A family in Berkshire hope to raise £1,500 for their beloved Chinese Crested Powderpuff's new wheels after she was left paralysed in a hit and run two years ago.
Orthopaedic specialists determined surgery could not help poor Chazmine - known as Puffy - so the family looked at ways to aid her mobility. Puffy's current set of wheels were made by a family member, but to prevent muscle wastage and help tone her hind legs, Puffy needs a special rehab cart from Sophia Pets.
Michael and Danielle Cass inherited Puffy and her sister Ceri after their previous owner, Danielle's mother, passed away. The sisters, now aged seven, came to live with them on 2 January 2015 but as Michael and Danielle work full-time, Puffy and Ceri stay with Michael's parents during the day.
Michael says, "Puffy and Ceri love people and are so well natured. Puffy is so laid back and submissive, loving nothing more than to have her tummy tickled for hours on end."
Just four days after they arrived, Puffy was being walked by Michael's father when she unexpectedly bolted. Despite their best efforts to find her, Puffy spent the night missing in the cold.
Michael adds, "I felt particularly bad as I’d taken her to be groomed on the weekend and she’s only little. We launched a Facebook appeal to try and find her, but on Friday (9th Jan) we received the unwelcome call we’d feared to say she’d been hit by a car."
A passer-by took Puffy to the vets where her condition was stabilised. She was transferred to a specialist for an MRI scan which revealed a disc in her spine had shattered, destroying the nerve connection to her hind legs making her paralysed, with no bladder or bowel control. Puffy began intensive physio and hydrotherapy which helped to balance out the power in her front legs but more toning was required as her hip ligaments began to weaken.
"We started using a doggie pram, so that Puffy could come on the longer walks with Ceri but she really hated the pram. My father made her current set of wheels from some plastic plumbing, cart wheels and a harness! It only cost £5 to make and is super lightweight. Puffy has been using these for nearly two years now and loves to be able to sniff and zoom about as she pleases.
"There is, however, a problem with her current wheels, as they pitch her forward onto her front legs, to ensure that her hind legs don’t drag on the floor. This is putting a lot of pressure on her front shoulders and she now looks like a body builder."
Puffy was showing improvement until autumn last year, when she developed swelling in her salvia glands and spent a long time on bed rest to recover. She lost toning in her legs as a result and in a check up with the specialist, it was suggested that Puffy try a KerDOG cart to help with her rehabilitation.
"We'd like to purchase a pedal cart for her as soon as possible, but with a £1,500 price tag these are quite expensive. A number of her friends on her Facebook page kindly offered to help raise the funds so we setup a crowdfunding page for Puffy's Wheels Appeal and would appreciate any help to get her one."
If you would like to donate to Puffy's appeal, go to the fundraising page.