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Story of the Month - July 2009



My 5 year old Chihuahua, Rosie, was diagnosed with her disc injury on March 30, 2009. She had begun dragging her back legs and had lost movement in her tale. I took her to her vet and he diagnosed her with an extruded disc. The swelling was pressing against her spinal cord and paralyzing her back end. We started her on steroids (Prednisone) and complete crate rest. After three weeks, there was little improvement. I was devastated and desperate for some hope. My vet was "cautiously optimistic" that she would recover, but was offering no guarantees. Neither of us thought surgery was a good option. I decided that whatever the outcome was, I would deal with it. I started looking online for some advice from other pet owners who had experienced this problem and found Dodgerslist. I cannot tell you how much hope I got from reading this website. I had pretty much given up on Rosie ever walking again and when I read some of the other dogs' stories, I began to feel that there was some light at the end of the tunnel. She started to move her back legs/hips a little bit after about a month. Well, it's now been 7 weeks and Rosie is starting to use her back legs again! The steroids were really hard on her. I didn't know a 5 lb. dog could produce 35 gallons of urine in a day! :) I began to call her "Pee Pee the Wonder Dog". After about a month we began to cut back on the dosage. She felt much better. We did this slowly (one 1/4 pill at a time). I have every reason to think she will recover completely. This morning, May 15, 2009, she took several complete, wobbly steps when I took her outside to potty and had her tail at "full mast"!

My thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. I found answers to questions I didn't even know I had. Fortunately, I have a great vet who was very supportive and checked in with me frequently for progress reports. To those of you who are feeling desperate and hopeless: keep the faith. These little animals have determination and Rosie shows me everyday that she is trying her hardest. She has never lost her mischievous, loving personality. I was the one who had doubts, not her. I may never know what caused this injury. I will definitely change her lifestyle to avoid another injury.

I have learned a lot about myself during this experience. I told myself I loved my pet, but I had no idea how much. I learned that I can be more patient and gentle than I ever thought. I also learned to look at this situation intellectually as opposed to emotionally. Not that I didn't cry everyday for awhile. Now I cry with happiness when I see Rosie wag her tail!!

Thanks again!
Bridgette Kime
(and Rosie)

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