Pug 'Pawrents' Share Inspiring Story of Wheelchair-Bound Dog's Journey

A woman has shared how a rare spinal condition has resulted in her pug losing his mobility entirely.

In a series of videos shared on TikTok, Luana Tollan, who is from Glasgow, Scotland, has shared her 13-year-old pug Alfie's health journey.

"It happened so fast," Tollan told Newsweek. "One day he was fine and then next he wasn't. He stopped cocking his leg to pee and then very quickly after this within a matter of days, he progressively got worse and couldn't stand on his back legs."

After an initial vet trip, the owners were told that their dog was suffering a liver issue that would require more than $200 of medication monthly.

Alfie the pug's mobility decline
Pictures of Alfie the 13-year-old pug who has lost his mobility, but not his zest for life. Alfie's owner has shared the inspiration story of his mobility decline on TikTok. missluana_/TikTok

Tollan explained: "I felt this was quite an extreme and expensive solution with no trial and error. I changed vets who recommended an X-ray."

The X-ray revealed that Alfie the pug had neurological issues, with a lack of signals being sent down his spine and to his legs. Before long, he was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy.

Degenerative myelopathy describes a collection of symptoms that result from severe spinal compression—when something compresses the spinal cord so that it cannot function properly. This can lead to pain, loss of feeling, or difficulty in moving certain parts of the body. The disease is similar to forms of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Alongside this, Alfie was also diagnosed with arthritis, spondylosis and scoliosis, and was given just a few months to live.

"Over the course of the months there have been several times where we were recommended to consider putting him down," said Tollan. "The care for him was very demanding and during these worst months he was having accidents around the house, being unpredictable and while still eating and interacting, he was struggling."

But Alfie's owners did not want to give up on him. Working with a mix of laser therapy, steroids and painkillers, they managed to help him improve.

"While he didn't manage to use his back legs again, he learned a way to keep himself mobile. His fighting spirit and want to keep pushing on was inspiring," said Tollan.

TikTok users have been inspired by the heartwarming story. One commenter said: "What a beautiful boy. He has the best pawrents," while another viewer wrote: "You have done so much when others would just give up on them."

During the last few months, Alfie lost his sight in his right eye and became partially sighted in his left, but continues to push on.

"We got a pram to let him go out for walks and he loves this," explained Tollan.

After the vet's initial pessimistic outlook for Alfie and seeing him push and fight every day, his owners made a decision to stop all medication and see if it made a difference. Amazingly, the change was incredible.

"He began to play with his favorite toy, interact more with our other dog and relaxed more," said Tollan. "He went back to his laidback and happy self and was less agitated. Accidents in the house stopped and we finally get to sleep through the night without being woken up with panting or distress."

Following his new lease of life, Alfie's owners decided to get him some wheels to aid his mobility. This has given the little pug a further lease of life and Tollan is delighted that she can once again take her pup for a walk.

Alfie also has epilepsy and sadly is not expected to live for much longer, but for now, is enjoying a fantastic life.

"I decided to put his journey on TikTok and I am so inspired by him," shared Tollan. "He has defied the odds, pushed himself daily, and found the strength to keep going. I truly believe it is because he loves his life."

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