By John Morgan | Dated April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments
You may have read a lot about a new disease called Ehrlichiosis arriving on our shores. This tick borne disease is devastating to dogs and can even infect humans if […]
By Helen Burns | Dated August 5, 2016
Two weeks ago, Otis’s day started off like any other. He walked out to the grass for his morning ablutions, when he felt a severe twinge of pain. He hadn’t done anything differently, in fact he had been a very well behaved little Boston Terrier. The pain made it difficult to move, so he just wanted to stay perfectly still. And it definitely took his appetite away.
Otis’ s observant owners brought him straight to the vet and he was prescribed pain relief and strict rest on the suspicion of back pain. Over the next 48 hours he developed reduced sensation in his hind legs, so that when his paws were turned over, he was slow to correct them. Little Otis was still able to walk, however he became hunched, stiff with pain and was not surprisingly reluctant to move.
With progression of pain and nerve problems, it was decided to refer Otis to the specialist hospital for an MRI scan to find the bulging disc that we suspected was there. Sure enough, the scan showed a large disc bulge in his neck, which was compressing his spinal cord. These occur quite commonly in small breed dogs in particular, and are the result of degeneration of the discs that sit between the vertebrae. When this happens, dogs can ‘slip a disc’ without doing anything wild or athletic at all. For Otis, just a calm walk out to the backyard was enough to cause his disc to pop, and to give him severe pain.
That day, Otis had spinal surgery to remove the bulging disc material, and it was highly successful. Once he had recovered from the anaesthetic and surgery, Otis was transferred back to Gordon Vet feeling much more comfortable, for a week of rest, pain relief and physio by our wonderful nurses. He started his physio by practising lifting his feet and stepping over a small obstacle, such as a broomstick . Our little patient also practised his sit and stand routine, then sit and shake, to test his balance even more. Once he was comfortable with these movements, we started to encourage Otis to gently move his neck to look up, down and to each side, all with the promise of a treat. Physio exercises are so much easier when there is a treat on offer!
It is essential for Otis’ recovery that he has 6 weeks of strict rest in a small pen, with short walks on a harness and lead for toilet breaks. He mustn’t jump, climb or play with other dogs in this time, all of which makes life tricky when you are a very friendly, playful Boston Terrier. We think, however that Otis would agree that 6 weeks of TLC and rest isn’t too bad at all, when we think back to his sad little face when his neck was so terribly sore.
Below is a video showing nurse Emma performing much needed physiotherapy on Otis.