Bodacious - Post-op Hemilaminectomy (back surgery)


“Bodacious” aka “Bo” – Post-Op Hemilaminectomy

Written by: Anne Mergener
Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2015

Patient Name: “Bodacious” aka “Bo”
Signalment: 4 year old, male neutered, Welsh Corgi

Clinical Problems:

- History of acute intervertebral disc herniation with right hemilaminectomy surgery performed at T12-13 on 10/15/2014
- Ongoing hind limb paraparesis with absent CP and hopping
- Mild to moderate myofascial back pain noted T9-L6
- Slightly overweight

Rehabilitation Goals:

- Strengthen core muscles to support spine
- Improve balance and proprioception
- Promote weight loss
- Reduce myofascial back pain
- Regain ability to use hind limbs and walk

Modalities used in Rehabilitation Program:

- Homework Exercises: cookie stretches and cookie side bends, assisted standing exercises, assisted postural sitting, toe pinch and tickle, assisted weight shifting, postural down, sit to stands (squats), walking with a barrier, cavalettis, 3 legged stand, cinder block stand, circle to the left/right, diagonal stand, sit to stand with front feet elevated
- Therapeutic Exercises: cavalettis, rocker boards, discs/pads, FitBones, peanut stands, wobble
- Acupuncture
- Cold Laser Therapy – Class IV laser was applied to both hind limbs and his back (thoracic and lumbar).
- Underwater Treadmill – the buoyancy of the water allows these types of patients to move their legs in walking motion
- Land Treadmill
- Therapeutic Massage
- Aromatherapy

Bo first came to Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Therapy for Pets about 2 weeks after his back surgery (performed October 2014). At this point, he had no voluntary control or coordination of his hind legs, but did have bladder and bowel control. Bo’s initial rehabilitation sessions were focused on restoring the communication of the nerves between Bo’s brain and his hind legs through acupuncture and therapeutic exercises (sitting/laying like a normal dog, toe pinches/tickles, floor stroking). The client noticed significant changes in Bo within a week after his first rehab session. He began pulling himself into a standing position and taking some steps. Two weeks after starting rehab, with multiple sessions, and exercises done at home, Bo was walking unassisted and could take several steps before falling down. Over the next weeks, Bo’s ataxia continued to improve and exercises were introduced to strengthen and build muscle mass. Around 3 months after surgery, Bo is now running around the horse barn at home and a happy guy. Bo continues to work on his exercises at home and although his stamina is still decreased, the owner reports that she sees it steadily improving. At Bo’s most recent recheck (mid-Jan 2015) with the neurologist, the neurologist was surprised by Bo’s progress and was happy to see him doing so well.

Check out his rehabilitation progress video on the Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Therapy for Pets YouTube channel.

The link to the video is:






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