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Beloved pet back on all paws

22nd November 2023

A much loved French bulldog who lost the ability to walk is now back on her feet following intricate and complicated spinal surgery.

Bella is a 3-year-old French bulldog who was referred to ChesterGates Veterinary Specialists from Vets4Pets Bromborough for investigation of inability to walk. All her limbs suddenly became weak.

On presentation, she was assessed by one of our neurologists, Emili Alcoverro, who found that indeed Bella was non-ambulatory tetraparetic. This means that she was unable to walk due to weakness in all four limbs. This weakness was more pronounced in her front legs. This clinical presentation is known as central cord syndrome.

Magnetic resonance imaging performed by one of our radiographers, Linda Griffiths, revealed that Bella suffered from a C3-C4 intervertebral disc extrusion (which can be seen in the image). This slipped disc was compressing the spinal cord at the level of Bella’s neck and was also causing bruising. Bella underwent surgery on the same.

Surgery was complex and consisted of a C3-C4 ventral slot decompression, which was carried out by Emili Alcoverro, assisted by our rotating intern Michaela Sojak. Thanks to our anaesthetists, Bella’s general anaesthesia, recovery and post-operative hospitalisation were smooth. Bella was looked after and monitored by our team of dedicated nurses, veterinary care assistants and interns. Bella was discharged three days later, at which stage, she was still unable to walk. Our inpatient care nurse Natalie Connolly provided the owners with detailed instructions of rehabilitation exercises to perform at home with Bella.

Bella’s family’s dedication was outstanding. Approximately 10 days after her spinal surgery, Bella started walking without aid. Look at the video on our social media channels to see how she was six weeks after surgery! We did the final recheck and she also had a session with our chartered physiotherapist Laura Easton. We are so pleased that this lovely dog and her dedicated owners has had such a fantastic recovery.


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