Nina brings in her nervous nine-year-old Basset Hound Tulee to Fitzpatricks. Tulee has a spinal problem caused by diseased discs in her back. Mum Nina is worried that Tulee has no quality of life as she is, as she is living in constant pain.

Their Story

Tulee lives with her mum Nina and three other dogs in Hertfordshire. She’s particularly close to Boxer Bailey – the pair have a special bond and are always at each other’s sides.

The Problem

Nina’s local vet identified that Tulee suffered from Spondylosis – a condition that causes the degeneration of intervertebral discs in the spine. Tulee had already been examined by Professor Clare Rusbridge, Chief of Neurology at Fitzpatrick Referrals. She referred the case to Noel who, after further MRI scans, became aware of the severity of the condition. “Every disc in this dogs back is diseased” he exclaimed. Tulee was suffering from degenerated discs across her lower back that were squashing the nerves that go to her bladder, anal sphincter, tail and back legs. Her L6- L7 disc was also bulging and she suffered from significant sciatic pain. To make matters even worse, Spondylosis was causing new bone growth in her lower back – causing the nerves to squash even more. Poor Tulee was in agony and Nina was desperate to ease her pain.


Noel immediately discussed the plan of action, and provided Nina all the options available. Together they came to the decision that surgery was the best way forward, to give Tulee a permanent solution. Tulee needed to have the contents of her two bulging discs removed, to keep the vertebrae apart and to stop the new bone squashing the nerves, he planned to place a spacer between the last lumber and first sacral vertebrae. He then planned to position screws, clamps and rods to stabilise three vertebrae whilst the bones fused together in their new position. The operation was challenging, as Noel was operating on such a small area with substantial metalwork. Tulee was reunited with an overjoyed Nina who was advised strict cage rest while Tulee began her journey to recovery.

She’s my world, she’s a very loving dog. She’s fun and silly and smelly but she’s been my companion for the past 9 years and I love her to bits


Six months on, Tulee is recovering fantastically. After the surgery, she grew stronger every day. Her personality has been lifted, she’s pain-free and her tail is wagging away frantically. Bailey is beyond happy to have his sister back and the pair are by each other’s sides once again.