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Story of the Month - October 2004    



It has been a year now that Sydney had surgery for L3-5 herniated intervertebral discs. The doctor gave her an 80% chance of walking again. On September 2, 2003 we brought her home to begin our journey.

Sydney never really appeared to be in any pain, she was just happy to be home. She could not walk at all and had no bladder or bowel control.

Soon after bringing her home, I learned about acupuncture and took her to see if it would help. The doctor was a retired vet that practiced acupuncture and really wasn't interested in Sydney at all. We were driving 1 hour up and back to see this guy. He said that if after the second treatment we didn't see any improvement (he meant if she didn't walk) then it wasn't going to work. We went a few more times and then stopped. I knew there was some doctor out there that would be more interested in her than that, but at that time I couldn't find one.
I purchased a pool for my back yard, a rather large one because Sydney is a big girl, and tried to do water therapy myself. Her back legs did not move at all. I found a place about 45 minutes from my house that did water therapy. She went on the treadmill but showed no improvements there either. The therapist told me to try acupuncture again. She referred me to one that she had used before. We went for the first session and what a difference it was! The vet was wonderful and Sydney was relaxed this time. After the second session, Sydney peed on her own!!! That made me a believer. We also found a Chiropractor that was just minutes away from our house. We continued to take her to both and saw small but important improvements. Soon Sydney was able to wag her tail!!! A happy wag at that. She regained some of the feeling back in her right foot, but still can't walk.

We do exercises with her every night to try and keep her muscles strong. For some reason her legs became very stiff. Nobody knows why. Through all of this Sydney has suffered urinary tracts infections that will not go away. Right now she is on a daily dose of Clavamox and it appears to be working. She is on Solid Golds Berry Balance to keep the pH in her urine correct. I get a urine sample from her every morning and check the pH. If it is to high, then I increase the Berry Balance. To low, then I back off for a day and see what happens. We purchased her a cart also. She did not like it at first, but now loves to go for walks and eat grass and chase an occasional bird when mom lets her. Through all of this Sydney has been a wonderful patient. She still doesn't have bowel control and her bladder control is on and off. She can stand for about 15 seconds at a time, when she wants to.

You might say to yourself "where is the success story"? Most success stories end with the dog walking again. In my eyes she is a success. We have conquered a lot of obstacles in this last year. I have brought her back from a pitiful soul that didn't know what was happening to her to a wonderful happy and healthy (and a bit spoiled I might add) girl. She has lost 10 pounds since surgery and looks great. She doesn't know that she can't walk, she just knows that there are things she can't do.

I will never give up on her. She is the love of my life and actually has brought my husband and myself closer. Our children are pretty much grown up now and so now we have a baby again!! Our world revolves around Sydney and I wouldn't have it any other way. I look at her and know that I did the right thing even though it was difficult in the beginning. All the people on Dodgerslist have been wonderful and very inspiring. I have learned so much here and there is still a lot to learn. What I have learned I have past on to many people that have been or are in the same position I am in. That is where most of the success comes in. The success that others achieve through any help that I can give is what counts.

I want to thank everyone here that has been with me through all of this. The support and love that is out there is beyond belief. I probably will never be able to post the post that I so dreamed of, "Sydney walked", but to see others achieve that goal makes my heart happy.

Anita and Sydney
- submitted by Anita Chavez


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