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Story of the Month - January 2010



On October 5th 2009 at 6:30PM our boy (5 yr old smooth red "tweenie" weenie -17 lbs) Cubbie yelped while playing with our 5 year old daughter. We did not see that she had accidentally stepped on him or anything, she was sitting on the floor and said she pulled on his collar. He acted very weird the rest of the night. I did notice that he missed the sofa a few times when trying to jump up. He only wanted to stay close to me (mama). I am ashamed to say it did not "click" that his back could be injured. I thought his hip or foot was hurt. He was breathing a little different, but other than that was very stoic through the pain and it was not clear to us that he feeling pain. We went to bed.

The next day he seemed a little less active, but still found the energy to go chase lizards in the backyard (we live in Florida) He has always enjoyed running and jumping, he loved his dog life and made the most of it. I let him outside to play for several hours that day, later that night he seemed in pain. I planned to take him to the vet the next morning. Well, at 1a.m, I awoke to him acting very restless in our bed. I put him on the floor to go out to potty, but he did not follow me. I carried him out to potty and he still had bladder control, but his rear just flopped over. Panicked, I drove him to the ER vet just 5 minutes away. He was diagnosed with a ruptured disc. They kept him until 6am to monitor him and give him pain meds, high dose IV steroids and stomach protector.

Later that day I took him to his regular vet. They recommended surgery at the University of Florida for a 95% recovery chance, sounded great to me, let's go!...until he explained it would cost about $5000. My husband and I have young children to care for and I only work part time so I am available for our children after school. As much as I love my little pup, it would have been irresponsible to do spend that much out of our already tight budget. I was sent home with prednisone and pain meds along with the recommendation to give an acid reducer. He was given a 50% chance of walking at that point. They gave me no further instructions or advice. We went back 1 week later and he had lost more control and deep pain sensation, bladder control was gone....urine just dripped out of him. He just laid there and looked so sad. Now, they only gave him a 25% chance of a partial recovery. Talk about guilt!!! I cried my eyes out for 3 days straight. My husband and I talked about putting him to sleep. I was stressed and not sure I could care for this dog the way he needed to be cared for. Then I found DodgersList online. I read EVERYTHING I could find on the site. I found encouragement from the success stories, advice for his potty needs and lots of HOPE. I then committed to give Cubbie my best efforts for 8 weeks of crate rest. I followed all the advice from the moderators on DodgersList. At the time I don't think I ever really believed he would recover, but I was going to give it all I could to try. We were very strict about limited movement, he stayed in his crate and preferred to be there. He was "served" breakfast in bed (boiled chicken and rice mixed w/soft dog food) I carried him to his usual potty spots outside and became a "professional" bladder expresser. He even acquired one of my daughter's fuzzy pink princess blankies as his own "woobie". She gladly gave it to him. We prayed everyday for his recovery.

He had lived such a very active lifestyle, ran very fast, loved to play tug of war with his toys, jumped up and down on the fence line chasing lizards, ran around the house like a crazy dog when we would say "Go Cubbie Go!!!" He would jump on and off beds, sofas etc. I always kept his diet healthy so he was never overweight and he still was young to me at only 5 years old. I never imagined it could be his back. Hind sight is 20/20. I look back at all the bad habits we let him do and actually encouraged. I played the blame game with myself for many weeks after he went down. We just loved watching him enjoy life so much. Dodgesrlist helped keep me stay focused on healing and happiness and not guilt.

Cubbie graduated from his 8 weeks of conservative treatment and crate rest on Nov. 28. I am so blessed to say that he not only walks (like a drunken sailor sometimes) but he runs (well actually hops forward like a bunny now) He has good bladder control and we are working on a schedule to help him with bowel control, he doesn't have too many accidents, I am hoping this will improve with time. I love it that he can wag his tail when he is happy. We make him take it easy now, no more high places to jump from, no steps and he is put in his crate when we are not home and at bedtime. He is back to his old curious, happy little self. I wonder if he even realizes his back end is a bit slower than the front end. Today he found his toy box we had hidden in a corner when he first went down. He pulled out his favorite toy and looked at me, I saw that playful sparkle in his eyes that says "chase me!" and off he went...."Go Cubbie Go!"


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