Buddy walks again (again)

Buddy was completely paralyzed in his back legs. Unfortunately this is a common problem is dogs like Buddy (dachshunds) as they are chondrodystrophic. This means that while we have bred these dogs to be small and cute, this causes severe cartilage defects. The discs of the back are made of cartilage and therefore they do not form properly. As a result, the discs cannot withstand the normal forces of walking and jumping and are prone to rupture. When a vertebral disc ruptures this leads to pain, trouble walking, and even paralysis.

Unfortunately once a dog ruptures one disc, he/she is at a high risk of rupturing another. And Buddy did just that. Actually Buddy was posted to our success story page in May of 2020 for the same issue. His owners were very happy with his progress after the first surgery, and so Buddy was brought back to SPCA Florida.

Dr. Dorian first performed a myelogram. This is where we inject a special dye around the spinal cord to outline it as you cannot see the spinal cord on a plain radiograph. Take at look at the first image here:

and compare it the the next. You can clearly see the bright white outline of the spinal cord- that’s the dye we injected. And if you look closer, you can see where the spinal cord is being compressed by the ruptured disc.

See the next image for the location in case you couldn’t tell where the lesion was located.

We take additional views to help of localize the space even further {VD}.

Once we have this information, we then take the patient directly to surgery to operate on the spinal column, right next to the spinal cord. The myelogram and surgery (a hemilaminectomy) are complicated and delicate procedures. One wrong move and a dog could be paralyzed forever. Buddy’s procedures went extremely well and he was walking soon after surgery! Here he is 2 weeks post op.

While he isn’t walking normally, this is only two weeks out from being completely unable to use his back legs; this is a HUGE improvement. Buddy will likely continue to improve over the next several weeks, and we expect Buddy to make a full recovery.