Welcomed to Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel yesterday was a pair of piggies by the name of Fudge and Moonshine. Unfortunately, Moonshine suffered an accident at home recently that has left him hopefully only temporarily paralysed.
Luckily, after an examination by a vet, it was determined that the accident had not resulted in a break, but there would, more than likely, be bruising. At present Moonshine pulls himself along with his strong front legs as if nothing has happened. And this, as much as anything, is an excellent sign. As long as Moonshine continues to eat, drink, poop, etc, as normal, he has a good quality of life, and there is no reason why he can't live with his cagemate Fudge, who is not disabled, as normal.
Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel was specifically made to accommodate every guest's needs. So, in Moonshine's case, he is able to reach everything he needs on one level. He does not need to climb or jump over anything to get what he wants. Enabling him to move as easily as possible as he hopefully heals and gains more strength and mobility in his feet and/or back legs. There is some feeling. When I hold him under his chest in one hand so that his feet are in a standing position on my other hand I can feel him support himself with the muscles in his back legs. If he was completely paralysed there would be no weight there at all and I would feel him supporting himself on my hand under his chest.
His family is obviously quite upset, but they have given me permission to help him gain more mobility with swimming therapy. What this means is gently lowering piggy into a large, deep bowl filled with warm water, ensuring he is supported underneath his chest and tummy, but allowing his hindquarters to just hang in the water. This lowering action is repeated over and over, increasing during each later session. Moonshine is then given a good towel rub but not dried completely because he will want to groom himself afterwards, and it is this twisting and turning action, which is as vital as the swimming, which will exercise many muscles in his back and strengthen them in the process.
He is already making good progress. In this next photo you can see he is trying to move his left foot forward. I am expecting more improvement in the next 2/3 weeks as I work with him every day.
Such an affectionate piggy, he loves his 'dunking' and licks me constantly as if to say he is happy for me to help him.