Pet of the Month: April 2011

petofthemonth_0611_2“Buster” Berry – Chocolate Labrador

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.

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