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Story of the Month - June 2017



On July 18, 2015, my whole world was turned upside down. I gave my pups, Zorro and Zeke, two kisses each, gave them some water, and put them in their crates. We were about to catch a long movie, and the boys went for a two mile run before this, so they definitely had some sleeping to do. I left my happy, go-lucky boy Zeke, but when I came back, I saw a crippled and screaming pup. He wouldn't go up the stairs and wouldn't let anybody touch him. Absolutely mortified, we all left him alone. I felt awful but I've never dealt with something like that. He was only about 10 months old at this point.

Flash forward to the next morning, he was even worse. He could move his legs, tail and head, but he refused to, as it was very painful and stiff. We then rushed him to our vet who did all types of expensive testing. Eventually, she got to the x-ray and saw that it was IVDD. She saw that he had herniated two discs in his back. She said that this wasn't the worst case that could be seen, but definitely was serious. She said we could go through with a $5000 surgery, or go through a strict crate rest period. We opted for the crate rest. She loaded him up with steroid shots and give us prednisone. We crate rested him for only 4 weeks, not knowing much about IVDD. Then, we found Dodgerslist.

Zeke made a very fast recovery. He was back to running around like crazy, going for walks everyday, and rough housing with two Great Danes that live behind us. Unfortunately, one day, about a year later, when we had some younger children over, one of them swooped Zeke up and cradled him like a baby. Again, I heard that absolutely awful shriek.

Thinking that for whatever reason I was an expert on IVDD, I calmly put him in his crate. Two days later he was paralyzed. I mean couldn't feel a thing in his back legs. He couldn't control his bowel or bladder, and wouldn't even lift his head. He was crying in his crate, and hysterically crying, I brought him to the vet again. They said this time he has another three herniated discs. FIVE herniated discs on a two year old pup. They did not want to give him a steroid shot just yet, and wanted me to see if he would get better with anti-inflammatory pills. For two weeks I gave him those small little pills and I found out a few days later he was hiding them in his blanket! He was spitting them all out! No wonder why he wasn't getting any better. During this two week period, he still couldn't walk or control his bladder or bowels, though he could lift his head and move it around.

I took him back to the vet and they said there is little to be done. Five herniated discs is a lot for such a small pup. Or really any dog in general. They said that our best bet was to put him down. Never had they seen a case where a dog was paralyzed for so long that had the absolute smallest touch of DPS, deep pain sensation. Furious, I demanded that he was given steroid shots and more powerful pills. They obliged, and I'm telling you, as soon as we got home Zeke was moving his feet and wagging his tail. He couldn't stand up very well, he was incredibly wobbly, but I didn't care. Just after a steroid shot he was feeling great and could feel his back legs and tail. I was overjoyed and bought my whole family, as well as Zeke ice cream. Zeke stayed crate rested for five weeks. During those five weeks, all he wanted to do was play. We ended up putting his cage in my room because he couldn't settle down.  

To this day, Zeke hasn't had a relapse. He has gone an entire year back in March of 2017, when he took his first official steps as a healed pup. He no longer goes for walks, but man can that dog outrun any dog I've ever seen! Admittedly, I do let him run in the backyard, but he tires pretty quickly and if I sense him playing for more than a few minutes too roughly, I shut it down. If you met him in person, besides being able to feel him spine and him having a weird little trot, you wouldn't be able to tell he has gone through all of this since 11-months-old. Zeke will be turning four on August 21st.

To anybody that has an IVDD dog, do not give up. Zeke never did and look where that got him. He still has a relatively normal life, filled with treats, hugs, and lots of kisses. He sleeps in a crate to prevent injury, and is very lean. Before his IVDD at 9 months, he was about 16 pounds. Now he is 11. Having the extra weight off is definitely great for them. Good luck on your journey, no matter what path you take ~ Love Zeke and Mom.

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