Post Operative Care 2 (Neuro)

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Filed Under: Neurology


The following "extended post-operative care instructions" are intended for standard post-operative spinal Patients (hemilaminectomy and ventral slot) once these Patients have been evaluated either by the Patient's Veterinary Neurosurgeon at a one month post-operative follow-up examination or by a phone update.  If you are unsure if your Pet should follow these instructions, please contact your Pet's supervising Neurosurgeon.

Return to activity after 4 weeks crate rest:

  • Gradual increase over a few weeks
  • For first few weeks, crate rest when owner not home or not able to supervise
  • For first few weeks, no rough play with other dogs, no prolonged exercise
  • Begin short leash walks, 5-10 minutes each.  After first week, if they are tolerating this, can begin to gradually increase the duration of walks.
  • Important to discourage jumping fron now on, even once Patient is recovered.

Physical Therapy:

  • Controlled leash walks.  Leash helps Patient slow down and focus on where they are placing their feet.  Promotes improved sensation and coordination of paws.
  • Water therapy, either swimming or walking in water.  Start slow and can gradually increase duration and frequency after first week.  Water procvides buoyancy for improved movement, but also provides resistance to improve muscle strength and tone.
  • Recommended Physical Therapy Centers:

          Advanced Care Veterinary Services (Carrollton)


          VCA Angel Veterinary Center (Flower Mound)


          HEAL Pet Rehabilitation Center (Dallas)


          North Texas Animal Rehabilitation (North Dallas)


          North Texas Animal Rehabilitation (Grapevine/Southlake)




  • Full neurological recovery from spinal cord injury can take up to 3 months, so most Patients experience continued, gradual improvement over time
  • Once a Patient has had a disc extrusion, there is a 15-20% chance for recurrence in the future at another site.

No way to truly prevent this because degenerative disc disease is a genetic problem.  Two important ways to reduce dog's risk of recurrence:

  • Do not allow dog to become overweight
  • Do not allow / discourage jumping

See "How to stop your dog jumping".  If dog must be on furniture, purchase or build a ramp or small steps to help.

Reason to schedule a recheck or contact us in the future:

  • Recurring spinal pain
  • Recurring, progressive weakness in the legs
  • 972.820.7099