In March of 09 we were puppy sitting a beagle
who was a high energy and would jump on Billie's back! We noticed
Billie wouldn't get up from her bed so we took her to the vet. She
diagnosed her with calcified discs. We were shocked, and devastated.
I have owned Doxies my entire life and never have I had one with
a back problem. Our other Doxie who is 11 has never had a single
problem. We took Billie home wondering what the future would hold.
Her back slowly recovered and we thought that all was well...and
then in June somehow Billie developed pneumonia. She nearly died
and when we picked her up from the vets she was so excited to see
us she twisted, turned, and jumped; by the time we got her home
she was dragging her left back leg. The paralysis was progressive.
Over the next 30 hours she became paralyzed in both back legs and
bowl and bladder function were lost.
We made the difficult decision to put her to sleep, but our vet
encouraged us to give her some 'time'. So we did. On day 7....miraculous
day 7....she started moving one back leg....little by little over
the course of the next 2 weeks she got back her mobility. It took
3 days from the first movement for her bowel and bladder to come
back. She is a miracle and we know it!
Now she is restricted from jumping (as much as we can) and she uses
ramps to go in and outside. It is hard to always prevent her from
doing things she shouldn't and on the occasion that she jumps I
find myself holding my breath.....My
dad gave me Billie as a birthday gift, and then days later he was
killed in a car accident.....she is the last thing I have from him.
Last year when she was paralyzed the thought of loosing her was
like loosing dad all over again.
Billie is a gentle soul. She loves everyone she meets and definitely
expects everyone to love her. She loves kids, adults and dogs equally.
But the very best about Billie is her complete devotion to me. Every
time I come home from everywhere at all...that love comes pouring
out of her..
About her recovery...Billie first became paralyzed in June of 2009.
On day 7 of her paralysis my husband put her outside to see she
would go to bathroom. He called me out to say that Billie had tried
to stand briefly on her rear left leg. I immediately phoned our
vet (she had even given me her home number!) who told us if movement
was going to return that would return in the reverse that it had
left...and sure enough it was her left leg that had been the last
to loose movement. It took her about 4 days to stand. When she first
was standing I would hold my hands on each side of her so she wouldn't
fall over. When Billie started walking again she was very wobbly
and it took about 2 weeks to regain some balance. For a few weeks
after that she would fall over if she would turn wrong, or sometimes
she would get her back legs 'crossed'. Surprising for several weeks
she could run better than she could walk, and so if she was outside
and would get wobbly I would see her start to gallop a little. She
was often very tired and would sleep a lot (although that could
have been from the pneumonia). Her improvement at first was visible
daily. Gradually the improvement slowed. What she was left with
that she would drag her back toe nails ever so slightly (you could
hear them). However I notice in the past 6 weeks that has also disappeared!
Now she runs and plays with our dachshund and sometimes even plays
with her beloved 'stuffies'.
She still has some outstanding medical issues. She is being treated
for some heart damage from the pneumonia she had and she is also
still coughing and has some congestion. As far her back goes it
continues to improve (now that I have said that outloud....I hope
that I haven't jinxed things!)
I am beyond grateful for everyday that I have Billie with me. There
is absolutely no sound to compare to her contented sigh as she cuddles
beside me. As I said before I hold my breath sometimes....my vet
calls her a walking miracle....and believe me I know it.