Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology
3550 South Inca Street
Englewood, CO 80110
CLINIC HOURS: Call to schedule Appointment, Diagnostics, Laboratory Testing
EMERGENCIES: ON CALL – NIGHTIME, DAYTIME, ANYTIME
This long tongue belongs to Panda! No, not the actual Panda Bear, but this super soft boy looks very much like one! Panda is a 7-year-old Collie mix, who has a 2-year history of non-painful gaiting changes… getting clumsy, and not being able to climb onto the couch being primary complaints. He originally came to see us June 10th. Panda then had an MRI with us on June 12th, to where Panda was diagnosed with an Intramedullary Cervical Myelopathy, and a mild narrowing at C4,C5 (Stenosis). Panda was put on a Dexamethasone trial, and he came to visit us today for a recheck! Although its slightly disappointing that Panda is not a real Panda bear (’cause that would be SOOO cool!), we still love seeing him, as his huge long tongue gives us all wonderful face washes. 🙂
I know I was a little out of character post op, I truly apologize for my behavior. I wanted to let you know I have been a very compliant patient since I’ve been home and my family is indebted to you for saving my life!!! With great appreciation, Zoee Belle Pinsinski
This sweet Basset Hound is “Da Vinci”…no relationship to Leonardo. Da Vinci is a 10 year old Basset Hound who experienced a 2 day period of reluctance to climb stairs. Da Vinci’s mother found him unable to move his rear legs Sunday morning. The local fire department arrived at Da Vinci’s home, to help load his 70 pound frame into her car for transport to VRCC. Da Vinci underwent emergent MRI study which documented a ruptured disc and surgery was performed. Thanks to the fire department for giving Da Vinci the ability to walk again.
Dr. Lane frequently sees animals from various rescues and animal shelters. Nemo was evaluated last week for the Evergreen Animal Protection League. Nemo came to the animal shelter very weak in his rear legs, muscle wasting in his hindquarters and very ataxic (wobbly) when he walked. Dr. Lane put Nemo on a trial of steroids to see if that would help his mobility. Today Nemo is doing better! He’s not as ataxic and has gained some weight. Next step for Nemo is to find a good home! There are many animals needing to find their forever homes. If you are considering finding a new friend to join your family, remember to always check shelters and rescues first! Good luck Nemo!
Miss Ralphie is a repeat offender here at Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. Dr. Lane performed surgery on Ralphie in March of 2012 and she recovered very well! Unfortunately Ralphie had another disk rupture further down her spine last week and Dr. Lane had to perform surgery again on Monday. Once again, Ralphie is doing great! She’s already walking (and trying to jump around her kennel) and should hopefully go home tomorrow.
It is very important to keep a patient that just came out of surgery warm, as evidenced by our facebook photo today of Dante. He’s cuddled up with his blanket and one of our Bair Hugger warmers. Dante just came out of surgery about an hour and a half ago and was transfered back to the patient care technicians for monitoring. They check his temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and other parameters to make sure Dante is recovering well. Later today when he’s a little more awake, he’ll be offered a snack and some water.
Leo transferred to RMVN from our emergency department last Thursday because he was unable to walk. This may seem like a common problem with neurology patients, but Leo is a little different than our average disk extrusion. Dr. Lane diagnosed Leo with an infarction on the right side of his brain. An infarction is similar to a stroke in people. Recovery takes time, but Leo has recovered amazingly! Thursday he couldn’t even sit up straight and today he walked outside on his own and tried to play with another patient.
Last Thursday Moxon’s mom woke up to find him unable to use his hind legs. He experienced pain and was seen by his regular veterinarian, but his symptoms continued to worsen. When Moxon arrived at the VRCC he was seen on an emergency basis by Dr. Lane, who found he had minimal feeling in his hind legs and tail but no ability to move them. He was rushed into MRI and found to have a large disk extrusion in his Lumbar spine. Emergency surgery followed. For the last few days, Moxon has been resting comfortably but has been reluctant to move his hind legs, even though his feeling and motor function has been improving daily. This morning, our patient care technician carried him outside to help him walk with a sling and Moxon jumped up by himself and tried to run away! He is going home today to his very grateful family.
Max is one of the friendliest patients this week! He was diagnosed with Peripheral Vestibular disease, also referred to as Old Dog Vestibular Disease. Idiopathic disorder (which means the cause is unknown) affects the balance center in the brain, causing vertigo. Dogs with this problem often have symptoms, including nystagmus (eyes bouncing back and forth) and nausea. They frequently cannot stand up and often roll constantly as they attempt to right themselves in space. Treatment usually consists of anti-nausea medication and supportive care until they feel well enough to eat and drink. Sometimes a slight sedative is added to relieve the anxiety associated with dizziness. Max is improving every day and as soon as he can walk he’s outta here!
Bandit was rushed to RMVN for an emergency exam yesterday afternoon and within the hour underwent emergency MRI and surgery. He’s doing great today and is right on track to go home in a few days. Some of you may notice the large percentage of Dachshunds on our facebook page. There are a number of breeds that are predisposed to disk problems and Dachshunds are the number one breed we see for that particular problem. Breeds with long backs and short legs are more likely to suffer from disk disease.
Jager is an 8 year old male Schnauzer who was brought in on emergency yesterday, displaying back pain after being jumped on by his housemate. Following MRI evaluation this morning, Jager went straight to surgery to repair a disc in his cervical spine. He is recovering quietly this morning, snug in a bug with his blankets, hot water bottles and enjoying not being in the snow outside!
Buddy is an 8 year old male English Bulldog that experienced his first seizure at the end of October. When Buddy continued to have seizures, even after being placed on an anti-convulsant, he was brought in to see us for an appointment this afternoon. Buddy came in as a sweet and VERY energetic boy that could hardly hold still for photos! We are hopeful that Buddy’s new combination of medicines will help control his seizures and we look forward to seeing him again.
Bandit is a 5 year old male Dachshund who came to us with no motor function or deep pain in his rear legs. He went into emergency surgery immediately, hoping to restore some function to his rear legs. A few days passed after surgery and Bandit was still not displaying any movement in his back legs. The techs and Dr. Lane weren’t ready to give up, however. Today, Bandit was placed in a paracart, and to their delight, took to it right away! Bandit raced around the hospital with enthusiasm before wearing himself out for a nap this afternoon.
This adorable lady is Vienna. Her dachshund brother had surgery with Dr Lane in 2009. Vienna heard that we have such a good time here at RMVN that she wanted to try it out as well! She went down in the hind end and was unable to move her legs on Friday afternoon. Vienna had emergency MRI and surgery early Saturday morning. She is recovering in the hospital now and is doing great. We think she agrees with her brother…this place is great!
This hard to resist face is Ginger Johnson. She is a bit shy at first but once you get to know her she is very sweet. She came to see Dr. Lane earlier this week for some neck pain. She was scheduled for a cervical MRI, diagnosed with an IVDE at C2-C3, then had her surgery on Wednesday. She has been doing great and looking forward to going home tomorrow.
Schultz is a 7 year old, male German Shepherd who was brought to RMVN unable to use his rear limbs. After evaluation via MRI, Schultz’s outlook seemed a bit grim, but it was agreed that surgery was his best chance at recovery. Surgery corrected compression on Schultz’s lower back, but internal infection had severely compromised the area and surrounding tissues. This story has a happy ending, however. Schultz now stands up to greet the techs for his morning and afternoon walks, and is going home to be with his family for the holidays.
This handsome gentleman is a 2-year-old MN Cornish Rex that was transferred to RMVN after some seizure activity was noticed by the ER team. Jesse’s seizures were very mild, and have responded well to medication while in the hospital. While the staff is very sorry to see this sweet boy go, they are thrilled that they are able to send him home.
This happy Dalmatian Mix is Mingus. Believe it or not, this handsome man is 13 years old. He woke up completely fine this morning, but after some time he couldn’t walk. He came to see Dr. Lane on emergency and is scheduled for a cervical MRI +/- surgery very early tomorrow morning. Get some rest Mingus, you have a big day tomorrow.
Little Frankie has had quite the busy weekend. He just adopted three little humans on Saturday, when he learned he couldn’t walk. His parents unfortunately had the same thing happy last year to his dachshund sister, Beth, so they knew they had to rush him in. He had his MRI and surgery early Sunday morning. Frankie is recovering great and is finally settling in. Hope to get you home soon Frankie.
This ball of fluff is Gidget, who came to see Dr. Lane because of falling, and imbalance and trouble walking. After an MRI of his brain and a Spinal Tap (CSF Tap), Gidget was diagnosed with a disease called GME, which causes inflammation of the brain and lining of the brain and spinal cord. Gidget will have to be on medications the rest of his life to treat this disease. What a cutie pie.
This cutie is Piper. She is a 2003 Model, that initially came to see Dr. Lane on November 26th for subacute ataxia (lack of coordination), nausea, and a head tilt. After diagnostics were performed, Dr. Lane was able to rule out an inflammatory CNS cause or a mass lesion. Sometimes the causes of neuro signs can be idiopathic (of unknown cause). We started her on a steroid trial and her balance and head tilt have improved. She is a happy and energetic dog that loves to come into the VRCC holding her leash in her mouth. It is pretty adorable!
This spry little Min Pin is Jasmine. She is being treated for GME, an inflammatory disease of the nervous system. It has been managed with medications up until recently when she relapsed. Jasmine needed to come see us again for more aggressive IV treatment. She is back today for a recheck and to check her blood count. Her balance is improving. She is happy, affectionate, and very eager for attention. Go Jasmine!
Walter is a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon who is a little frustrated with his confinement in the hospital, but he has to stay for a couple of days while he receives medications to treat his meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and coverings of the brain). He’s already started to show some improvement on the medications and is expected to make a full recovery.
This is Sassy Schuster, an 8 year old spayed female Dachshund. She presented to the emergency department the evening of Monday, November 26, unable to stand on her hind limbs. By the time she transferred to us the next morning, Sassy had no motor in her hindlimbs and was unable to control her bladder. Sassy underwent emergency MRI and spinal surgery to repair her ruptured disc. Today, Sassy is wagging her tail, urinating on her own and trying to stand up. : )
Meet Fitzgerald. Would you have guessed he’s 14 years old? Yes, he is a lovable Border Collie that is a long time client of Dr. Lane. He has had multiple surgeries over the years and was presented today with vestibular signs. He is getting all the love in the world while receiving a daily exam from Dr. Lane. Way to go Fitz!!
Who is the cutest 4 year old Maltese ever? Macho!! Macho was admitted to Dr. Lane on the 16th of November. He was presented with a disturbance of brain function and having some issues with his cerebellum (balance center in the brain). Dr. Lane performed an MRI and a Cerebral Spinal Tap. He was been diagnosed with meningeoencephalomyelitis (inflammation of the meninges and brain). He has been monitored with a Cytosine drip and medications. We have recently decreased his drip and have placed him on regular fluids. Depending on his exam and comfort level today, we shall hope for the best and send him on his way home for a great recovery.
This is Charlotte, a 6 year old Border Collie mix who is a total love bug. She was admitted to Dr. Lane on the 12th of November, lying on her side and was not responsive. She was diagnosed with Leukoencephalitis. We are monitoring her and she is currently on her second dose of Cytarabine. She has a wonderful personality and is running around like the doll she is.
This is Ginger, a precious and adorable 9 month old Jack Russell Terrier. She is a previous client of Dr. Lane’s and came in yesterday for seizure activity. We have controlled her episodes with a Valium drip and she is under close monitoring and receiving plenty of TLC. Depending on her exam and comfort level, she is scheduled to go home today or tomorrow. Get better Ginger, you are such a sweetheart!!
Little Daisy Mae has been having trouble walking on her back legs for a couple of weeks and was being treated by Maxfund with medications. Unfortunately, medications did not help and LIttle Daisy Mae lost all function of her back legs this week. Dr. Lane performed an MRI and back surgery to relieve the compression of a ruptured disc. She’s a little camera shy this morning, but in very good spirits.
Remember little Hamilton? This adorable Frenchie was loved by everyone when hospitalized with us last week for seizures. He returned for a recheck this morning and is doing great. He’s acting more and more like a puppy every day, and has not had any seizures since going home. He is responding very well to the treatment for his inflammatory brain disease.
Allie is a 10 year old female German Shepherd who was brought to us for weakness in the hind limbs. After MRI review, TWO disc issues were found (one chronic and one acute), and were addressed with surgery. Since her surgery, Allie has been improving steadily, gaining her strength back a little every day. She has been a perfect lady during her hospital stay, and the staff loves her.
This adorable little kitten is Stanley, who came to see us because he suddenly started having great difficulty walking. He is improving quickly and has won the hearts of just about everyone at the VRCC with his adorable face and wonderful personality.
Stanley Update! Remember Stanley?…the 4 month old Siamese kitten that presented with acute weakness in his hind limbs 24 hours following vaccination. He was diagnosed with Vaccine Induced Polyradiculoneuropathy, which was managed medically. Stanley improved quickly and was able to go home. He is back with us today for a recheck, and is bounding around his cage, purring like the perfectly healthy kitten he should be.
Say hello to Cleo. She is a 13.75 year old Piebald Dachshund who came in to us acutely down in her hind limbs. MRI was performed. It was determined that she had ruptured her L2-L3 intervertebral disc. A left Hemilaminectomy was performed to remove the pressure from her spinal cord. Cleo is recovering fine and expected to be walking soon. She is anxious to return home to her sister, Ginger who also ruptured and disc in her back and underwent surgery with Dr. Lane.
We tried to sneak up and take a picture of Libo while he was fast asleep (and snoring), but he awoke when we opened up the kennel. Libo started having trouble walking back in August. He progressively got worse despite rest and steroids. His family spent the last couple months raising funds to have his diagnostics done. When he was admitted he appeared to be cyanotic, therefore Dr. Lane requested an echocardiogram to be sure anesthesia would be tolerated. After he got thumbs up for anesthesia, MRI diagnosed IVDE at C3-C4 and surgery was performed. Anesthesia went without a hitch. We will give Libo a few days of rest before his rehabing begins. Chronic IVDE patients can take longer to regain function and strength. Send good thoughts Libo’s way!
This is Ruby, potentially the cutest miniature Daschund ever! She was having trouble using her hind legs and underwent MRI and back surgery on Wednesday morning to relieve a spinal cord compression from a ruptured disc. She’s feeling so much better, would like to run and play like normal and doesn’t understand why she’s not allowed to. She’s going to be a handful when she goes home.
This precious little lady is Chancie Davis. She came to us on Tuesday for exercise induced weakness and mega-esophagus. She has since been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular junction and neurotransmitter problem. She is doing great and should go home to her human mom and pop tomorrow.
Look at this wide-eyed sweetie pie! This is Dillon, a 6-year-old dachshund. This little guy lost function to his rear legs late Saturday night. Dr. Lane came in on Sunday morning at 4:00am to perform emergency MRI. Dillon was diagnosed with a ruptured disc and went straight to surgery. He is recovering well and function is slowing returning to his back legs. Such a good boy!
Freedom Rescue saved Trooper, this 5 month old Retriever mix, from a home in Missouri where he was not being properly cared for. He arrived in Colorado very thin, with a wound on the side of his face and pneumonia. He was being treated at Deer Creek Animal Hospital immediately upon arrival to Denver, and was starting to feel better when he started to have seizures. Trooper was transferred to Dr. Lane’s care on Tuesday and aggressive seizure management started to get the seizures under control. He underwent an MRI of his brain and a spinal fluid assessment on Thursday, and Dr. Lane diagnosed him with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). This morning Trooper enjoyed his breakfast, as you can tell by the leftovers on his nose! He is being fed multiple times each day now, which we think may be a new experience for him.
This happy cat was the local icon at Aurora, Tagawa Gardens. As you can see, posing for photographs is without effort. Smokey provided a source of amusement and defined the “perfect patient” as he recovered from spinal cord surgery. Smokey models the polo striped shirt, with a hint of outdoor dirt! We are happy that Smokey recovered without complication from the removal of a large spinal tumor, and was able to exercise more. The shirt fit better at his recheck!
Click below to watch video about Smokey Gray.
Shelby is a mature Maltese dog who is lucky to have an incredibly devoted owner who recognized Shelby’s friendship at an early age. Shelby has been an insulin dependent diabetic and suffers from hypertension (high blood pressure). Due to her diabetes, Shelby developed cataracts, which were successively removed improving her vision. In 2011 Shelby required surgery to remove her left external and middle ear due to chronic infections. Shelby presented to our emergency department after experiencing several seizures and progressive mental and behavioral change.
Shelby was transferred to the Neurology Service under the care of Dr. Lane. Her seizures were controlled with the use of intravenous anticonvulsants. Shelby demonstrated severe brainstem deficit, which placed her life in jeopardy. Dr. Lane instituted aggressive intracranial pressor management in the face of her declining neurological status. With successful medical management, Shelby was stabilized and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of her brain was scheduled. This occurred 3 days after admission and aggressive intracranial therapy was instituted.
MRI revealed the presence of a pocket of fluid within the surgical field of the removed middle ear canal with destruction of the bone between the middle ear and the brain. The infection had spread inward to involve the brain. Meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) was present. Aggressive antibiotic and immunomodulant therapy was instituted to stabilize Shelby. Once stable, surgery was scheduled to remove as much of the infected middle ear cavity as possible and establish a channel for continued drainage of infectious material away from the brain. Following surgery, the surgery site was left open to allow for drainage and healing from the inside outward, during the healing process.
Shelby’s mother has been the perfect owner; she is incredibly diligent about monitoring the incision and ensuring that it remained clean at all times. Shelby spent a significant amount of time in the hospital, and once she was released, there were days that she was only released to spend an afternoon at home on the couch with her mom. She then had to come back and spend the night in the hospital. Shelby is now at home enjoying an outgoing and energetic lifestyle. Shelby comes back for outpatient rechecks on a regular basis.
Shelby Miracle is truly a success story for all pets and a testament to all pet owners who allow their companion animal to become a part of the family! Shelby’s mom never complained and was always willing to do whatever was going to be best for Shelby, as long as quality of life was met.
Abigail is a 5-year-old Dachshund that presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology for further assessment of hind limb weakness and wobbliness. Signs had been present for 2-3 weeks and were not getting better with rest, restrictions and medical management.
After evaluation by Dr. Lane, Abigail underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the spinal cord in the middle of Abigail’s back. An intervertebral disc extrusion (rupture) was found at T12-T13. Abigail underwent successful surgery. She was a little timid and nervous in the hospital following surgery, but was a great patient overall.
Abigail was recently in for a recheck and was given the green light for normal activity. She has recovered without pain, weakness or ataxia. We wish you the best Abigail.
Welby is a Border Collie that initially came to see Dr. Lane in June of 2007. In April of 2007 Welby started favoring her right hind leg and was reluctant to exercise as much has she normally had. This progressed to the point where she no longer wanted to go on walks. Welby would walk for a short period of time and sit down and refuse to go any further. After evaluation with Dr. Lane, it was determined that she had an ischemic neuromyopathy caused by bilateral femoral artery thrombosis. This means that she developed a blood clot that lodged in the termination of the aorta at the branches of her femoral arteries. This resulted in a blocking of the major blood supply from the heart to her back legs.
Additional testing was performed to identify the underlying disease that caused the clot to form. Her clot had formed spontaneously without cause that could be determined (idiopathic thrombosis). The treatment for Welby is a blood thinner to prevent further clot formation. The use of this medication required that Welby return to the Neurology staff frequently to monitor her clotting values. Dr. Lane would assess the lab results and make changes to the medication dosages based on the lab work and Welby’s activity level.
Welby has remained stable for the last several years, thanks to Dr. Lane and his expertise. Just this year Shelby was switched to a new blood thinner that has been shown to have less long-term side effects. Shelby is a happy dog that now enjoys walks of 15-20 minutes at a time. She’s happy to be a family dog and receive all of her owners’ love and attention.
Zeus is an 8-year-old Terrier-mix who presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in August of 2012. During the previous week Zeus became lethargic, developed back pain and began to have trouble walking. His owner noticed that he would fall over when trying to stand. Zeus’ case was complicated by the fact that he had a low red blood cell count (anemia) and elevated globulin level (hyperglobulinemia).
After a physical and neurological examination by Dr. Lane, Zeus underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Cerebrospinal Fluid Assessment (CSF). Zeus was diagnosed with a congenital hydrocephalus and inflammation of his brain. Additional testing was performed and revealed the cause of his illness was a tick borne disease called Ehrlichia canis. This infectious agent is not commonly found in Colorado. Zeus spent 4 days in the hospital receiving treatment for his infection and inflammation of his nervous system.
Zeus was discharged from the hospital with an improving status. At his 3-month recheck, Zeus had recovered back to near normalcy. Zeus will need long-term antibiotic therapy; but he is living a happy and energetic life, and continues to travel with his mom.
Charity Russell is a Miniature Pinscher owned by Wendy Russell. In December 2006 Charity had an episode of severe neck pain and an acute onset of blindness. She underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis and was diagnosed with Granulomatous Meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is an aggressive inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
Charity spent 2 days hospitalized under the care of Dr. Lane during which time she received a chemotherapeutic agent, Cytosine Arabinoside and glucocorticoid therapy, Dexamethasone, to treat the brain and spinal cord inflammation. Charity responded to therapy and returned to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology on a regular basis for follow up rechecks with Dr. Lane. Initially these rechecks were every few weeks to months. As Charity continued to improve, she regained her vision, and has led a fairly normal life for the past 5 years.
Charity has remained on medications to keep her GME in remission, and she has responded very well. Her mother is acutely aware of any changes that Charity may experience and calls us immediately if something is different. It has been her mother’s acute awareness that has allowed Charity to keep her vision and remain healthy. Charity is very lucky to have Wendy as her mother.
Stitch was referred to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology on March 30, 2011 for neurological evaluation. The previous night, Stitch became acutely tetraparetic (weak in all 4 legs), with no known trauma. After evaluation by Dr. Lane, Stitch underwent an MRI of his cervical spinal cord and was diagnosed with an acute ischemic infarction (stroke) of his cervical (neck) spinal cord. This is similar to experiencing a stroke of the brain, but to the spinal cord, which affected Stitch’s ability to move all of his limbs.
Stitch remained in the hospital under the care of the neurology staff for 4 days. Stitch’s parents were taught to care for him at home. A tetra-cart was utilized to aid with his physical therapy and recovery. Stitch’s owners remained committed to his recovery, making all accommodations for Stitch during his rehabilitation. Stitch had a schedule of physical therapy, most of which was performed at home with his parents. On weekends he went for hydrotherapy.
Stitch never gave up, always happy to make an effort for his parents. Stitch used the tetra cart initially, to just simply remain in a standing position for minutes at a time. He eventually started walking in the cart, allowing increased activity and longer.
Stitch and his parents had 5 months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. When Stitch came in for his recheck in September, he was walking on his own again and quite happy. He is still a little weak, but will continue to improve for months to come. He’s back to enjoying life with his family and other dog mate.
Barney presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in January of 2007 as an 8 year old St. Bernard with progressive weakness of his hind limbs. Dr. Lane performed magnetic resonance imaging and determined he had multiple ruptured intervertebral discs requiring surgery. Barney underwent surgery in March of 2007 and recovered quickly.
A month after he was discharged from the hospital, Barney returned to see Dr. Lane because he was again having trouble using both hind limbs; but this time was also experiencing back pain and weight loss. Spinal radiographs were taken and Barney was diagnosed with discospondylitis. This is an infection of the intervertebral disc and the end plates of the adjoining vertebrae. This infection causes back pain, weight loss, and spinal cord dysfunction. Following a second MRI, Barney underwent surgery in April of 2007 to biopsy, culture and clean decompress the spinal cord from the infectious tissue compressing his spinal cord.
Barney recovered from his second surgery slower than the first, but with a positive personality he displayed to everyone. Barney was always happy and willing to do anything he was asked. He was very spoiled by the neurology staff; after his second surgery he did not want to eat, and the neurology staff, who had fallen in love with him took turns cooking him chicken each day to entice him to eat as much as possible. Barney’s owners lived in Pueblo, Colorado, 3 hours away and were unable to visit him often. The neurology staff made a point to eat their lunches and dinner with Barney to keep his spirits up while his parents were away.
Barney made a full recovery following the second surgery due to his strong positive personality and the physical therapy and the support of his owners. They helped him regain his strength and weight back so that he could continue living a happy energetic life style.
Barney returned to see Dr. Lane in May of 2011 as a 12 year old; after 4 years of a normal, pain free and active life. Barney was reported to be demonstrating weakness in his hind limbs. But pain did not seem to be an issue this time. MRI was repeated and Barney was diagnosed with a chronic compressive myelopathy at the opposite side of the site of infection. Surgery will not be an option this time around. Medical management has been implemented with a positive response. He is now ambulating without support and improving daily. His spirits have remained high with his owners determined to give him the best quality of life possible. We are, as well.
As a young Bernese mountain dog, Bear was diagnosed with a lack of development of his external ear canals resulting in deafness. This did not seem to matter; he had always been the Johnson’s special dog that needed a little extra attention. In December of 2010, Bear experienced what was thought to be a seizure and was transferred to Dr. Stephen Lane for evaluation. Bear was not having seizures, but experienced problems with the balance centers of his brain. His incoordination and imbalance while trying to stand and walk looked like seizures. Neurological examination also identified a cervical spinal cord problem. Dr. Lane recommended Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of Bear’s brain and cervical spinal cord.
MRI revealed the presence of hydrocephalus, which is an increased amount of fluid within the normal fluid chambers of the brain. Bear also had fluid build up within his middle ear that was a result of not having developed normal external ear canals. The presence of these two things likely was the culprit that resulted in the imbalance. Bear’s gaiting difficulty was the result of excessive and inappropriate growth of the vertebrae in his neck. This condition has been termed “Wobbler’s” Syndrome, as affected animals walk with a wobble in their rear quarters.
Bear underwent spinal surgery in late January 2011 to correct the narrowing onto his spinal cord from his malformed vertebrae. Despite requiring a second surgery, Bear bounced back quickly. His recovery was slow and steady. Bear remained in the hospital for 22 days. His exuberant and friendly attitude never diminished. Bear was always happy to see everyone and greeted all with a wag of his tail.
Bear’s housemate also underwent knee surgery at the same time Bear was hospitalized. They both went through their recovery with rest and restrictions together. Both dogs are back to being able to go on long walks, run and play without restriction. The Johnson family delivered the support and compassion that allowed Bear to recover. Their dedication and unwaivered trust has given Bear a new lease on life.
Renee and Eliot have been the proud parents of Max, a crossbreed Bull terrier, for about 10 years. He was rescued from the Humane Society in Boulder, Colorado. Max was initially found as a stray in Denver and the person who found him saw how special he was and made sure to drive him to Boulder so that he might have a fair chance to be adopted. At the Humane Society he was treated for an ear infection, and was presumed to have been in multiple dogfights. Even though Max had a rough start in life, he immediately gave his whole heart to his new family from his first day in his forever home. While testing the boundaries of his new home Max ‘accidentally’ broke through the screen door, but instead of running away, he walked himself around to the front porch to wait for his owners to come back home. Because of the loyal demeanor Max showed, his owners made sure that he always had the best.
Max presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in December of 2008. Max had a long history of left pelvic limb gaiting change and difficulty doing upward-oriented activities. This change was noticed when Max jumped into the car and began to yelp and hold up his left hind leg. Increasing weakness was also noted to be progressing in his left hind leg. After his examination, Dr. Lane determined that Max had a T3-L3 Myelopathy and a Sciatic neuropathy. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) would be necessary to determine the cause. The following day Max underwent MRI and Surgery to decompress an intervertebral disc extrusion at L2-L3 and fix a malformation and disc extrusion at L7-S1. Max recovered quickly. He always wagged his tail and maintained a positive attitude, especially when his people would come to visit him. After a short hospital stay Max went home to finish his recovery with his family.
The Marshall O’Shea family brought Max back to Dr. Lane in March of 2011. He was again experiencing weakness in his rear legs and pain. Max again underwent MRI and a surgery using a right hemilaminectomy to decompress an intervertebral disc extrusion at L1-L2. Max recovered without incident. After an uneventful recovery and multiple loving visits from his family, Max was up and walking. During each of his hospital stays Max was as happy as possible and would never turn down extra love from his technicians. He has since gotten back to all of his normal activities, including looking after the newest addition to the Marshall O’Shea family.
Max has continued to recover with his loving family and has been more than happy to help his people with his new human brother, Kannen. Max’s owners call him their first child and are grateful for the extra years they have been able to spend with him.
Buster is a handsome 2-year-old Chocolate Lab, who lives at home with his parents and his two human older brothers. He lives the typical active Colorado lifestyle with his family, enjoying activities such as hiking, biking, and everything the outdoors has to offer.
Buster was initially seen in April 2011 after being referred from his family veterinarian. Buster’s owners noticed that he was showing signs of weakness in his hind legs. After a short trial of medications from his family veterinarian, Buster continued to decline with symptoms of ataxia (weakness) and knuckling in his hind legs. Dr. Lane determined that a Buster suffered from a T3-L3 myelopathy. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) was performed revealing that Busters spinal cord dysfunction was due to a mass lesion inside the coverings of the spinal cord.
Buster’s family had a very difficult decision to make but decided to pursue surgery in hopes the mass could be removed. Buster has a “strong family that only wished the best for Buster”. Surgery was scheduled for him the following day and went without complication. Surgical resection of the mass was successful, and Buster was on the road to recovery.
While in hospital, Buster and his family kept a positive attitude. He improved on a daily basis with good feeling (deep pain) to his hind limbs and tail and eventually movement his hind legs. Buster’s parents and family visited regularly, drawing pictures and supporting their brave family member. Even when his family went on their usual bike ride, they did not forget him and took his collar ‘so he could be there in spirit’. He was loved by both his family, and also very quickly by his technicians. Buster wagged his tail as soon as he was able and was a model patient that everyone wanted to work with. After his recovery in-hospital was complete he was again reunited with his family who had been eagerly awaiting his return home. Buster said his ‘good-byes’ to everyone who was involved in his care and had enjoyed his company.
Buster continues his rehabilitation at home. He was discharged with a para cart (hind limb wheel chair), which he had been using for short walks around the neighborhood. He is back to his old self and strutting his new wheels as well. We hope that Buster will soon be back to all of his outdoor activities, enjoying the summer with his wonderful family.
Delilah is a social and active 6 1/2 year old Mastiff who presented for further assessment of progressive weakness in her hind limbs. Following her initial examination, Dr. Lane diagnosed Delilah with a T3-L3 myelopathy with right lateralization. This meant that there was a change to her spinal cord function in the middle of her back, which was more right sided than left. Because there are many causes for spinal cord dysfunction, Dr. Lane recommended an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for a definitive diagnosis. Delilah’s owner was unable to pursue such diagnostic testing and made the difficult decision to relinquish her so that she would have the best chance at appropriate care.
Lori Fuehrer is the lead Veterinary Technician at Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. After meeting Delilah and falling in love with her outgoing personality and adorable face, Lori agreed to take over her care, knowing she needed further diagnostics to treat appropriately.
Delilah underwent MRI study and was diagnosed with an intradural mass lesion. “Intradural” means within the dura mater, which are the membranes that surrounds the spinal cord. A “lesion” is any type of tissue change that is different from surrounding tissues (cyst, blood vessels, or a tumor). Dr. Lane recommended surgical intervention for debulkment and attempted complete resection of this lesion. Delilah went to surgery with the support of her new owner and the rest of the neurology staff, and began the road to recovery.
Since surgery, Delilah has demonstrated a remarkable recovery with the help of a para cart (hind limb support) and hydrotherapy. She is happy and now only needs her wheelchair for long walks. She is enjoying the company of her dedicated owner and is getting to know her new neighbors on her daily walks. Delilah has become particularly interested in her nearest neighbor, Oliver. He is a cat next door who knows which windows surround Delilah’s bed, and comes to visit every morning. Delilah has captured the hearts of many with her social nature and drive to be happy and healthy.
Brautwurst is a 4-year-old male Dachshund with a laid-back demeanor and affectionate attitude. Brautwurst presented with a history of back pain that was treated medically by his family veterinarian. Although Brautwurst made a full recovery, he had another episode of back pain, which resulted in a second round of medical management. Brautwurst presented to the Central Veterinary Emergency Services (CVES) at the VRCC after experiencing progressive ambulatory difficulty and pain.
Dr. Luke Rump of CVES admitted Brautwurst with progressive gaiting difficulty, spinal pain and the inability to empty his bladder. After an examination, it was determined that Brautwurst would need further assessment by a neurologist. He was transferred to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology the following morning.
After a full neurologic assessment by Dr. Lane, it was recommended that Brautwurst undergo MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to diagnose his spinal cord problem, what was likely an acute Intervertebral Disc Extrusion. Intervertebral Disc Extrusions are common in chondrodystrophic breeds (small breed dogs with short legs, i.e., Dachshunds, Shih Tzu’s, Pekingese, and Lhasa Apso). The intervertebral disc is made of a “Jell-O” like center or nucleus, with an outer ring of woven cartilage fibers. When a disc ruptures or extrudes, the nucleus can put pressure and bruise the spinal cord, causing dysfunction and pain. Dr. Lane recommended that Brautwurst have an MRI as soon as possible to determine if surgical intervention would be necessary to alleviate pain and decompress the spinal cord to allow for recovery.
MRI was performed and as suspected, Brautwurst was diagnosed with a large right-sided Intervertebral Disc Extrusion (IVDE) at L5-L6 (in between the 5th and 6th Lumbar vertebrae). Brautwurst was taken directly into surgery. After successful resection of the ruptured disc material and hematoma (localized collection of blood) from the spinal cord, Brautwurst now stood a good chance for recovery.
Brautwurst spent a few days within hospital recovering from surgery. His dynamic and positive personality won the hearts of his technicians and neurosurgeon. His recovery included regaining motor function to his hind legs and management of his own bladder function. He was an excellent patient and soon went home to complete his recovery with his family. He is now able to walk, run and wag his tail pain free.
Meka Hooks presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology with a very vibrant, shy and stubborn personality. Meka was experiencing progressive gaiting difficulty characterized by slipping, sliding, and falling on all limbs. Despite this difficulty, Meka continued to try to keep up with her younger Doberman housemate, and warm the hearts of all she came into contact with.
Meka suffered from cervical (neck) spinal cord dysfunction, which affected her ability to control her legs. With the use of magnetic resonance imaging, Meka was diagnosed with a multilevel vertebral malformation (abnormal growth and development of the vertebrae). This syndrome is the result of excessive vertebral boney growth with the result of pinching the spinal cord causing the information traveling from her legs to the brain and back to be delayed. The result, weakness and wobbliness. Surgery was performed to remove the abnormal vertebral boney development and pressure from the spinal cord. Meka recovered from surgery without incident only to deteriorate 36 hours following surgery, Mekas spine had moved, or subluxated causing pressure to the underside of her spinal cord. Meka underwent a second surgery with fusion of her subluxated vertebrae. She again recovered from surgery with the dedication of the neurology team and her parents.
Meka’s unique personality endowed her to everyone she came into contact with. The neurology team was impressed with her challenging personality and spent many hours attempting to encourage her not to give up. Meka is now recovering at home with her family and her housemate, who loves to curl up with Meka and sleep during the day. Progressive neurologic recovery has occurred and Meka now enjoys 3 walks each day. If she chooses! We feel fortunate that we have been allowed the chance to work with the Hooks and help such a wonderful dog.
Who could resist a face like this? Isabella presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology for further assessment of collapse, apnea and seizures. An acute onset was described with immediate professional veterinary attention given. Despite being very ill, Isabella shared her love for people and enthusiasm to please others from the moment she entered our hospital. Isabella underwent laboratory, magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid testing to allow her neurological condition to be diagnosed and treated. We are happy to say that Isabella is recovering nicely at home. Her smile never stops. It is infectious. It isn’t often we are blessed with such a large personality from such a small body!
Tabby presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in October of 2008 suffering from continuous generalized and partial seizures. The onset of neurological change was sudden and concerning. Tabby was referred for further diagnostic testing and specialized neurological care. Despite unpredicted results, Tabby’s owners, Sandy and John, remained dedicated and supportive of Tabby as he underwent extensive diagnostic testing including magnetic resonance imaging study and cerebrospinal fluid centesis for analysis.
Tabby was diagnosed with idiopathic recurrent seizures, and attempts to control the seizures were in place. This was no easy task with Tabby progressing into continuous seizures, refractory to treatment. Tabby was placed into a barbiturate coma for 48 hours in an attempt to slow and halt his seizures. Tabby slowly responded and was able to re-join his family at home, with the help of veterinarian, Dr. Joe Schmidt. Dr. Schmidt was instrumental in Tabby’s recovery as voluntary urination was not present when Tabby was sent home. Tabby was catheterized daily. Not an easy task in a cat! The ability to voluntarily urinate returned as Tabby responded to therapy.
Tabby has shown the difficult side to seizure management for pet owners, developing uncontrolled seizures following discharge and initial control. Tabby re-presented for further control of recurrent seizures. Management was again successful, and Tabby returned home to the loving and devoted care we should all experience.
Pet owners are often times asked whether treatment of their pet would provide for a quality of life. The Applegates remained steadfast in their support for Tabby, while impressing upon Dr. Lane the fact that he would make their cat better. Tabby has responded to the excellent care of the Applegates as well as the technical team of Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. Tabby now enjoys a wonderful lifestyle with the Applegates and a new housemate. We wish Tabby and the Applegates the best in the future.
Growing up without a house of loving owners can often take a personality in the wrong direction. MacTavish endured multiple homes and owners as a puppy and the loss of both eyes due to corneal disease. His visual challenge did not hold him back learning how to live and play in a world without sight. It seemed MacTavish could overcome all obstacles thrown in front of him until he began to experience loss of function to his legs. Falling into the Eastman household had to be predestined. Once adopted, the Eastmans and their veterinary professionals at Deer Creek Animal Hospital sought the best for this young warrior.
MacTavish suffered from a growth related spinal disorder that was taking his ability to walk. MacTavish entered the Veterinary Referral Center to seek the best veterinary medical neurological and neurosurgical care possible. MacTavish never stopped wagging his tail and offering all his effort possible; a major help with a dog of his size! Following Magnetic Resonance Imaging to diagnose his cause for spinal cord dysfunction, MacTavish underwent surgical decompression to relieve the malformed cervical malformation. MacTavish remains a poster-child for happiness, a great quality-of-life, and receiving the love from wonderful owners. MacTavish sees it no differently.
How can you not expect the best for “Big Mac”? We thank you and your parents for allowing us to be part of your wonderful journey. Wag-on Big Mac!
Pain can cripple the best, dogs included. Add the inability to function to this handicap and a great family member’s life can be forever changed. Murphy presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology for help. Murphy underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging study for progressive spinal cord dysfunction and pain. Following the diagnosis of an intervertebral disc extrusion, Murphy underwent successful surgical therapy. Murphy is now enjoying life again with his parents. You look dapper in your RMVN chest harness, Murphy!
Ebony always has a smile on her face, despite adversity. Ebony enjoys running with her 4-legged family members above all else. Suddenly unable to walk on all legs and in pain, Ebony was referred to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology for diagnosis and therapy. Ebony’s mom had only one question, “Will she be able to run with her family again?” Diagnosed with an acute intervertebral disc extrusion in her lower neck, emergent surgery removed the pressure off of her spinal cord. A rapid recovery ensued and Ebony is now running and playing with her housemates Roxy and Angel again. Better yet, she is pain free!
After experiencing sudden onset of seizures, Shadow began a life-long association with Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. Through the adversity of seizures and repeated hospitalizations, Shadow always maintained a loving personality and strong desire to return home to her caring family. Mrs. Zonker commented that she watched Dr. Lane grow up after the many years of professional care given to Shadow. These years were good to Shadow and her family. She was loved, and knew it. She also gave back to her family. While we often talk of our successes to cure, Shadow is a testament to our ability to provide quality of life. Shadow experienced recurrent seizures due to epilepsy for over 9 years. Her parents allowed her to receive forefront care and medications, to help control her seizures and give her a greater quality of life. She utilized this gift afforded her by her family, and reciprocated 10-fold. For this we are happy. We all loved Shadow. She will be missed. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge March 24, 2010.
Buddy was an active part of the Helling family until a sudden onset of severe pain stopped his days of fun. Buddy was referred to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology for diagnosis and therapy. Buddy underwent magnetic resonance imaging and was diagnosed with a lateralized cervical (neck) intervertebral disc extrusion. Two surgeries later, Buddy is back at home with his family, pain free and enjoying walks and running with out pain. We admire your courage Buddy and your family’s dedication to a wonderful dog. Here’s to many more romps in the park.
Rosie enjoyed a wonderful lifestyle with her parents until she began to slow down and become painful. In late March, Rosie was reluctant to move, which quickly turned into dragging of her back legs. Rosie’s caring parents brought her to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology at VRCC. Rosie underwent MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and a ruptured intervertebral disc was diagnosed. Rosie underwent surgery and is once again getting the spring back in her step. Rosie is being fitted with RMVN’s summer striped polo and harness attire for her discharge from the hospital. “You look marvelous” Rosie!
Racing and playing with the other dogs one moment, unable to walk on all legs the next. What a stress! What a face! Noelle presented to Dr. Lane unable to walk and painful. Noelle was diagnosed with a type-3 disc extrusion in her neck. Following surgery, Noelle recovered quickly with return to an ambulatory status and without pain. Noelle is now home, active, energetic and pain free. Who can resist this face!
Nessie was an active, energetic dog, keeping the Lewis family moving at all times. Nessie experienced a sudden onset of pelvic limb dysfunction and dragging her rear limbs. In pain, Nessie presented to RMVN for help. An acute intervertebral disc extrusion was identified in her mid-back on MRI testing. Following successful decompressive surgery, mom reports that Nessie is ‘bouncing’ once again and proud to pose in her dapper vest provided by RMVN. Our staff fell in love with Nessie. What a cutie pie!
An appetite for good biscuits is not a question for Casey and his housemate. If mom cannot make them quick enough, Casey is always happy to open the bag for her. Casey continues to enjoy life with a supportive mother and competitive housemate. Always looking for something to do, Casey has officially informed his mother that he loves WagPak biscuits. More please is correct!
Macho is truly a lucky cat at home with his family. Macho is fortunate to have loving owners who are willing to provide the care an epileptic requires. Despite having to take medications twice a day, Macho takes everything in stride. When things get too hectic, a quick retreat to the forest keeps things in perspective.
We could not resist adding Bree to our February Pet of the Month. Bree embraced her neurologic challenge with the tenacity of a pit bull! Bree experienced a sudden onset of mental, behavioral and functional change characterized by depression, imbalance and difficulty walking with frequent falling to her side. Bree underwent magnetic imaging study and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Diagnosed with encephalitis, therapy has resulted in a happy, outgoing family member. With continued therapy, Bree will enjoy many more photo opportunities with her family.
Presenting his owners with the uneasy task of understanding how their dog’s rear legs stopped working, 4-Year old Buddy Cochran issued this challenge. They responded quickly by getting Buddy to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. Following neurologic examination, emergent magnetic resonance imaging and decompressive surgery we are happy to see Buddy pain free, walking and enjoying life “as a dog” again.
Koa resides in the mountains of Colorado with his sister Kirra and parents. Suffering from an acute immune mediated nerve disease, Koa could not stand and walk for more than a few steps without weakening and collapsing. With a diagnosis and implementation of therapy, Koa is now able to go for long walks and play with his sister without weakness. A must for a young Malamute. With winter coming, Koa looks forward to a great snow year. Koa enjoys a brief timeout from playing ball with his parents to smile for the camera. Say Cheese!
New Beginnings! Maddy, an adorable 6 month-old Chow Chow has never seen Dr. Lane or Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. In fact, Maddy is very healthy. Maddy represents a new beginning for a Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology family that lost their beloved Chow Chow, Thor, to cancer in June 2009. While Thor can never be replaced, we are honored to showcase Maddy as a new beginning for our friends of Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology.
Celebrating his 9th Birthday–Jake’s dedicated owners presented Jake for assessment on May 5, 2009 unable to walk on all legs and with severe arthritis in both elbows. On May 6, 2009, Jake underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and was diagnosed with two long term spinal cord disc compressions in his neck. On May 8, 2009, Dr. Lane performed spinal cord surgery to remove the two compressions. Jake was hospitalized for 14 days during his recovery. Because of Jake’s desire, fortitude, and his owners love and perseverance, Jake is now walking, happy and pain free. We are happy to provide Jake with many more birthdays.
As a veterinary specialist, I have been fortunate to practice specialized veterinary medicine and surgery for strangers and for colleagues, who allowed me the privilege of caring for their own pet. I have dealt with both the positive and negative outcomes of their companion animals. This is an emotional side that I have kept at a distance.
My family has been blessed by a wonderful companion and family member who, for 15 years has always brought happiness, laughter, and smiles to our faces whether she was chasing hummingbird shadows, barking at nonexistent objects intended to stimulate our other Jack Russell Terrier, Tobie, or attempting to crawl underneath the covers at night to sleep. This latter maneuver usually resulted in a brawl with Tobie, who was already under the covers.
These simple joys, and an endless list of other memories, bring immense pleasure to the life of a professional practicing veterinary medicine, and were sometimes forgotten with the rushed and harried nature of our profession. Even when we experienced 14-16 hour days, there was never a time when I returned home from a long day where our eldest JRT, Annie, was not waiting with a smile, a wag, and attempts to be patted and loved. Annie was loved and she knew it. She taught me of the significance pets play in our lives. She will be truly missed from our family.