A near-paralysed dachshund is now back on all fours and flourishing after undergoing delicate surgery on her spine here at Cave Vets.
Three-year-old Welly had dramatically lost the use of her back legs overnight and was immediately referred to us for expert treatment.
Cave’s co-clinical director Tom Cardy, an RCVS and European specialist in veterinary neurology, discovered that Welly’s spinal cord was being compressed by a damaged disc and operated straightaway to rectify the problem.
Tom explained: “The aim of the surgery was to remove the disc extrusion in order to decompress the spinal cord and allow Welly to regain movement in her back legs.
“It is an intricate procedure which involves removing a portion of the vertebra to expose the spinal cord and gently remove the extruded disc material.
“Surgery was a success and happily Welly has recovered very well and is mobile again.”
Delighted owner Hattie Ball, from Saltash in Cornwall, admits she can barely believe the transformation in Welly and is full of praise for the excellent care she received at Cave.
Hattie said: “It all happened so quickly and was such a shock and a scare. The evening before Welly was not herself – she was very quiet and tired.
“She managed to go to the toilet before bed but was very wobbly and by the morning she was unable to use her back legs at all.
“We took her straight to Albert Cottage Veterinary Clinic in Saltash, who were fantastic and referred her directly to the specialists at Cave. If they hadn’t referred us as quickly Welly may not have had the outcome that she did.
“We arrived at Cave by 2pm and she was operated on the same day, which was tremendous.
“Her recovery has been amazing, she’s come on in leaps and bounds. She’s doing great, going for walks on the beach and playing with her ball.
“It’s absolutely incredible to have the old Welly back. To see her now you wouldn’t know she has had surgery at all.
“I can’t thank Tom and the whole Cave team enough for everything they did for her.
“They’ve been at the end of the phone for anything we’ve needed. I had complete confidence in them and I’m so grateful for what they’ve done for us and especially for Welly.”
Specialist Tom is still taking nothing for granted, though, and has advised Hattie to keep a close eye on Welly as spinal problems are particularly prevalent in dachshunds.
He added: “The breed is predisposed to this type of intervertebral disc trouble so Welly’s condition should be carefully monitored in the future.
“However, we are very pleased with her progress and are hopeful that Welly’s condition will continue to improve. In most cases like Welly’s we can have really good outcomes following spinal surgery. We always encourage vets and owners to consult us as soon as possible if they feel their dog is starting to develop spinal issues.”