Disease 101 readings
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grew up with dachshunds and come from a family of dachshund
lovers. I always knew dachshunds were prone to back
problems but had no idea how serious back problems could be
until Baxter Boo's first episode in 2009.
Baxter Boo was born August 20, 2003.
In May 2009, Baxter Boo showed signs of limping, I thought
he had just hurt his leg. We restricted his movement
and one night he could not walk. We rushed him to an
emergency vet at 3AM in the morning. The emergency vet
said he showed no signs of deep pain sensation and said he
was paralyzed and without surgery he would never walk
again. We could not afford surgery. I was a
mess. We had just moved to Akron, Ohio and had not
found a new vet. Later that morning, my husband and I
drove three hours to our old vet for a second opinion.
Our old vet understood IVDD and prescribed medications and
crate rest. Eight weeks of conservative treatment,
Baxter Boo made a full recovery and was not paralyzed.
After the 2009 episode we made modifications to prevent
future injury. We put the mattress on the floor, built
a ramp down the back steps, blocked off all access to stairs
and furniture Baxter could jump on.
January 2013, Baxter Boo was sitting on the floor by the
kitchen table when two of the cats got into an
argument. Tasha jumped on the table to get away and
slid off the table directly onto Baxter's back. He
yelped with pain. He then started walking funny and
was in extreme pain. We immediately crated him and the
next morning took him to the vet. He had two injured
discs in his neck. We started conservative treatment
It took over a week to find the right combination of
medications to eliminate the pain. It was a long first
week. In 2009, we were able to find the right
combination of meds immediately and this time I felt like we
were never going to find the right combination. I
hated seeing my baby in pain. Once we found the right
combination things were going well until we tried to taper
prednisone to every other day. The pain returned and
we continued daily prednisone a little longer and the second
attempt at a taper we were able to go to every other day and
then tampered completely off the meds.
I have learned a lot about IVDD.
During the 2009 episode, I learned if you are not happy with
the vet's recommendation, get a second opinion and find a
vet knowledge about IVDD. If we had not taken Baxter
to our old vet for a second opinion, that stupid emergency
vet would have us put Baxter down. With the 2013
episode I learned keep constant communication with your vet,
our vet was great working with us (seeing Baxter on short
notice and working us in) to find the right combination of
Conservative treatment can work if done correctly. In
2009 it was his lower back and he made a complete
recovery. This time it was his neck and he made a
complete recovery. Conservative treatment is a long
process and is not easy. I missed Baxter Boo sleeping
with us, sitting on the couch with us watching television,
etc. As Baxter Boo has felt better, it is hard when he
gets fussy to leave him in his cage. But I
remind myself he is recovering and we cannot risk
This time we have modified the bed further, the mattress is
still on the floor but we built a barrier around it so he
cannot even jump off the mattress.
As with the 2009 episode, when his eight weeks is up, we
will gradually re-introduce activity. Counting the
days until March 15th.
year ago today everything changed. Baxter Boo suffered
his 3rd episode and this time loss the use of his back legs
and during the past year suffered two more episodes.
A year later he is still not walking but has made wonderful
progress. He can now wag his tail (it is a slow wag
but he is now wagging his tail).
He does weekly water therapy and can move both back legs in
his water therapy. He can almost stand on his
After three episodes and three series of 8 weeks of crate
rest, he has been off crate rest since October 22nd with no
He is sleeping with us once again, and in the evening either
in his cart or his drag bag and playing with his brother and
It has been a very long year but Baxter Boo and my husband
and I stuck with it and he is now a happy and pain free
He may or may not walk again but as long as he his pain free
and remains pain free, I am happy.