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Nerve regeneration

Nerve healing during a disc episode

REGAINING NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION has no time limit for nerves to heal. Nerve repair is individual as each injury is different and each dogís ability to heal is different.  If deep pain perception (DPP) is present, even in paralyzed legs, there is a chance your dog may be able to walk again. For those dogs who have lost DPP, do know nerve regeneration can take place and that function may return.  Once deep pain perception is regained, your dog has a chance at a walking recovery. Thousands of dogs on Dodgerslist have regained functions in as little as 2 weeks, others 11 months, and still others 3 years later. IVDD is a disease of patience to allow the body to heal on its own terms. Acupuncture and Laser Therapy stimulate the cellís metabolism that leads to the bodyís natural repair abilities and can be started at any time.

Potential disc-caused progression of spinal cord nerve damage

Wobbly, crossing, weak legs

Knuckling paw
leg paralysis
Legs are paralyzed, do not move

Loss of bladder control & the need to manually express the bladder

Tail hangs limp, can't wag with some happy talk

Once nerves have repaired then muscles will also have to be retrained to relearn proper placement of the paws. Some muscles will need to regain strength for walking. Consider learning to walk again as it would be for a stroke victim or a baby learning to walk. At first, the steps will be weak and a bit unstable. Relearning to walk takes coordination, building up strength, and lots of patience.

There is no timetable anyone can give you when to expect nerve repair to happen. In fact, there is no time limit for nerves to can take weeks to more like a year or even longer. However, it is known that neurological function usually returns in the reverse order of the damage. The first big sign you want to look for is that wonderful tail wag!

1. Deep Pain Sensation (Only correctly identified by a specialist.)
2. Tail wagging with joy at seeing you, getting a treat or due to your happy talk.
3. Bladder and bowel control proved by passing the "sniff and pee" test.
Take your dog out to an old pee spot in the grass. Let him sniff and then observe for release of urine.
4. Leg movement, and then ability to move up into a stand, and then wobbly walking.
5. Being able to walk with more steadiness and properly placed paws.
6. Ability to walk unassisted and perhaps even run.

True success with IVDD is measured by the most important goal of returning your dog to a pain free, happy and full-of-love quality of life after surgery or conservative treatment. Should paralysis occur, please know that dogs do not view the lack of ability to walk as a minus as humans do. Dogs adjust to what is and then get on with the business of fully enjoying all that life has to offer until nerves repair! Learn how to re-think things!

This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the Dachshund community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice and all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.

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