Pet of the month: Evie

Pet of the Month: EvieWe got Evie as a nine week old puppy and have had the pleasure of bringing her into our family. She is a sweet girl, a typical Bernese Mountain Dog, she loves people and other dogs. She has an 11 month old Berner companion at home that she tolerates for now. He is ALL puppy!

This past summer, Evie underwent physical therapy for a small tear in her left knee. She has not been a fan of veterinary clinics since having TPLO (Tibial-Plateau-Leveling Ostotomy) surgery on her other knee at 1 ½ years old and as such, she walks into an exam room, she plants her butt against the wall near the door and anxiously waits to leave. Both Dr. Morgan and Sarah had a few tricks up their sleeves, however, to help Evie through her treatment and she really warmed up to them. As a result, her rehabilitation treatments went very well.

Around the holidays Evie began dragging her front paws and was walking very stiffly with her front legs. We again brought her to see Dr. Morgan as we thought she may just need some additional physical therapy. Dr. Morgan recommended x-rays, some acupuncture, and spinal manipulation. The x-rays showed some arthritis in the neck but she could not rule out Wobblers Syndrome. We did several weeks of treatment and Evie improved, but not as much as we had hoped. Dr. Morgan then recommended seeing a neurologist. We took her advice and had further testing done. Evie was diagnosed with Wobblers Syndrome. (Wobblers is a disease of the cervical spine that is commonly seen in large breed dogs. It is characterized by compression of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots which can lead to neurological signs or neck pain.)

With not having alot of successful treatment options available for this illness, we chose to have spinal surgery performed. The surgeon said the surgery had an 80-85% chance success rate. The surgery went well but required more interaction with her spinal cord than originally planned, which meant some initial temporary setbacks. Though not really sure what to expect, we were happy the surgery went well and now the rest was up us-and Evie.

When Evie came home she could not walk. This was challenging enough when you have a 103 pound dog! We used a sled and a ‘Help Em Up Harness’ to get her outside. The surgeon recommended starting with physical therapy right away, so again we contacted Dr. Morgan to begin rehabilitation program. We knew this was vital for her recovery. Because of her inability to walk, at her first visit we had to bring her in on a gurney. Five days later, she was able to walk in the door with some assistance.

 I will never forget the look on Dr. Morgan’s and Sarah’s faces. They just lit up when they saw her. The staff was so happy to see her progress as well. Every visit she continues to improve and today, six weeks post-surgery, she is walking, getting up on her own, and is happy to be a dog again! We knew things were looking up the first time she laid outside and howled at the neighbor dogs to let them know she was still around. Evie has a long way to go in her recovery, but we are all committed to her success and she’s making more and more progress every day!

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