Rescue Stories



Monday, 7 December 2020

Daneline have taken into their care, Stanley, or "Stan the Man", a 13-week old puppy with severe spinal issues. As always and for those who do not know how we work, our first port of call is to refer to a veterinary practice. Grove Vets Bristol have come to the rescue. Andy from Grove Vets, who carried out all of Dottie's operations and got her back on her legs, is going to help Stan. On Monday morning, Stan will start with a full neuro examination and bloods, to either rule in or out any infection. Pending results, further investigations will be carried out. As you hopefully know, Daneline will do their best, alongside Grove Vets and their team. Every opportunity will be given to Stanley to enable him to have a good quality of life; he deserves a chance. We will keep you updated.


Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Update on Stanley... Further investigations are ongoing, plus advice from Langford Veterinary College and two specialists. Statements from Grove Vets Bristol will follow in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Stanley with vet Dr. Andrew Valenzia

Stanley's Veterinary Notes

Dear Lissi and the team at Daneline,

Stanley is absolutely lovely. He has been with us since Monday and has settled in well with Emily who has been looking after him for the last few days. We have performed a full neurological exam, blood tests and now xrays.

Stanley has neurological signs predominantly affecting his hindlimbs although there are some mild signs of issues with his front end as well. The wobbly "cross-stepping" hindlimb gait, the short "choppy" forelimb gait both with a low head carriage all fit with a diagnosis of Cervical Spondylomyelopathy (Wobblers syndrome) - In Great Danes this tends to be 'Osseous Associated CSM' and is caused by bony changes rather than issues with intervertebral disc and unfortunately is more difficult to treat.

The plan has been to confirm the diagnosis as best we can without the immediate use of advanced imaging (CT/MRI). Advanced imaging would obviously be nice and if there was a bottomless supply of money I would certainly advise going down this route, but in cases such as this I feel it is my role to advise on a practical approach than helps both the patient and the charity.

In this case we are quite confident of the diagnosis and realistically just need to rule out a few other potential causes.

Stanley with vet Dr. Andrew Valenzia

We have run bloods and are waiting on results for infectious causes - Toxoplasma / Neospora.

We have performed xrays - These show no signs of other bony issues with the spinal cord (spinal cysts, discospondylitis, spinal tumours etc) and although we cannot diagnose wobblers through xrays we have pretty much ruled out the other potential causes at this stage, strengthening our diagnosis and giving us enough confidence to move forward with treatment.

The plan going forward is as follows:

Start Stanley on prednisolone - which will provide some very strong anti-inflammatory effects. We have to start on quite a high dose and unfortunately this may mean side-effects: drinking a lot and urinating a lot as a result, and signficantly increased appetite.

The dose will taper over the next 4 weeks from 1.5 tablets twice daily to 1 tablet every other day (see label for specific instructions). Start Stanley on Gabapentin - which will provide some pain relief in his neck.

Stanley is not to wear a collar - he should only wear a harness. He will need crate resting for the next 3-4 weeks.

His diet should be somewhat restricted in protein and calcium to try and prevent over proliferation of bone continuing - basically just give a food indicated for giant breed dogs and don't add in anything.

Stanley with vet Dr. Andrew Valenzia

If Stanley's symptoms improve with treatment this is a good sign but he may have relapses over time and require repeat courses of steroids. There is also a reasonable chance his symptoms will progress and require specialist surgery in the future. This is a tricky procedure and outcomes are guarded if surgery is needed. Sometimes, if the changes are severe, surgery is not possible.

If Stanley's symptoms get worse over the next few weeks in spite of treatment, unfortunately we will need to strongly consider ending his suffering and saying goodbye to him.

If Stanley is no better and no worse, then a CT scan may help us make a decision on how to move forward.

I hope this gives you all a clear picture of what we have done and what we are facing going forward.

Kind regards,

Dr. Andrew Valenzia BVSc MRCVS
The Grove Vets
2 Russell Grove

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