A homeless dog with profound ataxia, which was unable to stand for long periods of time unaided, is on the mend after undergoing complex spinal surgery.

Homeless three-year-old French bulldog Poppet had been rescued by French Bulldog Saviours (FBS) and was in a foster home. When she became unwell, the charity contacted Pets ‘n’ Vets’ Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital in Glasgow for help.

An x-ray myleogram showed Poppet had sustained a Hansen type 1 disc extrusion between T11 and T12, where there was a mineralised disc present.
An x-ray myelogram showed Poppet had sustained a Hansen type one disc extrusion between T11 and T12, where a mineralised disc was present.

Confidence to proceed

When the practice agreed to help, Poppet was driven from Edinburgh to Glasgow’s Southside, where vet Calum Leitch was waiting.

Dr Leitch said: “Poppet presented with a two-week history of profound ataxia, and was only able to stand for very short periods of time unaided. Proprioceptive reflexes were absent in both hindlimbs.”

Investigations, including an x-ray myelogram, showed Poppet had sustained a Hansen type one disc extrusion between T11 and T12, where there was a mineralised disc present.

Dr Leitch added: “While advanced imaging would have undoubtedly had further advantages in assessing spinal cord damage, and perhaps given a better idea of prognosis, the myelogram gave us the confidence to proceed to surgery.

“A left-sided dorsal hemi-laminectomy was performed to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and the intervertebral disc at T11 and T12 was fenestrated to prevent recurrence of the extrusion at this site.

Ross Allan, partner in the Pets 'n' Vets family, said Poppet's treatment was enabled through expansions in the team.
Ross Allan, partner in the Pets ‘n’ Vets Family, said Poppet’s treatment was enabled through expansions in the team.

“Poppet has done well since the surgery. She is now able to stand normally and, while there is still mild ataxia present, this has improved significantly – with her now walking unaided. With continued care from her foster owners and physiotherapy, I am confident she should continue to go from strength to strength.”

Poppet is back with her foster family and on the road to recovery.

‘The full gambit’

The Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital opened in February 2016 with the aim of making “the full gambit” of veterinary treatments available to Glasgow’s pet population, the company said.

To this end, a number of vets with extra abilities, skills and certification have recently joined the team.

Ross Allan, a partner in the Pets ‘n’ Vets Family, said: “Poppet is just one of many pets helped by our new advanced abilities. Thankfully, in this situation we already had a relationship with FBS. We are so glad it telephoned and we were able to help.”

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