Pet of the Month: February 2011

petofthemonth_0211_1“Brautwurst” Scott – Dachshund

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.

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