Kenzo...Cauda Equina Syndrome...SURGERY???

by Cheryl Coullahan
(Huntington Beach, CA)

Meet Kenzo my 5 yr old GSD. I rescued Kenzo 1 1/2 years ago from his previous owner who after 4 years was trying to give him away on craigslist and he not been neutered. All I could think about was how easy this beautiful intelligent dog could have ended up in the wrong hands of a person for all the "wrong" reasons. It took about 6 months for Kenzo to adjust and realize that this will be his forever home forever. I brought him home not knowing much about his personality but with one look and a 10 minuet interview with him I knew I would have something very special and today...I DO! Kenzo is very active (has ball jaw so loves his tennis balls), very smart and my loyal partner. Kenzo loves going on hikes but his favorite by far is visiting doggy beach running along side of the waves and watching the beauty of a sunset.

In late December Kenzo started showing signs of pain in his right pelvic limb after chasing a ball or jumping into a vehicle. He would let out a sharp cry and quickly lift his back leg. His primary vet took an x-ray and says maybe a pinched disc so we started him on pain meds, acupuncture and a steroid shot. Not liking any of this I took him to a neurological surgeon in Irvine, CA without doing a MRI he diagnosed him with Cauda Equins Syndrome and to have surgery right away. You can imagine how I’m feeling now… scared, sick and so confused. Trying to reach out for answers, advice, and opinions was just giving me stress with anxiety and many nights of crying not knowing which direction to go. We have now had to stop all activities which has been so hard on Kenzo, he doesn’t understand why I won’t throw his ball anymore or why we can’t go to the beach where he has meet so many doggy pals or even why he can’t even go for a ride with me anymore…this is so heart breaking for me and for him. I went to a second opinion in Tustin, CA where I learned a little more about this type of surgery. Kenzo's injury (which we have no ideal how or when this could have happened) is located at his lower back spine area (around spine/tail area). Surgeon says the slipped disc is not in a difficult area for surgery and that his recovery would be about an 88% of having his full life back. She also said that Kenzo can live with this injury and that his body would eventually heal around the slipped disc but that he would always have very little activities…and WE all know how hard that would be for a young active GSD.

I’ve decided to do this surgery; however, it is so very costly ($5 – $7 thousand). I’m going to try and do some local fundraiser and ask for donations to help Kenzo get his life back. I’m planning his surgery at the beginning of April (I have a week off work to be with him 24 hrs). If anyone has any advice or comments that could help us please send them our way.

All donations will go straight into an account set up at the surgical clinic (Veterinary Surgical Specialists (VSS) in Tustin, CA.

If any one would like to donate please email me; I will send you the information needed as well as photo’s and updates as Kenzo recovers.

Sincerely yours,

Cheryl & Kenzo

Total German Shepherd

Hi everyone,

We have not confirmed anything in regards to Cheryl & Kenzo but if you would like to help out you can contact Cheryl at


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