Dodgerslist Successes page 10

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Dakota was born Aug, 23, 2002. Her name is Dakota Star Von Lebenslust. She joined our family at 9 wks of age. We wanted a Leonberger for yrs and had been on their rescue list but none ever came up in our area, thank goodness for the breed but we so wanted a Leo that we began researching breeders. We researched and found an excellent breeder who did all the tests and research before breeding. She BARF Fed her dogs and was active with them. All our babies had always been rescues Dakota came from an LCA (Leonberger Club of America) breeder, which we promptly joined. She was one of 11 with only one boy. Many of her siblings are show dogs and champions but family members first. I don't know of any who had the problems Dakota had.     Then we noticed her yelping, a quick sharp yelp when she bumped her head like when she goosed someone-Leo's are well known for their goosing ability. We didn't know if it was her nose, shoulder, head , neck or what. It was only occasionally and with the three of us, my 2 children and I didn't put it together immediately. Then in Feb.2005 we took her to my Vet who thought it was a pulled muscle or pinched nerve. She put her on restricted activity and told us not to even put a collar on her. Dakota is so stoic she had a hard time getting any reaction but my Vet is awesome and reads her furbabies like no other I have seen. We ran a course of Rymadyl and everything was fine until we stopped the meds. It started again. We also tried a course of Deramaxx with the same results. While on the meds she was fine when they stop she hurts. Still restricted activity and thinking she has a pinched  nerve or pulled muscle maybe from wrestling with her best buddy our lab mix rescue Mojo.  My vet sent us to a neurologist, Dr Schueller. We are terrified now as we don't know what is going on. The neurologist tells us he thinks it is more than a pinched nerve, keep her on restricted activity, no stairs, no collar still and we can keep her comfortable with Deramaxx but she needs a spinal tap and MRI Kori. So we had the test and it turns out that she has invterterbral disk disease (IVDD) with C5-C6 and C6-C7 bulging and signs if arthritis in her spine and needs a Cervical Dorsal Laminectomy. This is May 2005 now and she has been with no collar and on restricted activity since Feb at least.  She is so young. I just don't understand but move forward to help her.  We put her on Cosequin DS to hopefully help so this doesn't reoccur elsewhere. We found out Dakota is the only known Leonberger to have this disease in the Leonberger health foundation so they want all of our info. So we give it to them and send off her info to the study on Dodgers list when Linda told us about it.  Someone in my quest for knowledge told me about Dodgerslist and I found it and everyone there was awsome and so helpful. I guess we are now an honorary dachshund and honored to have met the wonderful people at Dodgerslist.

We prepared for surgery. On May 25, 2005 she had surgery and we were terrified. She came through well and came home that Sat.  Then the hard part came. She had to be on even more restricted activity for 8 wks. No moving, steps, barking, anything. She was allowed 3 short 5 min walks a day with a very low harness. I had trouble finding one to fit below her incision as it went down her neck. Her recovery pics are in a video on Dodgerslist as a Fairy tale made up by G. It is awesome, she did a beautiful job. I had gotten a bunch of intellitoys to keep her busy but when I asked I was told she couldn't use those either as this was in her neck and no head movement was allowed. She literally had to be in a crate confined or lying on the floor with no movement for 8 wks so 24/7 I was with her.  I am disabled and if I had a Drs appt of something then one of the kids sat with her and we made it. We didn't allow anyone to come in as it excited her and the risk was to great that she would hurt her recovery. We had some scares along the way. She developed a huge lump of seroma-fluid under her incision and the vet wanted no movement so we couldn't take her back and forth to the vets. We had to warm compress her, which didn't work alone so then we had to open a small hole in the incision a number of times a day and drain/milk the incision. Then spray stuff on it and low and behold it worked. At one point we were warm compressing for 20 mins then a 45 min break and starting over 24/7. We were exhausted but the good news is it all worked and on July 21, 2005 we took her for her 8 wk post-op checkup and she was released to go back to herself, gradually increasing her activity. Dakota had to be sedated some days to keep her quiet as she felt better but the risk of hurting the surgery was too great to take any chances. Of course she will have to always be watched and we hope this never reoccurs elsewhere but we were very happy to have our girl reach her 3rd b-day Aug 23, 2005 with a clear bill of health. She is happy and doing well. The heat of summer helped her gradual recovery as she doesn't like being out in the heat. We are thrilled to have gotten through all of this and thank al those who helped us and Dodgerslist for all the wonderful information we got here.

                                                  Laurie Long, Dakota and Family


Meet Miss Zoie, a very lucky little lady.  A red tweenie dachshund Zoie blew a disc in her back on New Years Eve, 2005.   Her Mommy really loved her and immediately took her to the vets for care.   Zoie stayed at the vets for 4 days on steroids and IV’s, but the conventional way was not working, in fact her condition was deteriorating.  Immediate surgery was required for her have a good chance to walk again.  Mommy could not afford to take care of Miss Zoie so she asked Dachshund Rescue of North America (DRNA) if they would be able to help her.

On Jan 5th Zoie’s Mom drive her about 150 miles in heavy rain and rush hour traffic to meet a DRNA member to be taken to the Springfield regional Veterinary Referral Center for immediate surgery.   Zoie had surgery for a herniated disc T-12/T-13 the same afternoon.   The surgeon Dr. Griffin gave her about a 50-50% chance to walk.  Two days later she went home with another DRNA member for aftercare.   On the 4th day after surgery she started trying to push up and within the weeks she was doing a “drunken sailor” walk.   Zoie had three therapy sessions at the surgical center, including walking on the underwater tread mill and balancing on a large ball.   Along with the prescribed 6 weeks of strict crate rest and a vitamin/supplement routine did the trick.  Around the 4 week mark the only way you could tell she ever had surgery was the missing hair down her back.  Her perfect gait had returned.

Two months after her surgery, Miss Zoie is in her newly adopted home on a Beach in NC.

Submitted by Yolanda McIntyre, DRNA Fredericksburg, VA


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