Meet Seth! He is an older, very active yorkie that injured his back one day while playing. His mom took him to South Anderson Veterinary Clinic and he was diagnosed with a slipped disc. Most dogs with a slipped disc are painful and may have problems walking or moving their legs, but Seth is not most dogs. He is special because his injury was chronic and resulted in too much movement in his spine.
He still wanted to run, jump and play but when he did his spine would "pop" as the bones in his back crunched against each other. Seth had damaged the ligaments that hold the joints in his back together where he had the slipped disc. The excessive movement when his spine would "pop" is a problem as it could damage his spinal cord and cause him to have permanent damage and become paralyzed. Seth's mom took him to see Dr. Busick to find a way to heal his spine.
Radiographs (x-rays) of Seth's spine show an area where his disc space is narrow when compared to the other disc spaces. He also has signs of arthritis in that area.
Ideally, Seth would have had surgery to stabilize his spine, but he has other serious medical conditions that made him a poor surgical candidate. Instead, Seth received a custom built back brace to immobilize his spine when he moves and allow his spine to heal. The hope was that with 3 months of immobilization enough scar tissue would form to keep his spine from "popping" when he moves.
Seth is always such a happy, cooperative guy when here for visits! He is pictured here with his temporary back brace made of bandaging material and metal pins. This works well short term but when braces or splints are needed for longer than a couple of weeks a more permanent brace is ideal.
Dr. Busick measured Seth and constructed a custom built permanent back brace out of cloth and metal pins to immobilize his spine. This brace can be taken off to be washed and to get him groomed when needed, and is a better long term option for dogs like Seth. Every time he comes in for a recheck his spine feels more stable and "popping" is no longer heard when he moves.
After 3 months of wearing his back brace all the time his spine became stable again and no longer "popped" when he moved. He has since returned to normal activity and has been doing well brace free for over a year now!
If you are interested in learning more about specialized braces,
canine rehabilitation or have questions about your pet please contact us!