Presenting Complaint:
Motley presented to BVNS to see Dr. Young in February 2018 due to lethargy and decreased motion of his tail. His owners had noticed that in previous weeks, Motley’s outgoing energy and happy tail wag was diminishing.

During Dr. Young’s exam, he noticed a dropped tail with blunted to absent superficial sensation, blunted deep pain perception, and little tone. An MRI was recommended.

MRI of the tail and pelvis were performed, and findings were consistent with a mass lesion of L5 vertebral body.

This lesion was suspected to be a plasma cell tumor based on radiologist review.

With decompressive surgery and radiation therapy survival beyond two years would be expected. With palliative care, we would anticipate survival to be limited to several months to 6 months.

Motley’s family decided to proceed with surgery. Dr. Young performed a left hemilaminectomy at L5-L6 and surgical biopsy of the body of L5. Stabilization was achieved with SOP plating. The biopsy was sent to Virginia Tech, which confirmed the tumor type as a plasma cell tumor. Motley then received radiation therapy and oncology care through The Oncology Service for the best prognosis.

Less than 10 days following surgery, Motley’s owners reported that Motley was comfortable and wagging his tail again!

Take Home Points:
Motley is now a happy, active dog and is enjoying his additional time with his family!

Click HERE for a PDF version of this publication.


Atlanta, GA
(678) 400-0042
Leesburg, VA
(703) 669-2829
Richmond, VA
(804) 716-4716
Rockville, MD
(301) 637-4248
Springfield, VA
(703) 451-3709