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Top-Of-The-Line Technology Becomes Answer To Doberman’s Inability To Walk

Unable to walk; unable to even get up. That was one local Doberman’s life for nearly 6 months. Her family felt helpless, in their search to find a cure.

A few months ago, the Parkers thought it was the end of the line for their Doberman, Lucy.

But now after utilizing top of the line technology, you can't find anywhere else in the state, they found hope.

"Worried, concerned,” Lucy’s owners, Linda and Terry Parker said. “We were feeling like maybe we weren't going to be able to find an answer for her."

An “answer” to why their pet, whom they consider their child, is unable to even sit up.

The Parkers adopted Lucy when she was born 9 years ago.

"Horrible inside, helpless,” Linda said. “Watching her you know, go down, stumble and constantly try to pick her up and walk her."

Lucy once bright and active, then bed bound due to spinal disease. Little did they know, she had a two disc protrusions on her spinal cord making it impossible to walk.

Luckily the latest technology at the University of Illinois allowed Lucy the most detailed evaluation of her spinal cord and her bone structure.

Susan Hartman is the lead technician and now works with the 3-Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging called 'Skyra'.

"We all know that's it’s very hard sometimes,” Hartman said. “When your pet can't talk to you or can't tell you what's going on. So I think by giving clients as much information as you can possibly do, it reassures them, they are making the best decision for their pet."

Brought in to the University of Illinois’ Animal Clinic a couple months ago, 'Skyra' is now the strongest animal MRI in the state of Illinois, putting it on par with the MRIs used for humans.

There are only a handful of these pet MRIs peppered across the nation.

"Looking at her MRI,” Assistant Professor in Neurology Dr. Kari Foss said. “And looking at her clinical signs, I just would have been really worried, that with the type of disc protrusions she had, we might have been able to visually see that on a CAT scan. the MRI has become the gold standard, because we can really evaluate to the best of our capabilities."

Lucy suffered from multiple disc protrusions due to old age. The 3-T MRI brought thorough exams, greater evaluations, in turn, less anesthesia time and a higher surgical survival rate.

"The fact that she is leaving the hospital,” the surgeon on Lucy’s case, Dr. Devon Hague said. “That she's able to support her weight and take steps on her own, is excellent compared to where she was from before."

So after 6 months of different tests and medicines, the Parker's answer was a 3-Tesla MRI and surgery at the University of Illinois vet clinic… And just like that, Doberman Lucy Parker was discharged Friday.

“Really superb results. She’s our child.” Terry said. “All of our kids and grand kids moved away.”

"A lot of miracles are going to made with that machine,” Linda said. “Now having her get back on her feet, I never thought that would happen."

Wednesday, a few days after Lucy’s discharge, the Parkers say she’s comfortable at home, able to walk, and picking up muscle mass slowly but surely.

She's expected to live a full and healthy life now. They say they are grateful for the evolution of animal technology.

If your pet is suffering any problems, anywhere from walking, dis-coordination, to cancer, contact the University of Illinois Animal Clinic at 217- 333-5300.

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