Unfortunately, at the end of May 2021, Freddy was suddenly unable to use his hind legs to walk. He was referred to our neurology service by his primary veterinarian to get to the bottom of the issue. A herniated disk was suspected, so an MRI was performed of his spine to see what was causing the paresis (hind end weakness). He had a similar episode a month prior, but, unlike this time, he was walking the next day. An MRI showed an intervertebral disk herniation between the right side of the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae, which was causing significant spinal compression and spinal cord edema. There was also a herniation between the right 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae that was causing moderate spinal cord compression.
Meet Freddy, the adorable 13-year-old Basset Hound! Two ½ years ago, his owner passed away, and her son became Freddy’s new human. He drove Freddy from Florida to Washington to live with him, and during this road trip to Washington, Freddy unexpectedly started a social media career and has many followers now!
Although Freddy would need spinal surgery to repair the disk herniation, his overall prognosis for functional recovery was good! A procedure called a hemilaminectomy was scheduled to repair his back and restore mobility to his hind legs so he could walk again. A hemilaminectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the lamina (vertebral bone) on either the right or left side of the vertebral bodies. This allows our neurologists to visualize the spinal cord and the disc, which facilitates the removal of the disc material. Once the spinal cord is decompressed, it can begin the process of healing.
Freddy’s surgery went well, and after spending a night in our ICU, he was able to go home with his human. Two weeks after Freddy’s surgery, he had a recheck examination with our neurologist, Dr. Kerns. Although he was still unable to walk, the mobility of his limbs was slightly improved, especially on the left side. He was fitted with a “Help-em-up” harness to encourage Freddy to start using his legs and help save his humans back!
Freddy will need physical therapy and rest to heal, but we are hopeful he will be walking the local dog parks with his social media followers again. You can read more about Freddy’s adventures on his website and follow him on Instagram and Facebook, @FreddytheBassett.