Our Seattle veterinarians explain back pain in French Bulldogs – something that unfortunately is all too common
In May Betty came to our Seattle veterinary hospital because she had experienced something that, unfortunately, is all too common in French Bulldogs. She came to us because she was experiencing pain in her mid section. Her physical exam showed that she was having severe back pain. She still had control over her nerves and could walk around so we decided to treat her medically with pain medications and muscle relaxants. Her symptoms worsened, however, and two days later she was having more trouble walking and placing her feet in the correct location.
Betty had Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) which you may have heard to referred as a “slipped disc” in humans. The cartilage disc between her vertebrae had slipped up into her spinal canal putting pressure on her spinal cord and decreasing the sensation and motor function to her back legs. French Bulldogs are often born with vertebral abnormalities that predispose them to this problem. Sometimes this can be treated with medication and rest to decrease the inflammation and pain surrounding the injury. Other times surgery is needed to decompress the area of injury.
Betty went to Seattle Veterinary Specialists to be examined by a neurologist. She had an MRI which showed compression caused by a disc in her lumbar spine. She was taken directly to surgery where the neurosurgeon removed one half side of her vertebrae to pull out the extruded disc material.
Betty did well after surgery and, with a little laser and physical therapy, she was moving around a few days later. She recovered all of her neurologic function within a few months.
Betty continues to be such a sweet and gentle little girl. We have nicknamed her “Blonde Betty” and love to see her healthy, happy, and pain free!