If you follow me on Social Media, you will know that my little boy RoyRoy has been suffering from IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) since September. IVDD is a genetic disorder that effects up to 25% of all dachshunds and usually comes on between 4 and 7 years old. RoyRoy turns 6 in February. While it’s important to keep dachshunds from jumping from big heights, it’s very difficult to stop them as they are intrepid and fearless when they want something. And, ultimately, I’ve learned that nothing will stop the disease if it’s going to come on. We’ve been lucky in that he never became paralyzed like so many dogs. There are two forms of treatment: Conservative with rest and meds, and Surgical. I’ve selected to treat RoyRoy Conservatively because while he was wobbly, he wasn’t lame. Surgery is very expensive and is no guarantee against recurrence. Conservative requires nearly 24/7 bedrest (preferably in a crate), carrying inside and out, very little walking. RoyRoy sleeps in his crate at night, but has always been against any kind of confinement during the day. He screams like a banshee when he’s ready to come out. Given that I knew he’d be agitated and angry being confined, I committed to spending as much time at home with him, keeping him in his bed while tethered so he can’t run around. If you notice in the photo above, his leash is attached to my iron dachshund door stopper. Mostly he sits in his bed at my feet while I work and is tethered to a piece of furniture. It’s been a long road. While this started in September, it wasn’t clear what was happening and the “clock” for conservative resting period didn’t actually start until October 9th. This period of rest is 6-8 weeks to allow the disc to heal and damaged nerves on the spinal cord recover. So, we’re just getting near the 8th week. He’s been up and down and I was thinking he was doing really well, but then he got off the prednisone last week and has slid backwards a bit. Since he’s not crate rested (which IS optimal unless you have a crazy dog like mine) I think the time is longer. I actually think what we do now is semi-permanent. Though I can leave the house more frequently, but I’m not ready to leave him to the care of the dog walker, so my time away is limited. But, it’s fine because he is my baby. Thankfully, I don’t think he’s in pain any more (at the beginning it was heartbreaking!) One resource I’ve found invaluable is DodgersList, which has loads of information on IVDD and other similar conditions which effect different breeds. They also have forums so those of us going through this can get advice and support. It’s a long road and very frightening, but knowing there is a lot of information out there is very helpful.
If you’re a pet owner, you know how much they become part of our lives. The unconditional love and funny moments just can’t be beat.
I’ve put together a collection of holiday gifts for dogs or the dog lover on your shopping list. If you purchase any of these items, I will receive a small commission on the sale and will donate 100% of those commissions, plus a 100% match, to DodgersList as a small thank you for the support I’ve received.
2017 Holiday Boutique: Gifts for Dogs and Dog Lovers
Thank you and happy holidays to all your beloved pets!
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