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Murphy’s Story

Murphy came to Crown Vets Referrals as an emergency, having become inappetant and appearing to be in pain. His owners had noticed that he seemed to be walking with a very arched back and had noticed him falling occasionally on his back legs. A clinical and neurological examination suggested this may be due to a problem with his spinal cord.

 

With the problem getting quickly worse and Murphy losing the use of his back legs, we decided to investigate things a further using a special xray technique called a myelogram. This involves carefully injecting a contrast liquid around the spinal cord which allows us to see any areas where the cord is being compressed and affecting nerve transmission. This confirmed our suspicion that Murphy had a problem with the cushions between the vertebrae called discs, which had burst out of their normal position and were compressing the spinal cord in at least 2 places (blue arrows on the xray). This is a very serious problem which in Murphy's case was getting worse, making surgery the only option.

Murphy Myelogram with arrows

The following day Murphy underwent spinal surgery to relieve points of compression, in a technique known as a hemilaminectomy. We carefully removed the bone from the side of the verterbral canal to create windows over the ruptured discs, delicately removing all the offending material.

 

One week later and Murphy was walking, free of pain with all his neurological function back.