Saturday, January 21, 2012

Science Daily: Saving dogs with spinal cord injuries

I have a special interest in this subject because of my own spinal cord injury.

These dogs are more prone to disk displacement that closely mimics a traumatic spinal cord injury in humans. The treatment focuses on reducing damage to those nerves that are were interrupted by the injury but not severed. What this means is that it focuses on repairing existing function instead of regrowing new nerve pathways, another active area of spinal cord research.

Read the full article at:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rolling Dog Farm

Rolling Dog Farm is a charity that involves the rescue and housing of disabled animals of all sorts. Their residents include blind dogs, blind horses, deaf dogs, blind cats, and animals with other neurological and orthopedic disabilities.

Some of these animals include:

A miniature Dachshund with a spinal problem, he wound up in the hands of an animal hoarder. Thankfully rescued, he now enjoys his freedom and comfort. He sleeps in front of a warm stove at night reminding us to take pleasure in the little things in life.

A blind Quarter Horse, Lena story begins with a problem of rearing up too often, likely caused by an inexperienced rider pulling too hard and often on the reins. It was decided she needed to be taught a "lesson": tying the reins to the back of the saddle, which would cause her to fall over backwards. They did this so many times, causing her to land on her head, that she is permanently blind. Saved by a caring soul who saw her predicament, she eventually was put in contact with the Rolling Dog Farm, where she now receives the love and care she deserves.

Based out of 120 acre ranch in the White Mountains of Hampshire, Alayne Marker and Steve Smith have spent over a decade devoting their lives to these animals. A website everyone should look at, the non-profit includes a page on animal myths about disabled animals. (also see Top 5 Myths About Blind Horses) These include:

1) Disabled animals can't have a good quality of life.
All you have to do is look at a few videos of these animals, playing, roughhousing, and generally having a blast to understand that these animals have amazing lives! Just because you have to have a few adaptations to your life doesn't mean it's not still fun to wrestle:

2) Disabled animals have a lot of medical problems.
Not so! While the disability itself may represent a little extra time and care, disabled animals are no more prone to getting sick than any other animal.

3) Disabled animals have behavior problems – they’re more likely to snap and bite.
You cannot attribute the personality of an animal to their disability. Many otherwise healthy animals snap and bite and this is not blamed attributed to anything other than the personality of the animal.

4) It’s more difficult to care for a disabled animal.
Generally not much extra care is called for, the largest exception being spinal cord injuries. As with any animal, you should never agree to adopt them if you cannot provide them with the space, care, and time that they require. If you make time for them in your life they will always bound back with more excitement, energy, and love than you could ever return.

You can read about some of the other animals who include
Cinder (with kittens Ash and Spark) - blind
Travis - fused jaw
Ella - 3 Legs

for more information visit their website at:
their facebook page:
their blog:
or their youtube page: