9575 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422

"A Full Service Veterinary Hospital Serving the Pets, People,
and Veterinarians of the Central Coast."


Baja has had quite an adventurous life, beginning when he was rescued by his owner, Braden, while on a surf trip to Baja, Mexico. One morning, just after the sunrise, Braden and friends were approached by a local fisherman holding two puppies. In Spanish, the man asked if the men wanted to take the two puppies’ home. Braden was a starving college student and already having a yellow lab replied, “No thanks”. The very next morning Braden and his friends were approached again, and this time, his friend decided to take a closer look. The fisherman explained to them that his small village had too many dogs and if they did not find homes, he would be forced to abandon these puppies in the desert where they would eventually become coyote bait. Needless to say, the puppies got saved! Braden chose the male puppy intending to find him a home once they arrived home in California.



Over the next two weeks, as the men continued to migrate further south, they were getting to know their new puppies. They began to notice that while the female puppy seemed to be spunky and alert, Baja was bumping into walls and acting like he might have a screw loose! This continued for awhile until they returned to the central coast. At that point, Baja was starting to come around and was showing the potential to be a great pet. His ability to listen and learn was evident (and with his yellow labs approval!) Braden decided to keep Baja.



Baja has been a dream come true for Braden. He has covered hundreds of miles in the back country with his owner, played on hundreds of beaches with no concerns while his owner was surfing, climbed many trees and ladders to get his ball, and followed Brian around Cal Poly. Baja has shared all of life’s milestones with Braden and now his wife and new son love him as much as Braden.


Baja presented to Atascadero Pet Hospital & Emergency Center with his head hanging low, pacing and seeming uncomfortable. Baja came to us with a tentative diagnosis of neck pain from a specialist he had seen a few days prior. On initial exam Baja was ambulatory, had a slight fever and was noticeably weak. He had no appetite and was showing some signs of neurologic deficits. Baja was hospitalized for fluid therapy and medications.

A CT scan was performed which revealed several mild disc herniations as well as infectious discospondylitis (severe infection and damage to the bodies of a vertebra). A noticeable odor was detected in Baja’s urine as well, so a urine culture was performed. We began antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications for Baja. The next day an MRI was performed to better evaluate the disc and confirm the infectious discospondylitis diagnosis. It is suspected that the infectious discospondylitis is a result of an untreated urinary tract infection. In addition, the urine culture reported a Staphylococcus organism, so Baja was started on additional antibiotics.

While hospitalized Baja’s neurologic status had declined and he was unable to use his hind limbs, however, with continued antibiotic therapy his condition improved. After 36hrs he was ambulatory, with assistance, for short distances. Baja was discharged from our hospital after 4 days as he was eating, walking, and holding his head a little higher.


After two months Baja continues to improve and is still a happy, healthy member of Braden’s family.


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805-466-3880 :: 9575 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422

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