Lilly is one of our senior girls who has been ageing gracefully with the help of a bit of pain relief for general stiffness. Unfortunately in November, as Lilly was leaping into the car after a walk, she took a tumble, did a somersault and was unable to walk. On examination she was very painful, knuckling on her left front leg and unable to bear any weight on her hind limbs. We were very concerned that Lilly may have a serious spinal injury so she was admitted for pain relief and intensive nursing care, and started on intravenous fluids to improve the blood supply to her limbs.
By the following morning she was able to walk although she was still very weak, so she went home with additional pain relief.
A few days later she was moving reasonably well but seemed disorientated and had vomiting and diarrhoea with blood. Occasionally this can be caused by a reaction to painkillers so we stopped all of this medication and started treatment with antacids and anti-nausea medication. She continued to be very weak and painful so was admitted again for further fluid therapy and x-rays. These showed spondylosis (bony bridges between the vertebrae) and a possible area of spinal compression.
At this point we were concerned that we may not be able to keep Lilly comfortable enough for her to have a good quality of life. Fortunately, after a further 24 hours of fluids, pain relief and nursing care she was brighter and walking better, so was discharged.
The next day her owner told us that she was eating and had run up and down the stairs! She still has reduced awareness in her left hind and stiffness in her right hind, but is able to move around much more normally. Her digestive signs have also resolved and she is now out and about enjoying walks in the countryside once again.