PFC Milton's Story!
Boykin Spaniel Rescue (BSR) was contacted in late April about a young, 6-month-old pup with pronounced physical deficiencies. With his front legs splayed from the shoulder and rear foot knuckling, Milton flopped around to move and had a strange, strangled bark. Some of his symptoms fit "swimmer's syndrome" in which young pups generally only a few weeks old demonstrate a similar flattened position and cannot walk. However, this dog began deteriorating at 2-months-old, and while before that he was a bit slow to develop, his case did not follow that of a typical swimmer's pup. BSR took him in, and while the foster worked on at-home physical therapy and swim therapy, we arranged for a thorough neurological exam. When those tests failed to lead to a concrete diagnosis, we widened the case to our Veterinary Advisory panel and tracked down other potential avenues. Finally, it was agreed that the most likely cause was congenital or traumatic damage to the upper spine; that he could possibly improve as his body matured and he gained strength; but that his ultimate condition was completely unknown. As such, BSR and his foster set about getting both water and land physical therapy for him, hoping to capitalize on his youth and can-do spirit! At his 6-month re-check his supervising neurologist was shocked at the strength and coordination Milton had gained, even on slick surfaces which he had previously been unable to walk upright on! While he may never reach a "normal" physical status, Milton was demonstrating that no one should give up on him. This young pup has a lot of spirit and determination inside him, and BSR is giving him the shot to improve as much as possible!