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--Success Story--    



    by Michelle Smykowski

Our story starts the first week of October, 2009. Maggie was 4 1⁄2 years old and wasn’t acting herself. She wouldn’t go up or down any steps, she was shivering and wanted to be left alone. (Now we know, all are classic IVDD symptoms.) We took her into an emergency vet that night and the vet examined Maggie and thought maybe it was her anal glands.

Two days later she wasn’t improving, we took her to her regular vet. She did an x-ray (that didn’t show anything) and prescribed Prednisone. That next morning, Maggie went down. Luckily my husband was home and immediately rushed her back to the vet. Then and only then did they suspect a ruptured disc.

This was the first we were ever hearing about a disc problem. We were told she would need surgery and it was going to cost approximately $7000. We had to drive about 30 minutes away to the Neurologist. Needless to say that was the worst car ride of my life. I have never sobbed so hard, we thought when we got to the next vet, they were going to tell us we would have to put her down. We had decided during the ride that we would pay for the surgery if that was what needed to be done.

Two neuro interns did an examination on Maggie and explained she would need a MRI and then if they found she had ruptured a disc then she would go straight into surgery. I remember asking if we were going to have to put Maggie down – they both said “NO!” very confidently. We left Maggie with them and went home.

I immediately got on the computer and started researchingdisc problems in dachshunds. That is when I found Dodgerslist. I learned what Maggie had was called IVDD. No vet had still ever said those words to us. I was on Dodgerslist for hours, I read everything I could and watched the videos of dogs using carts and I felt such a huge feeling of relief. We were totally fine with Maggie being in a cart, at least we would still have her, that’s all that mattered.

Later that day we received the phone call from the Neurologist, she explained that the MRI showed a ruptured disc and that they would be going right into surgery. She was quite pessimistic on the phone, which brought us back down. A couple hours later the surgeon called and said the surgery went well. The neurologist gave Maggie a 50/50 chance of ever walking again. In the meantime we bought a crate and all the supplies and were ready for her homecoming (thanks to Dodgerslist).

We brought her home 2 days after her surgery. We were shown how to express her bladder, which took a lot of practice, but we eventually figured it out. Within a week Maggie regained control of her bladder. We continued short walks with her sling and mobility therapy on her legs. After 6 weeks of crate rest we found a great holistic vet and we started acupuncture and water treadmill. Now 6 months later Maggie is walking and running and continues her therapy. We give Maggie a shot of Adequan every two weeks, she gets a sardine, Vitamin E and Bromelain every day. Her walk is of course not perfect, she’s wobbly especially in the morning. We have totally IVDD proofed our home. No more stairs for Maggie, she gets carried up and down. No more jumping on/off furniture or beds. We now have ramps to go outside. All I can say is if it wasn’t for Dodgerslist and the Yahoo list with the most incredible moderators ever, I can’t imagine what the outcome may have been. We will forever be grateful and tell everyone about it every chance we get.