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


Welcome to VNoC's "Happy Tails" section!  We would love to add more happy tails and encourage you to email us to submit your update, story or just tell us how your pet is doing.


Ollie: A Holiday Happy Tail

"Ollie has always been super-active," says Mary, his owner. "He loves to play hard. Thanks to Dr. McDonnell, he's back to his active self."


Mary isn't sure how Ollie hurt himself. "Ollie was in such pain; he had no quality of life. At first our vet thought he'd hurt his lower back, or possibly his neck. With no clear diagnosis, he referred to us to Dr. McDonnell."


Mary continues, "Dr. McDonnell met us at 8:30 at night. After the MRI, he told us Ollie had the largest herniation he'd ever seen in a dog. Half the disc was shattered. He scheduled surgery for the next day."  Dr. McDonnell performed a V slot (or ventral slot) surgery, a procedure done through an approach to the underside of the neck.


Dr. McDonnell used one of VNoC's key pieces of technology: an operating microscope. The operating microscope is very helpful when performing neurosurgery such as a ventral slot for a disc herniation in a small dog. The width of the slot in a small dog like Ollie is typically 3-4 mm— 1/8 to 1/6 inch—making the visualization crucial to a successful surgery.


After spending several days in recovery, Ollie went home for a month of rest and recuperation. "Ollie had to stay in "down time,'" explains Mary. "We have an older dog Ollie loves to play with, so we had to keep them separated. I set up my grandson's playpen upside down, and put Ollie in it."


No longer confined, Ollie is once again his spunky self. "Thanks to Dr. McDonnell, we have our Ollie back. We can't thank him enough!"


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