Arran and his Amazing Wheels
Arran came into our lives at Cavalier Castle in 2019 aged 10 years.
He was born into a wonderful life, with his four siblings. He left the nest and lived 10 happy years with a mum and dad that adored and spoiled him as Cavaliers deserve. Arran spent his holidays with his siblings so always felt content, safe and secure.
Tragically his mum died when he was 10 years. He temporarily went back to his family home before relocating to Cavalier Castle, where he was greeted and welcomed with the usual waggy-tailed inquisitive excitement.
Dougall and Bailey in particular took to Arran and showed him all the wonderful walks, naughty tricks and the ways of Cavalier Castle.
He settled in very quickly but he was always apprehensive if he had to leave the Castle, especially for visits to the vet!
In November 2021, he started to become lame on his back right. After consulting our vet, who bet his dinner this was DM (Degenerative Myelopathy), and Prof. Clare Rusbridge who agreed with his diagnosis, it was suggested Arran had a DNA test, a test that wasn’t available when he was bred.
The DNA test came back showing he had two copies of the same gene which put him at high risk of DM, albeit although not 100 % conclusive.
As time passed, his symptoms worsened and his physical ability deteriorated. In 2022 Arran was struggling with his mobility. The decision was made to get him a set of wheels. He had no trouble adapting and before you knew it he was zooming around the castle with rest of the clan. They gave him independence, enabling him to eat, play, pee and poo, and especially chase around the garden with Dougall.
Arran eventually was the proud owner of three sets of wheels… one for inside, one for quickly going in the garden (when nature called!) and a sturdy set for the public highway and off-roading.
A further set back, Arran contracted a UTI. It took some time to identify the type of infection; this was a definite backward step. He was reluctant to move on his wheels and was generally down. It took a few months to resolve the infection but once he was treated he was back to his usual cheerful self and happily back on his wheels.
The time lost with the infection resulted in more muscle wastage and the disease was into his left back leg, which was now very weak. Arran went to hydrotherapy and had regular physio with a lovely physiotherapist who visited him very regularly, which he really enjoyed!
Despite all of his problems, Arran was still very affectionate, cuddly, and playful. He loved meeting other dogs on his walks, even trying to chase a horse. Dougall was a great pal and was always close by and off “sniffing” together.
Arran loved to snuggle up with his little yellow pillow which gave him a great deal of comfort. Part of his routine was a good hour in the evening on a lap having lots of cavalier cuddles.
We have cared for sick Cavaliers for 15 years and this is probably one of the worst diseases we have had to manage. DM is similar to Motor Neuron Disease (the same gene mutation can also cause a form of motor neuron disease in humans). Watching a sweet loving, playful little dog gradually lose mobility is unbelievably heartbreaking and demanding.
We are glad we were able to care for him and we did everything we could to make his life happy and loving, which he returned in ample proportions. A lovely handsome chap lost to dreadful disease.
There is a huge emptiness in our hearts and home but we take some comfort knowing he is running free without his wheels in doggy Heaven with his siblings, and all his friends from Cavalier Castle.
RIP our beautiful boy, you will always be cherished in our hearts.