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Lower Truro dog recovering after eight-hour spinal surgery: Video

Rebecca Ann Blair is thrilled to have Charley back home. The young bull mastiff went through eight hours of surgery at UPEI recently.
Rebecca Ann Blair is thrilled to have Charley back home. The young bull mastiff went through eight hours of surgery at UPEI recently. - Lynn Curwin

LOWER TRURO, NS

Charley’s sore, and she’s unsteady on her feet, but she’s happy to be home where she can be fussed over by her family.

The 16-month-old bull mastiff recently went through eight hours of surgery on her spine.

“We brought her home around 8 p.m. last night,” said Rebecca Ann Blair on Tuesday. “She needs a lot of care right now, but I’m just so happy to have her home.

“I’ve been playing her favourite show for her; Murder She Wrote.”

In April, Charley was diagnosed with Wobbler Syndrome, and on May 1 she was at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island for a dorsal laminectomy. This involves removing a portion of the vertebrae to address a malformation. There was some hemorrhaging during surgery, but the veterinary team was able to control it. Because she was unconscious for 10 hours, Charley developed some swelling, as well as a sore under her chin.

“I treat that area, and the dew claw that got infected because of fluid buildup, every four hours,” said Blair. “She’s on medication and has to be supported when she walks.”

Charley’s incision was closed in four sutured layers, with surgical staples holding her skin in place.
Charley’s incision was closed in four sutured layers, with surgical staples holding her skin in place.

She and her partner, Cory MacKay, use a special harness to support Charley, and they’ve covered their floors with mats to prevent slipping. They’ve added a ramp at the back door of the house for her, and created soft beds in a few areas of their home.

Although her activity has to be restricted, her appetite is good.

 “We won’t know if this has worked for quite some time,” said Blair. “They can’t do surgery again. She could have acupuncture and prednisone, but I know it’s not good to be on prednisone for too long.

“We wouldn’t let her suffer, but right now they’re happy with her progress and we’re hoping for the best. We love her so much.”

The discharge summary from the Atlantic Veterinary College hospital states, “Charley’s prognosis is considered favorable following her surgical correction, however her clinical signs may recur later in life due to the nature of the progressive disease process.”

Blair and MacKay are trying to sell their truck and camper in order to raise money to help with Charley’s veterinary costs. A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/bgfnt3-charley

lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

Related: Lower Truro couple’s Bull mastiff faces surgery for rare condition

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