On July 24th, 2003, my five year old, red piebald dachshund, Buster became paralyzed. My first thought was that I was going to lose my baby. My second thought was to rush him to the emergency vet. When I got to the emergency vets office I was turned away because I did not have the $500 necessary to begin his treatment. At that point I brought him to my mom's vet. Upon our arrival the doctor immediately examined Buster and took him for x-rays. When the doctor came back from doing Busters x-rays he informed me that Buster had calcification in the thoracic area of his spine. He informed me that I could bring Buster to a surgeon, and that it would probably cost between $2,000-$3,000 with a very slim chance of recovery. At that point I broke down into tears because there was no way I could afford the surgery. The doctor suggested that we try steroids, crate rest and that Buster stay at the clinic to be monitored. I agreed and gave my baby a kiss goodbye.
On the way home from the vet's office I prayed like a maniac and started to calm down a bit. Buster had overcome so much in his 5 years that I thought there had to be a way for him to overcome this. When I arrived at home I immediately went on the Internet to research dachshund back problems. That is when I found Dodger's List. I read everything I could at the Dodger's List web site and realized that there were many alternative treatments that would help Buster. Also, I began to post messages and learned the most important lesson of all. Never give up!! By the time I brought Buster home 4 days later, I had a plan of action formulated to help him. The main thing I wanted was for Buster to remain a happy doggie. I decided to buy a cart for him and to take him for acupuncture.
About 1 month after Buster became paralyzed he started acupuncture treatments. He has an excellent acupuncture vet who he adores and who adores him. Not only did she examine him and give him acupuncture on his first visit, she let me borrow a magnetic therapy wand to massage him with daily and taught me a few acupuncture tips to do at home. These include pinching Buster's tail and massaging the inside of his back paws. I noticed improvement in his energy level the very next day after his first treatment. Also, during this time Buster's cart arrived. My niece and the all of the neighborhood kids were thrilled to see Buster tooling around in his new set of wheels. He took to them like a fish in water. He especially loves all of the attention he gets on his walks!!
It has been 3 months since Buster became paralyzed and I see improvements in him every day. The vet told me that Buster would never walk again, but Buster has proved him wrong. He can stand and walk on his own now. He is very wobbly, but he seems to be improving his quality of standing and walking every day. He has regained some bladder control and that also seems to improve on a daily basis, too. He is still going for acupuncture every other week, as well as seeing a chiropractor. I give him daily massages with the magnetic wand and do some exercises with him. The thing that amazes me most is that Buster is such a happy, spunky little guy. He still wants to play with his toy alligator every day and loves going for walks with his brother and sister, Kipper and Angel. As I write this he is staring at a box of doggie treats and making some noise so I'll get up and give him one! During all of this I received a lot of support and encouragement from my family, Buster's vets, all of their staff, as well as Dodger's List. I realize that there are many kind and wonderful people out there willing to help a little doxie and his mom. I look forward to many years with Buster, as well as my two other doxies, Kipper and Angel. My advice to anyone going through this with a pet, is to never give up!!
- submitted by Lynn - Berwyn, IL