Hero Pet Bronte, the French Bulldog who battled IVDD

Hero Pet Bronte the French Bulldog

Just three months ago, Bronte the 4-year-old French Bulldog was living her best life and appeared to be in perfect health.

Then something unexpected happened that terrified her parents, Samantha and Trevor, requiring urgent medical intervention.

Bow Wow Meow is proud to have paid out more than $8,000 toward’s Bronte’s life-saving treatment, and to provide cover for hundreds of IVDD claims each year.


Bronte’s story

One evening in early September, Samantha and Trevor were watching TV while Bronte was snoozing in the bedroom. All of a sudden, they heard her squeal and screech very loudly. Extremely startled, they ran to her side, and tried to calm her. Although they could find no obvious signs of trauma, Bronte continued to be very distressed.

They called in an out-of-hours vet service, who couldn’t determine what had happened to Bronte as she had stabilised by the time the vet arrived. Suspecting that she may have experienced a seizure, he gave her some medication and took blood samples.


The frightening prognosis

Bronte’s condition did not improve overnight, so the next day Samantha took her to the Melbourne Bulldog Clinic, where the vet had strong suspicion of IVDD – intervertebral disc disease and immediately referred Bronte to VRH vet hospital in Dandenong.

An MRI scan confirmed IVDD and possible Myelomalacia, a debilitating condition that can occur after a spinal cord injury and is often fatal within days.


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Bronte the French Bulldog
Bronte suffering from suspected IVDD


The Neurologist at VRH delivered the frightening prognosis to Samantha and Trevor, explaining that things were not looking good at that stage.

As Samantha explains, “We were just beside ourselves. There was no particular event that caused this condition, so we were perplexed and in disbelief. 

We knew we had insurance with Bow Wow Meow but in all honesty, we’d have paid anything to get our gorgeous Bronte well, even if we hadn’t had cover.”


Treatment and recovery

On the vet’s recommendation, Bronte underwent surgery to remove a bulging disc. The procedure went well, and the surgeon was tentatively hopeful that the suspected Myelomalacia had in fact been oedema (swelling), but warned Samantha and Trevor not to get their hopes up.

The next few days were critical for Bronte, and her anxious pet parents spent as much time as they could by her side, consciously willing her to get through her ordeal.


Hero Pet Bronte the French Bulldog
Samantha comforting Bronte after her surgery


“VRH were amazing and let us stay for as long as we wanted. It helped the vet nurses with one less patient to look after, it helped us by seeing Bronte and we are also convinced it helped Bronte’s recovery.”


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Bronte the French Bulldog
Watching over Bronte post surgery


The happy outcome ♥

Since the surgery, Bronte has made an amazing recovery. In the first few days post-surgery, she wobbled about on her back legs and was pretty zonked out from her medications.

Just two weeks later she was able to go for a little walk on the beach.


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Bronte the French Bulldog
A milestone walk on the beach


Bronte has now fully recovered from her traumatic ordeal and is back to being her adorable, cheeky old self,  happily accompanying Samantha and Trevor wherever they go.

“We are so very grateful to have our girl home.”


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Bronte the French Bulldog
Bronte at the Million Paws Walk

Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance saved Samantha and Trevor thousands of dollars

Bow Wow Meow paid out over $8,000 for Bronte’s medical costs.

VRH submitted the claim directly for Bronte’s treatment, allowing Samantha and Trevor to focus their energy where it was most needed – on getting their beloved Bronte better.

“The claims process with Bow Wow Meow was effortless. With all the stress and trauma both us and Bronte went through, there’s no way we could have dealt with lodging a claim as well. Thank you Bow Wow Meow for being so efficient in your processes. I really did feel that we were valued and you put us first.” 


What is IVDD?

Occurring in around 2% of domestic dogs, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition where the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal cord degenerate, causing pain and neurological problems. The discs can bulge out (protrude) or herniate (burst) into the spinal cord space, causing compression of the spinal cord and nerves at the site. This results in pain, nerve damage and even paralysis.

In 2022, 2,849 claims were made for IVDD with an average claim cost of $3,480, while the highest claim was for $31, 221 (as per Petsure claims data).

What are some IVDD signs to look out for?

  • Neck pain and stiffness (reluctance to move the neck and head)
  • Muscle spasms in the neck or back
  • Lowered head stance
  • Back pain and stiffness
  • Yelping unexpectedly when touched or moving
  • Crying out in pain

Bow Wow Meow’s Accident Plus, Peace of Mind and Ultimate Care policies all include cover for IVDD (unless it is a pre-existing condition or occurs during the waiting period. Please refer to the PDS for further information).

Learn more about IVDD in dogs



We are so impressed with Bronte’s spirit through her frightening ordeal that we have chosen her as our Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet.

We recognise that there are many pets out there who are facing challenges every day. These dogs and cats are all heroes to us. If you would like to nominate your fur baby as a Bow Wow Hero Pet, please let us know.




Note: Pet Insurance covers a portion of eligible vet bills. Testimonials are based on individual circumstances and varying factors such as cover options, excess, risk ratings and available discounts apply.


This article is written by

Nicky Klugman

Nicky is our Marketing Communications and Content Specialist. She is an animal-lover who is particularly interested in animal behaviour and the relationships between humans and their pets. While growing up, dogs were always an integral part of the family. Nicky is mum to three human sons and a rescue pup called Dobby.

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*Please note, any pet insurance advice provided is general only. Refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement for details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover.