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of the Month -
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!!
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