In general, I find cats and dogs to be pretty fascinating subjects. I think it’s evidence enough that I write a blog about them. But even more than that, it’s incredible when you think about the variety of breeds within our small subset of the animal kindgom. You’ve got hairless cats, long haired cats, big cats, small cats. Dogs the size of houses and others the size of teacups. Dogs with short legs and others with long. Incredible how we are all so similar and yet so different at the same time.
Unfortunately, not all that comes with this beautiful diversity is good—each breed comes with their own health problems. Just last week in fact, a 5 year old male, neutered, Dachsund came in with a condition that shows up most frequently in dogs with short legs and long backs. Anyway, this poor pooch comes in with his back all hunched up, unable to walk, showing real, severe pain in his lower back. He is basically immobilized he’s in such distress. An X-ray revealed that he had some narrowed disc spaces in the middle of his back.
Treating the nerve pain, the doc gave him some some anti inflammatory cortisone and a medicine called gabapentin and sent him on his way. The next day, he comes back in unable to walk at all. Sensing that the dog has a blown disc—a situation that requires a specialists intervention—Dr. S. sends him to a surgeon. Once there, the surgeon tells the little guy’s parents that he needs emergency surgery to remove disc material which is the cause of the pain. The parents, eager to get their dog all healed up, agree to the surgery and three days, later, he’s healed and back to normal.
All animals are beautiful but with each breed comes complications. So if you’re the owner of a pooch of a certain breed, it’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with some of the conditions specific to your pet. Most can be treated but the sooner you spot the problem, the better.
Til’ next time,