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Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurologist, Best Animal Vet Neurologist, Steve Lane

Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology
3550 South Inca Street
Englewood, CO 80110

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CLINIC HOURS: Call to schedule Appointment, Diagnostics, Laboratory Testing


AFTER-HOURS & ER: Please contact our Main Number 303-874-2081 or the VRCC located across the street from us 303-874-7387




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September 24, 2014 Pet Wheelchair Carts0

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!


March 14, 2012 Featured Patients0

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.


February 7, 2012 Featured Patients0

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.


February 7, 2012 Featured Patients0

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.


February 7, 2012 Featured Patients0

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.


February 7, 2012 Pet Wheelchair Carts0

Emma is a 13-year-old DSH cat that came to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in September of 2011. Emma experienced sudden onset of inability to walk on all limbs (tetraparesis). Emma could move her back legs but was unable to stand or walk on her own. Following magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her cervical (neck) spinal cord it was determined that Emma had suffered a stroke in her cervical spinal cord. This is the result of blockage of a blood vessel feeding the spinal cord.

Emma remained hospitalized under Dr. Lane’s care for close to a week. The staff of Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology performed physical therapy, passive range of motion and massage on her frequently throughout the day. When Emma began pushing herself around, she was placed in a tetra cart to help with her rehabilitation. Almost immediately Emma was trying to walk. She was able to push off with her hind limbs and propel herself forward. Three weeks after her injury Emma was walking without the use of the quad cart. She is still very weak, but continues to improve.

Emma demonstrated a great personality during her stay. She is one of the only cats to tolerate the tetra cart. She allowed the staff to do anything necessary without complaint. Emma was also very talkative despite the infarction making her voice soft and weak. Emma would “mouth” a meow without audible noise when spoken to. Emma is destined to enjoy a lifetime walking and talking.




February 6, 2012 Featured Patients0

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.




February 6, 2012 Featured Patients0

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.




August 22, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


July 27, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 23, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 9, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Testimonials0

“We are writing to give a testimonial to Dr. Lane on behalf of our beloved longhaired Dachshund Shay Nelson. At five years old Dr. Lane did spinal surgery on Shay’s neck and as promised she came through better than new. At eight years old Shay again had spinal surgery on her back and again, as promised by Dr. Lane, came through the surgery better than new. We’ve just lost our beloved Shay at 13 years 8 months old to an unrelated situation but want to thank Dr. Lane for giving our little girl the absolute best five years of her life. She ran, jumped and played like a pup until the end, thanks entirely to Dr. Lane. We are so eternally grateful”… John & Cheryl Nelson Pagosa Springs, CO.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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!


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

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.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

Is it hot in here or is it just me? Actually, I am just waiting for more chilled de-ionized water. Where else can you get 5-Star treatment from a specialty neurology service? Foxy Lady is recovering from an unusual antibiotic induced reaction affecting her coordination center of her brain.  With a full recovery expected, Foxy is now at home with her mother. Life is now looking better.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

Dylan arrived to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology with the ability to win over the hearts of the hospital staff. This not only demonstrated his intellect, but his uncanny ability to find a way into our hearts. Dylan was battling a spinal cord disease that was destroying the function of his cervical (within his neck) spinal cord. Dylan had progressed to the point where he could no longer walk before presenting for further assessment and help. Following the neurological examination, Dylan underwent magnetic resonance imaging to define the cause and extent of his spinal cord dysfunction. Multiple compressions were found to be present in his neck. Surgical decompression followed with steady neurologic recovery noted. Dylan was discharged with a very promising future.

Despite the supportive efforts of his devoted owner, Dylan developed sudden and painful spinal cord dysfunction. Repeat imaging defined his problem to be caused by infection at his surgery site with reactive tissue compression of his spinal cord. Dylan again underwent surgery and the helping hands of the neurology staff. If it is true that lifelong bonds are defined by adversity and challenge, Dylan has many ties to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology. As your picture demonstrates Dylan, you are again a force to be reckoned with.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

Rajah, the angelic-appearing Pomeranian in this photo has always enjoyed an active and outgoing lifestyle. Crippled by severe neck pain, Rajah was unable to enjoy racing up the stairs with BJ. Despite excellent medical care, Rajah was unable to function. Rajah was referred to RMVN and with magnetic resonance imaging, was diagnosed with a ruptured (herniated) disc. Dr. Lane performed surgery; with immediate relief of the neck pain Rajah was experiencing. Rajah now waits for the go ahead to race up the stairs again with BJ. On your mark, get set…

June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

“Eukie” Tarry – Malamute

We are often asked to define happiness for our pets. Eukie’s owners, Holly and Jason, allowed Eukie to dictate this pleasure for himself and his parents. They had no idea they were his vehicle. The picture cannot provide insight to the personality this dog had. Eukie greeted Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology with a friendly and helpful attitude, despite the inability to walk without weakness, discomfort and collapse. His family knew he was failing and asked for help.

Eukie underwent further testing which allowed for the diagnosis of idiopathic femoral thrombosis. Eukie had blockages of the main blood vessels providing blood flow to his rear legs. This resulted in inadequate delivery of energy molecules and the removal of toxic by-products from muscle function. The result, failure of muscle function and pain.

Aggressive management was implemented to thin his blood and increase blood flow to his muscles. Eukie never complained. After going home with his family, Eukie experienced a sudden lung complication from his disease resulting in respiratory difficulty and hospitalization. Even when fighting to breathe, Eukie found time to bay and howl! Sadly, Eukie slipped farther from our care despite a strong effort. Holly and Jason were asked to look inside and make the most difficult decision of their lives for their life-long companion. The Tarrys made this decision out of love as well as in thanks for all that Eukie had done for them and for the people he touched.

Your beautiful photograph demonstrates the joy he had with you both. Many of us will never begin to enjoy that which you gave to Eukie, and he returned to you 10 fold! We must also believe Eukie is still at the summit waiting. Eukie will be missed but never forgotten. Our thoughts are with you both and your companion.


June 8, 2011 Featured Patients0

“Zeke” Triplett – Bull Mastiff

It is memorable for a specialty veterinarian to meet a remarkable pet. Zeke was introduced to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology suffering from a left thoracic-limb lameness where diagnosis had remained elusive. Despite experiencing pain in the left front leg, Zeke always greeted everyone with a wagging tail, a smile, and a head butt for affection.

Zeke presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in December of 2009. Zeke was assessed on multiple occasions, undergoing 2 magnetic resonance imaging studies to further define his problem. On the second imaging study, a soft-tissue enlargement was identified on the underside of the left shoulder joint. Surgical exploration of the mass lesion revealed an infected joint capsule tumor, a synovial cell sarcoma.

Despite the pain and treatment, Zeke continued to provoke affection and provide everyone with a happy, outgoing nature. Zeke would carry his animal toy within his mouth at all times, challenging anyone to take it from him, all the while wagging his tail. Despite all efforts to show he was doing well, Zeke continued to decline. Zeke’s left leg was amputated, and the tumor removed. Zeke temporarily rallied with improved function and quality of life giving the feeling of success for the valiant soldier. This was short lived, when a persistent cough and reduced appetite concerned his owners. Repeat assessment and evidence of metastases of the cancer to his lungs was identified.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Zeke’s parents, Andy and Dhiannon, remained positive, returning Zeke’s love to the degree that no others could have. They were at the forefront of Zeke’s care with attendant calls for help and further therapy. All was attempted to cure Zeke and provide a quality of life. Faced with making the ultimate decision for a valued part of their family, both Andy and Dhiannon asked Dr. Lane for his advice. The answer was easy, “It is time. You must now say goodbye to a valued family member.” Zeke was let go while at home with his loving family.

In my specialty career, I have met and helped the most amazing pet owners and animals. Each is different, special, and unforgettable. Zeke always demonstrated a positive, powerful, and persuasive personality (The 3 “P’s”) and outlook on life. We now know Zeke is in a better place and pain free. What an amazing life offered by this gentle giant. Our thoughts go with you Andy and Dhiannon. Zeke and the both of you will not soon be forgotten. Zeke will be missed by many.

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