Meet Naruto. Named after a gutsy ninja that never gives up, my seven month old Sheltie could use some help.
I adopted Naruto when he was 9-weeks old. Now, I already had 4 rescue kitties, but Naruto was such a sweet little thing that he fit right in. The kitties loved him and he them.
Naruto would sometimes get scared. Seemingly nothing would happen to him, but he would yelp as if he was in pain, and hold up his paw as if it was hurt. Worried sick for my little guy, I brought him to the vet when this happened. The vet told me that some puppies are scaredy cats, and that he might grow out of this as he continues to adjust. This seemed to be the case, with his panic attacks happening less and less as he grew.
Today (Nov. 13, 2014) however, Naruto had an attack like never before. Like many pups, he was still learning spacial awareness, and as he was walking, he bonked his nose on my leg by accident. He immediately dropped to the ground and let out a tormenting scream. His legs extended and seized, and his arms curled and tensed and he writhed on the ground for about 30 seconds, screaming the whole time. I held him in my lap and whistled to him, which always used to help. This time it didn't. He calmed down after about 10 minutes. I tried to get him up but he couldn't stand. I carried him home from the park. Now, when he would have these "attacks" as a pup he was only ever effected for a minute or two. He sat on my lap for an hour, after which I tried to see how he was doing. Bless his little heart, but he tried to stand.
Knowing this was not simply a panic attack at this point, I took him to the vet right away. My family vet basically confirmed that he was not okay, but she could only refer me to a specialist. I carried him to the car (which he hates) and drove an hour to see an animal neurologist. After hours of excruciating waiting, the neurologist explained to me that my dog has been suffering from what is called atlantoaxial subluxation. One of the vertebrae of his spine, right near the neck, does not sit correctly with the other one. Sometimes, when he bends his neck wrong, the bone from his spine hits his spinal cord. This is what was causing him pain and making him hold up his paw (it was seizing). Today, however, he bent in such a way that the bone may have pierced through the protective layering of the spinal cord. We don't know how far it went in yet, but it caused enough damage that he still can't yet walk on his own (after 12 hours). The vet is very optimistic for his recovery, but these things are inherently uncertain.
While Naruto has lost some movement (temporarily I hope), apparently he got off lucky. In fact, if the bone had pinched the spinal cord any harder Naruto could have died: it would have caused paralysis, which would have prevented his lungs from working. To prevent this from ever happening again, Naruto needs surgery. The vet would fuse the two vertebae together using an autograph from his shoulder. While he would suffer a minor mobility loss (left and right), this would effectively protect him from ever having this injury reoccur. Until he gets the surgery, Naruto is stuck in the cast. The first vet visit cost $1250, and the surgery costs $6000.
I'm doing everything I can to save Naruto, but I can't do it without your help. He is just seven months old, and deserves to have a long and beautiful life, full of playing fetch and cuddling kitties. We are asking for something, for anything, from you in order to help us save our dog. Even if you can't donate, we ask that you please share this, wherever you can.
Please give what you can.
- Silkie Wong
- Krissy Lau
- Matt Egler
- A E
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