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Story of the Month - November 2008  



We purchased Rex as a puppy from a private party (not a puppy mill) where at the time we were clueless to IVDD or how much Dachshunds are so prone to IVDD.  Rex was purchased for my son really as we had lost a Yorkshire Terrier approximately 2 months earlier after a long 14 year old life.

Up until 8 weeks ago, Rex had a very active lifestyle, unfortunately.  We basically let him roam the house which included jumping up/down off furniture, traversing stairs, jumping off the small bank in our backyard and whatever else he felt like doing.  Rex was also overweight some which I'm sure contributed to his incident.

Like most Dachshunds, Rex is a major ball player and usually walks around with a ball in his mouth and sleeps with a ball close to his side.  For a few weeks prior to him injuring himself we noticed he slowed down in general but was still walking normally.  However he showed no interest in playing ball or playing in general.  It was on a Saturday when I was working in the garage and Rex was lying on the floor close to my workbench, half asleep.  I dropped something which made a very loud noise and it startled Rex big time.  He jumped up from lying on his side in a twist-like fashion and I immediately noticed his tail went between his legs and his ears laid down.  Since I was unaware of exactly what happened I thought he was just mad.  He then went into the house and laid down.  Over the course of the day we knew something was wrong but wasn't sure exactly what.  Rex started walking funny and very slowly.  We went to bed and come Sunday morning my wife woke me up crying, telling me Rex couldn't walk.  We were all devastated as we then realized he injured his back.  Ironically it was my wife's birthday that day and yet we were all in tears and felt helpless.

 It was then I started researching the problem on the Internet and immediately found DodgersList and a few other IVDD related websites.  I read as much as I could as fast as I could but knew surgery wasn't going to be an option for us.  Monday we took Rex to the vet and the vet said he was 95% sure he ruptured a disc.  The vet basically said surgery needed to be done pronto if we wanted to go that route otherwise he recommended rest and a prescription of Predisone and Metacarbamol to see if Rex would show any signs of improvement over the upcoming weeks.

 We took Rex home in tears wondering if it was the end of the road for Rex.  The next few weeks were very stressful as Rex had lost control of his rear legs, bladder and bowels.  My wife made him a few belly-bands so we did those with maxi pads and learned how to express his bladder.  It was like taking care of a baby again and it was also taking a toll on us, especially our 10 year old son.

In addition to the Prednisone and Metacarbamol I started giving Rex 1000mg of Ester Vitamin C daily as I had read where many had good results with it.  Heck, I was willing to try anything at this point.

After 2 weeks Rex regained control of his bladder! <HOORAY>.  We were so happy to see this as it meant much less work taking care of Rex AND it was also a positive sign he was making progress.  A few weeks later Rex started regaining movement in his rear legs, but not the paws.  Still it was a sign of continued progress and we kept hope.  Around week 5 Rex started getting control of his rear paws …and was able to stand on his own and do his business outside.

Around week 6 we started Rex on Acupuncture and while he is still in a crate it does appear to be helping some.  Friday September 12th will be 8 weeks of crate rest for Rex.  We are hoping to slowly wean him out of the crate and let him try and start walking again.  We plan to continue the acupuncture as well.  Right now our biggest concern is not if he will walk again, as I think he will, but how we are going to control him around the house to prevent him from doing things he shouldnt.  There is also the thought in the back of our minds in wondering if he will re-injure himself  however we don't go there very often right now.  It's one day at a time and compared to where Rex was at 8 weeks ago it seems like a miracle for him to be where hes at today.  I hate to say it but 8 weeks ago I didn't have a lot of hope.

Our sincerest thanks to the Dodgers List community.  I'm not sure Rex would be where he is today if it wasn't for the wealth of information available on the website and forum.  It is truly amazing in how we can all educate ourselves quite easily these days via the Internet and technology.

I have attached a few pictures of Rex.  While I'm not sure he is unique he loves to sleep on his back.  He's done this since he was a puppy and continues to sleep this way today.  What a clown.



                Salem, Oregon



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