Flannagan Dennis

Age: 8 years
Breed: Rough Coated Collie
Diagnosis: Neurologic Disease/ Stroke

One night, Laura and Steve Dennis found their dog, Flannagan, a beautiful 8 year old rough coated collie, recumbent on the floor and unable to get up. He had been fine earlier in the day and they had no idea what could have caused him to acutely collapse.

They rushed him to Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center, where he was assessed and it was determined that he suffered from some kind of acute neurologic disease. He was placed in the hospital overnight for supportive care and observation, but his neurologic status seemed to only worsen as the night progressed. By morning, he was disoriented, rolling in his bed, and was clearly distressed.

The Dennis family decided that they wanted to do whatever they could for Flannagan, and that meant a MRI to determine the specific cause of his brain disease. Working closely with specialists, we were able to refer Flannagan to the local neurologist and by that afternoon we had learned that he had suffered an ischemic infarct, a blood clot in the brain, basically, a stroke.

Dogs, just like people, can recover from strokes, but again, just like people, we cannot predict what level of permanent damage has occurred. Without knowing whether Flannagan would ever be able to walk again, the Dennis' decided that they would give him time. He stayed at the specialty hospital for a week with only a little improvement. He was able to sit up slightly, was able to eat and drink, but could barely move his legs and was definitely not able to get up. While they weren't able to take on the task of nursing care at home, they also weren't ready to give up on Flannagan, so he was transferred back to Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care for further nursing care. While he was weak, he always seemed to have a spark in his eye.

The doctors and staff worked with him multiple times a day. They loaded him into slings and used a lift table to get him used to feeling his feet under him. He started to move his feet slightly after a couple of days, then amazingly, a few days later, pulled himself up and took a few steps.

​​​​​​​It was a long road to recovery, but now Flannagan looks like a normal dog. He trots and plays, goes on long walks, and the Dennis family couldn't be happier. They never gave up on Flannagan and he never gave up on himself, leading to a full recovery with the cooperation and efforts of the Dennis family, local specialists, and the staff at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center.

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