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Story of the Month - June 2003    



It all started back in Jan 2003. David was taking the Gretchen and Bailey for their morning walk. He got just a little ways from the house when Gretchen went towards the tall grass and just lay down and wouldn't get up. David picked her up and carried her to the house. We put her on a pad in the living room. She lay there all day and later she threw-up a little.

I called the doctor and took her in the next day. The doctor said it was her back disk and maybe her neck also. We had no idea of how serious it was. He gave us some Rimadyl and something else to give to Gretchen.

After a week she wasn't any better so I called the doctor and we took her in again. He gave her Prednisolone. She was to take 5mg 3 times a day or all at once in the morning and 500mg of Robaxin 3 times a day. That seemed like it was working for the first few days. I was so scared, so I got on the computer and looked for help with Dachshunds. From there I met Linda and she told me about Dodgerslist. She talked with me and helped me a lot by giving me information and understanding what I felt.

I called the Vet again and he said to bring Gretchen in later that day and he would see about giving her acupuncture. That seemed like it helped a little. Then she had a full acupuncture treatment and the doctor told me to give her two of the Prednisolone a day and 2 of the relaxers. He also gave us some Synovi-MSM Granules to sprinkle on both dog’s food. We went home and after two days I called the doctor again. I told him she was crying and dragging her front foot. He told me to put her back on 3 of each of the pills again. So that's what I did.

A week later, Gretchen went in for more acupuncture. She started crying again within a few days again and began dragging her foot more. I called the doctor again and he said to bring her in and he would see what we should do. Doctor Ponder gave her another acupuncture treatment and told me that we should start thinking about going to see a specialist. He knew of two in Santa Cruz, but he said he would try Dr. LaHue. He turned out to be great.

We set up the appointment and we went in and saw Dr.LaHue. He said there was a differential diagnosis for Gretchen’s neck pain, right-sided hemi paresis – a cervical spinal cord lesion (Intervertebral disc disease, neoplasia, inflammatory/infectious).

The prognosis was good and the compressive lesion was treatable surgically. There was also a possibility that her signs could improve without surgery, but it is less likely with these current signs. The new doctor also took her off most of her many medications. He put her down to one Prednisolone a day and a fourth of a tablet of Robaxin three times a day. After seven days, she only had to take one Prednisolone every other day and if she seemed better, we could stop the Robaxin completely.

Surgery was not an option for us because of the cost, so I prayed and I knew God would decide what would happen to us now. I talked with others and asked if Gretchen should have more acupuncture. I was told to ask the doctor about an added boost of Adequan, and about the statement “infectious” and also ask Dr. Ponder if he does ultrasounds, Diathermy, or Whirlpool treatment.

Gretchen seems like she is doing better, and she doesn't drag her front foot as much. She also wants out of her bed. I pray and a lot and my friends pray for her so with God on our side and with Linda, Rita, and Dr. Ponder’s help, how can we lose?

Today is May 14th, and it has been 5 long months since Gretchen went down, but now she is doing so well. Yesterday she saw Dr. Ponder for her 3 week acupuncture and the doctor said she looked good. She started walking on the sidewalk about two weeks ago. She loves to go for walks in her stroller and watch all the people watch her. Gretchen sleeps in her playpen at night and she has learned to like it now. During the day she takes a nap on her tiger rug or with her brother. She doesn't take any medicines just the Synovi-MSM, which I sprinkle on her and Bailey’s food in the morning. Sometimes I give her steamed carrots and broccoli. She has been running a little as well. This is Gretchen's story with a happy ending.
- submitted by David, Joann, Bailey & Gretchen

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