Gerald is a two-year old French Bulldog with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). IVDD is a serious spinal disorder that follows from the herniating of an intervertebral disc inside an afflicted dog. This condition is extremely painful and often leaves a dog paralyzed. Treating IVDD requires surgery, followed by intense therapy in order to try and regain the use of a dog’s hind legs. Surgery is not always an option and it’s also not a guarantee. Too often, dogs with IVDD are humanely euthanized due to the initial cost of the surgery and ongoing specialized care.
Gerald’s mom noticed the signs in September 2022. He was at the dog park playing with his friends and a little later that evening she began to notice certain symptoms:
- Heavy, labored breathing
- No appetite
The next morning on their walk, Gerald’s left leg went lame. He was irritable but still able to walk. By noon, his breathing was so labored she rushed him to the ER. While driving, she noticed he was completely paralyzed as he attempted to drag his body in a comfortable position.
Luckily, Gerald’s mom jumped into action and soon a Go Fund Me account was created to help pay for the cost of the surgery, but she knew that would not be the end of his medical bills. Determined to not let IVDD define who he is, she reached out to The Izzie Fund to see if Gerald would be eligible. After meeting the program eligibility requirements, The Izzie Fund was able to jump in and support his therapy which includes physical therapy, hydrotherapy and red light laser treatment. He went from not being able to feel his toes to being able to quickly stand!
It’s been 8 months since Gerald’s surgery and he’s getting stronger every day! In addition to hydrotherapy, he also does balance-focused PT at home.
Within the past month, Gerald is not getting as quickly fatigued. He’s able to support himself when he’s taking his bathroom breaks and is able to lift his leg to scratch his belly and head.
Gerald has immensely progressed since December. He can now enjoy the dog park again! Gerald’s surgeon was surprised by how much he has progressed that he a won’t need a follow up for another 5 months. She’s so proud of him!
Gerald started off hydrotherapy being so scared of the water and barely able to bend his right leg to working the treadmill all on his own. Though he still wobbles when he walks, getting to this point has been major milestones reached. On land, he’s able to quickly prop himself up and his confidence is slowly building up again much like his ability to walk. Gerald couldn’t have gotten to this point without The Izzie Fund!
Ever wonder what The Izzie Fund does? This. Is. It! We provide hope to those in need. We keep families together. We keep dogs out of shelters. WE SAVE LIVES.
Will you lend a paw and help an animal in need?