A 7-year-old Border Collie named River is known for mastering agility courses and winning competitions. But all that excitement came to a halt when River’s back legs suddenly became paralyzed. He collapsed under his own weight, leaving his family panicked.
River was unable to stand or walk on his own for weeks, but a team of dedicated veterinarians worked hard to rehabilitate him. Now, River can walk again, but he still has a long road to recovery ahead of him. His journey so far is a miracle!
From Devastating to Promising
No one could’ve predicted River’s paralysis. The dog simply lost control of his back legs one day and collapsed. He was unable to get up and move on his own, so Lin Drafton, his human, rushed him to the vet. The poor pup couldn’t even wag his tail at first.
River had a ruptured disc, which left his spinal cord compressed. Drafton brought him to the veterinarians at UC Davis, who were determined to get him walking again. They had to drill a hole in River’s back to remove the material harming his spine. That led to expensive vet bills and a long recovery.
“He’s exceeded my expectations,” said veterinary neurology resident Amanda Xue. “He looked really, really good on his check-in exam today.”
Border Collie Walks Again!
After six weeks, River began to act like his happy self once again. He’s now walking on his own and even wagging his tail. In the beginning, he had to wear a sling to ensure that he didn’t trip or fall while walking. After his recent check-up, he’s able to stand and walk without help. Drafton said one of the happiest moments for her was when River was able to wag his tail for the first time in weeks.
“He is so close to being himself again compared to when I brought him down,” Drafton said. “I keep telling folks here this is a miracle. It’s a miracle this dog recovered like this. Just a miracle.”
Vets estimate that River still has months of recovery before he can be as active as he was before. So, it will be a while before he can return to his agility course training. His overall health and wellbeing are more important than his hobbies anyway.
River’s vet bills are expected to be over $12,500. If you’d like to help Drafton cover the pup’s medical costs, you can donate to the GoFundMe page.