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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24426
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My cockatoo had back surgery when he was 4 blood pocket that

Customer Question

My cockatoo had back surgery when he was 4 for a blood pocket that developed at L4 and L5. He was paralyzed when they did the surgery. He fully recovered with oxygen chamber stay and hydrotherapy. Two years later (6 years ago), he is having episodes of yelping when we touch back area around hind legs and sometimes in pain. We took him to vet, he has been on prednisone and tramadol and cage rest and gets okay after 2 weeks cage rest. Then out of the blue month or so later here we go again. We don't let him jump on furniture and don't leave him alone to his own devices. Vet thinks he may need surgery again. Really...the former surgeon said he cleaned out all his disks when he did the first surgery 2 years ago. Don't believe he can go through that again and it's was over $10K first time. Could he have developed arthritis and has episodes? I would hate to put this family and him through another surgery. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It was miscategorized into the Bird Veterinary category. To summarize: Moses had his spinal cord decompressed and disk spaces fenestrated 2 years ago when he was 4 years old. Two years later when he was 6 years old he's now having episodes of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity)... and his vet thinks that he might need another surgery. To answer you directly, an MRI would be necessary to confirm is that were, indeed, the case. There were more disks that weren't fenestrated than were and, yes, osteoarthritic changes may be contributory at this time. In general, however, unless paresis (weakness) and/or paralysis has arisen, surgery is avoided. Moses's conscious proprioception (knowing where his legs are in space) and nociception (deep pain perception) need to be assessed at this time - both of which will be helpful in determining if he can continue to be treated in a conservative fashion or, instead, needs another surgery. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. He seems to be ok right now since cage rest is over. He is on the weaning off period of prednisone, so will be anxious to see how he does off the meds.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the good update. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.