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Pablo is a 3y10m, male (n) French Bulldog. He presented to our neurology service for investigation of acute onset hindlimb paraplegia.


He had been unusually quiet for around 10 days prior to becoming paraplegic, with radiographs and an abdominal ultrasound at the referring vets being unremarkable.


After this appointment, Pablo appeared unsteady on his hindlimbs and later the same evening became acutely paralysed in his hindlimbs.


A general physical examination was relatively normal. Neurological examination showed:


  • Normal mentation
  • Postural reflexes present in thoracic region but absent in pelvic limbs
  • Spinal reflexes were intact in all four limbs
  • Perineal reflex was also intact 
  • Cutaneous trunci was absent caudal to L3
  • Cranial nerve examination was unremarkable
  • Pain sensation was intact in the pelvic limbs

The findings of the neurological examination indicated a lesion in the region T12-L1. Consequently, Pablo underwent an MRI scan of this region which revealed extrusion of the disc between T13 and L1, causing marked compression of the overlying spinal cord extending cranially to T11.

Figure 1: Left: MRI image of Pablo’s spinal cord where white arrows indicate regions with signs of spinal cord bruising (this appears paler than the adjacent regions). Right: MRI image showing a cross section through the affected region, with the white arrow delineating the prolapsed material; this is occupying approximately 50% of the spinal canal, with the spinal cord severely compressed and distorted. 

Pablo underwent a left-sided hemilaminectomy extending from T11-L1 with one of our neurology specialists, Dr Pete Smith. Our team also performed fenestration of multiple discs between T11 and L3.


Pablo responded well to the surgery and has regained use of his hindlimbs. As part of his recovery, Pablo has been visiting HSR for regular sessions with our rehabilitation team and is a firm favourite among staff!


Pablo’s owners, along with all of us here at HSR, are very pleased with his progress.

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