Rolo the sausage dog with loss of hindlimb movement!
Rolo is a 5yo miniature dachshund dog who first started seeing McTimoney Animal Chiropractor Naomi Collis when he was 3 year old, after starting to have episodes of muscle spasm causing him to freeze and not move for short periods of time. His owner Neil Barbour had taken him to the vet and been prescribed medication that could be given when these spasms occurred which made Rolo more comfortable but Neil wanted to try and stop them from happening so contacted Naomi with permission from their vet.
Naomi remembers, “Rolo presented with an arched spine and a significant pelvis tilt and rotation on the left side, meaning that he wasn’t able to stand straight particularly in his hindquarters. After two treatments Rolo’s episodes of spasm had stopped completely and he no longer needed his medication. I continue to treat Rolo once a month for maintenance.”
However, in August this year Rolo had a sudden decline in mobility, displaying weakness and loss of sensation in his hind limbs. Neil describes, “Rolo was unable to get out of his bed, and we noticed his hind quarters were completely paralysed. He was only able to pull himself along using his front legs. I booked an emergency appt at our local vets, Rolo was x-rayed and examined.” The outcome was an issue with his disk which was severely calcified. The vet said “there is nothing we can do to fix this, the calcification is in the worst place possible.” X-rays revealed that Rolo had significant calcification of the intervertebral disc between his last lumbar and sacral vertebrae. This was severely hampering Rolo’s mobility and causing him discomfort. Rolo was put on medication to relieve any pain and inflammation but he was still not able to use his hind legs properly and was depressed too. Naomi states, “Neil was concerned about his quality of life if his immobility was to continue, so with permission from the vet who had specified McTimoney chiropractic treatment, they asked me to treat him.”
Neil continues, “We as a family thought this was the end for Rolo. After leaving the vets I called Naomi to see if she can see him ASAP. She of course made time and saw Rolo the next day. I have NO idea what Naomi did or how she did it, but after 30 mins of treatment Rolo was able to stand on all 4 legs! This is a dog that was literally paralysed. I took him home, he slept for a few hours, woke up and then proceeded to run around the garden at speed… It was beyond what we thought would be possible for him. He is back to full heath and we cannot thank Naomi enough for what she has/continues to do for our animals, (still no idea what she actually does but it works!)“.
Naomi felt that it was likely that the calcified disc found in the X-ray had been there for a long time and the spasms that Rolo presented with when she first started treating him may have been a result of compensation for this even though it hadn’t been diagnosed at this time. This recent flare up resulted in hind limb weakness due to the interruption of nerve signals which meant that Rolo presented with little to no proprioceptive or reflex responses in his back feet. Naomi describes, “I gave a very cautious treatment as I did not want to further aggravate any potential spinal cord compression in the lumbosacral region. I adjusted Rolo’s neck and thoracic vertebrae on the right side, and his early lumbar vertebrae on the left but I did not adjust the last few lumbar vertebrae and I avoided pelvic adjustment, choosing to only do myofascial release around the hind end.” Adapting and individualising treatment is always important in these cases to ensure that maximum benefit is achieved, and McTimoney Animal Chiropractors have completed in-depth university-validated training at Masters level to be able to work on these types of rehabilitation cases.
Despite the severity of his condition, Rolo exceeded all expectations and made a full recovery. Naomi states, “I gave Rolo a follow up treatment two weeks later and his reflex and proprioceptive responses in his hind feet were back to normal. Without his chiropractic treatments, I believe Rolo would have declined quickly and had a poor quality of life due to the pain and restrictions caused by the calcified disc in his back and his body’s attempts to compensate for this. Rolo’s response to treatment was almost miraculous and both myself and Neil had not expected such huge improvement and so quickly.”
Rolo is now completely back to normal and happily running around terrorising the other sausage dogs in his family. Neil is well aware that Rolo’s back condition is likely to worsen over time and possibly get to the stage where treatment may not help anymore but until then he will continue to receive his monthly maintenance treatment and be allowed to live an unrestricted happy sausage dog life!
Naomi Collis is a McTimoney Animal Practitioner and Myofascial Release therapist based in Dorset, 07714 640 775.