This is Sylar, he is a 5 year old Utonagan.
On Friday 11th October 2013, I took Sylar for a walk; we were only a few minutes into the walk when Sylar’s back legs collapsed when he squatted down to go to the toilet. Sylar was rushed to the vet and was x-rayed, his hips and spine appeared fine, I was advised it was probably a muscular injury and was told to leave him at the vets for 24 hours rest. I had a phone call that afternoon, it was the vet calling to say he had reviewed the x-ray and Sylar’s prostate was abnormally enlarged. A biopsy was taken and I had to wait until Monday to see if was cancerous or not. I collected Sylar that afternoon; his hind legs were totally paralysed. I couldn’t believe I went out with a boisterous active dog that morning and returned home with a paralysed dog. Over the weekend Sylar started to use his right hind leg however the left leg remained lifeless. Sylar had no feeling in his left hind leg and when he walked his leg dragged behind. It was at this point I learned about “knuckling”.
It was heartbreaking to see what was once such an active dog struggling to walk, dragging his “knuckle” behind him, the friction if it had continued would have worn down to his bone. It was terrible seeing his paw swollen and bleeding. I researched the internet and I discovered the Canine Mobility website. This is the only place on the internet that I found a device that would prevent Sylar from knuckling. I emailed the owner of the site, (Jeff VerHoef) about my predicament and he replied almost immediately, offering me as much advice and assistance as he could. I purchased the anti knuckling device and it arrived just over a week later (I am in the UK). I had been bandaging Sylar’s foot up each time he went out which was a timely chore, not that I minded but when you have a dog so eager to go out, he just wants to go. After quickly reading the instructions, I put the anti knuckling device on Sylar’s paw and within a couple of minutes had the device hooked up to his harness and we were good to go.
I can’t explain how much joy it was to see Sylar’s paw stepping forward instead of dragging behind him. It was so simple to use and caused him no discomfort. The device assisted in forcing him to use his foot correctly. We were told by the vet that when the communication between a dog’s brain and leg is broken, a dog will forget how to walk. The device assisted Sylar in getting back into the correct rhythm and motion to enable him to use his leg ‘normally’ again.
Sylar can now walk without the anti knuckling device, he has not completely recovered as his leg turns out slightly but the main thing is, the knuckling has stopped.
If it wasn’t for Jeff, Sylar would have been put to sleep by the vet, the vet had not even heard of such a device and even when the biopsy came back benign, he did not hold out any hope for him.
— Samantha Phillips, UK