Case Study - Champ
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Nala & Fix


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      • Champ’s fall in the bathtub

        Champ began his life with his mother chewing through the umbilical cord and into his stomach. During
        surgery to mend the stomach and liver, a severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia was found. Champ had
        another surgery at 11.5 weeks to repair the hernia again. He had a follow-up visit to the surgeon and the following weekend we went back to Corvallis, where I’m a student.

        That Monday, October 12, 2009, I let him outside for 20 minutes and found him vomiting, looking very
        sick, and couldn’t stand up. After a radiograph, blood work and an exam, he was treated with anti-
        inflammatories and antihistamines for a bee sting, as that was what his symptoms presented, albeit an
        extreme reaction. He vomited during the night and the next day was on an IV and amoxycillin with
        concerns that he had encephalitis or ingested a neurotoxin.

        By Wednesday, he could not support himself but had pain response in his toes. His respiration, temperature,
        and circulation appeared fine. He drank and ate when hand-fed. Now there were concerns about distemper,
        botulism, or spinal injury because he had slipped and fell into the bathtub a few days ago.

        I took him to a neurologist in Portland on Thursday and had more tests and an MRI. Champ had some
        congenital skeletel malformations that may be related, though why or how could not be answered. The
        cause of his problems was fluid from the base of his brain, almost clear down to his lower back. With no
        injury/fracture to be found, another MRI was done and determined the fluid was not normal but something
        with much greater protein. A spinal tap was suggested but had the potential of disrupting the fluid. We
        opted to euthanize Champ back at home in Hermiston, but I had to go back to school in Corvallis first.

        Champ stayed at my vet at the Corvallis clinic on Monday when I went to school. He called and told me
        about an osteopathic therapist in Eugene that had excellent recoveries with dogs. She had looked at
        Champ’s MRI report and noted a subluxation in his neck which quite possibly was from his slip and
        awkward landing in the bathtub the week prior. She was able to see Champ that same day.

        The session with Patricia was nothing like any medical treatment I’ve ever seen applied. It was very much “alternative medicine” to me. I had to smile, too, because it was the least expensive route we’ve gone
        within the last week. As it would be, it was also the most effective thing we could have done. If I
        remember correctly, he had a concussion from the fall and spinal cord compression. That night I saw hind
        leg movement!

        At Patricia’s recommendation, we changed his food; she wanted a homemade diet, but I decided to go
        with Innova canned puppy food because I didn’t have time to cook for myself between Champ and going to
        school. On Tuesday, after another session, Champ was lapping water and moving his head around better
        and that night he stood up to defecate. We had one more session with Patricia on Wednesday, then we
        headed back to Hermiston for the rest of the week. Champ still had pain in his neck, but was attempting to
        walk the next day! Eight days later he was walking on his own and was running and playing a month later.
        Since moving him to grain/gluten-free foods, his coat got much softer and his body filled out more.

        We went for another session with Patricia two weeks later, then a month after that. She worked a bit more
        on his spine and bloodflow. She said he was in great shape, and his gait was now flawless. It still is.

        Chelsea Rock, Hermiston, Oregon

        Note: Champ’s owners run the Rock Llewellin Setters Kennels in Hermiston, Oregon. Champ’s story is a
        wonderful blog covering his rough start on life and recovery.