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  1. #1
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    Default new to this

    Hi,
    My name is Clarissa and I have a Bulldog. My first Bulldog ever
    He ended up having some health problems. Hemivertebra (however its spelt) so I was wanting to see if others had similar problems.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: new to this

    Hi Clarissa, and welcome to EBN. I'm sorry I don't have any information or knowledge of this disorder, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there are some other online communities listed, and one of them is Special Needs Bulldogs. You can click on this site and join the forums there. Maybe some other bully parents with special needs babies will have the same or know about Hemivertebrae and can offer some help or advice.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: new to this

    Hi, I looked this up because I wanted to learn what it was, this is what I found on Hemivertebrae

    Hemivertebrae


    by Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA October 14, 2012



    Summary


    Hemivertebrae happen when the vertebrae of the canine spine are congenitally deformed so as to fuse or otherwise develop abnormally in a manner that creates a twisting wedge in what should be a very straight spine. A deformity like this in the bony spine can mean a twisting in the spinal cord as well and, potentially, a compression of this exceedingly delicate central nervous system structure.


    Hemivertebrae are responsible for the characteristic “screw tail” of bulldogs, pugs and other dog breeds for which the curled tail is considered a requisite trait. In the spinal cord-less tail, however, several defective vertebrae in a row do not present a problem. In some dogs, however, one or more vertebrae other than in the tail may be affected.
    Luckily, most dogs are never adversely affected by this defect. In fact, this disease is typically diagnosed as an incidental finding and clinical signs of disease seldom become evident.


    Symptoms and Identification


    If signs should appear as a result of hemivertebrae, they’ll be related to excess pressure on the spinal cord as a result of compression in the region of the mid-thoracic spine (roughly in the middle of the back).


    Weakness of the hind limbs, fecal incontinence and urinary incontinence are most typical. Most symptoms will appear in puppyhood, worsening at first until reaching a stable plateau once the vertebrae stop growing.
    Diagnosis of hemivertebrae is made by taking simple X-rays. Signs of related disease, however, must be diagnosed by employing more sophisticated imaging studies to demonstrate that compression of the spinal cord is taking place as a result of the vertebrae.


    In veterinary medicine, compression of the spinal cord is almost always diagnosed via myelography, an X-ray technique that uses an injectable dye to show where and how compression is occurring. CT scans and MRIs are increasingly implemented as well in this diagnosis.


    Affected Breeds


    Dogs bred for hemivertebrae in the form of a “screw tail” are understandably predisposed:


    English Bulldog
    French Bulldog
    Pug
    Puggle
    Boston Terrier


    Other breeds affected include the German Short-haired Pointer and German Shepherd in which the disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive trait.


    Treatment


    Rest and anti-inflammatory drugs tend to help dogs only mildly affected by problems associated with hemivertebrae-associated spinal cord compression. Moderate to severely affected patients tend to require surgery called a hemilaminectomy to relieve the compression on the spinal cord in the location of the abnormal vertebra(e). A board-certified veterinary surgeon or veterinary neurologist is always tapped for this delicate surgical procedure.


    Veterinary Cost


    The cost in most cases where symptoms become evident can be very steep if advanced imaging studies are deemed necessary (almost always). $1,000 to $3,000 is a typical cost for more sophisticated imaging techniques. Surgery is definitely a high-cost proposition in these cases. Surgery itself can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 for one location, significantly more if various segments of the spinal cord are affected (this would be rare).


    Prevention


    In breeds for which this trait is not selected for (as when it’s inherited as an autosomal recessive trait in the German shepherd and German shorthair pointer, elimination of affected dogs and their first degree from the breeding pool is the best approach to prevention.


    In dogs with “screw tails” for which the trait is part of the breed standard, carefully removing those dogs with any evidence of non-tail hemivertebrae from the breeding pool (even when they are not clinically affected) is absolutely necessary.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

  4. #4
    Potty Trainer Become a 4 Paw Member Ad0rabull's Avatar
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    Default Re: new to this

    I'm sorry to hear about your baby's condition. I don't have any experience with it, but as Vikinggirl said, you can check out the special needs forum. I'm sure you will find lots of great info there

  5. #5
    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: new to this

    Hi ... to EBN.

    Yes, my girl Banks had a similar issue (butterfly vertebrae) and Arnold @agingermom boy has this ..... I can tell you Banks lived a GREAT 9 years and was diagnosed with it at about age of 2. Nothing stopped her, she played like a puppy all her life and occasionally showed signs of pain where I just adjusted her meds to help and back to her wild, dominate, sassy self she went -- in most cases it can be treated with pain management and laser therapy. Banks started out with Derramaxx and over the years we added Tramadol and Gabapetin.

    let me know what questions you have. Life for Winston I hope can be as normal as possible!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    e.

    Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




  6. #6
    ink-a-licious redhead bully mama Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: new to this

    Hi @clarissa!! My handsome sweet Arnold is 3.5 years old and the symptoms just appeared now. Our vet is assuming Arnold has Hemivertabrae but it has not been confirmed at this point. One day he started walking real slow down the steps but it was a real weird walk, like sideways. We gave him some Tramadol for a week and he was like new. I have not taken him for confirmation xray since it would not really change the treatment, only confirming the diagnosis so I will have xray taken at his next visit. Please keep us up to date with Winston.
    Where in Montana do you live?


    I'm a good girl, I promise

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    Default Re: new to this

    Congrats on your new little boy! You will find a lot of support here!




    "Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and
    filling an emptiness we didn't even know we had."




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