I am a veterinarian in ancaster ontario. On the morning of November 10th I received a phone call on my drive into work from our receptionist Nicole. She was frantic on the phone saying "there is a woman here that is in tears and thinks her dog is dying!!". I told her I would be there right away as I fought my way through traffic during the morning rush hour. As I pulled into the parking lot I could feel the adrenalin flowing spurred on by the uncertainty of the situation I was to face. Our technician quickly briefed me on the case
"this 4 month old puppy was playing with the other dog when it yelped and collapsed; it seems paralyzed now"!. After examining the puppy, I tried to calm this lovely yet distraught owner(still in her pjs). Almost immediately I suspected this condition was atlantoaxial instability, a rare deformity of the 1st and 2nd vertebrae in the spine. I recall from school that these dogs can die suddenly if they are able to flex their neck. Since we do not have doggy neck braces, I had to figure out a way to stabilize the neck in this poor puppy. I pondered this emergency situation with the technician, and it hit me as she took a sip of her large double double. I immediately headed to our recycle bin for the stack of tim hortons cups and fashioned a neck brace out of a large tim hortons cup. We placed it on the puppy and within minutes he was able to walk again. We were all amazed as we watched and videotaped this dog walking with it's new fancy neck brace. He went home that afternoon to his very grateful owners.