Finding of the neurological examination:
BeAnne had evidence of right fore and hind limb paresis consistent with either a brainstem injury or a high neck injury. BeAnne would also tend to curve her body to the right, and ther was a tendency to circle to the right.
MRI confirmed the presence of a traumatic disc extrusion in the high neck (between the 2nd and 3rd neck vertebrae, with right-sided spinal cord damage…..
Right-sided traumatic disc extrusion in the upper neck. There is moderate to severe spinal cord bruising…..
…. I would expect BeAnne to slowly improve over the next few months, but there is likely to always be some right thoracic and pelvic limb weakness or incoordination. Beyond the how (?) severely affected BeANne was at presentation, and the severity of the changes on MR imaging, there is no other way of knowing whether BeAnne will improve, and to what extent BeAnne will improve. We can only wait and see. In some dogs there is unfortunately a poor improvement.
BeAnne should be encouraged to exercise on soft (non-abrasive) surfaces so that she does not damage the tops of her paws as a result of dragging them. BeAnne may benefit from some support with a harness until she is strong enough to support herself. There should be a gradual improvement over the next few weeks.
While I write this, BeAnne is sleeping in her bed under my desk covered with her favourite blankie. When I went to feed Albie his lunch, she pottered about outside but stayed with Lambie in the stable instead of following me to the field. She waits to be carried over the hard ground and I put her down onto the soft grass.
Darling little BeAnne. She did her absolute best – brave and wonderful. I am so proud of her.