All Pets Veterinary Clinic

Intervertebral Disk Disease

Meet Buster. Buster was presented with a history of inability to walk after
being stepped on. He was unable to use his back legs, had a lack of superficial
and deep pain, and could not urinate on his own.

Radiographs revealed a narrowing in the disk space between lumbar veterbrae number
5 and 6 (red arrow). This can be the result of a ruptured or inflammed disk. When
a disk ruptures the resulting swelling and inflammation can put pressure on the spinal
cord and associated nerves. Signs can vary depending on the severity of the injury and
can include mild discomfort to total paralysis. Buster was medicated with steroids
and muscle relaxors and allowed to rest for several days.

After several days, Busters showed tremendous improvment in mobility, pain sensation,
and urinating ability.

Buster was released on additional medication. Limited activity will be encouraged over
the next month while he continues to recover. In more severe cases and/or in cases
failing to respond to medical management, surgery is to manually remove the affected
disk material is indicated.

Special thanks to Buster's owner for allowing us to share this case.

Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
18 February 2003