By: Sonia Ananda

The Story of Rufus

Navigating the Journey from Stride to Struggle: A Guide to Degenerative Myelopathy and Palliative Care for Rufus


Meet Rufus, a charming and conversational Corgi who, despite being diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, continues to live joyfully due to the committed care and affection of his owner. Rufus’s story is one of resilience, comfort, and the pursuit of fullness of life, even in the face of adversity.

Animal Background

Rufus, a lively 10-year-old Corgi, was an outdoor enthusiast and a social butterfly among his fellow canine companions. His life took an unfortunate turn when he became mysteriously ill in December 2021, rendering him unable to walk. Despite medication and home rehabilitation, Rufus’s mobility continued to deteriorate. His spirited nature and courage, however, remain untouched as he meets his challenges head-on with humor and determination.

Initial Condition

In November 2022, Rufus was officially diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy, a debilitating illness that would profoundly impact his way of life.

Treatment Plan

Rufus has been placed under a palliative treatment plan with the objective of maximizing his comfort and symptom relief. The plan includes an array of therapeutic interventions, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy for improved tissue oxygenation, laser and ultrasound treatments for healing and pain relief, hydrotherapy for strength and mobility, as well as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) for pain management and muscle function. Furthermore, Rufus undergoes sensory re-education training to retrain his nervous system to perceive and respond to various sensations.

Progress and Milestones

Rufus has made substantial progress following 10 intensive sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and regular pain relief sessions. As part of a comprehensive palliative treatment plan, Rufus receives weekly treatments including ultrasound therapy, laser treatment, sensory re-education, and massages in the pool. Rufus’ owners have been trained in at-home treatments like TENs, EMS, massages, and stretching. These milestones reflect the dedication and hard work of everyone involved in Rufus’ care.

Outcome and Future

The future looks hopeful for Rufus. Despite the physical challenges of muscle deterioration, Rufus has achieved weight loss milestones while maintaining his determination and joyful spirit. His resilience and positive attitude are evident in each treatment session, encouraging everyone around him. Rufus, you’re doing great, and we’re all cheering you on!


“The team here is exceptionally friendly and dedicated. Our dog’s mood has visibly improved due to the rehab sessions that relieved his pain. We highly recommend this service!”

Dr. Sara Lam

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