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Danka

    by Renee and Andy

Danke means thank you in German so we named our dachshund Danka to remind us how grateful we should be for everything we have. We had no idea how significant the name Danka would be as we now watch our beautiful dachshund walk and run again. Danka suffered from an IVDD episode and she became paralyzed 3 months ago, September 2010.


The weekend of September 11th we left Danka with family members for the weekend. When we returned to pick her up she seemed a bit stiff and unlike herself. She initially showed signs she had hurt her leg and after taking her for a brief walk the following Monday she refused to move, we knew something was seriously wrong. She was also shuttering and could not get comfortable, clear signs she was in pain. She seemed to be showing signs of improvement, but then worsened. We were a bit confused so by Wednesday we took her to a vet we had not previously seen. The vet was sensitive to the vulnerability of the Dachshund’s spine, but only suggested a $7,000 surgery at a local surgical center. She gave a prescription for Prednisone and Tramadol and took x-rays. We were not offered additional options or care suggestions.


By the end of the week Danka was not improving and was unable to walk with her back legs or wag her tail, she became paralyzed, however, she was still able to potty on her own. We were completely lost in how to care for her so we searched the internet for any advice and found Dodgerslist. We read everything on the website from the success stories to videos on how to lift her and suggestions on how to crate her. We also purchased the video and joined the Yahoo Group.


We decided against surgery so were motived to find alternative ways to care for her. We were armed with new knowledge about conservative treatment thanks to Dodgerslist. We then took Danka to a new vet who offers acupuncture. She had her first treatment the second week of her episode and showed no signs of improvement. We received conflicting information as this vet suggested we allow Danka to move herself around. We decided to follow the advice of the folks on Dodgerslist and kept her crated only allowing her to go outside for potty breaks. She was very thirsty from the prednisone and had a hard time getting comfortable. After 2 weeks, our vet suggested we start to taper her off the prednisone, however, we were not seeing improvement. We had a feeling she needed to continue on prednisone (5mg 2 times per day) awhile longer and we ran the idea past the yahoo group and they encouraged us to contact our vet. The vet agreed to leave her on her original dose, this was September 23rd. She was handling the drug well and we began to see her personality come back by September 28th. We took this as a sign her pain was easing up, however she was still not able to walk. We used a scarf around her abdomen to assist her to potty since she was unable to stand. Once she was done, she went right back in her crate which we named her apartment.


We were committed to her recovery and decided to take our time to let her body heal naturally. We began to taper her off the prednisone as we saw steady improvement including movement in her tail, returned strength in her legs and a desire in her eyes to return to her normal life. By October 20th she was drug free and able to wobble around. By her 5th acupuncture appointment she was able to walk in the door of our vet office. She was crated for 8 weeks and lost a lot of rear muscle tone, but that is all back now and she can happily wag her tail again. We have seen a complete recovery three and a half months later December 2010.


Knowing what we know now about IVDD she is in much better hands. She is not allowed up and down the stairs, we have invested in some lovely gates. She is also not allowed to jump on or off furniture and we have made some adjustments to the yard such as barriers and ramps. We found a wonderful groomer who we now see regularly to keep her nails trimmed. We will be forever thankful for the knowledge, encouragement and advice from those associated with Dodgerslist. We believe we have witnessed a miracle and we will be forever grateful. Danke Dodgerslist from us and our Danka!



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