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Story of the Month - May 2006    



11/3/05 I arrived home from work at 5:00 pm, Murphy was moving slow but everything else seemed normal. At 7:30 pm Murphy got up from a nap and was walking wobbly. I called the emergency hospital said I was on my way. I had a standing referral from my local vet for any dachshund back issues. We arrived at the hospital 8:30 pm. Murphy would be next in line for a myelogram. The doctor called at 1:00 am, they aren’t going to even wake Murphy from the myelogram, he needed to go straight into surgery. 3:00 am surgery went very routine. I felt good about things the day following surgery. I had been reading and preparing for this situation for a long time. I thought I had done everything for Murphy in a good time frame. Prior to surgery he was still walking, had bladder and bowel control and feeling in his back feet. The morning following surgery 11:00 am the doctor calls me at work. He is very concerned about Murphy, he has no bladder or bowel control, he is completely paralyzed in the back end, he has no deep pain AND the doctor is concerned about a condition that can occur after surgery where the spine swells excessively and can effect lung and heart function. The doctor said if we are dealing with this type of swelling I will have to put Murphy sleep and that I should come and see him tonight. I spent the next couple of days crying, going to see Murphy and sleeping - total shut down. Three days after surgery I was told there was nothing more that could be done for Murphy medically. He had regained some bowel control but nothing else. It was time for him to come home. His release papers stated “"The cause for the sudden change in his neurologic status is unclear and may indicate a poor prognosis for walking again"” and “"Keep him on a well padded bed until he is able to rise and move about on his own (although this may never happen unfortunately)"” It seemed very overwhelming the day I brought Murphy home. I had to learn to express his bladder, this really takes practice. The first 3 days, my head was just spinning, the 4th day things started to fall in place, in a week we had a routine down. (I promise you this does happen a routine does fall into place) We went about 30 days with no signs of improvement. You just can't give up, each pupper heals at their own rate, some slower than others. Murphy's surgeon gave me some advice that really made a difference for me. He said, go to the Christopher Reeves website and read about spinal injuries, read about physical therapy and how it made a difference for him. Doggie physical therapy can do the same for Murphy and remember Murphy's best chance for walking again is a committed owner. Murphy is now walking almost all the time, it's a silly wobbly walk, but he continues to improve. We are having more successful outside potties. I hope you never have a doxie go down, but if you do you will discover a love and bond that is indescribable as you watch your pup and his pure determination and fight to get better. And the first time your paralyzed dachshund scoots across the room and “boings” into your arms you just can't help but giggle and kiss him.



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