Friday, June 13, 2014

June-Patient of the Month-Smokey!!!!

Smokey, a 4year old, Shih Tzu mix was first brought to the HAH for hind limb paralysis.  A resident of the Bahamas, Smokey was diagnosed and treated for neurological deficits with consideration of intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). After being “down” for 12 days, his primary Veterinarian referred him to the HAH for evaluation and possible spinal surgery.  His limping had turned into immobility over a period of one week and the possibility of surgery was real.

Dr. Bibevski, examined Smokey upon arrival. He had minimal sensation in his toes, and was unable to walk. IVDD was probable.

IVDD is a common disease seen in small dogs. The jump from a limping pet to a pet that is completely unable to walk can occur quickly and the compressed spinal cord can cause irreversable damage.

CT scan showing disc compression on the right side.
A Cat Scan was scheduled and performed at the Animal Cancer Care Center for Smokey.  The scan showed two lesions compressing the spine. The more significant of the two lesions was a herniated intervertebral disc that compressed approximately 80% of the spinal cord. IVDD was confirmed and "decompression" surgery was scheduled.

This “decompression” surgery is very delicate and brings no guarantees that when the pressure on the spinal cord is released that the spine will return to its normal function.

During this delicate procedure, Dr. Bibevski removed the herniated disc material. After surgery, Smokey was comfortably maintained to eliminate the possibility that he may further injure his spine. His recovery was very smooth.

Intra-operative photo showing the herniated disk compressing on the spinal cord.
Within one day of surgery, physical rehabilitation therapy began. By day #3  “evidence of independent motor function” was seen. Smokey was on the mend and scheduled for discharge that day.

"I am so grateful to Dr. Bibevski and her team for helping our Smokey. It was a very scary and nerve wrecking experience and thankfully for their great expertise at Hollywood Animal Hospital there was a favorable outcome. His recovery has been nothing short of amazing"
At home, in the care of his owner, Smokey has steadily regained his strength. Today,  he is walking with only a slight indication of any prior injury.

We have cared for many patience with IVDD at the HAH and success stories like this are a testiment not only quality medical care but also to the diligent attention and care of our owner. Smokey was set up for success with his family in his corner. We are very proud to be a part of his medical team and to honor him as our June Patient of the Month!!!

Below are videos of Smokey's home recovery from his initial "sling" walking to near normal cantor.

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