Travis went from being fully paralyzed from the neck down post-op, only able to move his head, to righting himself when laying on his side, to taking his first steps, to finally being able to walk – then run.. If Travis has taught me anything, it’s whatever life throws at you, don’t give up! Take baby steps to get through it.
I never realized how totally unprepared I would be for a cervical disc injury. Until I got Rocky on a pain medication, a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory in sufficient quantity and dosing, he was not getting any better and in fact seemed worse. Treating a cervical neck disc seems to be challenging in that every time the dog moves its head it aggravates the injury.
Over the past year, Rusty’s loving personality has returned. As a family, we have learned a new normal. We have learned to genuinely value everyday with him as a true gift. He is always so happy when he wakes up each morning. Even though he has not regained the use of his back legs, he does have a good quality life. He loves the park, car rides, boat rides, swimming (yes, he can swim!), belly rubs, his family and treats!! Rusty just celebrated his 14th birthday.
Goosie’s recovery was a very slow process after Fall 2008 surgery. About 10 weeks after his surgery, we took Goosie to Eddie’s Wheels and had him custom fitted for his very own wheelcart.
As far as his quality of life, he never stopped enjoying all of the same activities as before his injury, such as trying to eat the cat, hunting for frogs, terrorizing chipmunks, and playing with his sister, Maple. He simply did them with the aid of his cart and supervision.
One year since Goosie’s surgery. He is now able to walk about 30 feet on the grass on his own without falling. It is a somewhat drunken walk at times, but he’s doing it! This boy is never going to give up, and neither will we.
We still haven’t given up hope that Daisy may one day walk again, but if not, she is perfect the way she is. She is a completely happy dog who loves life! She is pain free and does not realize or care that she has a disability. She has been such an inspiration to many people we meet on our walks, at the vet’s office, and around town. Daisy and I would like to send a huge thank you to everyone who is a part of Dodgerslist for the invaluable information that has given us so much hope and helped us get through many very difficult times. We have learned that IVDD is not an end; it is simply a new way of life.
I think back to that first day when I found Dodgerslist and I read, “…before you make any decisions that you cannot undo!” I remember what my mother taught me when I was a kid: Where there is LIFE, there is HOPE.
You all know the feeling of helplessness and fright when that little sweet critter goes down. As a “rescue,” she just had to be given the chance. She had already been through so much. Every few days, Maria would hit the next milestone of recovery. She started with little spurts of standing, then she started the reciprocal movement of her legs with knuckled down feet. Then, she became able to place her feet normally. Then she started wobbly walking which eventually became more stable walking; and then, she got rid of the sling!
(5 yr old smooth red “tweenie” weenie -17 lbs)
My 5 year old Cubbie’s legs would not work!. His regular vet recommended surgery at the University of Florida for a 95% recovery chance, sounded great to me, let’s go!…until he explained it would cost about $5000. It just was not in our budget.
I was sent home with prednisone and pain meds along with the recommendation to give an acid reducer. He was given a 50% chance of walking at that point. They gave me no further instructions or advice. One week later and he had lost more control and deep pain sensation, bladder control was gone. Now, they only gave him a 25% chance of a partial recovery. Talk about guilt!!! I cried my eyes out for 3 days straight.
Then I found DodgersList online. I read EVERYTHING I could find on the site. I found encouragement from the success stories, advice for his potty needs and lots of HOPE. I then committed to give Cubbie my best efforts for 8 weeks of crate rest.
I followed all the advice from the moderators on DodgersList. At the time I don’t think I ever really believed he would recover, but I was going to give it all I could to try. We were very strict about limited movement, he stayed in his crate and preferred to be there.
He was “served” breakfast in bed. I carried him to his usual potty spots outside and became a “professional” bladder expresser.
Cubbie graduated from his 8 weeks of conservative treatment and crate rest.
I am so blessed to say that he not only walks (like a drunken sailor sometimes) but he runs (well actually hops forward like a bunny now).
No more high places to jump from, no steps and he is put in his crate when we are not home and at bedtime. He is back to his old curious, happy little self. I wonder if he even realizes his back end is a bit slower than the front end.
Today he found his toy box we had hidden in a corner when he first went down. He pulled out his favorite toy and looked at me, I saw that playful sparkle in his eyes that says “chase me!” and off he went….”Go Cubbie Go!”
This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the dog IVDD community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice https://www.facebook.com/Dodgerslist/and all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.
©2023 Linda Stowe, founder of DODGERSLIST.com FACEBOOK, Instagram, YouTube