo below is Tiny on her vibrating machine. This helps stimualte her muscles.


Week 7: Tiny is moving her back legs a lot better in the water now. She still needs quite a bit of help to warm up. Tiny still gets

very upset and is trying to bite us everytime we try to place the harness on her or move her. She is still in a lot of pain. After having

a good chat with our vet she has suggested taking her off all of her medication except for her Metacam.

Week 8: Tiny still cannot stand nor hold her own weight. It has been 8 very long weeks not only for Tiny but for everyone involved

in her rehab. Tiny is so much better being off all her drugs. She is much more alert and eager to try new things.

Week 9: Tiny is doing much better at hydrotherapy. She is using all four legs for short periods. Tiny loves it. Out of the water

she still can't hold her weight. We use a yoga ball 3 times a day to help her get more use in her back legs. We encourage her

with treats to push off her back legs. Tiny is still having accupuncture once a week and now has a massage therapist also once

a week, hydrotherapy twice a week and physio at least 3 times a day.

Week 10: It is becoming very apparent that we need some extra help. Tiny is 35kgs of dead weight and is very heavy to lift.

We do have a stretcher bed but we all have sore backs from having to lift her up and down and hold her up so much. It is very

hard to hold her up to wash her down when she has her accidents. I am looking into a quad cart that hopefully will help her and us.

We have 3 different types of harness's now to try and make Tiny more comfortable when lifting her.

Tiny in the picture below shows how well she is sitting up on her own now. We do however place pillows around her to make her comfortable.

Week 12:

The photo above shows Tiny with her new jacket. She is doing very well with her swimming. Tiny is also sitting up quite

well on her own now. She tries to sit up further on her bottom all on her own. She barks to let us know what her needs are

now. If she pees or poops herself she gives a very loud bark, if she wants a drink she does a very constant bark and even if

she just wants a cuddle she barks. She has become very vocal. Below is a photo of Tiny in her new cart on her first day.

She is not impressed.


Week 13: Tiny trying out her new quad cart. Tiny does not seem very impressed but we are hoping this will help her to walk.

We had to send to America for this cart as dogs are usually only paralysed in 2 legs not 4 and there was no one in Australia that had a quad cart.


Week 18: Tiny all rugged up after her swimming session. Tiny gives everything 100% effort all the time.

Week 30: Tiny in her cart with her back legs on her wobbling machine. I can only imagine what she is thinking.


Week 42: Tiny just loves her swimming. Having no pressure on her joints she feels as free as a bird. Tiny is still unable to get up on her own.

I have phoned her specialist at SASH and have been advised for a further $5,000 ( I have already paid $8,000) they will do another MRI scan

and repair anything they may have missed. They thought she would be walking by now. We did not opt for this and kept going with her therapy.

Tiny in the underwater treadmill in which she was not impressed with.

Unfortunately Tiny never did get up & walk on her own but she never stopped trying for 1 year & 11 months. We were there to help her every step of the way.
We feel very let down by her specialists as there is no follow up and after giving us a 95% success rate we expected for Tiny to at least be able to get up and take a few
steps on her own. The surgery was a total failure. Tiny was nothing short than Amazing. She never complained and was always willing to try something new.
On 21st April, 2018 we had to say good bye to our very precious Angel. She was succumbed by cancer in her shoulder and was in terrible pain. Throughout Tiny's journey
we have always been able to make her comfortable but we couldn't anymore and I loved her too much to see her suffer. Our house will never be the same with out her.
Tiny was such a huge part of our lives. I was lucky to have such great staff that helped me through the day & Mel became Tiny's personal assistant 3 days a week and
came to all of her appointments. She had hydrotherapy twice a week, we would drive to Greendale for her accpuncture by Neale every week & her Chiropractor Anne once a week.
We also gave her a course Deer stem cell therapy by an Holistic vet from Melbourne. These avenues of therapy are totally necessary for rehabilitation for any dog.
You become their 24 hour palletive carer and therapies can be very costly but at the end of the day I would do it all again in a heartbeat for any of my babies. It is what you do when you love them.