Currently, VRC is one of only four hospitals in the United States to offer a revolutionary procedure proven to prevent thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation in dogs.
Percutaneous Laser Disc Ablation (PLDA) is an innovative, safe, and verified new minimally-invasive procedure proven to prevent thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation in dogs. Certain dog breeds, such as Dachshunds, Beagles, Bassett Hounds, and French Bulldogs are predisposed to disc herniations making them ideal candidates for the PLDA procedure.
Since PLDA is a minimally-invasive procedure, there are no cuts or stitches in the dog’s vertebrae, muscle, or skin. Instead, small spinal needles are placed into the dog’s disc space, where a thin fiber-optic laser is inserted through the needle and directly into the nucleus of the disc. The energy produced from the laser liquefies the nucleus of the disc, reducing the chances of a future herniation.
Recovery time is much quicker than other spinal surgeries, in fact, most dogs go home the next day!
For your dog to be eligible for this procedure, they must follow this criteria:
At-risk breed for disc herniation (typical breeds include: Dachshunds, Beagles, Bassett Hounds, and French Bulldogs)
Pain-free and medicine-free for the last two weeks
The PLDA procedure can be done prophylactically, meaning that a prior back pain diagnosis is not necessary.
Leading veterinary medical experts recommend PLDA for all high-risk breeds. PLDA is largely considered safe, minimally invasive, and a way to prevent serious injury. You should always review the inherent risks of any surgery with your primary care veterinarian.
While costs for PLDA vary, an estimate based on your pet’s unique needs will be provided and discussed with you prior to the procedure.
Both the cost of the PLDA procedure and the length of the recovery are reduced by 50% compared to the cost and recovery time if your pet develops a spinal issue.
Your dog should not feel any pain during the procedure. Your furry friend will be under full anesthesia. Mild soreness may occur during the recovery weeks following the procedure.
Your dog should be ready to head home within 24-48 hours. At VRC, we will want to monitor them for the first day to ensure they are having a safe and happy initial recovery.
Your dog should be back on its feet acting like itself as soon as you head home. Mild soreness is likely and should fade in 1 to 2 weeks.
Gaemia Tracy DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Neurology & Neurosurgery
Dr. Tracy was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Penn Hills Senior High School. He then earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at The University of Pennsylvania where he played baseball and sprint football while attending school. He then attended veterinary school at The Ohio State University. After completing a one-year rotating small animal medicine/surgery internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte, NC he was accepted to the Neurology/Neurosurgery residency at North Florida Neurology in Jacksonville, FL.
Dr. Tracy worked at a large veterinary emergency and referral hospital in New Jersey before joining VRC in 2020. Dr. Tracy’s interests include IVDD treatment and management, Atlantoaxial instability management, management of inflammatory CNS disease, and seizure management.
In his personal life Dr. Tracy enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, watching and playing baseball (he has played since he was 5 years old), and working out/ being active.
PLDA has been shown to reduce the dramatic risks to your furry friend. If you are ready to take the next steps, ask your primary care veterinarian for a referral to VRC.
To learn more about VRC and the services we offer, give us a call at 610-647-2950
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