How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Joey Your Own Question

Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3611
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
20970409
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Joey is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Will a dorsal laminectomy cure a dog with Spina Bifida and

Resolved Question:

Will a dorsal laminectomy cure a dog with Spina Bifida and allow the dog to regain full function of their bladder and bowel?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Customer:

Morning Dr. Joey,

Dr. Joey :

What a tough situation. If this is truly spina bifida as conformed by the MRI, then a laminectomy or excision of anything, per se will not cure this, if this is spina bifida. Treatment is largely based on closing the meninges as done by a board certified surgeon or neurologist, and in some cases, releasing the filum terminale to prevent tethering of the spinal cord. But resolution of deficits is not likeley. Closure can be helpful in reducing the risk of a septic meningitis.

Customer:

Thank for your time on this inquiry!

Dr. Joey :

I do not think we could expect any surgery to resolve all or any of the deficits. :(

Dr. Joey :

Did the neurologist say this was the route to take? If so, then perhaps this is not spina bifida or it is in a location that they need to do a laminectomy to get to the defect to facilitate closure.

Dr. Joey :

Regardless, it is a lot to put a young puppy through when the prognosis for return to function of her issues are low.

Customer:

after attempting to reach out to the foster mother of the dog, she has refused to release the dog back to rescue. The foster mom says that she was told that the surgery would give the puppy back full bladder and bowel control?

Dr. Joey :

I am not sure that any surgeon can make that sort of guarantee.

Customer:

No, the neurologist did not say this was going to cure the puppy and did say he did not recommend the surgery. The foster mother seems to misunderstand the diagnosis.

Dr. Joey :

If her problem was a compressed disk and not spina bifida, then the laminectomy might carry a better prognosis to return her to function. I hate to mention this but perhaps the foster parent is confusing a slipped disk with spina bifida. They are very different issues.

Customer:

Xrays showed possible Spina Bifida and the MRI confirmed SPina Bifida and tethered nerves.

Dr. Joey :

I work with many rescues and I am not sure I would highly recommend proceeding with this risky surgery (and spending rescue organization funds) unless there is a private donor willing to support the entire bill and the extensive rehab needed. I am also not sure any surgeon would attempt this given that there are tethered nerves. This makes doing the surgery even riskier for causing more neurological compromise than less.

Customer:

That is our fear. We have found an adoptive family with two other SB English Bulldogs who wants to allow her to live, as is, with SB.

Customer:

The now refuses to allow the puppy to return to the rescue to be adopted out and insists that the surgery is a cure.

Customer:

There is a fundraiser posted with the information that a dorsal laminectomy will provide full functional control.

Dr. Joey :

I think as is would be my best recommendation. If they are willing to tolerate her issues right now, then that is wonderful. We may not have her for long, but pehaps she can be well loved during that time.

Customer:

That is our hope. I wanted to receive another opinion on this matter as we fear the foster is leading the puppy in the wrong direction of the surgery. The rescue has started a civil proceeding in order to receive the puppy and tranpsort her to her forever home, as an SB dog.

Customer:

Is there any documentation that I may be able to use as support on the affect of dorsal laminectomy on a dog? Or even more, a dorsal laminectomy ever done on a dog with SB?

Dr. Joey :

I think what the foster must be referring to (after doing a literature search) is that to get to the lesion a dorsal laminectomy must be done. So, it is a part of the procedure. That part is probably true. But what is not true is that there is any guarantee on the recovery. It is possible that she may do fine and be better at the other end, but there is also a huge risk that she may be worse or no better. Tough call. I can find no documentation that a laminectomy will or will not help this problem since if it is done, it is but a part of the larger procedure to fix the actual lesion.

Customer:

Thank you Dr Joey. You also confirmed what the dignosing neurologist has stated, that there is no documentation to support such a surgery on an SB dog.

Customer:

Thank you for your time and detailed explanation.

Dr. Joey :

You are certainly welcome.


Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit our chat.

Customer:

I sure will. Thank you, again.

Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3611
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Dr. Joey and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 9 months ago.
Hi Linda,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Dallas. How is everything going?

Dr. Joey

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.