23 Jul 3 Important things you can learn from Slinky’s IVDD experience
Further to our last blog post, ‘Dachshunds and IVDD, what you need to know,’ we’d like to continue the IVDD discussion because … yeah it’s kind of a BIG DEAL especially with 1:4 dachshunds experiencing some sort of back problem.
If you’re an Instagram fan, you might already be familiar with our next guest – Slinky (a.k.a @slinkylongsausage). You may also be aware that Slinky went down with IVDD a little over 6 months ago and although she’s almost back to 100% now it’s been a long journey.
Slinky’s fur-mum Cassie, has been so kind to share their story to give you an idea of what it’s like (first hand) to go through the different stages of IVDD – from the first signs through to recovery and rehabilitation – in hopes others can learn from their experiences and be better prepared.
Here’s their story…
Slinky started to show signs of IVDD on the 15th November 2017. It happened on one of our family walks. We walk our dogs each afternoon and Slinky is normally leader of the pack.
I noticed she wasn’t her usual self and was walking rather slowly. She had a small hunch in her back but nothing too crazy so we didn’t think too much of it however, knowing full well that IVDD was an issue for Dachshunds, I had my concerns.
The morning of the 16th November, Slinky didn’t really want to move. Walking was a real struggle for her and all she wanted to do was lay down. I had to go to work that day however, I came home at lunchtime to check on her and I’m so glad I did! Slinky’s back legs started to drag behind her and she was whimpering in pain.
We rushed her to the East Maitland Vet straight away and with a very quick feel of her back, our Vet rang SASH (Small Animal Specialist Hospital) at Tuggerah (over an hour away), and down we drove for an emergency operation.
Slinky cried in pain the whole way down (as did I) …
Our Surgeon (Andrew Marchevsky) was unreal. He was a real “matter of fact” kind of guy but at the same time, very compassionate. He advised us that because we treated her so quickly her odds of recovering were in our favour.
Slinky spent 5 days at SASH and we would visit each day and bring her food (she wouldn’t eat unless we were there with her). Seeing your beautiful pet shaved with a massive cut down her back and not being able to walk was absolutely heartbreaking! I’ve never cried so much (and still brings a tear to my eye now).
Once Slinky was discharged we did some physio sessions at the Animal Referral & Emergency Centre with Lindy Price. She was fantastic and showed us some home exercises to help with Slinky’s recovery.
Once we started hydrotherapy which consisted of swimming at our local river, Slinky recovered at a rapid rate. She just loves the water and we’d nearly have to chase her down to get her out when it was home time!
Slinky is about 85% recovered and is still building her strength. She’s now back to being the leader of the pack on our afternoon walks, jumping on the couch (which we know full well she’s not meant to do) and running around… She’s back to her old confident self ❤
3 Important tips we have for other dachshund owners:
- Consider pet insurance that covers IVDD – Slinky’s surgery and recovery cost us about $10,000.00.
- Know your dachshund well – If they start to display hunching of the back, slowed movement in the back legs, get them to the vets ASAP! The faster you treat the issue, the more likely chance they will recover as quickly as Slinky.
- Never give up! The 4 weeks post surgery was so hard. They depend on you so much and it’s hard to juggle working full time but it was totally worth it for our little Slinky.
We’d also like to extend a massive thank you to the Instagram community – Once Slinky was home, our sweet get well gifts flowed in! We honestly couldn’t believe how many people loved Slinky and it helped us along the road.
IVDD is a horrible condition and we would not wish it upon any dog but getting educated about it and being able to get your dachshund fast treatment is the best way to ensure the best recovery possible.
For more information and facts about IVDD please visit ivdd.org.au
Don’t forget to download your own IVDD Action Plan and be prepared for that ‘just in case’ moment.IVDD Action Plan Download
Big thanks to Slinky and family for sharing your IVDD journey and photos with us all! We wish you all the best in getting yourself back to 100% you little cutie! You can follow Slinky (and her bro Gus) on Instagram by clicking here.