The Inspirational Story of Samuel the Fox Terrier

Samuel Watling, an older fox terrier, came to us after an incident which involved him being bitten on the head and consequently being unable to move his body. He was flat, rigid in his front legs and needed 24/7 nursing care. X‑rays were taken of him and luckily he did not have any fractures which were visible on the x rays, but it did show evidence of narrowed intervertebral disc spaces in his neck. That is what we suspected possibly caused the quadriparetic state that he was in. We could have investigated the diagnosis further, but not without risks of anaesthetic for MRI scans and possible surgery. Samuel was between a rock and a hard place with his options being whether to pursue the anaesthetic route, but possibly not surviving because of his heart murmur and current state, or treating conservatively by giving him rest, nursing care and physical rehabilitative therapy. With the risk of anaesthetic being too high, it was decided to pursue the conservative route and see how he improves.


After about a week, he progressed from barely being able to lift only his head to be able to stand when assisted and eat when propped up in a sitting position. Samuel gave his first few assisted steps at the end of that week and improved greatly after returning home for the weekend. The next week he got stronger every day and improved very nicely. Unfortunately the following week he took a bit of a dip as he got an infection, but it was caught early on and soon with medication he was back to his full spirits and impressing us daily with his resilience and determination to recover. After 4 weeks (since the day he was brought in) of nursing and daily physical therapy, he was walking on his own, besides a  few gait challenges. That following week he gradually overcame those challenges and proved to us that persistence and determination go a long way and even if the odds are against you, it is worth a try. He is now walking with minor gait changes and still improving daily.


Samuel is an inspiration and reminds us of what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

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