This here is our friend Jerry, a 5-year-old Dachshund who sees Dr. Yang in our Integrative and Sports Medicine Department. Jerry receives physical rehabilitation after undergoing a right T11-T13 hemilaminectomy, a back surgery that treats a herniated disc.
The intervertebral disc is a spongy, doughnut-shaped pad in the main joint of your pet’s vertebrae. This disc is the bridge between neighboring vertebrae, which functions as a cushion to provide strength and flexibility to the spine. A “slipped-disk”, or disc herniation, can put pressure on the spinal cord and cause damage to surrounding nerves. This can be a result of degeneration, or trauma. If your pet is showing signs of a herniated disc, the most common symptom is pain. However, some additional clues to their condition include loss of coordination, weakness, paralysis, and lameness.
At the time of his surgery, Jerry was completely paralyzed in his hind legs. Unable to walk when he first started rehab 2 weeks post-op, Dr. Yang tailored a targeted in-clinic regiment for Jerry. This included a multi-modal approach of laser therapy, neurodevelopmental sequence training, underwater treadmill, and acupuncture.
In addition to these in-clinic sessions, Jerry’s family received an at-home exercise plan that they could perform on a regular basis to help maximize his outcome. With a full team behind his recovery, coupled with his energetic spirit, Jerry started taking his own steps a few weeks into rehab and is now able to get up and walk without assistance.
Jerry still has some hard work ahead of him, but he’s not slowing down any time soon.
For questions about our Integrative and Sports Medicine Department, or if you have concerns that your pet may have a herniated disc, please contact us at (561) 741-4041.