Dr Guillaume Leblond, an American Specialist in Neurology at North Downs Specialist Referrals in Bletchingley, Surrey, reports having 'remarkable' success using dorsal atlantoaxial stabilisation to treat spinal malformations in dogs.

His most recent case was five-year-old bulldog called Jesse.

Guillaume said: "Jesse was suffering from both atlantoaxial instability and a spinal arachnoid diverticulum in the thoracic spine. 

“As a result of the two conditions, he had lost a lot of mobility and was dragging his hind legs behind him. 

“We decided it was best to carry out two separate operations, prioritising the surgery to tackle the atlantoaxial instability as that was potentially life-threatening. 

“I used a new technique for this, adopting a dorsal approach, which involves an insertion through the top of the neck when normally this type of surgery is generally performed ventrally, through the bottom of the neck. 

“We have had great success with this approach so far.

"The normal mortality rate is between 5 to 10%, however, we have now done 20 of these procedures together with colleagues, all of which have been successful. 

“The main advantage of the technique is it likely reduces the risk of complications, which is why I prefer it. 

“With the ventral approach you go through the soft tissue and nerves in the neck which brings the risk of vomiting, regurgitation, megaesophagus, swelling and even tracheal injury.” =

Guillaume has co-authored a publication on the dorsal surgical technique which can be found at: https://doi.org/10.3390/life11101039 

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