This cheeky chappy is Buddy, he is a 4.5 yr old French bulldog
Buddy has a history of IVVD (Intervertebral disc disease), a condition which is common in Dachsunds, French Bull Dogs, Basset Hounds and Shih tzus where the discs between the vertebrae are prone to dehydrate and herniate. When dog’s discs herniate the centre of the disc (nucleus pulposus) ‘explodes’ or leaks out this is known as a Hansen type I, whereas with a Hansen type II the outer part of the disc (annulus) bulges and may sometimes tear causing acute bleeding.
The disc fragments +/- blood travel upward toward the spinal cord and results in spinal cord compression.
The vertebrae are numbered according to where they are anatomically so there are 7 cervical (neck) vertebrae, 13 thoracic (upper back/ribcage) vertebrae, 7 lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, the sacrum (pelvis) and the coccygeal (tail). The herniated disc is described as being between the 2 joining vertebral segments; in Buddy’s case this was L7/S1 in 2020 and L4/5 earlier this year along with suffering narrowing of the central canal where the roots of the cord travel through.
Buddy underwent a dorsal laminectomy in 2020 and in April of this year found himself requiring surgery again and had a hemilaminectomy to decompress the spinal tissues, however his immediate recovery was slow and aggravated by a urinary tract infection. He was paraplegic (loss of movement and sensation to his hind limbs) and both urinary & faecal
incontinent as is the case with many in the
initial stages of recovery.
He was discharged from hospital 5 days following the surgery and his owners have nursed him with amazing commitment. He has received physiotherapy, and the owners have been relentless with their massaging, performing range of motion exercises, muscle stimulation and progressed to balance and proprioceptive exercises with him. Along with managing his daily needs and keeping him clean, comfortable and medicated. He started hydrotherapy in June and we have now taken over his care at Forest Edge Canine Hydrotherapy.
We place heat packs on his muscles and perform massage, range of motion exercises, and stretches and once he is warmed up he goes in the under water treadmill. The water supports his bodyweight and provides neuromuscular stimulation. When the belt is in motion we provide support in a number of ways; by holding his life jacket to stabilise him, using our hands over his hips to keep his hind limbs stable and by ‘walking’ his feet to increase the awareness of his foot placement and re-educate his gait.
Buddy loves the attention, he also loves the cheese that we use to motivate him to walk forward!