her first episode of back problems at the end of 2003. She is 9
years old. She went to jump on the couch and cried. Other
then a little sore she seemed alright. Of course, we crated her
and gave her pred for about a week. She recovered fast although
remained crated for a period of 6 weeks. About 3 months later she
had another episode much like the first. This time we treated her
with Adequan and crate rest. I did have an x-ray done where we noticed
she did have a narrowing but no calcifications were present. Again
she recovered fast and complete. Then in April of 2004 she was in
the yard and I heard her scream. Of course, I knew immediately what
had happened. This time she was completely paralyzed in the back
legs and was not moving. She was in no pain. I rushed her
immediately to the University of Illinois Vet Clinic where she had surgery
the next morning. The vet clinic has an excellent rehabilitation
facility and Jolene started water therapy the next day. She continued
water therapy including an underwater treadmill for 3 weeks following
surgery. When she came home she was still not standing but had bowel
and bladder control. Within a week she was walking. At this
time she is still wobbly but gaining strength.
I would like to thank Dr. El-Warrak at the University of Illinois Vet
Clinic and her therapist Kim Knap for the excellent care Jolene received.
GRETEL & NUTMEG
I would like to give you encouraging
news to share with Dodger's list members. I have owned 2 doxies
who had back surgery, both at the age of 4 and neither overweight.
Nutmeg had more serious problems than Gretel and the vet who did
her surgery said he was not confident that she would totally return
to normal activities because her disc was ruptured and he
could not get all the pieces out. She came home 2 days after
surgery and could not walk and was incontinent. Fortunately
she recovered fairly quickly, although she did drag one leg for a while
when she walked. She had one minor flare-up about 4 months
after surgery and was treated with an anti-inflammatory agent and
rest. She was 15 when she died this spring of congestive heart failure.
Gretel also had a ruptured disc but it was contained. She was kept
in the hospital for 10 days and given therapy in a heated tub of
water twice a day. She wasn't incontinent when she came home, but
could not walk. I continued the therapy at home in the bathtub and
she began walking in about a week. She is now 18 years old!!
I think the key to Gretel's recovery is that I took her to the vet when
she first showed signs of discomfort and was given information on what
symptoms would signal that she needed to be evaluated immediately.
When Nutmeg developed the same symptoms a couple of years later, I knew
what to look for. I was also fortunate to live 1 mile from an ER
clinic, who referred both
dogs immediately to outstanding surgeons. Gretel had surgery
at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday, about 6 hours after she first showed signs
of extreme pain and difficulty standing and walking. Nutmeg
had surgery at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday at a different clinic that was open
7 days a week, 24 hours a day. She had only had severe symptoms for 3
hours. I was told by my vet that my quick response made a great
deal of difference in both dogs' recoveries.
In late March of 2004, Morton had jumped
off a bed, and within a couple of days he was walking very slowly and
didnít seem to want to eat. He had jumped off furniture before and
experienced hind-end-weakness. We brought him to a holistic veterinarian
who performed acupuncture and within a few days he was fine. Unfortunately,
the Vet never mentioned crating him nor did she give us information about
IVDD. We are shocked that she would not have told us more about
IVDD. A couple of more days went by and Morton now could not walk
at all. This time we called a local Vet and he asked that we bring
him in at the end of the day, which was a Friday, and that he would see
him then. As soon as he checked him over he told us that he had
more than likely ruptured a disc in his back. He said he would attempt
to get in contact with a Neurosurgeon in Portland, which was several hours
away. He finally did make contact with the Neurosurgeon late that
night and called us and advised us that surgery would probably be less
than 10% effective and that he could not do the surgery until Monday.
At this point Morton had no deep pain sensation of any kind and was incontinent
of urine and bowel.
After being given the terrible news and little hope that he would ever
walk or have any movement at all, was devastating for my wife and I.
I decided that I was not going to give up and I stayed up all night Friday
searching on the internet for some kind of help. In my search I
came across Purdue University where they had been doing trials on Dachshunds
that had suffered a ruptured disc and was without deep pain sensation.
They were implanting a Field Stimulator, which remained inserted near
the spine for 13 weeks and was then surgically removed. The trials
with the Dachshunds had been very successful. Dr Borgens was the
researcher that had designed and used the stimulator. Through some
real detective work I was able to find his home phone number and I called
him about 10:00 on a Sunday morning. When I spoke with him he told
me that the trials with the dogs were now completed and that they were
going to soon be using the device on humans. I pleaded my case and
told him Morton meant more to us than anything else in this world and
that we would do anything to help him. He hesitated for a bit and
said for me to call him the next day at the office and he would see what
he could arrange. I called Monday afternoon and Dr. Borgens said
he pulled a lot of strings and asked how soon we could fly into Indianapolis,
Indiana. I said we would be on a plane by noon the next day, as
I had already called the airlines and had made flight arrangements.
I was able to get an exceptional rate at such late notice by making many
phone calls to many supervisors and was given a ticket for my wife the
next morning. On Tuesday I drove my wife and Morton to the airport
in Portland, OR and they flew to Indianapolis where someone from the University
met them and took that back to Purdue. They had also arranged a
place for my wife to stay and had taken care of all of the details.
It was incredible how much had happened in just a couple of days.
To make things worse it happened to be spring break the week that Susie
and Morton went to Purdue. They once again went out of their way
to get extra people back to the campus and Morton had surgery that Friday.
He then spent the next week at Purdue with excellent care being provided
for him and Susie. I met them the following Friday and we spent
several hours driving back home that night. The OFS had now been
surgically placed in Mortonís spine and would remain there for 13 weeks
before we would need to take him back to Purdue.
At this time Morton had no sensation and was not walking and still had
no bladder or bowel control. While Susie and Morton were gone for
the week in Pudue I was on the phone several hours a day trying to line
up other resources for Morton. I was able to find one of the top
instructors for T-Touch who happened to live in Portland. I also
found a Vet who was at the time one of only two people on the West Coast
trained in a special form of Physical Therapy. She had been trained
back east in the first program of its kind in the U.S. I then made
arrangements to go to Portland every two weeks to have these two excellent
people provide therapy for Morton. I had also found a Vet who was
one of the best in Oregon, to start Acupuncture treatments once a week.
I had found a practitioner in Eugene, OR, who is only one of a handful
in the country who is trained to do Integrated Neural Therapy on dogs.
Morton also had several sessions with her. Needless to say we were
driving several hundred miles every month for all of these sessions as
we live in a rural area in Oregon and have to travel long distances for
most everything. I also was able to contact the Vet Marty Goldstien,
who in my opinion is the best Holistic Vet in the US. He gave us
excellent advice and some very good supplements. Marina Zacarias
is also an excellent person who provided us with many great Chinese medicine
supplements. We also contacted Dr. Pitcarin in Eugene, OR, who is
perhaps the best homeopathic Vet in the US. He also gave good advice
and supplements. As you can see it took an enormous amount of effort
to locate and be able to speak to this caliber of Vets.
Fortunately, we were able to find a Vet in Eugene, OR who was able to
remove the Field Stimulator and we did not have to travel back to Purdue
for another trip. By the way, the entire trip to Purdue was covered
100% by the University. I still am in awe when I think of the service
that they provided to us in this circumstance. Dr. Borgens is one
of the kindest most dedicated man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
I also had spent many hours talking to some of the best Vet schools in
the country and found several other programs and trials that were or are
about to be started to help with IVDD in dogs. Dr. Young from Rutgers
University is doing marvelous work in the area of IVDD. The University
of Alabama and Florida are also doing a lot of groundbreaking work in
the area of IVDD.
Morton very slowly over several months began to get more and more sensation
and then finally began to get up on his legs and begin to walk.
He wobbled a lot and still did not have good control of his bladder and
bowel. At this time I felt I needed to do more and I had heard of
another man who had a female Dachshund who had went down and he began
to give her Homeopathic injections of Discus Composium and B 12 shots.
He was from Germany and he had contacted some German Vets that told him
about the injections. He had to travel from South Carolina to Canada
to pick up the injections because they were not allowed in the US at the
time. I found this gentleman and made arrangements to also get the
injections shipped to me. I then started to give the DC and B12
every third day for several weeks. I also ordered Traumeel and another
injection from the HEEL Company and gave these in addition. After
a few weeks of these injections we seen even more remarkable recovery
in Morton as he now could walk most of the time by himself without his
cart. By the way, again I was able to get a cart by making several
phone calls and had one shipped out to us. All of this can be done,
but it takes an enormous amount of time and research. We also continued
with Physical Therapy and Hydrotherapy at home.
We then seemed to see little progress and once again it was time to begin
more research. This time after a multitude of phone calls I was
able to locate a piece of equipment that is used by Chiropractors that
is called a Micro-Current machine. This provides an electrical stimulus
to the spinal area and has been extremely successful in many applications.
Fortunately again one of the best instructors of this procedure happened
to be in Portland, OR. I contacted her and she made arrangements
with a local Chiropractor in my area that would provide two Micro-current
treatments per week for Morton. This again was done at no cost to
us. With this program we have even seem more improvement and have
now purchased our own machine to use here at home for Morton and ourselves.
The Chiropractor we were seeing also agreed to do Cold Laser Therapy for
Morton as well and this was completed along with his Micro-Current Therapy.
Some of the supplements that I have found to be most useful are the Chinese
Herbs from Marina Zacharis. Vit. C, Vetri Disc, Standard Process
now has an animal line of products that are also just excellent and I
would recommend then to anyone. Cod Liver oil and goat Kefir is
also very good. Morton is also on a pure raw diet, which I feel
every dog or cat should be on. There just is no comparison for what
a difference it makes in there health. Coconut oil also is wonderful
for their coats. Lecithin is also very important and should be used
everyday. Pat Mckay has a line of vitamins and minerals that go
through a fermenting process that are as good as anything I have ever
This seems like an unbelievable amount of effort, but if possible who
would not do this for there little one. There is no love greater
than that of a Dachshund. Morton has taught us more about life then
we could have learned in years of study. He sets a standard for
all of us to live by. He will probably never be back to 100%, but
considering what we were told that Friday night I believe he is a success
story beyond anything we could ever ask for. He never complains
and is as happy today as when he first had his accident. We have
also lost two of our beloved cats to cancer this last year.
Every morning when I wake up Morton is there to greet me and show me that
he loves me. He gives me the courage and strength to make everyday
a wonderful experience. What more could I ask for.
In the fall of 1997
my then 6 year old short hair pekingese chihuahua mix Scooby fell ill.
I awoke that morning to see him shaking, unable to walk and incontinent.
I immediately saw our regular vet who prescribed dexamethasone, some
pain meds and very little hope. After a day or so without improvement,
I thought there was little hope besides putting him down. I wasn't ready
to give up and got out my phone book to find any vets with therapies
who may be able to help him. I came up with a local vet who did accupuncture.
I called and asked if they did accupuncture for Scoobys disorder. They
said yes and I was on my way there for an appointment for a treatment.
She was very kind and said it may take several treatments to see results.
Scooby was relaxed and tired from the experience and we headed home.
The next day I awoke to a totally different dog than the one who had
been paralyzed and in pain the past few days. I was astounded to see
him up and walking and for the most part continent and in control of
his bowels. It took time for him to get 100% better but each day was
a stride into recovery. Scooby has had flare ups since his initial attack
in 1997. None as severe and damaging. Another attack put Scooby
at the vets hospital after being put on dexamethasone again. It ravaged
his stomach and our vet consulted with a neurologist and it was changed
to prednisone. We added pepcid to protect his stomach. It was off and
on that prednisone came back into the picture until fall of 2003 when
he had a flare up and I could not wean him off of it. After seeing the
vet for an injured toe, bloodwork done revealed a very compromised immune
system. He has been seeing his accupuncture vet regularly but I still
could not wean him off prednisone. After this recent bout with
his foot in December 2004, I consulted a holistic vet who recommended
LiquidAmbar 15,Cat's Claw,Herbisone( a natural herb which acts like
cortisone and has had great success for helping get animals weaned off
prednisone). He also recommended adding vegetables into his diet such
as , spinach,broccoli,kale. After starting him on the changes
recommended January 12,2005 I must say he has made a vast improvement
in a short amount of time. Never give up and never give in. There is
always hope where there is life.
Jackson has always been a very active
boy and lives to play ball. Our story begins on December 19Th, 2004. We
were cleaning house getting ready for the holiday company. I noticed Jackson
not acting quite himself, not wanting to play, shivering and in pain.
Upon checking closer, I touched his tummy and he yelped & snapped
at me. I thought something was wrong inside his tummy, never even thinking
it could be his back and had no clue at the time that these signs were
indeed related to his back. I rushed him to the ER Vet. We did standard
X rays and all showed fine, no calcification's and good spacing on his
vertebrae. The Vet said it was a bulging disc in his back and the way
it was bulging, "To Jackson" he felt the pain in his tummy.
So I was sent home with muscle relaxers and pain killers with instructions
that Jackson needed 6 weeks of strict crate rest. I later found out that
Jackson should of been on steroids and still can not figure out why he
wasn't given any. What he WAS given only masked the pain.
On December 30Th, 2004 at 10:00pm I opened Jackson cage to let him out
for a potty break and he came out downed and dragging his hind legs. By
6 am on the 31st we were at our regular Vets. He wanted to try conventional
treatment and felt he had a 50% chance of getting Jackson walking again.
Being New Years Eve I was told there was no where to be referred for surgery
until Monday and even if there had been I could not afford surgery but
I would not give up hope for Surgery. I called the Dallas Veterinary Surgical
was informed I would need 1/2 of the estimated $2500 up front and the
rest upon his release. I called my parents for help and they gave me $1600
for Jacksons surgery but we could not get that together until Tuesday
January 3rd. Now I only needed $900. My dachshund community, Dachshunds
A to Z (Http://dachshundsatoz.net),
together raised over $800 by Tuesday for Jacksons Surgery.
By Monday Jackson was no better, he was now downed for 4 days-- way past
the window of time for a successful surgery. On the 5Th day with money
in hand, we headed for DVSC on a referral from my vet. He was given a
5% chance of ever walking again and had no deep pain sensation. He went
trough surgery fine. He had ruptured his disc on T- 11, T-12 & T-13.
He did have a seizure that night from the Myelogram but I was assured
it was not uncommon and it should not happen again, and it hasn't.
He was in the hospital for 14 days from the 1st day he went down until
being released after surgery. I was scared to bring him home. Afraid
I could not express him correctly or care for him. To me he was as fragile
as a china doll. After I got him home my fears subsided and a confidence
came over me. "I CAN DO THIS" I am an expressing master now
and laugh at my once thought of fears. I researched as much as I
could on after care and found a wealth of information right here on Dodgers
List. Once Jackson was home I started him on Ester C, Glucos/Chondr.,
B-12 and Cranberry Tablets. (he is still UTI free) We did Range Of Motion
exercises many times a day, water therapy once a day and towel walking.
We were scheduled for the stitches to be out and an evaluation from his
surgeon on the 3rd week after surgery. The surgeon told me there were
no signs of improvement and that Jackson would never walk again.
Dis-hearted I came home and posted this news on Dodgers List and everyone
encouraged and inspired me to NOT lose hope and to never give up. With
this inspiration I worked harder with him and on his 4Th week after surgery
Jackson STOOD UP!!!! (I cried tears of joy and called all my doxie friends)
On his 5Th week he took a few steps and
wagged his tail. On the 6Th week he was walking drunken like 50% of the
time. For the next 4 weeks there was no sign of improving. He seemed to
of reached a plateau. This past week of April he is walking even more
and steadier than I have ever seen(still drunken though). His tail is
standing straight up now and wags. He has also started to
potty on his own too. It is now three months after surgery. I look forward
to everyday and what it will bring. My baby boy is WALKING!!!!
We have only had minor problems, carpet burn once and a sore on his foot
but other than that he is the same happy little boy who loves to play
ball. I am thankful for the wisdom, advice and patience from Dodgers List
and it's members. Thank you for showing me the way down this difficult
path. It is so much appreciated. I will continue to update his story as
Angeline, Jackson and Bu.