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for the South West

Mini Moo's story - spinal surgery

15th June 2017

Mini Moo's story - spinal surgery

We would love to introduce you all to Mini Moo, a gorgeous 5 year old Daschund living with her lovely family in Devon. Mini first met us when she was struggling to walk, so her owners brought her in to see one of our surgeons, Eli Field.


Although Mini Moo was bright and happy, she wasnt able to use her back legs as well as she does normally. Unfortunately chondrodystrophic breeds, (breeds with disproportionately short curved legs) like Mini Moo, are predisposed to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD is a gradual deterioration of the discs within the spine, making them less efficient shock absorbers. This can lead to discs 'slipping' out from their usual position and placing pressure on the spinal chord, which can lead to neurological signs like hind limb weakness and paralysis.

We were initially hoping to avoid surgery, by trying physiotherapy and medications, but Mini was getting worse, so surgeon Joe Fox was called in to do a CT scan of her back . The slipped disc didn't show up on the initial scan so Joe did what is called a Myelogram, where dye is precisely injected around the spinal chord. This confirmed our fears that Mini moo had indeed slipped her disc in her lumbar spine.


The following day Mini Moo had spinal surgery called a hemi-laminectomy. Our referral nurses did a great job keeping Mini safe under anaesthetic using a combination drugs to allow Joe to perform the delicate operation. Once she recovered safely from the anaesthesia, Joe created a tailored post operative plan for Mini, including physiotherapy to encourage Mini Moo to get back on her feet as soon as possible.


Two days later Mini Moo took her first seps unaided! She was going to be able to go home! Although we are always so happy to see our patients go home, they do become part of our family and we miss them when they go, but Mini was quite a determined character, so she was going back to her own vets to continue her journey.


We are so lucky that Mini Moo's mum and dad have been updating us along the way and we are happy to report that she is doing very well. Mini came back to see Joe on 15th June for a recheck appointment; she had made such an improvement that she has now been signed off. Well done, Mini!