Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Duke, that is. We took him to the vet yesterday to get his staples out, and he did great (much better than when I had my staples out after knee replacement surgery--it hurt!). The vet said his incision looked great. Now to slowly build up exercising his back legs. Oh, he can use them, but cannot hold his weight very long right now. He's improved so much that we don't want to overdo it and cause him to relapse. He'd jump out of that playpen right now if he could!

"Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), a condition in which a disc develops a problem and the material inside escapes into the spinal column, ultimately causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. The condition is seen more often in dogs than cats." --copied from Google

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The surgery removed the top half of a vertebra that was pressing against his spine, causing the lack of use of his back legs. If we hadn't gotten him to the hospital in time, it would have been permanent. The surgeon removed the part of the vertebra causing the problem. I asked how would he heal without part of that vertebra, since it left a hole where the support for the spine was supposed to be. The vet told us that scar tissue would form, closing up the hole where that bone had been, and would be sufficiently strong to allow Duke to resume normal activities after he heals. We'll still have to be careful that he doesn't jump down from anything, causing pressure on the back, and then back to square one.

I do hold him on my lap now and then, because he's bored stiff just sitting in that pen. A friend gave him a nice chew toy, and he's chewed on it a little. What he'd REALLY like is to play fetch, but that's nixed right now.

Thank you for your continued prayers on his behalf. We're halfway to seeing the vets at UGA, who will assess his progress and give us his prognosis.

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"Mama, why can't I jump down and play?

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Duke's incision after the staples were removed

It's so hard to watch a pet not able to walk. Oh, Duke's doing better, but I feel so sorry for him having to stay in that playpen most of the time. We can't let him out to do whatever he wants, because it will do irreparable damage and he might never walk. He has those "doxie eyes," looking at us so pitifully when he wants to get out and run, play, fetch, etc. He's always been such a happy and carefree fur baby. My prayer is that he will be again when he's healed.

Dachshunds . . . you gotta love 'em . . . no matter what.

Friday, April 7, 2017


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Duke had his back surgery one week ago, and he's making great progress. Whereas he had 0% function in his back legs prior to surgery, he now has about 50% function! He would like to do a lot more than we are allowing, but his back has to heal properly so he can stay mobile. 

Part of the vertebra that was pressing against his spine was removed, leaving an opening there. I asked the vets at UGA how would that work, with no bone in that area. They told us that scar tissue will form in place of the bone, and it's pretty sturdy, once he's healed. Our job is to use due diligence to keep him from jumping up and down on furniture. He's even been trying to jump out of his
playpen now! Of course, he can't do it because his legs aren't strong enough, but I can foresee that we'll need to get him one of those metal cages to stay in when we go out to dinner, church, etc., to keep him from injuring himself. He thinks he's fine!

As he's started feeling better, he's also been more demanding about wanting to get out of "prison." I do hold him on my lap now and then, but it's best for him to stay in the playpen to support his back without any danger of his jumping down from something.

We'll keep posting on his progress over the next three weeks. His staples will be taken out in another week, then two weeks after that, we return to UGA for a follow-up appointment. At that time, if he's healed sufficiently, he will be released from his prison with guarded exercise times.

Thank you for your prayers and concern!

Dachshunds . . . you gotta love 'em.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


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"Lemme outa here!"

Duke is feeling better, but can't walk yet, of course. We got a small playpen to keep him in (Graco "Pack and Play") per the UGA vet's orders. We take him out to do his business (but we carry him outside and set him down carefully, then pick him up and carry him back inside). He has maybe 25% function in his back legs now, and he does stand some.

We are to move his back legs, stretching them to engage the hips and then push them back slowly, to keep his joints flexible. Today is terrible weather in Georgia (hail, thunderstorms, heavy rain, tornado watches, etc.), so it's not a good day to help him walk a few feet with a sling on his back. Oh, we could do it inside, but he just isn't cooperating with that just yet.

He is eating and drinking, and doesn't seem to hurt, even with pressure on his incision--he doesn't mind lying on his side at all. Those staples, and I can attest to after two knee replacements, aren't all that comfy!

I have to admit that I am afraid for his back in the future. I'll never be comfortable that it won't happen to him again, and I will be a helicopter doxie parent from now on. I pray he'll recover enough to be happy, healthy, and mobile, but we were cautioned that he might not be 100%. That's something we can live with, and we'll do our part to help him achieve his maximum. 

He's not a puppy anymore, but he sometimes forgot that himself. He's a playful, happy, and sweet doxie--I want him to be so again.

Dachshunds . . . you can't help but love them.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Dear Doxie Friends,

I want to thank all of you who told my Mama you were praying for me and gave her encouraging comments. It helped her feel better. I was in UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Athens, GA for several days, but I got to come home yesterday!
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In my kennel at UGA after surgery

I had surgery on my back last Friday because I had lost the use of my back legs, and that was scary. When Mama and Daddy left me at that hospital Thursday evening, I was hurting, and I didn't know what was going on, but the vets and the staff were so kind to me, I knew they were trying to make me better. I missed my parents, but I knew they loved me so much that they weren't leaving me there forever.

On Friday, the doctors did an MRI (I can't tell you about that, because they put me to sleep), and the next thing I knew, I was being wheeled in to a big room and put on a table. When I woke up, I was kinda numb, but my back and legs felt different. They had operated on my back, removing the part of the disc pushing on my spine. I have over 20 staples in my back, and I don't like them very much.
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I was outside the day after surgery
Mama and Daddy brought me home yesterday, and since I have to rest for my back to heal, put me in a BABY PLAYPEN. Do you know how demeaning it is for a proud dachshund to have to stay in one of those?? Well, at least I can see out of the mesh sides, but when Mama and Daddy are eating, I can't go over there and "help" them. Just you wait until I get outa here . . .

My human sister and family gave me some presents: a soft blanket and some high class dog food. Daddy offered me some of the dog food last night, but I guess I wasn't that hungry yet, so I wouldn't eat it. He thought it was funny that I tried to cover it up with my blanket! I thought it was vile stuff THEN. This morning he offered me some again, with some cheese, and I thought it was yummy--I even asked for seconds.
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Sitting on Mama's lap at home
I'm supposed to stay in this playpen for a solid month, except when I'm carried outside to do my business. That's gonna be pretty hard on me, because I like to go where I want and do what I want, but what other choice do I have? I can't get out of here by myself, and judging from Mama and Daddy's anxious faces when I move around, I guess I'd better stay put so I can get well and have a full recovery like my vet said I would.

Image result for peanut butterSome other friends gave me a nice chew toy and some dog treats, and I love both. You know how we doxies love to chew, but especially love to eat!  I haven't eaten that much since I hurt my back, and my vet at UGA got kinda exasperated because I was so picky. Well, I didn't feel good! He finally smeared some peanut butter on some chicken and i ate it. I wasn't being picky--nothing smelled that good to me while I was on that medication. Oh, I'm still on four different kinds of meds now, and Daddy thinks he's fooling me by crushing the pills up and mixing them with peanut butter. HA! You can't fool a doxie's nose that easily! But I play along because he's trying so hard to help me. Besides, the peanut butter tastes so good that I'll put up with a little medicine to eat it.

THANK YOU for your prayers, kind words, and thoughts as I recover. I'll be as good as new then, my vet says. All I have to do is stop jumping up on and down from furniture. I'll try. I really will.

Pawfully thankful,