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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nathan's Journey With IVDD


March 26, 2011 is a day I will never forget. That was the day Nathan, my 5-yr old dachshund, ruptured a disk in his back. IVDD would become a permanent word in my vocabulary.  I've documented Nathan's journey from injury to recovery in his blog, Nathan's Journey.
In a nutshell, I learned a few valuable lessons:
  1. If you have a dachshund, research in your area who the IVDD experts are AHEAD of time.   After all this happened, we found out that one of the best spine surgeons in the state of Florida was only 1 hour away from us.  Instead, we went to the nearby emergency hospital and errors there led us to where we are today.
  2. Therapy, Therapy, Therapy.  There's no getting around this.  Speak to vets in your area and find out who the rehab experts are.  There are vets who are certified to be rehab vets.  They may specialize in water therapy, acupuncture, laser therapy or even stem cell therapy (don't panic - its platelets taken from your own dog's body).  Don't forget home therapy.  Nathan got his "Jane Fonda" at home 4 times a day, everyday.
  3. For acupuncture, find the teaching institute in your state (eg. Chi Institute in Florida).  Their website will likely have info on the experts in your area.  Some of their teachers are also practicing vets.  Who better to do your dog's acupuncture than someone who actually teaches and practices this?
  4. HOPE.  So many days seem hopeless during the recovery.  Do not focus on day-to-day improvements (or lack of).  Instead, look at improvements week over week.  Take videos to remind yourself of the improvements. 
Nathan may not be able to do all the things he used to be able to do, but he is as goofy and affectionate as ever. And, he is still improving after almost 7 months.

-Heidi Davis

11 comments:

Mango said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this story and blog link. I went right over to check out little Nathan and it is quite a story.

Mango Momma

Lola said...

I just read your entire journey on your blog. This is one blog of heartbreak, hope, pure love and determination that no one should miss reading. Thank you for sharing Nathan with me and I will eagerly look forward to updates. I am now a Nathan fan!

meowmeowmans said...

Wow, that is amazing. Thank you for sharing. We are sending purrs and prayers for you and Nathan.

Frankie Furter said...

THIS is every Dachshund Owners NIGHTMARE.. Thankfully of the 8 that have shared my Life and LOVE NONE have ever experienced this horror. I PRAY that none ever does.
Frankie's Mom

chancythegardner said...

We are headed over to read more about Nathan. Thanks, for sharing this. Hugs and nose kisses

Mariodacat said...

Wow, that poor little cute doggie. Thank you for publishing the story.

Finn said...

That's a great post. Makes me think about planning ahead. Thank you for sharing the story!

Two French Bulldogs said...

what a great story
Benny & Lily

Amber DaWeenie said...

This post really hit home for me. I will definitely go and get to know Nathan.

Long story short, our beloved weenie dog back in the late 80's (whose name was Ginger) also suffered from this. She became paralyzed at the age of 4 but lived to the age of 15. She never knew she was disabled and lived a very full, active, happy life. Unfortunately she developed this and was unable to walk on December 23 of 1992. We lived in Michigan at the time and the vet we had wasn't that familiar with this. He decided to just kennel her at the clinic and see what happened. So we went through December 23, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and then a weekend before (on Monday) Ginger was sent to a specialist. By then her spinal cord had been cut by the disc. Had she had surgery immediately, she may not have ended up paralyzed.

It was just amazing how Ginger adapted to her disability.

Luna said...

What a beautiful story!
Daddy and I are going to head over and check out the blog! :D

xo
Luna

Magic said...

What a lovely story. My brother Kaska is living with spinal damage so we understand. There are many brave dogs all over the world who manage so well with human help. Love to you and Nathan from Magic the mini schnauzer xx

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