Twilight was only a 6-month-old pup when she was picked up by Animal Control and was walking unsteadily. The next morning, the shelter staff found Twilight laying on her side, unable to move, and having difficulty breathing. RCR was contacted for help, and we rushed her to the ER.
Numerous tests were done, but no diagnosis was confirmed. At the ER’s recommendation, we transferred Twilight to a neurologist. Her condition was deteriorating quickly, and they recommended an MRI and spinal tap to try to diagnose and save her. We had to put down a $6,000 deposit just to get started. This was a huge financial hit, but we felt we had to give Twilight a chance, and we know you would too!
The MRI was very revealing! It showed that Twilight had a huge contusion and a large hematoma on the tissue surrounding her spinal cord, caused by trauma from a blunt force object. Her spinal cord was bruised and swollen, affecting the ability of her nerves to function properly. Twilight was currently in a 24/7 critical care hospital. Our hopes are that with steroids, pain meds, physical therapy and time, she will learn to walk again. It will be a long road to recovery, but we will be there with her each step of the way!
Update 1: Twilight is currently in ICU under the care of a neurologist. This morning she was able to briefly lift her head…a small move, but a BIG step in the right direction. She still cannot move her limbs, but that is to be expected at this point. She began physical therapy, and her body is being turned every few hours to prevent bed sores. She ate breakfast! It had to be hand fed to her, but this is the first time in three days she has been interested in food! It could take weeks to months of rehab, but with the right care and determination, the neurologist feels she has a good chance at regaining mobility!
Update 2: Twilight wagged her tail today!! She still cannot stand or walk, but is now able to raise her head and wag her tail! This is a HUGE step in the right direction!! We can only imagine that someone or something caused such severe trauma to her spine, as evidenced by the MRI. It is a miracle that she survived the blunt force blow, in addition to living on the street during the recent Houston winter storm.
Twilight is currently in ICU under the care of a neurologist. It could take weeks to months of rehab, but with the right care and determination, the neurologist feels she has a good chance at regaining mobility! Video update below:
Update 3: Twilight was rushed into surgery, just when we thought we were making progress. The hematoma adjacent to her spinal cord was not resolving, and the neurologist was afraid of a possible abscess. Exploratory surgery was performed, and Twilight was discovered to have an “extremely rare condition” called “Dermoid Sinus (DS).”
There are various levels of DS, and Twilight’s is the most severe and life-threatening. She has multiple congenital neural tube defects that communicate from the skin to the brain/spinal tissues. We believe the trauma she recently endured caused these tubes to rupture, leading to meningitis and paralysis. Surgery was performed to remove the affected tubes and a segment of the outer layer of the spinal cord. It is too soon to tell the success of the surgery, but with continued physical therapy and appropriate medications, the neurologist feels we can maximize Twilight’s extent of recovery. She has the will to walk, and we are going to help her get there! Twilight is still in 24/7 critical care and her medical bills continue to grow.
Update 4: Day 8 of hospitalization. It has been a rough week for Twilight! From severe blunt force trauma to her neck causing paralysis, to MRI, spinal surgery, physical therapy, multiple meds and more…this little girl does not give up! Twilight still cannot stand or walk, but she does have feeling in her legs. She has PT several times a day, and her left front leg is beginning to function! It may be weeks or months before she can walk on her own, but we will be with her each step of the way!!
Update 5: YES…Twilight is WALKING on her own!! Two weeks ago, it was not known if she would live or ever walk again. This little gal was determined! She handled physical therapy like a champ, and made improvements daily! And look at her now…two weeks and already walking! She is still under the care of a neurologist, but she was able to leave the 24/7 ICU for a foster home.
Without your help, dogs like Twilight would never get a second chance!
Update 6: Twilight had her follow-up exam with the neurologist. Everyone at the hospital was amazed at her progress! They were taking photos and videos and are going to use her extremely rare condition as a teaching case. Below is a photo of Twilight having her staples removed and another showing her adorable under bite! It will still be several months before she regains full mobility, but she is well on her way! Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support! Stay tuned for future updates!
Adoption Update: Twilight was adopted by her foster parents who will provide her with lots of love and snuggles every day!