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Renee and Andy
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
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!