Hello, my name is Abby and I have two dogs, Toffee the Labradoodle aged five and Bonnie the Cockapoo aged three. Bonnie is an American Cockapoo and like most other young dogs is an active and athletic dog with heaps of energy.
In April 2011 she suffered a slipped disk. We first noticed that she wasn't right during a Friday evening. I had lifted her up to sit on my lap and she seemed in pain. We took her up to bed with us that night and she woke us at 5am grunting in pain. She was holding herself funny and I called the vet. She was seen and given pain killers and we were sent home. During the morning I took her back to the vet and they thought she had just pulled a muscle but they were concerned as she had trouble weight bearing on her four legs. As the day went on she got worst and at 4pm she was unable to stand up and we saw the vet again. She was then diagnosed a potential back injury and we were told to rush to the Willows Vetinary Centre in Birmingham which was a forty five minute journey from us. I couldn't get my head around what was happening, she hadn't done anything to cause this. We rushed over to the Willows with our kids and Bonnie. When we got there a team of nurses and vets took Bonnie and we sat in the waiting room. It was surreal.
The surgeon saw us and explained that they would give Bonnie an MRI scan and then ring us. We then went home and he rang us a few hours later and told us she had slipped her disk over four vertebrae and that her chance of a full recovery was 75%.
The surgery to basically hoover out the disk and replace the bone with cartilage went ahead and at 11pm that night she was recovering. I was just numb. She stayed at the hospital for 5 days and we collected her to begin the long road to recovery. She was so pleased to see us and we came home with medication, exercises to do and a sling to put under her belly to help her stand. We put the crate in the living room and filled it with her favorite toys as she would be spending the next 12 weeks on strict crate rest. She lost all control of her bladder so we had to take her to the vets to be expressed. We only had to do this once as 3 days after she came home she wagged her tail so we knew she had some feeling and the next day she had a wee all by herself.
It was very tough going to begin with, my family were fantastic and had our two children for a week while my husband and I tried to get our heads around caring for Bonnie. I got in contact with a man who is a physiotherapist who offered hydrotherapy to dogs. His name is Shahad and runs the WitzEnd Centre in Leicester. After two weeks we went to see him and he gave us lots of things to help Bonnie. Everyday she had medication to still take, massage 3 x a day, stretching 3 x day, paw sensation work 3 x day and magnetic therapy 3 x day. She started physiotherapy and after a month she could stand for about 10 seconds. As time went on with lots of input from us she slowly began to get her mojo back!
Our follow up appointment at the willows hospital was 12 weeks after her op and I was determined she would walk into the waiting room and she did. The vet and nurses were so pleased with her progress.
She has made an amazing recovery. She has made a 90% recovery in my eyes. She is a little weaker on one side but enjoys running, jumping and doing all the things she did before.
The Willows Vetinary Centre treats four hundred dogs per year with slipped disks. It is as common in dogs as humans. The crucial thing that enabled Bonnie make such an amazing recovery was that we acted quickly. Dogs who have surgery in the first 24 hours are far more likely to make a better recovery than those who don't. Bonnie is a true inspiration to us.
The Cockapoo Owners Club would like to thank Abby and Bonnie for sharing their amazing story with our members.
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