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Emmett’s IVDD Recovery

$1,891 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 79 people in 16 months
On Friday, April 13th, our sweet miniature dachshund, Emmett, hurt his back. One of his doggy siblings was getting too rough with him and he flopped over weird while trying to roll over onto his back in an act of submission. Instantly we knew that something was wrong as he was struggling to walk and shaking in pain. We brought him to the emergency vet and they said that it was either a pinched nerve or an issue with a disc in his back. They gave him some pain meds and sent him home, telling us to return if he worsened. Saturday, April 14th (his 8th birthday nonetheless), Emmett woke up completely unable to move the lower half of his body. We brought him back to the emergency vet where they told us that he was paralyzed from his mid back down. He was diagnosed with IVDD (intervertebral disc disease), which is a condition that affects about 25% of dachshunds. Essentially it’s every dachshund owner’s nightmare. The vets at the emergency clinic presented the option of surgery but the catch was that it was $6000 and there was only a 50-75% chance of Emmett regaining use of his back legs. We scrambled to try to figure out a way to come up with the money for him to have the surgery. The surgery is something that needed to occur immediately and there wasn’t time for us to gather the money as the success rate for the surgery drastically decreases with each passing day. Despite the fact that surgery wasn’t an option and despite the fact that the surgeon said it is very unlikely that Emmett will ever walk again, we aren’t giving up on him. We have plans to move forward with getting him a wheelchair and drag bags as well as starting acupuncture, cold laser therapy and hydrotherapy. 

The journey to his recovery won’t be an easy one and it certainly won’t be one that’s cheap either. We have already spent $700 towards his care and it’s only the very beginning. Obviously this isn’t something we were expecting and because time is such a big factor in his recovery, there’s not much time for us to save and plan financially. Getting him a custom wheelchair will be a few hundred dollars, drag bags (a soft bag that covers his lower body so that his legs and tummy aren’t scratched or hurt when trying to move around sans wheelchair) are typically around $40 a piece, and his physical therapy will consist of multiple appointments for each practice which will come with a price of their own. 

He’s been through a lot the past few days and we know that he’s sad and confused as to what’s going on. Due to the paralysis, the poor guy has been dealing with incontinence and pees himself frequently throughout the day. We have started putting diapers on him and he’s constantly having to be wiped down and cleaned.  He’s currently on strict bed rest and we are making sure to shower him with nonstop love during this time. We want to do everything possible to get him back to feeling comfortable as well as feeling a sense of normalcy so that he can continue to live out the rest of his years happily. Emmett is the sweetest little guy who is so very go with the flow and his only really desire in life is to just be around the people he loves. Oh and treats. This beefy guy loves him some treats. :-) 

We know that there are so many deserving causes for people to donate to and we aren’t at all suggesting that ours is a more pressing matter than the other issues of the world. In fact, the idea of starting a gofundme was not originally our own and is not something that we are necessarily comfortable with. Money is a sensitive topic for so many and it’s hard to stand before a group of people and just ask for donations. A bunch of people have suggested this as an option for us and have said that they’d be willing to donate. Knowing that there are people who want to help our lil guy and help us help him is beyond touching. That being said, we completely understand that times are hard and many people will be unable to donate. We also know that there may be some kindhearted and generous people out there who will be tempted to donate despite the fact that they are struggling financially and we in no way want anyone to make things harder for themselves for our sake. Simply sharing Emmett’s story and sending some good vibes his way will mean more than we could ever express. If anyone has any experience with IVDD or caring for a paralyzed dog in general, information on that would be just as helpful, as this is all so new and life changing for our entire family. 

We are so thankful for everyone who have already sent well wishes for our sweet boy and the fact that we have people wanting to help means the world. If Emmett’s care totals up to be less costly than planned, we will absolutely pay it forward and donate any extra money to a nonprofit organization for other animals in need of help. 


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Emmett had an appointment with the neurologist on Tuesday and it went so well! The most recent vet he saw was concerned that we may have to proceed with the surgery, even if it seemed unlikely that he would walk again. If the discs in his back were bad enough, there’d be a chance that the disease/paralysis could creep up his back and cause his organs to shut down. The neurologist is the one who would perform the surgery so we met with him to see just how severe Emmett’s case is and to possibly do an MRI. The neurologist was so wonderful and positive and said he was pleasantly surprised! He said that from talking with the other vets Emmett had seen so far combined with going over his charts, that things didn’t look too good but that changed once he was able to examine Emmett himself. He’s not out of the woods yet but the neurologist discovered that Emmett still has some remaining motor skills in his back legs and has some feeling in his tail. He also said that he believes Emmett will walk again! This is the first person to have said this out of the handful of vets we have seen! While he ended up not having the MRI, it still appeared that Emmett does NOT need surgery at this time which is a huge relief! There’s always a possibility that things could change but we’ll continue to remain hopeful that he’ll be able to avoid it. Emmett will still require physical therapy in the future but our game plan as of right now is to continue strict crate rest for the next 4 weeks and then we’ll meet with the neurologist again to discuss how to get our little guy moving! Thank you all for your continued love and support ❤️
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THANK YOU! The campaign just passed $1,000 and we are so blown away by the kindness and generosity that has been brought our way. It’s truly humbling and we are so, so thankful. We’ll never be able to thank you guys enough.

- Brooke and family
a thank you from mr emmett
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$1,891 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 79 people in 16 months
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LG
$5
Leah Gazes
15 months ago
$10
Emma West
15 months ago
LB
$20
Lauren Bedford
15 months ago
$100
Anonymous
16 months ago
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$30
Rosie Taylor
16 months ago
$50
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16 months ago
PK
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16 months ago
BS
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16 months ago
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16 months ago
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16 months ago
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