Dodgerslist Successes page 9

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Simone Burkeen

Emmett first showed signs of IVDD at the end of February.  He had been playing with my nephew at our home.  We had recently moved to a different home that has pergo floors.  Emmett began limping with his back right leg the following day, and was walking slowly.  I thought maybe he had slipped and sprained his leg running across the pergo floor.  This went on for a week, and he got worse.  By the end of the week, March 4, 2005, I went to pick him up, and he yelped and cried.  I put him back down on the floor and saw that he could not walk at all…it’s like his legs gave out!  He looked as freaked out and surprised at his legs as his daddy, James, and I were!
James called into work and told them he could not come in, as we had to get Emmett to the vet.  We took him in to see his regular vet, who told us it looked like Emmett was exhibiting signs of Intervertebral Disc Disease.  I had no idea what that even was!  She said he still had deep pain sensation in all fours, and said I had to crate rest him for 4 weeks.  She also put him on prednisone and pepcid for his tummy.
On the way home from the vet we stopped and bought him a crate.  Emmett was not previously crate trained.  It was horrible!  The crying and crying…he hates the crate!  During the next day I found and joined a dachshund group on yahoo called lovedachs.  I was too permissive with crating him initially.  Emmett had been getting better immediately, walking again within the first week.  I was home, so I let him hang out in his bed.  One day, my birthday, the UPS man came to the door to deliver a present.  Emmett LEAPT from his bed and ran to the door, barking.  Next day he was down again…back legs not working and in worse shape than he was the first time.  I posted about Emmett’s plight with the crate and IVDD diagnosis and thankfully, Anita, a Dodgerslist member, steered me towards Dodgerslist!  She also private e-mailed me about getting him an x-pen, which I ran out to do!  That x-pen saved all of our hearts!
I was reluctant to return to Emmett’s regular vet after he went down that second time.  I knew she would recommend surgery, and I just had a feeling we should not go that route.  I became an active member on Dodgerslist, asked questions, posted my frustrations and fears.  I found so much support there!  Susan’s Scooby was one of our personal inspirations having recovered fully from IVDD with no surgery.  I received a ton of direction and advice from the Dodgerslist members!  They recommended supplements, acupuncture, and I received a lot of support for chiropractic, which I had wanted to do from the beginning.  I started Fluid Action supplements (liquid) immediately and also gave him 1 tbs. pure mangosteen juice twice daily.  He continued on the prednisone and was confined to his x-pen 100% of the time.
Emmett’s regular vet was not supportive of chiropractic at all, but she was supportive of acupuncture and said she had seen acupuncture have remarkable results with IVDD dogs. [Dodgerslist editor's note: Avoid VOM, chiro or any manipulation of the spine. Chiropractic manipulation in IVDD dogs is dangerous since it may promote further spinal cord injury with dogs known or suspected of having degenerative disc disease.] I found a local AVCA chiropractor who recommended a vet in our area who she worked with and who was also a certified animal acupuncturist.  I made an appointment.  This holistic vet advised against chiropractic until Emmett was fully out of pain.  A week later, after showing no improvement on his own, Emmett had his first acupuncture appointment.  Four days later, superficial pain returned to his back legs and he was trying to stand on his own, able to move his legs.   He was completely out of pain within 3 weeks and allowed to start getting weekly chiropractic adjustments.  After the first session, Emmett regained flexibility and began sleeping in a doggie ball again, and he was finally tapered off the prednisone.  A day after his second chiro adjustment he stood on his own!  He saw his regular vet just prior to him walking, and she wanted to put him in a cart.  Emmett obviously disagreed with this recommendation…three days later, after his third adjustment, he was not only walking, but running!  We kept Emmett x-pen confined for a total of 8 weeks, even when he was able to walk and run.  I still keep a sharp eye on his activity to make sure he does not fatigue himself.
Emmett continues to get weekly chiropractic adjustments and monthly acupuncture sessions.  We now have rugs on the pergo floors.  Today, three months after the first time he went down, I am happy to report that Emmett is fine!  You would never know this dog was paralyzed 6 weeks ago.  His vets and chiropractor believe he threw two discs at once, mid-back.  He is our amazing, determined, miracle dog!  I am so grateful to Dodgerslist for all of the friendship, support and advice I received here!  I continue to be an active member, now encouraging those who are going through what I just went through.  Thank you, Dodgerslist!  We are thrilled Emmett is one of your success stories!!!

Elaine  LaPierre

I have a female dachshund named Chloe who one morning woke up about two years ago and her legs were dragging. She had been fine with no signs of back problems prior. I took her to my vet and he gave me the option to take her to Tufts for a surgery that he said could not be guaranteed or give her some steroids and come back in a few days. He had also mentioned putting her down because she had no deep pain sensation. I was devastated with the whole situation . I knew I couldn't afford the surgery because I am a single parent and just couldn't swing it but I definitely wasn't going to put her down. After all she got me through breast cancer and I was willing to do the same for her no matter what.  I gave her steroids and decided to get her a cart from the Dachshunds Disabled Society. I think the vet thought I was crazy and I then immediately stopped going to him and switched to the two female vets also there and things have been wonderful. They are much more caring. Anyway before this happened Chloe was battling an eye infection that just wouldn't get better. Again that idiot vet just kept avoiding me. Well, a week after Chloe went down, I woke up one morning to find her eye bulging out of her head. I was in tears. I brought her to the vets and idiot was on and was shocked to see what had happened. He referred me to Ocean State Animal Hospital just up the street and they were wonderful. They had to remove her eye immediately and she stayed overnight but went through surgery just fine. When we finally got her home I started doing physical therapy with her  three -four times a day. At first she was very stiff butthen after awhile her  muscles in her legs seemed to be loosening up.  When I had to take her for her post op visit I believe it was two weeks after surgery I took her with her new cart that I had received. She loved it and was running around like crazy. When the vet examined her he said that she could feel some deep pain sensation and said whatever you're doing keep it up. Well two months later Chloe could walk and run again. She wobbles of course but at least she can get around and she is having so much fun with her other siblings. She does well considering she lost her eye and went down all within two weeks of one another. Now its been  over two years and she still is doing well. I am just so thankful that I didn't give up on her and didn't have her put down. After all she wasn't suffering she just couldn't walk but miracles do happen and she is walking now. Thanks for reading my story of Chloe.

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