Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake | Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM | Annapolis & Towson, MD


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Beefcake's Tale: A Rare Surgery for A Unique Dog

One look at Beefcake and you know: This is one unique bulldog.


Whether dressed up as a convict or a flashy pimp (with two girl bulldogs in tow), Beefie is quite a character. He's known far and wide for his sartorial style, and for marching down the aisle to wedded bliss with his girlfriend, Penelope, while paparazzi snapped their pics. (It was all for a good cause as the event raised funds for the local dog park.) 


And all the kids in his neighborhood come calling each Halloween, just to see how he'll be dressed. But, Linda Glinos, his owner and stylist admits, he wasn't so chipper a year ago when he started to lose control of his back left leg.


Linda's vet initially suggested pain medication and acupuncture, but when those didn't help, Linda and Beefcake were referred to Dr. McDonnell. "Dr. McDonnell took an MRI and found there was a break in the spine. He told me that, as Beefcake got older, it was going to be harder and harder for Beefcake to compensate for the loss of movement," says Linda.


Beefcake's diagnosis was cogenital bony malformation of the 12th vertebrae (butterfly fragementation) with chronic compression and chronic microtrauma due to instability. The butterfly vertebrae is a common congenital (birth) defect or malformation in bulldogs. In Beefcake's case, this malformation had resulted in fracture of the vertebral body and chronic compression of the spinal cord at this site. Dr. McDonnell's recommendation was to stabilize the area with pins and screws. This would stop the progression of Beefcake's symptoms and likely improve his clinical signs.


This surgery is rare, but Linda didn't hesitate in agreeing to have her seven-year-old bulldog treated. "Dr. McDonnell told me, 'I can give you back a seven-year-old dog, but not a two-year-old.' Even though it was scary—he's my boy and seven is on the older side for bulldogs—I knew Dr. McDonnell would tell me if he didn't think he could help him. Now Beefie's doing so well!"


While it's only been two months since the surgery and this type of surgery requires a long recuperation, all signs point to an excellent recovery for Beefcake. Dr. McDonnell continues to follow Beefie's progress with regular check-ups.


Board Certified Veterinary Neurologist Dr. Jay McDonnell | Annapolis & Towson, MD