STILLWATER, Okla.—Milton is a 4-year-old schnauzer dog. His owner, Mary Barton of Tulsa, Okla., rescued Milton as he was dodging traffic at approximately 1 ½ years of age. In late July, Barton noticed that Milton couldn’t move. The dog tried to get up but would only fall back down.
“All he could do was move his left arm,” recalls Barton. “I felt of him to see if something was stuck in his paw or anything was broken. I couldn’t find anything wrong, so I took him to a veterinarian. She didn’t think Milton would make it. She offered no hope. I was in shock—this was my baby.”
Barton tried another veterinarian with much the same response. No hope. She decided to try one more veterinarian, a specialist located in Jenks, Okla.
“I took Milton to see Dr. Steven Hodges who happens to be an Oklahoma State University (OSU) graduate,” says Barton. “He told me if Milton were his dog, he wouldn’t put him down. He would take him to Stillwater to OSU’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, and that’s what I did.”
When Barton arrived at the hospital Dr. Brent Newcomb, Small Animal Surgery Resident, and Hannah Davenport, 4th year veterinary student assigned to the case, met her and Milton at the door.
“This is the first time I have been to the Veterinary Hospital,” she states. “Dr. Newcomb examined Milton and talked to me about his condition in terms I could understand. He explained the worst case scenario—Milton had slipped a disc and would need surgery—down to the best case—there was a hick-up in his spinal cord and he would regain use of his legs. For the first time in days, he gave me hope.”
Barton continues saying that she was very impressed with the overall condition of the hospital and the way she and Milton were treated.
“Everything was so clean and I noticed the minute I walked in that there was no medicine smell or animal smell,” smiles Barton. “I really liked the fact that everyone referred to Milton by his name, not ‘the dog’ or ‘it.’ I felt like they really cared about him.”
Newcomb ordered a myelogram on Milton. By inserting dye around Milton’s spinal cord, he was able to determine the cause of Milton’s temporary paralysis.
“Milton has what we refer to as a FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Embolism),” explains Newcomb. “In laymen’s terms it means that a piece of cartilage became lodged in an artery blocking the blood flow to Milton’s spinal cord. This is similar but not the same as a stroke in a person.”
According to Newcomb, there is nothing that can be done surgically for the patient. Rehabilitation is recommended and eventually the blood flow will return to normal.
“When they released Milton from the Veterinary Hospital, Tracie Merrill, veterinary technician, went over the recommended physical therapy instructions with me,” says Barton. “Tracie said Milton will rehabilitate himself because he is young and strong enough. He is still a little gimpy but he is getting better every day. They took such good care of Milton. I can’t say thank you enough!”
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The Center’s Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24 hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.