A woman has revealed how she helped transform the life of a pit bull puppy who could barely walk due to crippling Tetanus.
Dr. Ali Thompson, 35, from Bradenton, Florida, rescued pit bull, Bunny, when she was just seven months old.
The adorable pup was completely paralyzed from head to tail with total lock jaw and constant muscle spasms and seizure-like activity due to a ‘generalized’ form of Tetanus known as Clostrdium Tetani.
Her condition was so bad that Bunny couldn’t walk unassisted and needed constant medical care but after weeks of tender love and affection from Dr. Ali, the fluffy companion made a miraculous recovery.
Speaking to Jam Press, Ali, who works as a small animal veterinarian, explained, ‘Bunny was in a very critical state for over two weeks after we rescued her. The care was extremely intensive.
‘Under most circumstances, patients with her disease severity would be in a 24-hour critical or speciality care facility.
‘Together, my husband, Matt, and I cared for her every hour, often times every few minutes, on the hour for over two weeks.
‘She was on IV fluids, IV antibiotics, IV anti-seizure meds, IV sedatives and IV muscle relaxants.’
Bunny required multiple slow syringe feedings a day and Ali said there was a ‘ton of hygiene and clean up care involved due to her inability to move.’
‘We also did ice and heat therapy along with range of motion and physical therapy type of exercises to slowly get her muscle memory, tone and strength back,’ she explained.
In order to aid her recovery, Bunny was also kept in a very dark and quiet environment since the muscle contractions and spasms are worsened by stimuli, with even the slightest sound or light potentially causing a violent attack.
The pup wore a sleeping mask covering her eyes for nearly three weeks.
Thankfully after some much needed tender love and care, Bunny started to show signs of recovering, as Ali explains, ‘About two weeks in, we began seeing slight glimmers of hope. She began to lift and move her head on her own.
‘The small improvements seemed to suddenly explode overnight as she popped up into the standing position around day 17. Then, on day 21, Bunny took her first real steps again.’
Unsurprisingly, Ali and her husband were both overjoyed with the progress of their adorable pup.
‘We both cried tears of joy with our hearts beaming with pride over this little puppy we were growing to know and to love. I was so proud of her and told her I knew she had it in her.
‘She was a little miracle – a survivor. Seeing her walk again lifted us up and reminded us that great love and determination can move mountains, even awful ones like Tetanus.’
Bunny has since become much-loved by the couple’s family and friends as well as their neighbors, too.
‘To meet or to know Bunny is to love her. She is a mascot of sorts among our neighborhood kids. She loves them and they love her back! It is so heartwarming to see the joy that she brings to them. Everyone adores and supports her just as we do.’
Ali says Bunny, who she described as loving, happy and sweet, is now well and truly ‘part of the family’ and she cannot imagine life with her.
‘We are those pet owners who really integrate their dogs into the home, so with Bunny, we’ve had to create more room on our couch for movie nights plus make sure everyone has their own spot in the bed which now has all four animals and us sleeping in it! I
‘ joke and say we need a bigger bed – we already have a king!
‘Just as special is the social media movement she has generated. People from all over the world have heard listened and clung to her story.
‘We read notes from people in Brazil, Australia, India and beyond! Their words are from the heart. They comment on how Bunny’s story has inspired and touched them.’
Animal-lover Ali also owns two other dogs and a kitten, all of which have been rescued.
‘Tibby is our little Chihuahua who came to the clinic as a stray with a shattered leg. Lots of TLC and two orthopedic surgeries later, he can now run like the wind, while Cooper is our large rescue dog from the island of St. Kitts.’
‘I found his mom on the side of the road who had been hit by a car. Turns out, Cooper was one of eight puppies who I took home that day, found a foster and later homes for. Leo, is the little queen of our house. She is an almost 13-year-old grey kitty.’
And to the owners of any doggies who are suffering from similar issues as Bunny, Ali’s advice is to ‘keep the hope and prayers alive.’
‘Stand as their advocate through the treatment and recovery process,’ she said.
‘Sometimes, time and TLC are the best forms of medicine. Also, understand that your veterinarian is doing the best they can to give your animal the treatment they need while also managing your expectations as an owner.
‘In our case, not many veterinary doctors I talked to had ever even seen a dog with tetanus much less known one that survived. So, while we never gave up hope, we knew in the back of our minds that Bunny might not make it.
‘That just goes to show how strong Bunny is to not have given up on herself. She was so strong and brave to have endured what she did!’