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Story of the Month - August 2006    



Hunter, my mini-long haired doxie was born on January 1st 2000. He was lucky enough to be two in a litter and his little belly grew faster than his legs. He had to have braces to keep his legs together and the vet feared that he may never walk. The breeder did not want to give him to us but we convinced her that no matter what we could give him a good home (we had our hearts set on him for the time he was born!). In about a month he was walking around without braces like any other puppy. He came from a champion blood line so we are very luck to have such a pretty puppy!

He was hospitalized in April of 2004 for IVDD. We were on our way to a wedding the next day and he kept us up all night in severe pain. We stopped at the vet on our way to Houston from San Antonio and our vet advised us to keep him there over the weekend so that they could crate him and put him on steroids. When we picked him on Monday and he was sore but had recovered. We were told to keep him still and no stairs for two weeks. He had a full recovery: he lost 5 lbs and got down to 10 lbs, the ideal weight for a mini! The vet suspected he had suffered damage from his braces as a puppy, but I was convinced he needed to jump less on the furniture!
Two years went by and as time wore of we became lax in discouraging him from jumping on furniture. He attempted to jump our on couch in January 2006 and landed on his tailbone. That night we were reminded of the last injury when he kept us up all night. I took him to the vet and he got an IV of steroids and required strict cage rest for two weeks. The vet warned us that surgery would most likely kill him and we followed the routine to every detail. He didn't seem to be improving, over the next two weeks. He could walk but seemed extremely clumsy. My husband and I went out of town for a weekend trip with my family and left him with my sister-in-law, he had a few days left of his cage rest. She called us on our way home Sunday and
said that Hunter could not walk; he seemed paralyzed but was not in pain. We rushed him to the emergency vet clinic and they suggested surgery. We were very upset, because of what our regular vet had told us earlier. However, our surgeon convinced us that she was wrong and the success rate for surgery was very high because Hunter still had deep pain. Hunter had a very difficult time with surgery. The anesthesia paralyzed his bowels, and he did not eat or drink for 5 days until they figured out what the problem was. He got an infection in his incision from a skin infection that had been treated for about a month prior to his surgery but apparently never cleared up. He ended up staying the hospital for two and a half weeks. We brought him home and it was tough…Every other day to the doctor to have bandages replaced. Sleepless nights, potty problems, he was not walking. In another 2.5 weeks his incision had healed well enough for him to start water therapy. He had deep pain after the surgery and could stand but was not walking. It was 5 weeks post surgery when he started therapy so I was concerned that the lapse in time would cause problems.

Today: He just finished two weeks of physical therapy and he's doing great. Unfortunately, we have all hardwood floors and tile so he slips and slides a lot when I don't have an area rug in the room. But, he's walking outside and on other surfaces pretty well. We are going for another round of PT for two more weeks and she's going to focus on tile walking. She seems to think he'll be walking around on tile just find with a few more weeks of work. We'll that's it! I found Dodger's List a few weeks after Hunter's surgery and it helped me to be able to read to success stories and get everyone's feedback. Thank you for everything. It looks like our guy is a true success story! Amanda


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