(NBC News) Dogs love to run and play, so it can be difficult for dogs and their owners when the animal loses the ability to walk after experiencing some kind of traumatic spinal cord injury.
Now doctors at North Carolina State University are finding some success with two experimental drugs to get paralyzed pups back on their feet.
The study, lead by Dr. Natasha Olby, included 19 dogs. Of those, three dogs showed improvement in bladder control and walking.
“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,” Dr. Obly Says.
One of the drugs is called “4-AP” and is approved to treat people with multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, in large studies of people with spinal cord injuries it’s failed to show major benefit.
Olby says future research will focus on whether it may 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.