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Paralyzed Dog Walks Again at CARES

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An Emergency Brings One Family From Bethlehem to Langhorne For Specialized Care

“I heard him scream and yelp,” recalls Gale Grow of Bethlehem, PA. “I ran downstairs and we couldn’t find him.” Gale remembers the panic as she searched for her sweet Pomeranian mix, Marco, after he jumped off her bed and became paralyzed. “He came from hiding behind the couch and his legs were like sticks and he was dragging them,” she added.

Gale and her husband Gordon jumped in the car and went immediately to their family veterinarian. The x-rays proved inconclusive, so Gale’s veterinarian referred her to CARES for further evaluation. It was nearly a two-hour drive from the family’s hometown of Bethlehem to CARES in Langhorne.

“Sitting in traffic and the long drive was worth it,” Gale says warmly. “There was someone standing at the door at CARES to open the door as we pulled in, waiting for us because I had called. We didn’t even sit down before someone was already there to take us to a room for evaluation. The place was immaculate! I couldn’t believe it! Right from the time we walked in the door, everyone was so nice to us and they were bringing our other dog Marlo treats.”

Marco’s neurologic exam was consistent with a lumbar spinal injury.  A CT scan ruled out compression of the spinal cord and surgical intervention was not needed. The prognosis was good that Marco would improve over time, with medication and rest, starting with a few days at CARES. “Doctors called every morning to discuss what they saw with Marco,” says Gale. “They took photos and sent them to me. I called twice a day to check in on Marco and every nurse I spoke with was very kind and explained everything in great detail. Dr. Palaigos is awesome. My husband even made a comment about how professional and thorough he is.”

During Marco’s first night at CARES, he regained neurologic function to his hind legs. He was able to move both legs to walk. That was great news, although Marco, who can be an anxious dog, was feeling nervous. So, doctors and staff at CARES worked to make him feel at home. “Marco is anxious being in a cage,” says Gale. So, if left him with my husband’s t-shirt in his pen,” she added. But, Marco was still uneasy, so doctors and nurses invited him to sit with them in the ER and gave him a large run to spend time in. “The nurse was so excited,” says Gale, “because she said Marco became a totally different dog after those changes.”

Now, just one week after his CARES visit, Gale is thrilled with Marco’s progress. “He is doing 100% better. Everyday you can see him more and more, being himself. I can’t say enough about CARES! You can tell they are so into their jobs. They gotta love their jobs to treat people and the animals like that. If I ever need it again, I’m coming there. I don’t care if I have to stay in traffic for 3 hours. I’m doing it!”

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