Ruby My Bulldog has a congenital spinal deformity, what will will her life be like?
(Bell Gardens, California)
Hello, so I took my 3 1/2 month puppy in to the vet, it's had been about a month after she contracted the parvo-virus. We were wondering why it had been so long and her legs where still weak and wobbly, the vet finally took an x-ray of her spine and told me that she has a congenital spinal deformity.
He suggested that we should wait a while and see if she could adapt or hope for the best and maybe she would regain some of her strength in her legs and walk a little, our next option was to put her down since her quality of life will diminish drastically .
This last weekend it kinda of seen like she took a turn for the worst, her legs are so weak now that she can't even stand straight if she try taking one step she will tip over, she can't go to the restroom with out help. What options do I have? What kind of life will the dog have if I decide to hold on to her?
I want to make my decision based on the dogs well being, I don't want the poor dog to suffer the rest of her life, she's already had a tough 2 months.
I am so sorry to hear about Rubys' diagnosis, it must be so worrying and traumatic for all of you.
I don't have personal experience with this sort of problem, or English Bulldogs in particular, but I know that there is a particular congenital deformity of the spine which they're prone to called 'hemivertebrae', and from what I understand it is basically a twisting of the spine and vertebrae.
As with most conditions there's a whole range of severity, but it sounds as though Rubys' case is on the more serious side.
My advice would be to talk at more length with your vet about possible options as I believe that steroid shots can help in some cases, and that there are surgical options if that isn't enough. However, every case is different and I'm not a vet and have no professional experience or training, so I can only recommend that you take your vets' advice on this. If I were you though, I would probably ask to be referred to a veterinarian who specializes in this sort of condition to make sure I knew exactly what her options were.
Obviously you love her and want what's best for her, and if it should turn out that there is no viable treatment, and that she is going to be in pain and have extremely restricted mobility for her entire life, then you will probably need to consider euthanizing her for her sake.
BUT, I wouldn't go down that road until you've exhausted all the other possibilities. She's obviously a fighter to have survived Parvo, and it could well be that being weakened by that disease is making her symptoms worse, with time for a full recovery, she may get stronger.
As I said though, talk to the professionals about this and rely on them to guide you.
I wish you the very best of luck, and I hope that this situation can be resolved in a positive way. I will say a little prayer for you and Ruby.