This is a story about a special little dachshund named Willie.
He is a disc disease and back injury survivor. We hope that
this story will give dachshunds and dachshund lover's everywhere
encouragement and hope when faced with disc disease.
Our adventure started on Nov. 17th, 2003. Our
oldest dog, Willie, woke up that morning and was not quite himself.
He acted as if he was experiencing pain around his lower back
and abdominal area. He was hunched over and walking very "light-footed"
and skittish. We always watch him and did not recall anything
he could have possibly done to injure himself. We observed him
all day and found that he was progressively getting better at
walking. That evening, he took a turn for the worse. He started
yelping with pain and stayed in a hunched over position. Convinced
it was his back, I rushed him to the Pet ER.
Knowing how important the timing is on a back
injury, I immediately told the doctor that my doxie had a possible
back injury and I instructed the nurse on how to pick him up
and keep him still. When the doctor came in and examined him,
he told me I was wrong with my back injury diagnosis. He stated
that it was a severe abdominal infection and he gave him several
shots and antibiotics to take. I then asked the doctor if he
had ever heard of the Dodgers List. He was not familiar, therefore
I talked to him about how I have been working with that group
to help educate people about dachshunds and their backs. I also
talked to him about how a dachshund's back injury could be mistaken
for an abdominal injury because of the hunched over position.
He replied that he was sure it was an abdominal infection and
not his back. He stated the blood work he had done was off in
certain areas to indicate that. My husband and I skeptically
and very carefully carried our little Willie back home.
The next morning, Willie could not walk. I tried
not to cry in front of him, but it was so hard. I immediately
rushed him to my vet for another costly evaluation. The doctor
received the blood work report from ER and stated all of it
was in normal range. It was definitely his back! I was so confused
about how the injury could have happened and also how it was
so clearly misdiagnosed. I told the doctor that we did not recall
anything that could have injured him and he replied that with
degenerative disc disease, like what Willie had, it is just
a matter of time before he injured his back. A slight sneeze
could have triggered it. My vet then called the University of
TN Emergency Vet Hospital to set up a surgical team. They said
Willie was really bad off. They gave me 15 minutes to decide
to go ahead with the surgery or not. Time was so important at
this point. The surgery was going to cost $3000.00 on top of
the ER Visit and all the follow up care visits. Things looked
really bad. It was a lot of money and he only had a 50% chance
of recovery. We took the chance….he is worth it!
Surgery went well. He spent several days in
the hospital. The first few days were so hard because we would
visit him and he did not know we were there. He was so drugged
up that he just stared strait ahead the whole time. On the third
day, we knew we had our Willie back. He was so happy to see
us. He made mounds of progress as soon as we got their. Oh,
what a relief!
At this point, he had a 6-8 week recovery period
before we would know if he would ever walk again. It did not
matter to us. We would get by because Willie was back!
Now, Willie is doing Excellent. He is walking,
barking, and "strutting his stuff" again. We take
extra precautions with him, but allow him to lead the most normal
life allowed. We are so grateful and proud of our little Willie
! He has inspired us and encouraged us to go with our heart,
always fight for our pet's rights and never give up hope…
-Stephanie Wheelock, mother of 4 super special Dachshunds and
owner of DachshundGifts.com
- submitted by Stephanie Wheelock