Rosco has been in RMGDRI’s Permanent Foster program since 2006 due to Spondylosis.
Rosco is a handsome 2 year old, 160 pound merle male who came into our rescue in February of 2006. Shortly after he came into rescue, he was walking around my house and I noticed that he would struggle and whimper when he walked down the stairs, tried to lay down, or if he had to back up too quickly. We immediately made an appointment with Dr. Landry who, through x-rays, diagnosed Rosco he has severe spondylosis. This is a condition in which calcium builds up between the vertebrae in the spinal cord. The most painful part of spondylosis is the growing of the calcium bridges, which Rosco will inevitably grow more of. Nearly all of Rosco’s spinal cord is affected by the spondylosis. His spinal cord is, in essence, fused together. The breaking of these calcium bridges, or any kind of inflammation, can cause paralysis.
Dr. Landry said that Rosco’s was the most severe case he had seen in his practice and he was immediately placed on pain medication. When my family heard the results of his x-ray, I told Rosco that if he could not be adopted, he would always have a forever home with me as a permanent foster. I loved this sweet boy far too much to let him go. Dr. Landry had only given him about 6 months to 1 year before he would need to be put down and it was obvious that Rosco could not be put up for adoption. We simply did not know how much longer he would have...
Immediately after being diagnosed, it quickly became clear that Rosco did not need all of his medications right away. In fact, it was only just last year that Rosco started showing signs of pain and started knuckling over on his front paws. When he tries to lean down to smell something on the ground, he will turn his paws over and stand on the top of his paw instead of bending his elbows. The fact that he is not bothered by standing on the top part of his paw instead of the bottom is a common sign that he is losing feeling in his extremities. He also drags his back feet a little bit when he walks instead of picking them up. Since Rosco has started showing these signs, he has been started on medications to help with his pain and the inflammation.
The cost of Rosco’s medications alone is $200 each month. These meds are absolute life savers for him! Soon, we will also be starting Rosco on a trial of hydrotherapy to see if his condition can be improved by exercising in the water. The idea is to try to build his strength and allow him some exercise without putting too much stress on his joints.
Rosco is a very happy go lucky dog. He loves to chew on tennis balls and bones. He is now 7 years old and he has slowed down some, but he still enjoys his regular walks. He doesn't run around much, but still gets the "zoomies" every once in a while.. He LOVES to eat and is always anxious to get his love and hugs when I come home. He pushes his head into my stomach and doesn't stop pushing until I give him his loves.
Although he is a permanent foster in my home, he is now part of our family. With two other dogs to play with, he is never without an adventure. He loves to play with tennis balls and will entertain himself for hours with one tennis ball. He never runs after the ball, just quietly lays on the floor and goes between chewing on the ball and pushing it around with his nose. I love him as my own and he even has his own giant-sized bed (although he often has to fight for it!). There is not a person that comes in contact with him that does not fall head over heels for him. You can rest assured that anything you can give to help dogs like Rosco will give them the quality of life they deserve until their time comes.
Thank you, Julie B., for fostering this very sweet goofball!