This Bulldog Was Given Up for His ‘Disability’ – Until Someone Realized His Superpower

Whether or not you have any experience caring for a special needs pet, hearing these animals’ stories can be heartwarming and enlightening. Just take it from Rachel, the co-founder of Lily’s Pad Rescue in Silver Lake, Washington. Her dog rescue pays special attention to dogs who have spinal bifida… just like one special boy named Bruno.

This Bulldog Was Given Up for His 'Disability' - Until Someone Realized His Superpower
via Lily’s Pad Rescue

This English Bulldog/Boxer mix has lived with his foster family since he was very young, and Rachel isn’t the only one who thinks it’s about time he graduated to a forever home–no special needs experience required!

Given Up as Just a Pup

When Bruno was only a few weeks old, he was surrendered to Lily’s Pad Rescue by his breeder. This is a routine intake for the rescue, which has taken in puppies from this breeder before, but it was a big adjustment for the little puppy. Although he was given up due to his spina bifida, his rescuers are grateful that he was given a chance to live a top-quality life. Not long ago, special needs puppies were euthanized instead of being given any kind of opportunity to live. But not Bruno!

This Bulldog Was Given Up for His 'Disability' - Until Someone Realized His Superpower
via Lily’s Pad Rescue

This resilient lovebug has been living in a foster home since joining the Lily’s Pad family, and he proves every day just what a happy dog he is. Even so–nothing would make him happier than to go home with his forever family! Fortunately, Rachel and the rescue team are determined to make sure that happens as soon as possible.

Bruno’s True Superpower

Because Rachel understands the challenges and rewards of caring for a dog with spina bifida, she encourages others to be open-minded to adopting special needs pets like Bruno. In many cases, their lives aren’t as different as you may expect them to be. In Bruno’s case, the biggest difference is that he wears a diaper. This helps to keep both him and his surroundings clean despite his incontinence. Aside from this, however, Bruno is just a happy young dog!

This Bulldog Was Given Up for His 'Disability' - Until Someone Realized His Superpower

“He has always been mobile,” Rachel explains. “Spina bifida has varying levels of severity, but it is not a progressive disease.” In other words, Bruno won’t lose any of his mobility due to the disorder, and it won’t get worse over time. He does take daily pain medication to help him move comfortably, but this common prescription is thankfully inexpensive for his adopter to refill.

Bruno’s superpower is his unwavering drive to keep on smiling no matter what

Rachel, Lily’s Pad Rescue

Bruno is a playful Boxer mix who isn’t afraid to jump up on people he loves–including kids! For this reason, it’s not recommended that he go to a home with small children or elderly relatives, but he would do great with another playful dog. This one-year-old has lots of love to give, and he’ll give it to anyone in the family!

Rachel and the Lily’s Pad Rescue team remind potential adopters that they will have a whole network of support if they adopt Bruno or any LPR dog. Whether you need an instructional video to show you how to change a dog’s diaper or a Facebook page of dog owners with spina bifida pups, you can find exactly what you need.

If you’re interested in meeting, and maybe even adopting, Bruno checkout the link below! Although he’s located in Washington, the rescue can assist with transportation to most of the Pacific states.

Here’s What Jack Wants You To Know About Spina Bifida in Dogs

This Bulldog Was Given Up for His 'Disability' - Until Someone Realized His Superpower

What is Spina Bifida?

Classified as a birth defect, spina bifida is a deformity of the vertebrae that occurs while a puppy is developing in the womb. This deformity typically causes difficulty walking, and may require special care.

What are the Symptoms of Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida may cause incontinence, poor range of motion or complete paralysis of the hind legs, a lack of feeling in the affected area, and poor coordination. While dogs with spina bifida are just as lovable, you need to be sure you can provide care and make your home life accessible for their needs.

What Breeds are Commonly Affected?

The most commonly affected breed is the English Bulldog. Other breeds such as Chihuahuas, Collies, and Dobermans are also commonly affected by spina bifida, though to a lesser degree.

What is the Treatment for Spina Bifida in Dogs?

Sadly, there is currently no known cure for spina bifida in dogs. Instead, most treatments focus on mitigating the symptoms and assuring quality of life. Affected dogs typically need to wear diapers, and in more extreme cases, may require some form of mobility aid like a custom wheelchair.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Dog With Spina Bifida?

With proper attention and care from their humans, dogs with Spina Bifida can live long, fulfilling lives like any other dog! Caring for a special needs dog is a rewarding challenge for anyone who’s equipped to handle it.

Is Spina Bifida in Dogs Hereditary?

Most cases of spina bifida are environmental, but there have been reported cases of multiple generations of dogs with spina bifida. Because these cases are quite rare, it is not considered a hereditary genetic condition. 

What Causes Spina Bifida in Dogs?

Because spina bifida is an environmental birth defect, the issue occurs while the puppy is still developing in utero. Harmful toxins or poisons, stress, and other potentially harmful factors could play a role in the malformation of the spine. 

Do Dogs With Spina Bifida Need Surgery?

It depends on the type and severity of each individual dog. While it may help some dogs, there’s no point in operating for others, and you’ll need to consult your vet before making a decision.

Are Dogs With Spina Bifida Incontinent?

Yes, incontinence is a common symptom of spina bifida in dogs. Because of this, your dog will likely need to wear a diaper, and you’ll need to be intentional about checking and changing the diaper regularly so they stay clean and comfortable. 

What Should You Expect When Adopting a Dog With Spina Bifida?

Though you need to be prepared for a more challenging experience when caring for your dog, you can also look forward to a more rewarding one. Not many people have the privilege of being able to care for a special needs dog, and even fewer have the know-how and patience. You’ll find fulfillment in caring for your new dog, giving them all the love and care that every dog deserves, and of course, they’ll return the favor in spades! 

Clothing for Dog Lovers

Easily Distracted by Dogs?

Kobe Inspire (he's my blind dog)

My Dog Is My Happy Place

Aloha Ciao Woof Hello