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
Dear Dr. Stephen Lane, DVM; and all of the staff at the Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology Hospital: I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you did for our beloved 5-year-old Dachshund, The Baron Manfred Von Richthofen “Manfred” – as well as for my family. Manfred had surgery today to correct large ruptured discs.
I called early the morning of July 17 and spoke with Molly and I let her know that Manfred wasn’t walking, eating, going potty and was lethargic. I was very upset and Molly said all the right things to calm me down and was so full of compassion for Manfred and for us. Molly genuinely felt my pain. Molly understood immediately what needed to be done. She even met us upon our arrival and took Manfred back for an examination.
On June 27, Manfred had been playing with our other Dachshund when he yelped because he got hurt. After numerous visits, our regular vet was unable to determine what exactly was wrong. Different approaches were tried but after 2 ½ weeks Manfred was worse and was suffering. It was unbearable to watch. When I gave Manfred to Molly, I finally felt that Manfred was in the right hands because of Molly’s confidence. It was a huge burden off of us to know Manfred was finally where he needed to be to get help.
Rihanna was also wonderful. After Molly left for the day, Rihanna spoke with me numerous times throughout the day, providing us with updates and taking care of Manfred and briefing us on the next steps. Rihanna spent as much time on the phone with me as I needed, she answered my numerous questions. She’s very positive and upbeat and she was very helpful.
Another of your staff, Becky, also provided outstanding customer service. Becky helped me work with our pet insurance, Trupanion. Becky not only took good care of Manfred but she took good care of me as well while I was visiting Manfred in neurology. Becky even made me laugh during one of the worst days I’ve ever had in my life.
Dr. Stephen Lane took the time to speak with me at length about the next steps for Manfred and I know how busy he must be but he took more time to explain things to me than a human doctor does. I knew right away that Dr. Lane would fix Manfred and I wasn’t scared anymore. Dr. Lane also spoke in layman’s terms so that you could understand what was going to happen. If more human doctors were like Dr. Lane our medical community would be in better shape! I felt like Manfred was Dr. Lane’s number one priority, he knew all about Manfred and when he spoke with me, as far as he was concerned, Manfred was the only dog on the planet at that time. That’s a gift that few people have. The relief his phone calls provided us – can’t be stated in words.
Surgery day. This morning, as promised we received a phone call when Manfred was going under anesthesia, then another phone call after the MRI was completed, then a call to brief us on how surgery went, then we received a call once Manfred was in recovery. Exceptional customer service! In my 53 years I have never seen better customer service in my life, or more professional, positive, upbeat, caring people.
Everyone at VCRR, from the wonderful ladies up front, to everyone in the back, was so nice to us and to Manfred and are so compassionate and empathetic that it made me cry! I’ve never had a group of total strangers be so nice to me like that. Thank God for all of you! When I visited Manfred he wasn’t even shaking and that’s a sign that he was ok being where he was, he wasn’t scared at all.
We have had six dogs over the last 20 years and at one time or another all have visited VCRR. For some reason our dogs only want to get hurt on the weekends and holidays! Molly gave us a tour before we visited Manfred. I thought, like at our vet’s office, that there were probably a couple of doctors in the back. I was astounded to learn that 140 staff were present and to see the size of the operation taking place. I was very impressed and still can’t get over it. I had no idea how large your facility was and how many animals you were treating. There were animals everywhere! I recommend that you give more tours to visitors so that they can fully appreciate what you do. I had no idea at all what your hospital encompassed. Wow!
Manfred will be with you all a few more days then he can come home! Our other dogs are pining for him to come home and our family will once again be complete upon Manfred’s return. Manfred will walk again and not be in pain anymore and will be able to live out the rest of his life with us, his family. Manfred will have a nice, long life because you were able to help him. Manfred has been on many road trips, most recently to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, and now he will once again be able to go on road trips!
Bless all of you and all of the wonderful work you do. I wouldn’t want to live on this earth without dogs and the people who treat dogs!
Leah and Jim Bang, Manfred, Lady Darling and Pentworth
P.S. Until next time when we are there with another one of our dogs!
Everyone at RMVN was kind and competent, and we got to know the staff well since we visited Cleo, our Piebald Dachshund, every day. About a week after the surgery, Cleo had pain and I called VRCC very late in the day, and Dr. Lane called back immediately to get more information. We had a very positive experience!
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.
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!
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.
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 is little Poppy. She has seen several specialists at the VRCC for a multitude of congenital abnormalities. She has difficulty walking and her newest venture is to learn how to walk better with the use of this tiny para cart. She has been using it for a week now, and is starting to get the hang of it.
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.
Julie Hill has been a long time client of the Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado. Julie was first seen in 2002. Julie has presented 5 of her dogs to the VRCC for specialized care since that time. During this time period, Ms. Hill was approached by the ophthalmology and neurology staff of the VRCC to adopt a miniature pincher from an owner who had provided care to allow for comfort and quality of life. This included specialized spinal imaging (MRI) and spinal surgery to return his dog to an ambulatory, happy and pain free status. After developing insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, cataracts and secondary glaucoma, the owner has to consider humane euthanasia. When approached regarding adopting this lovely dog, Ms. Hill immediately adopted the miniature pincher and provided the financial, emotional and physical support to ensure a complete recovery and ongoing therapy.
Julie Hills story at the VRCC did not stop there.
Julie Hill presented “Shayla” to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology for assessment and direction. As background, “Shayla” was rescued from a puppy mill unable to stand or walk with her hind limbs at 4 months of age. Not long after, Julie volunteered to foster Shayla. We have come to know that Julie has a larger heart than we knew, especially for dogs with special needs. Julie believes all animals deserve a chance for a normal life, just like people with disabilities. Julie informed her husband Jeff that Shayla was just a “foster” and as soon as she recovered, Julie would find her a loving home. Little did Jeff know. Or maybe not.
Julie presented Shayla to Dr. Lane of Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology immediately after bringing her home. Based upon Dr. Lane’s examination, Shayla was suffering from a lower motor neuron disorder to her pelvic limbs. This meant that she did not have nerve innervation to allow for stimulation and movement of the muscles of either pelvic limb. This resulted in the inability to move either pelvic limb and she had lost an incredible amount of muscle mass in her hind limbs. Because of her age and unknown history, it was never determined what caused the problem, whether it was a congenital based problem or if she had sustained trauma during birth or in the post-natal period.
Regardless, Shayla was a happy, energetic and pain free dog. She was also lucky to have an incredibly determined “foster” mother who was prepared to provide all that was necessary to help her build up muscle mass and learn how to use her hind limbs. Shayla was introduced into para cart immediately after presentation to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. In addition, Julie performed hydrotherapy, massage, stretching and range of motion exercises multiple times a day. Shayla responded with a positive attitude and endless energy. Julie had truly found her match.
Shayla has returned to the Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology on two occasions for measurement and cart adjustments to her para cart, as she continues to grow. With Julie and Shayla’s bond and continued efforts, Shayla developed increased muscle mass and increased flexibility and movement of her hind limbs. Shayla was now a fixture in the Hill household. She would not be removed after becoming the anniversary present for Jeff!
Shayla continues to exude love to a caring family who continues to give back. She uses the para cart and is now able to stand and take a couple of unaided steps. Her warm, affectionate and outgoing spirit dominates at all times. She is normal in her mind! This has led to the development of an amazing bond between Shayla, Julie and Jeff. The option for Shayla to be given to another loving home was never an option. Julie has seen to that!
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.
[KGVID poster=”Sammy, Walking with Pacer” width=”730″ height=”410″]http://rockymountainveterinaryneurology.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/video-sammy-pacer-waking.mov[/KGVID]
Dr. Lane and Staff,
A special thank you to you all for taking such good care of our girl, As you can see, she is on the move! Mike and I are forever grateful. – Cindy J
Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology ventured to Boulder, CO on June 2, 2013, to participate in the first annual Paw-Mazing Chase. Hosted by Boulder’s Natural Animal Hospital, this human/canine 5K benefited the Canine Partners of the Rockies, an organization that places service dogs with handicapped individuals. VRCC’s Neurology practice was a proud donor to a great cause and passed out water bottles to keep the participants hydrated! We are looking forward to next year’s event!
What is the Paw-Mazing Chase? A team consists of one person and one dog or two people and at least one dog (please advise that dogs MUST be dog friendly!).
The Paw-Mazing Chase is modeled after the CBS show, The Amazing Race. Teams will receive a sealed envelope with a clue or riddle inside. Deciphering the clue will tell each team which store in the Table Mesa Shopping Center they need to run to next. There will be 20 stops. At each stop an event volunteer will (a) verify the correctly deciphered clue, (b) give their dog(s) a small treat if they are correct and (c) give them the next clue.
Check out the case study of A 7-year-old, neutered male Rottweiler presented for evaluation of progressive gaiting change during the previous 1–1.5 years by Dr. Stephen B. Lane, DVM, Diplomate (ACVIM)—Specialty of Neurology, Veterinary Neurology / Neurosurgery and Lori Fuehrer CVT, VTS (Anesthesia, Neurology).
Neurology Case Study (pdf)
Check out a case study of a 6-year-old, spayed female, Border collie presented with a history of excessive immune response to vaccination by Stephen B. Lane, DVM, Diplomate (ACVIM)—Specialty ofNeurology, Veterinary Neurology / Neurosurgery and Lori Fuehrer CVT, VTS (Anesthesia, Neurology)
Some medications may make your pet think they are more thirsty, but their water requirement my not need to be increased. Consult with your family veterinarian or RMVN for recommendations on how much water your pet requires in a 24-hour period.
Offer your pet a bowl of ice cubes, rather than a bowl of water.
If your pet is waking you up in the middle of the night to go outside, it’s generally okay to remove the water bowl 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, so everyone sleeps through the night. Providing free access to water first thing in the morning will allow your pet to maintain the necessary fluid intake. Please check with your family veterinarian or RMVN prior to limiting your pet’s access to water.
Please join the VRCC on this two-mile walk for animals in Washington Park at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, benefiting the Dumb Friends League.
For more information, check out their website at furryscurry.org
Watch the news story about a Great Pyrenees name Shenandoah who is a service dog to Connie. Shenandoah has progressive weakness in her hind end making it difficult for her to walk long distances and has decreased the activity she and Connie can do together. Dr. Lane and Connie decided that a cart would be helpful. The cart was donated by Doggon’ Wheels.
Aired on January 25, 2013 on Fox 31 News:
:: Archived at Englewood Herald Website
:: Archived at Thornton Sentinel Website
:: Archived at Colorado Community Media, page 24
First annual “Battle of The Veterinary Hospitals Stars” raises over $4,000 for PetAid Colorado’s Disaster Services program.
Coal Creek Animal Hospital triumphs with victory at the Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado charity event over the weekend.
Englewood, CO (September 25, 2012) – Colorado’s pets have over $4,000 more dollars to protect and support them, with that much raised over the weekend with Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado’s “Battle of the Veterinary Hospital Stars” event in Centennial. Hundreds of professionals from 40 area animal hospitals came together to benefit PetAid Disaster Services (formerly Animal Emergency Management Program).
Coming in first place was Coal Creek Animal Hospital, winning a whimsical, traveling trophy of Dalmatian and fire hydrant and large package of prizes for the facility and participants. Second place went to Tender Touch Animal Hospital and third place was Southwest Veterinary Hospital.
“Battle of The Vet Hospital Stars” is the creation of Englewood’s Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado(www.vrcc.com). VRCC) hospital staff and 39 other hospitals from Colorado’s veterinary community competed in this vigorous and ultra-competitive event, supporting the efforts of PetAid Disaster Services, which provides relief for pets during Colorado disasters. In the recent, devastating 2012 fires, PetAid Disaster Services manned animal shelters and provided veterinary care to displaced pets.
VRCC and Antech Diagnostics collaborated to make the event possible, highlighting the services and compassion provided to pets, clients, and veterinary ancillary services throughout the Front Range.
“PetAid Disaster Services is honored to be the beneficiary for this event and without the support of the community and organizations like VRCC, we wouldn’t be able to provide the needed support to pets and their owners during disasters,” said Ralph Johnson, executive director of PetAid Colorado.
The teams competed head-to-head, working to be the best team on the field. Games included Tug-of-War, inflatable obstacle courses, human wrecking ball and lots more exciting and fun challenges.
The event date was chosen in recognition of September as Disaster Preparedness Month in the U.S.
Hydrotherapy, or water therapy can be an alternative or complement to weight-bearing exercise. Hydrotherapy may be beneficial for:
Hydrotherapy encompasses swimming pools, water treadmills and resistance swimming in ‘endless’ pools.
Open swims or free swims are usually large pools to play in. These pools are used for healthy pets in a fitness or maintenance program. They are great for exercise, weight loss and maintaining muscle strength, and just plain fun!
Underwater treadmills are used for rehabilitation and fitness programs. Pets can stand and walk on the treadmill. The level of the water can be adjusted. Higher levels increase buoyancy, reducing the amount of weight bearing needed to exercise. As your pet becomes stronger, the water level can be decreased, making your pet work harder.
Endless pools are used for rehabilitation. Pets that cannot stand or walk for long periods may use the endless pool to build strength. These pools may have jets installed for added resistance swimming. Olympic swimmers use this latter form of hydrotherapy when training.
Yes. Hydrotherapy is one of the best forms of physical therapy. Water buoyancy allows your pet to float unsupported. Without gravity, specific muscle groups can be isolated, maximizing strength training, flexibility and range of motion. This can be helpful during the recovery process from surgery or spinal cord injury. All pets wear a life vest, when hydrotherapy is used for rehabilitation.
The hydrostatic pressure created by the water helps to reduce swelling, by forcing fluid (edema) away from affected areas. Swelling may occur when patients are immobile and lymph fluid is allowed to build up in the extremities.
Increased circulation occurs when warm water is applied on skin and muscles. This dilates blood vessels, allows tissues and muscle to receive more oxygen and nutrients, which allows blood vessels to remove or flush away waste products more efficiently. This process relaxes the muscles, reduces swelling and stiffness, alleviates pain and enhances the healing process. This can increase range of motion of the limbs, resulting in a more relaxed and comfortable pet. Additionally, increased blood flow to the skin improves skin health in recumbent pets.
Hydrotherapy provides movement resistance, thereby increasing the efficiency in your pet’s exercise program. This allows your pet to maintain or build up muscle strength with shorter workouts. Hydrotherapy also provides a great cardiovascular workout, which improves the quality of your pet’s exercise program, overall strength and health.
Your veterinarian and Dr. Lane, will determine this. Approval from your veterinarian, and Dr. Lane, prior to starting any hydrotherapy program is recommended, even if the sole purpose is exercise. A complete physical examination should be performed before your pet’s first session. Ask your veterinarian if your pet is healthy enough and a good candidate for hydrotherapy.
Your veterinarian, and Dr. Lane, should determine this. A 5-minute swim is equivalent to a 5 mile run. Ability and physical condition will determine your pet’s length of exercise. Initially, swim sessions may only last a few minutes, gradually increasing up to 15-20 minutes in length.
Your veterinarian, and Dr. Lane, should determine how many sessions are recommended. Initially, many pets will attend 1-2 times per week. Depending upon the physical condition and ability of your pet, this may be increased to 3-4 times per week.
Please do not feed your dog 2 to 4 hours prior to swimming. This will allow the stomach to empty before exercise.
Maybe not, but most rehabilitation facilities require all pets to wear a life vest while in the water, especially the first few times. Once your pet becomes comfortable with swimming, a life vest may not be needed.
Give your pet a few chances to get used to the water. Your pet’s initial session can be difficult, so keep the session short and offer praise and encouragement at all times.
If you are pursuing hydrotherapy as a part of a rehabilitation program, pain may be a limiting factor during the initial stages of recovery. At first, sessions should be geared for mobility and increased range of motion. Strength and endurance should follow. Patience and support are encouraged. No one said that physical therapy was easy!
Standards are set for water temperature, chemical levels and cleaning. Please ask your physical therapist about their protocols for maintaining cleanliness and water safety. Your veterinarian is a good source for information and recommendations.
Use a bath towel. Roll it up, place the towel under your pet’s abdomen, right in front of the hind legs, with the free ends brought up and over the top of the back much like the handle of a suitcase. By holding the towel ends, you may help take the weight off the rear legs aiding your pet to walk and support while urinating and defecating.
Anytime your pet is weak or cannot use the hind legs, you should contact your family veterinarian or Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology immediately. Pets can become permanently paralyzed without prompt treatment. Please call to schedule an appointment with a board certified veterinary neurologist at Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. We can help determine whether your pet needs assessment on an emergency basis.
A chest harness can be used to help support the front portion of your pet. Use the top part of the chest harness like a suitcase handle to give your pet support and prevent him or her from falling. You may also want to use a bath towel, rolled up and placed under the abdomen, right in front of the hind legs to help support the hind end as you hold up the chest harness.
Anytime your pet is weak or cannot stand/walk you should contact your family veterinarian or Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology immediately. Some pets can become permanently paralyzed without prompt treatment. Please call to schedule an appointment with a board certified veterinary neurologist at Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. We can help determine whether your pet needs assessment on an emergency basis.
By using a chest harness you will be able to help your pet walk and prevent from falling. Use the top part of the chest harness like a suitcase handle to provide support.
Stand on the same side of your pet that they are leaning against or falling toward and allow to lean on you as you walk.
When picking your pet up, have the side of their body that they lean or fall to next to your body. This will ensure your pet feels more secure as they anchor against something solid.
All balance problems are extremely debilitating and need to be addressed as soon as possible by your family veterinarian or a board certified neurologist. Please call Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology to schedule an appointment. We will help determine whether your pet needs assessment on an emergency basis.
It is very important to keep your pet’s skin and fur clean and dry to prevent sores or rashes from developing. If urine is not cleaned off the skin, this will lead to urine scald and breakdown of the normal barriers of the skin.
The use of clear, fragrant free liquid dish detergents and warm water is a safe, economic and efficient way to cleanse your pet’s skin and hair. It is important to ensure the skin is rinsed thoroughly and the skin and fur are dry following washing. Trapping the moisture under the hair leads to bacterial overgrowth on the skin and superficial infection.
Baby wipes can be used to clean dogs with short hair. Wipes work well because they do not leave the skin and fur wet, which increases the occurrence of sores.
A wet towel with clear, fragrant free liquid dish detergent and warm water works well to spot clean your pet, followed by a dry towel and hair dryer to dry the fur.
The use of waterless shampoo products available at most pet stores can be used to spot clean your pet and do not leave the skin and fur wet after cleaning.
Bedsores are areas of skin irritation or sores that most commonly arise over boney processes such as the hip, knee, shoulder and elbow. They develop when pets are immobile, have reduced muscle mass and spend a lot of time lying on the side putting pressure on these areas. The lack of movement and pressure results in a lack of blood flow and skin cell death. Sores begin as a round reddened discoloration. With time the skin will look like a scab only to fall off leaving a round, full thickness defect, or decubital ulcer.
Movement and removal of pressure on the skin, coupled with clean, soft bedding is the best prevention of bedsores.
Rotating your pet frequently through the day, placing folded towels between the legs to eliminate pressure, and ensuring your pet does not spend too much time lying in the same position will also help to prevent bedsores.
If your pet develops a bedsore your family veterinarian or Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology should be alerted and your pet examined to ensure it does not require more attention such as antibiotics or surgical debridement and closure.
Keeping the bedsore clean and dry is the most effective way of managing a bedsore. The use of hydrogen peroxide to flush the bedsore every 2-4 hours in addition to removing the pressure on the sore is the two most effective tools to resolve bedsores.
Lots of soft clean bedding and frequent changes in body position will help prevent the bedsore from becoming larger.
Keeping the wound free of hair and debris is important for the healing process.
When your pet is lying on the affected bedsore put extra padding in that area in the shape of a doughnut, with the bedsore positioned in the center of the doughnut.
A non-stick bandage dressing can be put over the wound when your pet is lying on the affected area to prevent it from sticking to or having too much contact with the bedding.
Consult with the veterinarian who prescribed the medications you are using. Your family veterinarian or Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology may be consulted for guidelines on the amount of food your pet should receive if they prescribed these medications. Over feeding your pet and weight gain can be detrimental to long term health and function. We need to ensure food intake is not being increased beyond need for the treatment of your pet’s medical problem.
If your pet is eating things they shouldn’t, like their bedding or toys, providing chew toys that you can insert food into may help by occupying their time. Giving them something to do to will allow for less time to chew or eat things they shouldn’t.
Vegetables (frozen or cooked)
Kale or Rapini
Always contact your family veterinarian immediately if your pet has a seizure. Without proper treatment, seizures can continue and potentially become life threatening. The expertise of a Board Certified Veterinary Neurologist can often aid in the care of a seizuring pet. Have your veterinarian call us or recommend a referral for further assessment and therapy. We can help determine whether your pet needs assessment on an emergency basis.
When a seizure occurs, ensuring the safety of your pet and your family is most important. Keep your pet away from stairs or ledges, where they may fall. Ensure family members do not come close enough to be accidentally bitten during or after the seizure. Animals do not choke or swallow their tongue during a seizure. Do not put your hand into your pet’s mouth during a seizure. Physical restraint during a seizure will not make the seizure any less violent or reduce the length of the seizure. Move furniture out of the way of your pet and allow the seizure to finish. A calm, quiet, dark environment may help to reduce your pet’s anxiety during recovery.
Understand what normal post-seizure recovery is for your pet. Assess each seizure episode and record the seizure and post-seizure changes. Note all vital changes that would necessitate immediate care and specialized therapy: continuous seizure activity of > 3 minutes without cessation, recurrent seizures without a break of 5-10 minutes and unresponsive mental and behavioral status with increased respirations, heart rate and central body temperature (104-107 degrees Fahrenheit) despite the absence of outward seizure activity. If any of these changes are noted in your pet’s status, please take your pet to the nearest emergency facility immediately for further management.
All pets react differently before, during and after a seizure. Notation of how your pet reacts will help you manage episodes better in the future. All pets become anxious, are disoriented and restless during the post-ictal phase. Allow your pet to wander and “walk it off” in a quiet area. Some pets become very hungry and/or thirsty after a seizure. Allow your pet to eat and drink small amounts of water, once consciousness has returned. Some pets become “clingy” or “needy” seeking attention and comfort. Other pets can become agitated and aggressive. Keeping your pet in a quiet, safe environment is essential in these cases.
A journal of seizure activity is one of the best ways to keep yourself, your neurologist and veterinarian involved and up to date. Your journal is one of the many tools needed, to assess current treatment and to determine whether medical treatment needs to be changed. Journal entries should be presented at the initial examination, all rechecks and annual assessments.
Number of seizures
Date of seizure(s)
Duration of seizure(s)
Duration of post-ictal phase
Medications given before, during and after seizure
Anticonvulsant blood level testing schedule
Any recent change to medication or dosing schedule
Any diet, vitamin or supplement change
All epileptic and recurrent seizure patients will develop a seizure pattern unique to their own. Variation from this pattern and/or increased seizure frequency, duration and recovery from seizures are reasons to alert your veterinarian and/or veterinary neurologist.
Your veterinarian and/or veterinary neurologist will determine when anticonvulsant testing should occur. Inform your doctor if you have recently adjusted the dosage or dosing frequency. Your pet may eat and drink the morning of the blood test. Most anticonvulsant testing should be performed 3-8 hours after medication administration, although times will vary dependent upon the type of anticonvulsant(s) used. At the time of testing, please provide all medication dosages and administration times. Also, please request your pet’s body weight be recorded at the time of testing. This will aid your doctor’s interpretation and any dosage adjustments.
My pet seems fine, but her/his facial expression is not the same as it was yesterday. There is drool coming from the side of the mouth, and my pet appears unable to blink on the same side. A fleshy membrane will flick across the eye if I attempt to touch my pet’s face.
Rest assured, this is a common problem facing small animal companion animals. Cranial, or head, nerve disorders can involve any of the nerves of the head and face. The facial nerves are the most frequent nerves to be affected. Dysfunction of the facial nerve(s) can present as the sudden inability to blink or move the lips and ear on the side of nerve failure (facial nerve dysfunction). This may affect one or both sides of the face, at the same time or separated by hours or months.
The sudden failure of the facial nerve function results in loss of muscle tone, motor function and maintenance of muscle mass of the innervated muscle fibers receiving nerve supply. In this case, the muscles of facial expression become non-functional. Your pet’s lip(s) may droop, the ear(s) may remain upward or drooped without movement, and you may notice the third eyelid move across the eye if you move you hand toward the face. This latter movement is a protective mechanism and demonstrates that vision is intact, but your pet cannot blink the eye closed for protection of the eye. With time, contracture (shortening of the muscle fibers) will cause the denervated (muscles lacking nerve supply) muscle fibers to pull back, or contract, making the drooping lips look more normal.
In most cases, facial nerve dysfunction is a benign, non-progressive neuropathy, or nerve dysfunction. This is a preprogrammed, likely genetic, failure of nerve function. Changes are sudden in onset and often permanent.
Identifying other underlying causes, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), which can be reversed, is the goal. It is important to have your veterinarian assess your pet as soon as possible after you notice any signs of facial change. Your veterinarian may recommended that a board certified veterinary neurologist examine your pet to ensure the noted nerve dysfunction does not represent a more serious condition.
Dysfunction of the nerves of the mouth and throat can present with difficulty prehending (act of taking food or water into the mouth), swallowing (act of moving the food bolus or water from the mouth to the pharynx and into the swallow tube, esophagus and transport to the stomach). These cranial neuropathies can present a challenge to ensuring your pet maintains normal hydration and nourishment. Complications can be life threatening, if not diagnosed and treated properly.
Pet Memorial – “Decker Perera”. On November 13th, 2012 Decker passed away, cradled in his mother’s arms.
Dear Dr. Lane, Lori, Stacey and others at VRCC neurology,
I felt moved to share my gratitude to you all for helping my little Jack Russell Terrier, Decker back in 2008 and 2009. We came to you in grave need and you helped give my little guy 4 years of life when many thought it wasn’t meant to be.
Dr. Lane, I remember when he seemed to be at his worst, as we stood outside his “cage” at VRCC, I asked if you sincerely had hope for him. You paused for a bit and said, “yes.” Thank you!
Lori, you came all the way to Boulder to deliver and adjust his set of wheels. Thank you!
Stacey, I just knew you dearly cared for him. Thank you!
With deep appreciation,
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.