"Aurey" Parsons - Herniated Disk/Pneumothorax - Case of the Month
Aurey is a four-year-old spayed female mixed breed. She was hit by a car and was taken to the After Hours Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Hickory on a Saturday night. She was in shock and was stabilized and her injuries were evaluated. She had fractured ribs on her right side, a closed pneumothorax, and a luxation of the 7th thoracic vertebrae in her spine (which causes the same signs as if she had herniated a disk). The luxated vertebrae caused her to be paralyzed in her back legs and it affected her bladder, making it difficult for her to urinate on her own. (Her x-ray can be seen at the bottom of the page.)
Aurey's fractured ribs and pneumothorax were corrected surgically at the emergency clinic after she had been stabilized. She began medications to help decrease the swelling in her spinal cord (prednisone) that had been caused by the luxated vertebrae. She was also on medication to help her urinate (phenoxybenzamine) and to help her with chronic pain (gabapentin).
Aurey was brought to ELAH for her post operative care and rehabilitation. She would not be able to return home until she could at least urinate on her own. She was still paralyzed and was unable to use her hind legs but she sure could wag her tail! Nobody told Aurey that she should feel sorry for herself. Aurey stayed in the hospital for 11 days. She continued on her medications, received daily physical therapy, started acupuncture, and she even required a urinary catheter short term to help her urinate.
Aurey was cheerful and happy throughout her hospital stay. She developed quite a following of friends at ELAH. Everyone who was involved in her care became attached to her. It was hard to resist those big brown eyes and wagging tail. She had a very positive attitude and we could see her trying hard and improving every day.
When Aurey was released home on 11/6/2007, she could stand if she was helped and she could urinate on her own. A cheer went through the hospital when her owners called that same day and told us that she had walked a few steps on her own out in the back yard.
Aurey is currently still improving. She is able to get up on her own and walk (a bit wobbly). She is returning to the hospital weekly for acupuncture treatments and her owners are performing physical therapy on her daily. We expect her to make a full recovery.
Aurey is our case of the month for 2 reasons:
1) Her positive, sweet, loving attitude!
2) Her owners reluctance to give up on her!
Aurey has left a permanent pawprint on our hearts here at East Lincoln Animal Hospital.
The blue arrow shows her pneumothorax and the white arrow is pointing to the luxated vertebrae (labeled T7). If you look closely, you can see the vertebrae shifted upwards where it pushes on the spinal cord.