I had no idea when I got a dog it would change my life in so many ways. When I was 20, I moved to Santa Barbara, I was in college, working, and spontaneously got a French Bulldog. Little did I know the adventure he would take me on. My name is Bailey, and I am twenty-four years old. I share my life with my four-year-old French Bulldog, Hudson, on my social media pages @thelilacfrenchie.
When Hudson was four months old, he went paralyzed in his back two legs. It all started one night when he began crying and slowly started to lose function in his legs. I rushed him to the vet only to be told he looked fine and to take him home. Once I was back home, he continued to show signs of pain and was struggling to walk. I decided to take him to a different vet. I was then told it was most likely seizures and they ran different tests on him. Everything came back normal. That is when they decided to do an x-ray and told me his back looked a little off but there was nothing to worry about and to take him home.
I remember going home and I knew something was wrong. Little did I know it would take multiple vets to help Hudson. I took him to vets between Santa Barbara and San Diego until he was finally diagnosed with Kyphosis. Kyphosis is a “Congenital Spinal and Vertebral Malformations in Dogs. ... Visible signs of a distorted spinal column are lordosis (curvature of the spine at the lower back) and kyphosis (a posterior curvature of the spine).” When I first got Hudson, I had no idea he had Kyphosis and he showed no signs. He was born with Kyphosis. It was a very long and scary process trying to figure out what was wrong, and I was doing everything in my power to get him the help he needed. I knew I had to fight for him. We finally found a specialist David Lipsitz at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. I drove Hudson down to San Diego to meet Dr. Lipsitz, he told me that he had severe kyphosis and it was very unlikely he would ever walk again even with surgery. However, without spinal surgery, he would never use his back legs again and surgery gave him a small chance. I knew I had to give him a fighting chance. At the time Hudson was not playing, sleeping all day, and was no longer happy. I decided that surgery was the best chance for Hudson to live a normal life.
Dr. Lipsitz scheduled Hudson a few days later for spinal surgery. Spinal surgery took all day. I remember that day like yesterday, it was terrifying, and I was doing everything to stay busy. In the evening they called me and told me that Hudson's surgery went great. They had to call in another specialist because of the severity of Hudson's back but that he was doing good and needed to rest. The next week he stayed in the hospital, and I got to go in and cuddle him a couple of times a day. At the end of the week, I got to take Hudson home, at this point he had no movement in his back legs. Dr. Lipsitz told me that in three weeks he should have movement and if he doesn't by then we should be concerned. Once I got Hudson home, I put my bed on the ground next to Hudson's bed. The next few weeks I laid with Hudson all the time, helped him move his back legs, carried him everywhere, hand-fed him, helped him go to the bathroom, and did everything I could to help him gain movement again. At about three weeks he started to kick his back legs and move them slightly. From there the vet gave me the okay to start red light therapy, acupuncture, water treadmill, swimming, and physical therapy. During this time Hudson started walking again very slowly and wobbly but he had movement. It took about 6 to 8 months to get Hudson to a good spot after surgery.
It has now been almost three years since Hudson's spinal surgery, and he is a happy playful dog. There are a lot of things I still do to make sure he keeps his back in the best shape. He still has to do therapy and acupuncture. He is more sensitive than a 100% healthy dog, but I am beyond lucky that he fought like a Frenchie to get to where he is today. He changed my life in so many ways.
Treat you Cuddly Canines next week!