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--Success Story--    



    by Missy Robinson

In April, 2010 one of our Dachshunds, 5 year old Moses suffered an IVDD episode and became paralyzed.

We recalled Mo jumping off our bed one evening as he had done hundreds of times, we didn't think a thing about it. The next evening, Mo refused to use the stairs in our home or out into our yard. Thinking he was just sore and stiff, again, we didn't give it much thought. The following evening, we came home from work to find Moses dragging his hind legs, shivering and wimpering indicating clearly that he was in pain. Now horrified, I wrapped him in a blanket and we took him to our Vet. Our vet examined Mo and diagnosed him with a damaged vertebral disc. As a RN, I became extremely concerned and knew what the possibilites of him regaining use of his hind limbs were. The Vet gave us some hope, as Mo did have positive deep pain sensation which was a promising sign. Mo was given a steroid shot to decrease the swelling around the spinal cord and was sent home with an anti-inflammatory, Metacam and instructed to keep him on crate rest for 6-8 weeks. The vet also suggested hydrotherapy that we could do in our tub at home. [editor's note: the use of steroids and a NSAID such as Metacam without a washout period is warned against by the manufacturer and the FDA.]

We brought Moses home and set him up in a crate in our living room so he could still be aware of all that was going on. I immediately turned to the internet and fortunatley found Dodgerslist. I think I read everything on the entire website and watched the videos. I joined the group and had no idea how it would influence my life. After joining the group, I posted about Moses injury and the response I received was overwhelming. I received so much support, encouragement and advice from dogowners who had experienced what I was going through.

I received advice to NOT provide hydrotherapy at this point as it could cause further spinal damage and also to give Moses an OTC stomach pill to prevent GI upset/ulceration and to observe for bladder control as this could potentially be life threatening in itself. I took the advice of the support team, as they had previously been in the same situation and I felt they knew from experience.

Fortunately, Mo never lost control of his bladder and could urinate on his own. Being that Moses could not move his hind end or walk, he wasn't sure what to do when I took him outside to pee. From information obtained on Dodgerslist, I made a sling to take him outside where he could be upright and be able to pee. The first time he peed, I was ecstatic. With much hard work and dedication, Moses remained crated for 6 weeks and began to regain use of his hindlegs and the ability to wag his tail. We continued to keep Mo crated for a total of 8 weeks when he finally could walk steadily again. By 12 weeks, Moses had regain full strength, muscle tone and function of his hind legs and tail making him completely recovered

I cannot thank the people of Dodgerslist enough. Their support, advice and understanding during that horrible time allowed me to keep my sanity! Dodgerslist made us aware of the risks of IVDD in Dachshunds and steps needed to prevent it. This was very important as we have 2 other Dachshunds. Ramps are now used for the dogs to get on/off our bed and they now "ask" to be put up/down from the furniture. Thank you so much Dodgerslist, what a difference you made for Moses and all of our famiy!