Life with Jasmine and Juliet, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with our two rescued miniature dachshunds

Intervertebral Disc Disorder

on February 6, 2009

Jasmine has joined the club of approximately 25% of dachshunds that develop spinal problems–specifically Canine Intervertebral Disc Disorder.  Luckily, she has a mild case and should recover fully.  However, she will always be prone to back issues and we have to be much more vigilant about maintaining her back health.

Yesterday was our move out day.  From 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the movers were here wrapping, lugging and loading the semi truck to take our sum total of belongings to New Hampshire.  We had Jasmine confined to the bedroom so she wouldn’t get underfoot and squished.  After the movers left, we took a walk down to Starbucks, had some coffee and walked back.  On the walk back, Jasmine was unusually sluggish.  When she knows she’s going home, she usually picks up the pace and practially trots home.  At every corner, instead of sitting as she usually does, she just stood.  We had to tell her to sit at every instance, and she did so reluctantly.  After we returned home, she climbed up into my lap but was increasingly agigtated.  She couldn’t get comfortable.  I tried to put her down on the floor and she squealed in pain.

I put her down, and she climbed into her bed.   I thought I had bent a paw or held her wrong when putting her down, thus causing some discomfort.  She seemed okay after that.  Hubby and I went and got some dinner, and when we returned, we got a lukewarm reception from Jasmine.  Instead of bounding out to greet us, she slowly sauntered toward us.  I knew something was wrong.  I gave her a few pets, and her hind quarters siezed up and her tail curled into a pigtail.  I knew something was really wrong.

We fed her dinner, and she lopped it up.  No loss of appetite.  Good.  However, when I tried to pick her up, she yelped in pain again.  And when I took her out to do her business, she couldn’t squat.  Oh no.  I put her into her bed and sent my hubby out for some baby asprin to ease her pain.  We gave her the asprin, but after an hour or so, she seemed to be more agitated and uncomforable.  I called the on-call vet at the clinic, and he told me that I could try to hold out and wait until morning to see them or if she was uncomforable, we could go to the emergency clinic.

I waited for another hour to see if she would settle down, but she seemed to be more uncomfortable.  We bundled her up and took her to the emergency clinic.  The vet was nice, but he wanted to run a slew of tests; I wanted some meds to make her comfortable for the night so we could get her to our regular vet in the morning.  He complied.

Getting her to take the meds, well, that was near impossible.  She wouldn’t take it in cheese, squeezy cheese or in a soft training treat.  I gave up after 30 minutes of trying to disguise it.  She did settle down though enough to get to sleep, so we left it to the morning.

She was up early, and immediately thought of giving her the meds in a chunk of wet food (I guess my brain had addled enough last night that it didn’t occur to me).  I did and I was successful.  She took the meds, ate her breakfast and was much peppier in about an hour.  The meds were doing their job.  The clinic called me first thing in the morning, so I took her in.

Her x-ray looked good–no narrowing of spaces between her vertabrae.  The vet was hopeful that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, coupled with some muscle relaxants and pain meds would help her relax enough to let the back heal.  Unfortunately, we’re leaving on Wednesday to meet the moving van.  We’ve booked her to kennel at a veterinary clinic so she can get emergency care on site if necessary, but I still don’t feel good about it.  I’m just glad that it wasn’t worse–there was no paralysis or loss of control and all her neurological signs were positive.

She’s resting in her crate where she’ll spend the next few days.  Right next to me, of course.

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9 responses to “Intervertebral Disc Disorder

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m sorry to hear that she has this problem – man what a bummer. Fingers crossed that she will only have a mild case and won’t have too many problems.

  2. Meredith says:

    Oh no! I am so sorry to hear about Jasmine’s disc problems. This is definitely one of my biggest fears with my mini dachshund, Emma. Nothing is worse than seeing a child or animal in pain. = (

    It sounds like you and your husband did all the right things for Jasmine – she is lucky to have you as parents!

  3. kate says:

    Oh, poor little thing. And what horrible timing. 😦 Please give her extra hugs and loves from me and my three doxies. I’m keeping her in my thoughts, praying that she has a smooth recovery with no permanent impact.

  4. Female Side says:

    It is important that the nutrition of your Dachshund limits the effect of oxidative stress and ensures healthy digestion for as long as possible. Female Side

  5. Terie says:

    We have 2 rescued dachsies: one who is paralyzed and one who has had 4 IVDD flareups. Please check out Dodger’s List for additional info on dealing with disc disease. It’s a lifesaver. This group knows IVDD inside and out, and they offer all manner of help and support for you and Jasmine as you learn about IVDD. And please be careful with the NSAIDS. They can be dangerous, and they frequently don’t work for IVDD. Ricky’s back didn’t heal until he went on prednisone.

    http://www.dodgerslist.com/

  6. Sorry to hear about Jasmine’s troubles. Please consider crating her longer than a few days, check with Dodgerslist yahoo group for an opinion. Like humans, it takes a long time for back pain to heal, several weeks. She could injure it again before healing completely which could be worse.

    Sending lots of warm dachshunds hugs for a full and quick recovery.

  7. Mary Anne says:

    Oh so sorry to hear about little Jazzy! Praying for a quick and easy recovery and no more flare ups… and also praying for a successful and smooth move back east for all of you.

    Give Jasmine a pat from Kona!

  8. suresh says:

    Just wondering on a update on Jasmine. My little boy, Scooby, had his 1st IVDD episode 4 days ago and is on prednisone, valium, and an NSAID. He has also received two steroid shots and is being crated aggressively. He loves to play golf with me and I am very worried that this is a life-changing event

    • mwdonnelly says:

      Jasmine has fully recovered from her IVDD. She is healthy, happy and is gaining in strength as she recovers. She was not debilitated as many of the other dachshunds I’ve read about. From now on, I have to watch her like a hawk. NO jumping on the chair or bed. I lift her and carry her up stairs. I’m careful with picking her up as well. It will be something that could recur, it will be something I’ll always worry about. But she’s doing well and I’m glad for the time I gave her to heal. I hope that your Scooby recovers fully. Give him time. Crate rest is essential, no matter how much you’d like to let him out to play. Good luck to you. I know what you’re going through, and if you haven’t yet, please join Dodger’s List to contact others that are going through or have gone through what you’re experiencing. And I’m glad to help if I can!

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