Popular therapy dog suffers stroke, receives aid

Posted at 11:01 PM, Mar 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 07:32:03-04

A therapy dog that helped patients at a Boulder hospital suffered a stroke, was paralyzed and now is getting help herself.

Greta is a 4-year-old Bernese Mountain dog. She's worked at Boulder Community Hospital for two years in the intensive care unit, according to her owner, Lori Cotton. However, Greta was left paralyzed after suffering a stroke in her spine called a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism, or FCE.

It happened on Monday. 

"My friend who happened to be visiting with me called me at work extremely upset and said you need to get home as quickly as possible, there's something wrong with Greta," said Cotton. "It is a stroke that can occur anywhere in the spine. It's fairly common in dogs. In most cases dogs don't make it through the first day because they're euthanized, because they're misdiagnosed."

Since the stroke, Cotton has seen a large outpouring of support -- a GoFundMe page that's already raised more than $4,000.

Greta's prognosis is good. Cotton anticipates recovery for the dog will be anywhere from three months to a year.

"Monday, Tuesday when this happened, she had no movement in her legs. Now we're starting to see really wonderful reflex in her right leg," Cotton said.

Cotton said she hopes the dog can return to her therapy work once she is better.

"I am so grateful to you for making it possible for me to seek out the best possible therapies for Greta. The fact that this sweet girl who has given so much of herself is the recipient of such generosity and love says so much about the community we live in and the caring dog communities I have found online that are as passionate about their pups as I am about mine. I can't possibly say it enough...Thank you," she wrote.


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