A paralysed dachshund is back up and running again after intricate spinal surgery at one of the UK’s top veterinary hospitals. 

Three-year-old Lola had dramatically lost the use of her hind legs overnight and was rushed to Kentdale Referrals for expert care. 

A CT scan revealed a large disc extrusion was compressing Lola’s spinal cord, and Kentdale Specialist Gemma Holloway immediately to remove the extruded disc material and relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. 

Incredibly, Lola was up on all paws again the following day and allowed home that evening, much to the delight of relieved owner Steph Leaver, from Blackburn, Lancashire. 

Steph admitted it had been an emotional roller coaster, saying: “Lola suddenly lost the use of her back legs and it was immediately obvious she needed urgent treatment. 

“We rang Kentdale Referrals, where she had been treated for back pain a few months before, and by the time we arrived at 11am, she couldn’t even stand up. Due to the rapid decline and lack of movement, Gemma recommended spinal surgery. She explained that as Lola could still feel pain, this was a good indication that following surgery, Lola would regain her mobility.  

“It was still very scary to be told she’d need surgery, though, and there were lots of tears handing her over.  We were very worried about how she’d react to the operation and what the outcome would be, but we were confident that she was in the best hands.” 

Steph’s confidence was well placed as treatment progressed rapidly and, even more importantly, successfully.  She added: “We can’t thank Kentdale enough for being so quick, kind and thoughtful with us and Lola.  

 “We knew how important it was to act fast, but I think this must be some kind of record! One for which we’re extremely grateful. 

 “We arrived at 11am and by 3pm the surgery was complete – Lola was awake and recovering well. The next morning, she was already walking again, less than 24 hours after our initial phone call to Kentdale. 

“Lola’s pain medications were reduced throughout the day and by the afternoon the vets were amazed with how well she was doing and recommended we take her home where she would be more relaxed. 

“We picked her up at 6pm and were greeted with the most excited little wiggles and tail wags.  Lola is doing amazingly now. She had regained full movement by the time of her four week post-op check-up and she is now back out on walks and loving having her freedom back. 

“We’re so thankful. Everyone at Kentdale treated  us and Lola with care and compassion and kept us informed on her progress at every step of the journey. 

“That’s why I’d definitely recommend them to other pet owners. The vets, nurses and reception staff were all incredibly kind and thoughtful. They made us feel at ease and we knew we could trust them with Lola. We knew she was in the best of hands.” 

RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, Gemma focuses on Orthopaedic and Soft Tissue Surgeries and has a particular interest in spinal procedures.  

She detailed Lola’s care and treatment, explaining: “She had suddenly become unsteady on her hind legs and displayed a progression of symptoms that morning, including being unable to urinate or defecate. 

 “At the time of Lola’s examination here at Kentdale, she was ambulatory paraparetic and unable to move her hind legs. The function of her right hind leg was noted to be weaker than her left. There was no pain on palpation of her spine, but she did appear a little tense. 

“Lola was admitted for a CT scan which confirmed a right lateralised mineralised disc extrusion which was causing significant spinal cord compression.  

“She was taken to surgery and a hemilaminectomy was performed to allow decompression of the spinal cord. This type of surgery entails an incision through the lower back to gain access to the damaged disc allowing us to work to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. 

“Surgery lasted an hour and a half and Lola recovered very well and was allowed home the following day. She came back to see us a month after surgery and was walking well so we’re very pleased indeed with the positive outcome.” 

Steph shared Lola’s remarkable story on the dachshund’s very own popular Instagram page. To keep up to date with all of Lola’s daily goings-on, search for @dogfriendlylancs on Instagram.