Recommended Readings  |Emergency FAQ | Join Dodger's Message Board | Home

Story of the Month - August 2005    



I want to tell everyone the information about Princeton, my three year old smooth female Brindle Dachsie. She had surgery on her ruptured disc on March 29th, 2005. She had shown signs of discomfort the Saturday before Easter Sunday. We went straight to the vet and she was put on the medication Deramax and was put on crate rest. On Easter Sunday she went totally down. She had deep pain reflexes and on Tuesday she had surgery.

During surgery it was discovered that her spinal cord was heavily bruised for a length of 1/2 inch. She has been non-ambulatory since then, with towel walking many times a day for potty times. She was only incontinent of urine when she was on Prednisone post operatively, and was never incontinent of bowel. She could tell me everytime she needed to have a bowel movement. Sometimes we didn't make it outside in time, but she at least knew she had to go. She could also always wag her tail.

Last week I noticed if I relaxed the towel under her hindquarters as I towel walked her, she took a very halting step or two. This week she is up and walking on her own, a very slow, wobbling gait in the hind quarters, but up and walking!

I started her on vitamin C postoperatively. At first it gave her very soft stools, so I divided the dose into morning and evening which works well. We also did bicycle physical therapy frequently. Many weeks before she could actually get her self up on the hind legs and walk, she could bear her own weight when I stood her up, and when we towel walked I would let her stand and bear weight for many periods of time during the walking.

It took Princeton eleven weeks to get up and walk independently, but it was well worth the wait. I am hoping she will get stronger and have a stronger gait, and I suspect she will, as she has improved in that these last couple of days.

Above is a picture of Princeton, 3 months postoperatively (minus 10 days) taken 6/21/05. She started out walking a few steps a week ago, and now walks all over the deck, occasionally flopping down on her hind quarters, but gets right back up and proceeds on her examination of every inch of the deck! She walks with a wobble, but is indeed walking after 2 1/2 months of not being able to following surgery.

In the second picture, Princeton is standing on the deck as she pauses in her explorations on one of her trips outside today. You can see her scar from her surgery. Her coat is growing back nicely. We are so very, very happy that she is up and walking. We never gave up on her, just encouraged her each and every minute and she has responded so wonderfully

Many of the comments from the Dodger's list postings made me feel sure Princeton would walk again, plus the fact that she was never incontinent of urine or stool, could wag her tail, could bear weight from almost the first week post op, and towel walked quite well as soon as we started that activity. She definitely has muscle atrophy of her hindquarters, but I am hopeful with time and more walking she will muscle up again.

- submitted by Judy Van Hagen

Have a story you'd like to submit? Send an email to