August 2016 Patient of the Month

Bailey's Story


Bailey is a 10 year old Golden Retriever who was named after Bailey’s Irish Cream as he became part of our family the day after St. Patrick’s Day, 2006. At the time, he joined our 6 year old Golden, Reilly, and our calico cat, Callie.

Bailey had always been an easy-going, healthy dog who loved his walks, had the run of our one acre yard, and couldn’t wait for summer so he could jump into the family pool. In early October 2015, Bailey decided to take off after the neighbor’s cat who was visiting in our yard. Running full speed ahead, he rounded a corner and went down with a yelp of pain. At that time, he lost use of his back end and could not walk or even support himself. He was transported to our vet at Stack Veterinary Hospital for evaluation. They did x-rays to evaluate Bailey, found no sign of any breaks, and felt he should be taken to the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital for a more comprehensive evaluation.

At Cornell, after an MRI, Bailey was diagnosed with an intramedullary lesions at T12-13 and multiple intervertebral disk protrusions caused by Lumbosacral Syndrome. The doctors at Cornell noted that he had some use of his right rear leg but no use of his left rear leg. They recommended that he remain at Cornell for several days for pain management and observation. Over that time, Bailey’s pain seemed to diminish somewhat and his ability to use his right leg improved. He was, at this time, discharged with the Help ‘Em Up harness so that we could help him get around.

Through all of this, we were in constant contact with our wonderful next-door neighbor,  Doctor Maureen Luschini from the Veterinary Medical Center. She gave us advice and helped us make sense of the “vet-speak” that we did not always understand. When Bailey came home, he really had NO use of his back left leg and was completely immobile without our help. His left rear limb hung limp and literally  dragged on the ground unless we picked up his hind quarters using the harness. Cornell gave us exercises to do several times daily and recommended 5 minute walks around the yard. In talking with Dr. Luschini,  we learned that acupuncture was available at Veterinary Medical Center and felt that this might help stimulate the nerves and muscles in Bailey’s leg and hasten his recovery.

He started his acupuncture treatments with Doctor Burnett about a week after he came home, and has continued with those treatments to date. Along with the acupuncture, Doctor Burnett taught us other stretches to do daily. We began to see improvements with Bailey’s ability to bear weight and actually stand on his own. We made a return visit to Cornell about six weeks after the initial episode and they were immensely pleased and pleasantly surprised with the progress Bailey had made. At that time they recommended physical rehab. We were so pleased with the care he received at Veterinary Medical Center, we decided to have his physical rehab done there also.

Bailey 2
Bailey 2

We consulted with Lis Conarton, their canine rehabilitation practitioner. Bailey started seeing Lis for laser therapy, massage and workouts using the underwater treadmill. It was a joyous day indeed when the harness came off for good and Bailey was able to walk on his own. We are so happy to say that Bailey has continued to improve. Although he walks with a limp, he is back to most of his normal activities. You can imagine our elation when Bailey actually ran for the first time since his accident. He continues to see both Dr. Burnett & Lis,  and looks forward to these visits. He is anxiously awaiting his first swim in their new rehab pool! Thanks to the exceptional care Bailey is receiving at the Veterinary Medical Center, we are thrilled to have our Bailey back.

~The Sullivan Family


  • Lumbosacral Syndrome
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease


  • Acupuncture
  • Physical Rehab (Laser Therapy & Hydrotherapy)
  • Pain Medications