Dodgerslist Successes page 8

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JOLENE
Linda Stowe

Jolene experienced 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
Becky Smith

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.  

MORTON
Paul Fieber

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 found. 
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.
 

Scooby
Susan Gayle

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
Angeline

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 Center (http://www.dfwvetsurgeons.com/)and 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 he improves.

Angeline, Jackson and Bu.

 

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