Dachshunds are extremely prone to something called Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) but since she's a mutt we always hoped that she would be one of the lucky ones and avoid it altogether.
IVD is a "common clinical disorder manifested by pain, a partial loss of limb function, paralysis, and sometimes a loss of feeling in the hind limbs. IVD disease can occur in the neck (cervical) area, the middle of the back (thoraco–lumbar region) or in the lower (lumbosacral) region of the back. It occurs most frequently in the dwarf breeds." (vetspecialists.com )
Two days ago, in the very early morning of March 8, that hope was shattered. Buffy woke us up in the middle of the night with severe pain in her lower back. She was crying, shivering and we couldn't even pick her up without piercing yelps of pain. We rushed to the emergency vet where they suspected IVDD. Since all of her neurological functions were normal, the vet on duty recommended 8 weeks of strict crate rest and sent us home with some heavy pain medications and muscle relaxers.
Throughout the day Buffy started getting worse, not able to lie down, keeping her head lifted, staring into the distance and completely lethargic. The pain never subsided and we contacted her primary veternarian who referred us to a neurolgist at Animal Specialty Group (ASG) in Atwater Village. They asked us to bring her in immediately and were quickly able to confirm IVDD. At this point they performed another neurological exam and found that she was curling her toes and exhibiting spacial unawareness of her hind legs. The time had come for surgery. When dogs begin displaying symptoms of neurological loss, time is of the essence. If they do not receive adeqeuate treatment immediately they can become permanently paralyzed.
A CT scan confirmed a herniated disc at a 40% compression against her spinal cord. The team at ASG immediately took her into to surgery to perform a disc fenestration, which lasted close to four hours. Her surgeon managed to remove protruding spinal disc material between her L1-L2-L3 vertebrae. Surgery went smoothly and we are eagerly awaiting to see her and her wild new haircut that the doctors have warned us about.
The last 48 hours have been extremely rough on all of us. Buffy will be staying at the hopsital for several more days and hopefully we can visit her on Sunday. She is 90% back to walking normally, but still yelping when touched. Her neurologist suspects she is still anticipating pain and will be putting her on anxiety medications. After she returns to her pack, she will need six weeks of strict crate rest and more medications.
We won't receive the final hopsital bill until next week, but we have been quoted a range of $5000 - $9000. Among other things, this cost covers bloodwork, x-rays, IV, Myelogram, CT scan, anesthesia, surgery and the hospital stay. In addition, we will need more medications, potentially physcial therapy, follow-up vet visits and we've had to purchase a crate and bedding.
We aren't expecting to raise 100% of the costs, but every little bit helps. This has been a very unexpected expense and unfortunately we do not have pet insurance. We appreciate anything and everything you can give, even if it's just words of comfort and support.
Help us get this smile back on her face <3
- Rebecca S
- Maria Abraham
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