Intricate spinal surgery at our Cumbria animal hospital on an ageing dog has seen the much-loved pet ‘back to her normal bouncy self’.

Twelve-year-old Mia, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was successfully operated on and the skills of our Neurology and Veterinary Physiotherapy teams were called into action.

Mia’s grateful owner Hazel Sisi, from Creetown in Scotland, said: “I first noticed there was something wrong with Mia when she started scuffing her feet and sometimes fell over. I didn’t know what the problem was and thought it could be something to do with her hips or arthritis. But it wasn’t either of these, it was a problem with her spine, which surprised me and also worried me.”

Our team performed an MRI scan which sadly confirmed Mia had multiple thoracolumbar and lumbar slipped discs which were causing severe compression of the spinal cord.

Jan Beranek, EBVS European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery here at Kentdale, then led a lengthy operation to give Mia back her mobility.

Jan said: “The prolapsed portions of Mia’s discs were removed and the affected intervertebral spaces were all fenestrated, by which the material in the centre of the vertebral disc is removed.

“Surgery addressing more than one intervertebral space in senior dogs with multiple chronic spinal cord compressions is delicate and there’s the great risk to cause postoperative neurological deterioration.

“The successful operation was only the start of Mia’s road to recovery, as she then underwent intense physiotherapy with our Veterinary Physiotherapist Emma Woof, together with laser therapy and massage treatment, before being allowed home with a home exercise physiotherapy plan.”

Three months later, Mia’s owner is delighted with the progress her beloved pet has made.

Hazel added: “We had excellent care from the vets and the whole team at Kentdale. Beforehand, I was very worried about the surgery due to Mia’s age but they explained everything about the procedure and the aftercare needed. Everyone we met at Kentdale was genuinely caring and we were kept updated every day before Mia was allowed home. I’m happy to say that she’s now back to her normal bouncy self.”