Dog shook so violently with fear at New Year fireworks she is now paralysed

Melissa Sinclair is calling for a ban on the publuc sale of fireworks after her dog lost the feeling in her legs due to violent shakes (Picture: Melissa Sinclair)
Melissa Sinclair is calling for a ban on the publuc sale of fireworks after her dog lost the feeling in her legs due to violent shakes (Picture: Melissa Sinclair)
New Year’s Eve fireworks caused a dog to shake so violently with fear that she can no longer walk. Melissa Sinclair said her Staffordshire Dixie was so traumatised by the explosive noises in Glasgow she had tremors, which caused her to slip a disc and become paralysed.

The council worker had to pull out of an offer on a new house to afford a £6,000+ vet bill for emergency spinal surgery to remove the damaged tissue.

However, Dixie is still in so much distress that she is not responding to physiotherapy and risks never being able to use her hind legs again. Melissa, 28, told ‘Usually I would take her away to the highlands but I was working New Year’s Day.

‘The fireworks started very early at about 9.30pm. She had violent tremors and was shaking the whole way through. The fireworks did not finish until about 7 in the morning.

‘It was like she was having a seizure. It’s heartbreaking.

‘She currently can’t walk and if she doesn’t regain the feeling in her legs she wont be able to walk on her hind legs.She will be permanently damaged’.

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New Year fireworks caused dog to shake so violently his legs are paralysed
Dixie the Staffordshire suffered violent tremors at the sound of New Year’s Even fireworks (Picture: Melissa Sinclair)
New Year fireworks caused dog to shake so violently his legs are paralysed
She has undergone spinal surgery but will never regain the same strength in her hind legs (Picture: Melissa Sinclair)
Melissa is hoping Dixie will regain the feeling in her legs but said even if she does, her ‘active’ pup who loves playing in the Scottish highlands will never be as strong as she once was. Dixie panted and panicked so much during the 10 hours of fireworks on New Year’s Eve that she also suffered a heart murmur and is still in the care of the University of Glasgow vet hospital.
Melissa said her story was just one example of the of the ‘unnecessary stress caused to animals’ due to the sale of fireworks to the public. In the run up to bonfire night last year a distressed dog owner told her Labrador Cross went blind after her eyes ‘popped’ during a fireworks display .

We also reported on the heartbreaking case of an 18-month-old puppy that died after suffering a heart attack when it was left terrified by fireworks.

A woman also shared footage of her dog quaking in fear on her kitchen floor because of the constant noise of fireworks from a Bonfire display.

Find ways to enrich your pet’s environment. Your dog or cat needs your help to stay mentally stimulated. This is important not only to discourage destructive behavior in younger pets, but also to keep your older pet’s brain sharp.

How does your dog react to fireworks? Send your pictures to [email protected]

Dog so stressed by fireworks her 'eyes popped' and she went blind
Suzy the Labrador cross went blind after a fireworks display
Molly the terrier was just 18 weeks old when she experienced extreme distress on Saturday night.
Molly the Yorkshire Terrier was 18 months old when she suffered extreme distress as a result of fireworks on Bonfire night
As a result of the distress caused to pets, Sainsbury’s promised to ban the sale of fireworks last year. They followed in the footsteps of the Co-op, which has not sold them for the last five years.

But activists like Melissa think there should be an outright ban on their sale before more dogs die as a result of fireworks.

She said: ‘People who don’t know how to use them should not be able to buy them. I am on Facebook groups for lost dogs and there is always an increase in them running away when there are fireworks, it almost doubles.

‘I know it’s the UK government that are in charge of the law but I have reached out to Nicola Sturgeon to bring some attention to the issue’.
New Year fireworks caused dog to shake so violently his legs are paralysed
Melissa Sinclair wants to ban the sale of fireworks for private displays to protect dogs like Dixie (Picture: Melissa Sinclair)

Melissa has started a petition to the Scottish government but previous attempts to ban the sale of fireworks to protect animals have fallen on deaf ears.

Be realistic. Unrealistic goals will only prevent you from growing. There are two common mistakes a dog owner can make that will slam the brakes hard on any potential progress you might be hoping for. First, the expectations we place on our dogs and ourselves. The misguided belief that your dog “should” be performing or responding at a certain predetermined level. Another mistake many owners make is having unrealistic assumptions. Many of us assume that our dog understands what we want and that he knows what we’re asking of him. As if that wasn’t bad enough, some of us assume that the dogs failure to perform means he’s either rebelling, stubborn, or just plain stupid.

Over half a million people have signed a similar petition to the Office for Product Safety and Standards, which was set up by the Government in January 2018 to discuss the negative impact of fireworks.

However, two years later there has been little movement on the issue and campaigners are now calling for a review into firework regulations as a step to minimise distress to animals.