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Story of the Month - April 2005    



During July 4, I was at a show in Sarnia, Ontario. Rowdy and I were preparing to go in to the ring and I noticed that his gait was slightly off. I immediately put him back in the crate and rested him. If only I had known that this was the beginning of a nightmare.

The next day, as he stood up, he was quivering, knuckled over on his rear leg. I immediately called my vet, who unfortunately could not see us. I then took him to the emergency clinic, and plain films didn’t reveal anything, so along came the steroids and crate rest for two weeks. I took him back to my vet one week later as he improved slightly, but enough to show improvement.

We were referred to Dr. Jared Galle at the animal neurological center in Canton, Michigan. Our consultation revealed that Rowdy most likely had a ruptured disc. He needed immediate surgery as he was starting to show signs of an unsteady gait. The next day he had a laminectomy. His recovery from this surgery was difficult. He did not walk for five days. Then, he decided to get up and start walking. Every day I visited him and walked him with the sling as well as the staff. Physical therapy started day one.

After discharge, he started the water therapy within three weeks for six months. Rowdy really enjoyed this. We called this water school. All I had to do was to get the detangler spray out and he knew right where we were going!

Around the beginning of January, he started to act a very slightly painful, so we stopped the physical therapy. Rowdy was going to make a return to the obedience ring in the end of the month. I quickly called Dr. Galle’s office and made an appointment for him. We tried a low dose of prednisone for three weeks, but within three days he declined. Back to Dr. Galle’s office for an MRI, which revealed another ruptured disc. Rowdy then had his second laminectomy and a fenestration on January 14, 2005, almost six months to the day of his first surgery. This time, he walked the next day!

It is almost seven weeks since his surgery. It is very difficult to keep him quiet, hence the name of Rowdy. He is being given a gradual return to freedom, and he is starting back to obedience classes as one of our demo dogs for small exercises. He continues to improve daily. Albeit his rear end is still ataxic, he is happy, obnoxious, has bowel and bladder control, and can get around at the speed of light! We hope for a continued recovery, and only an occasional visit to Dr. Galle for well checkups.

Jessica Meier RN and American, Canadian, UKC Grand Champion Gemdach’s Causin N Uproar L CGC, aka. Rowdy

- submitted by Jessica Meier


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