Multidisciplinary Approach Sees Tetraplegic Dog Running Again
A 50kg American bulldog who became tetraplegic after being hit by a lorry is now running again thanks to multidisciplinary treatment at one of the UK’s leading small animal hospitals.
Six-year-old Caesar was treated at Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull, after he was left with a fractured neck that meant he was paralysed in his front legs and had very little movement in his back legs.
In just eight days, following multidisciplinary treatment involving specialists from neurology, imaging and anesthesia, alongside veterinary physiotherapists, Caesar was able to walk by himself.
Caesar’s incredible willpower to get back on his feet led the veterinary physiotherapy team at Willows to say: “Caesar is the most determined dog we have ever met.”
Caesar spent eight days at Willows after his surgery, which was performed by head of neurology Sebastian Behr and resident in veterinary neurology Victoria Indjova and has since undergone rehabilitation treatment at the hospital, including veterinary physiotherapy.
Sebastian said: “Caesar benefitted from the invaluable input of Vet3D for presurgical planning and then round the clock supportive care from our neurology and ward nurses alongside our veterinary physiotherapy service.”
Fellow neurology surgeon, Victoria, said: “Caesar wanted to move and walk as soon as he recovered from surgery. Our rehabilitation team started assisted physiotherapy exercises which encouraged him to start moving again.
“He enjoyed his rehabilitation sessions so much and became stronger each day until he was pulling the team around the yard! Just three months later, Caesar has made a complete recovery and is back to running around his favourite field.”
Leading Caesar’s physiotherapy was Emma Box, head of physiotherapy and rehabilitation at Willows.
Alongside Emma, there would often be four or five members of the nursing team working with Caesar at the same time. Initial treatment was three times a day, moving his legs for him as he lay down to mimic movement, which then progressed to using a hoist and harness so he could stand.
As he improved, Caesar was challenged even further with assisted sitting and standing. Upon his discharge, he was prescribed a home exercise programme.
Emma said: “Caesar was a particularly positive patient and his eyes lit up when he was able to stand up. He is an inspiration and has made a full recovery.”
Grateful owner Nigel Smith, from Worcester, said: “The surgeon was very clear in the diagnosis and explanation of the treatment. They looked after him tremendously and were very aware of his anxiety around other dogs.
“Amazingly, he’s now almost 100 per cent being back to how he used to be. He does have things that only we notice, such as a slight weakness on his right side and a droop in his right eye, but he does everything he used to do.
“The team at Willows do incredible things that would not normally seem possible.”
Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.
To find out more about Willows’ wide range of specialist services, visit www.willows.uk.net or search for Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service on Facebook.