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Meet Oglethorpe! At just 23 weeks old this Bulldog puppy presented to our Neurology Department with progressive hind limb weakness and an abnormal gait. He was misplacing his feet, scuffing his toes, and overall just having trouble walking and getting around.

After a physical exam and consultation with Oglethrope, Dr. Andrew Farabaugh, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology) recommended an MRI of his entire spine to assess the extent and location/s of any spinal cord compromise. Diagnostic imaging at this detail would help best assess if surgical correction was indicated or even possible.

The MRI revealed congenital (present at birth) malformations of his vertebrate, which in turn was causing scoliosis of his thoracic spine. Without intervention Oglethorpe’s prognosis was poor and he would have eventually become paralyzed in his back legs. Surgically addressing his condition would be very complex and require in depth planning, but it was Oglethorpe’s best option and Dr. Farabaugh was on board and eager to help.

Given the complicated nature of his condition, we utilized MRI, CT, and the help of veterinary neurologist/3D printer Fred Wininger, to construct a 3D model of Oglethorpe’s spine. We then used that model for pre-surgical planning to create a 3D printed “jig” or guide that would help Dr. Farabaugh maximize implant placement, minimize complications during and after surgery and ultimately stabilize Oglethorpe’s spine.

Oglethorpe had surgery in October of 2018, and now in mid December he is walking significantly better than before. He stopped by for a followup earlier this month and he is doing fantastic! He is stable, stronger, much more coordinated and according to dad, “the biggest issue has been keeping him calm and quiet.”