Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) or ‘slipped disc’ is most commonly seen in short-legged breeds such as Corgis and Dachshunds. It can be a very painful condition resulting in limb weakness or paralysis.
30 Jan 2018
Coco suddenly lost the use of her hind legs.
Our dog’s spinal column is made up of a series of bones called vertebrae and intervertebral discs which act as ‘shock absorbers’. When the discs degenerate, the inner contents (nucleus pulposus) herniate and press against the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing limb weakness or paralysis.
Neurological exam, myelogram and CT scan help our surgeon Dr Dennis Choi locate the ruptured disc and plan for surgery. For ruptured disc in the thoracic (mid back) or lumbar (lower back) spine, a specialised procedure called hemilaminectomy is performed to access the vertebral canal and remove the disc material compressing the spinal cord.
An incision is made along the back -> a ‘window’ is drilled through the vertebrae -> the extruded disc material is removed. The incision on Coco’s back healed very well.
While conservative management may be acceptable to treat patients with mild neurological deficits, dogs with paralysis or loss of pain sensations require prompt surgery for a positive outcome. After a week of close monitoring, Coco was discharged for home care.
15 Feb 2018
Following a delicate spinal surgery by Dr Dennis Choi, Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang), and strict home rest, Coco improved day by day. Gentle controlled exercise and physiotherapy will be gradually incorporated to help Coco build up strength and regain normal motor function.
“Coco is a sweet girl with a mild temperament. She loves Lele and always wants to be with him. Coco is coping much better than the humans. Her independent character makes her crate rest and recovery much easier for us. She doesn’t whine while being crated. She doesn’t complain about anything, she’s the best patient.️” ~ Coco’s family (Photo: @corgiandachshund)
“We learnt a lot about IVDD from IG furiends. Some recovered, some are on wheels permanently. Coco doesn’t jump on furniture at all. They have ramps to access the couch and bed but only Lele uses it. We place dog beds everywhere so they can stay comfortable on the floor. We have taken precautions but some things just happen. Here are some advice:
- Discourage jumping up and down furniture.
- Crate your dog and go to the vet ASAP if you suspect IVDD.
- Crate rest after surgery, 6 to 8 weeks recommended.
- Use a sling support to help your dog during toilet breaks.
- Each dog’s recovery differs. Be very patient and do not rush your dog to walk.
- Keep your dog at a healthy weight to reduce stress on spine and legs.
17 mar 2018
6-weeks post surgery review with Dr Dennis Choi and Coco’s recovery is excellent!
Coco used to go on adventures with Lele and we know she can’t wait to get out there and explore the world. So long as it is nothing strenuous or competitive, Coco can gradually resume normal walks and outdoor activities. As Dr Dennis Choi says, “Ultimately we want to live our life. And we want to be happy.”
Coco’s excellent recovery from IVDD is possible with a successful spinal surgery, wonderful home care by her family & moral support from Lele who always looks ‘deep in thought’ but is actually a very happy boy! 🙂
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