Surgery for slipped/herniated disk

Our 9-year old bully (Bruiser) is experiencing severe weakness in his right hind leg.  The MRI done approximately two weeks ago showed some nerve compression; however, it was not significant enough to warrant surgery.  Bruiser’s condition has gotten worse in the last few days and he can no longer walk or put any weight on right hind leg.

Our vet gave us the option to try and treat it with medication to see if Bruiser improves or have surgery.  We opted to try medication first.  Bruiser has been on the meds for two days; however he has not showed any signs of improvement.  It may be too soon to see any improvements; however, my wife and I want to be ready to make a decision quickly about surgery if he does not get better by this weekend. 

We would like to hear from anyone whose bully (or any other breed) has had spinal surgery.  What was the issue (i.e., slipped disk)? Type of surgery?  How was recovery (number of days)? Did the condition improve after surgery?



Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Sorry to hear that...

it's scary when they are hurting.  It can take a few days for an anti inflammatory to start working, I'm assuming that's what they've given him.  Our boy Chester has some hemi vertibrae in his back and neck and he's been on a low dose of meloxicam for years.  Are they sure it's a back problem and not something in his leg such as a torn acl?  Chester just finished rehab from acl surgery and when it happened, he couldn't put any weight on his back leg.    He had TPLO surgery and 8 weeks of rehab.  I would give the meds a little time to work and meanwhile, keep him totally quiet, i.e., no jumping on furniture, running and he should be on a leash to go outside and potty.

Thanks Kathy

Thank you for responding Kathy.

Bruiser is a complicated case because he has both orthopedic and apparently neurological issues.  He is nine years old and has torn ACLs (CCLs) in both hind legs as well as a dislocated knee in the left hind leg.  He had these issues when we adopted at 4-years old; we opted not to do any surgery because he never displayed any problems (based on vet records from his original owners he tore the ligaments when he was under 2 years old).

Approximately 3 months ago he started slipping on the hardwood floors.  We initially treaded with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory to see if it was the arthritis that was causing the problem.  After two weeks we saw no improvement.  We subsequently tried a steroid; however, saw little to no improvement. 

Two weeks ago we met with a neurologist and had an MRI performed.  The MRI shown some mild spinal cord compression, but nothing to warrant surgery.  However, two days ago, was not able to walk or put any weight on the left leg.  Basically, the left leg slides out at the hip joint and crosses the right leg when any weight is put on it; therefore, the doctors feel it is a neurological issue, not the ortho issue.

For now, we are keeping him in a confined area and comfortable with paid medications.  If he does not improve in the next few days we have to explore spinal surgery. 

Thanks again.

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

It sure sounds like you are...

doing everything you can for him, poor guy.  Let us know what happens, sending good thoughts for him.