Pet of the Month: March 2011
“Delilah” Fuehrer – Mastiff
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.