29 Oct Amber’s Hemilaminectomy
Amber is a 10 1/2 year old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. She has always been a fairly active dog but somewhere along the way we noticed some small changes. She no longer jumped up on the bed, no more lounging on the back of the couch to look out the window, and less sleeping on her back. I didn’t think much of it since she was getting older and never seemed to show any obvious signs of discomfort. This all changed in June of this year.
While racing through the house at top speed (which is the only speed she knows), Amber slammed her hip into a wall post in our house. The damage was instant and so was the pain. Amber was non weight bearing on her back right leg for days. X-rays showed a back injury and evidence of an older injury. This older injury likely caused the subtle changes I listed above. After a few laser and acupuncture treatments she improved, but not for long. One evening a couple of weeks later Amber went to stand up and this set her back into even worse pain. Again it was instant and this relapse appeared to be even more painful.
It was at this point that our vet referred us to BBVSH and Dr. Gordon. Not only did BBVSH phone and book us for a next day consultation, they were able to keep Amber and do their diagnostic testing right away. Once Dr. Gordon confirmed his suspicions and phoned me to discuss them, he was able to go straight into surgery with Amber. Dr. Gordon and his team performed a Hemilaminectomy on Amber. Surgery went well and was well within the estimated cost. Amber was stable and well enough to come home the next evening.
We followed her home care instructions exactly and luckily she didn’t even mind being in a crate or x-pen for almost 7 weeks. Small walks of 5 minutes per walk were introduced at this point. We gradually increased this to several times daily and then slowly increased the time.
Her recovery has been amazing. We are averaging 3-4.5kms per day now with her. Amber is once again relaxing on the back of the couch, sleeping on my bed (Tisk Tisk) and sleeping on her back…as many Tollers do! She really enjoys her walks and I am certain her movement has changed. She now appears to prance along so smoothly. Just like she is floating and obviously pain free! I can’t thank everyone at BBVSH enough for the wonderful and immediate care they gave to Amber. This surgery has given her a new life. We are so grateful!