Veterinarians Seek to Help Paralyzed Pups Walk Again

A group of veterinarians in North Carolina is experimenting with new drugs that could help paralyzed pups get back on their paws.

The study, lead by North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Hospital's Dr. Natasha Olby, included 19 dogs, NBC News reported. Only three of the dogs showed drastic improvement in bladder control and walking. Some made no response to the treatment at all, while others improved slightly.

"It is absolutely a wonderful moment when you see an animal suddenly take some steps," Obly told NBC News. "It wasn't a miraculous cure, but certainly they had quite a dramatic change in their abilities while they were on the drug that would disappear again when we discontinued the drug.”

One of the drugs Obly used is called 4-Aminopyridine or "4-AP." It is normally used to treat people with multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. However, the drug failed to show major results for people with spinal cord injuries, studies show.

As for dogs, Olby says future research will focus on whether it work better for certain types of injuries.

"That's what we're now focusing on, and maybe we will uncover something that will have relevance to humans," she says.

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