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.
Heartbreaking: An adorable pit bull puppy named Bunny was left completely paralyzed from head to tail by a case of Tetanus
Transformed: When she was seven months old Bunny was taken in by Florida veterinarian Dr. Ali Thompson, 35, who nursed the sweet puppy back to health
Special care: When Ali took Bunny in, the dog was suffering from many symptoms in addition to paralysis (left), however she began to show signs of recovery after two weeks (right)
Attention: When Bunny first went home with Ali, the dog couldn’t do anything by herself and was unable even to take a few steps
New lease on life: The dog has since made a full recovery and is living a happy, healthy life with Ali and her husband
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.
There they go! Ali put into place a number of different treatments that she knew would help Bunny to regain her strength
‘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.
Medicine: 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’
Painful: Bunny suffered from muscle spasms and often had to be kept in a darkened room to try and prevent them
Easy does it: Thankfully after some much needed tender love and care, Bunny started to show signs of recovering
Sharing is caring: Ali and her husband Matt shared the responsibilities and took turns administering Bunny’s different treatments
A helping hand: The couple carried Bunny around wherever they went until she was able to walk by herself
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.
Touch and go: Ali explained that Bunny was in an extremely critical condition when she was first brought home
The great outdoors: Even when Bunny was at her most sick, the couple ensured that she was able to enjoy her life
Step by step: ‘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,’ Ali said
Journey: Ali began charting Bunny’s recovery on Instagram and the adorable pup has earned a legion of followers
Round the clock: Ali and her husband Matt fed and nursed Bunny at all hours of the night
‘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.
Progress! Bunny took her first unassisted steps 21 days after Ali adopted her
Say cheese! The pup has since completely transformed, and is able to run, walk, bark, and eat all by herself
Family: 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
Making an impression: ‘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!’ Ali said
Keep going: Ali urged anyone else who is caring for a sick dog not to give up hope
‘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!’