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Benny – Pet in the Spotlight


DSC07991Benny is a 3 year old terrier mix who was rescued by his parents from a shelter.  He was a healthy boy and, before January, all of his visits to our clinic had been for regular preventive care.

In early January, Benny was with his mom in a car when they were hit by another vehicle.  Benny’s mom had serious injuries and went straight to the human hospital.  Benny was brought directly to our clinic.

On presentation, Benny was painful but stable.  Radiographs (x-rays) revealed no major injuries.  He did have one area in his spine that looked slightly abnormal; however he had no neurologic signs.  He was treated for pain and went home that evening with his dad.

The next day, Benny seemed more comfortable but did not want to eat.  He also began having problems moving around.  His dad brought him back to the clinic and a physical examination revealed severe neurologic deficits in his hind end.  Repeat X-rays didn’t show any significant changes but, because of his neurologic signs, we were very worried about injury to his spinal cord.  Poor Benny’s mom was still in the hospital in significant pain and was terribly worried about Benny.  Fortunately, Benny’s family was prepared to do everything possible to save him.

That evening, Benny had an MRI which revealed a significant spinal cord injury.  He had a fractured vertebrae in his back and a disk that was protruding into his spinal canal.  Benny needed emergency surgery for the best chance at regaining normal function.

Benny needed the best, and he got the best.  Dr. Smith collaborated with Dr. Brown and together they performed back surgery to remove the disk material and to apply an internal fixator to the fracture site.  Benny did well with surgery and started the long road to recovery.

Benny’s rehabilitation and recovery after surgery were truly remarkable.  Every single day we could see improvement.  Within days he could bear weight on his hind legs, and within two weeks he was walking.  Here is a video of Benny taking his first few steps after surgery.

As soon as his mom was released from the hospital, she came to visit Benny almost daily.  Benny went home with his parents approximately 3 weeks after the original injury.

We had the joy of seeing Benny recently for a follow-up exam and he is doing fantastically!  His mom is also doing well, and the two continue to support each other through their healing.

From day one, Benny was nothing but a kind, happy dog.  Even with a severe, painful spinal cord injury he never once offered to bite.  Spending time with Benny only leaves one word to describe him: “HAPPY.”

We all love you Benny and we are thrilled you are comfortable and home with your family!