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Archive for April, 2012

Chloe Interrupted

That’s Chloe. Settled in her new crate made necessary by a bout of IVDD.
Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease is a disease that both people and dogs can get. It’s a very common disorder in dachshunds and other long dogs. The spine consists of vertebrae that are connected by flexible cartilage discs. The discs, called intervertebral discs, are cushions between each bone and they allow for movement of the head, spine and tail. The discs can become weak and hardened and herniate or rupture which causes the disc to protrude and even push against the spinal column. There is a gel like substance in the disc that can come out, sometimes quite forcefully and when it comes out it can go into the area where the spinal cord is.

An estimated 1 in 5 dachsunds will get IVDD. I had no idea. I had heard that dachshunds had back problems but frankly, people treat their dogs so badly and expect so much from them I kind of blew it off as impatient owners who expected their dachshunds to do what their Labs or Chihuahuas did. This stuff is no joke though. It can cause everything from pain to paralysis and even death in the case of myelomalacia.

We knew Chloe was hurt when she refused to follow me up to the bedroom. She had a number of the common signs, shaking, a tight belly, a hunched back, and she yelped whenever we tried to do anything with her. There are two treatments for this, one is surgical and the other is medical management. We chose medical management because she showed no signs of paralysis. Had she not been able to use her back legs we’d have had to go directly to the surgery option. The vet put her on Prednisone for the swelling and Raboxin for pain and muscle spasms. We did eventually have to go to Tremadol which is a heavier pain pill.

We found out crate rest is the most important part of all this. That took some time to get used to for us and Chloe. We never had a need to crate train before, there was always someone with the pups so leaving them while at work wasn’t an issue so we just never bothered. If you ask me though every dachshund owner needs to spend some time crate training their dog. Just bring it in and let them check it out and give them treats for going in it. Something just to get them familiar with the crate if nothing else because if you do ever have to go through this not having your dog freak out over being in a crate is a valuable thing.

Dodger’s List has been an excellent resource for us. I highly recommend it and I really think if you own a dachshund head over there now and read. If you ever need it you won’t be sorry you did. I wish I had known more ahead of time, I wish all dachshunds came with a manual that pointed the way to Dodger’s List and explained that IVDD can strike when you least expect it. It makes me sick to think of all the people who may just euthanize their dogs when in fact this thing is treatable and quality of life can be had.

I’ll probably blog about this again as we progress. Right now Chloe is resting well, she has adapted to her crate. Ironically, the other two dogs get in there when she gets out for pee time and food, lol.

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