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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!