Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column either bulge or burst (herniate) into the spinal cord space. These discs then press on the nerves running through the spinal cord causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.
I wanted to share the experience we are going through with our lil guy, Pete. On August 15, out of nowhere, Pete was exhibiting tremendous pain. Xray indicated some mineralization on 3 of his discs and he was diagnosed to have Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). It’s very common in his body type…. dachshunds, corgi’s and dogs with long bodies and shorter legs. Our vet believes that it’s genetic in young Pete’s case (he’s not even 3 yet). He was prescribed steroid for inflammation, pain meds, and muscle relaxers. We were to keep him confined for 2 weeks and give him time to heal.
CHANGE OF PLANS
By Tuesday morning, Pete's hind legs were completely paralyzed. Our vet sent us directly to the neurologist, who immediately did a myelogram ( a contrast dye look at the spine). Pete was in surgery by that afternoon. They removed a tremendous amount of disc material from the rupture. His neurologist believes a disc ruptured sometime overnight on Monday night. (Note: On Monday morn, he was in tremendous pain, but he was walking. That’s how quickly he escalated ). We were thrilled when his surgery went as well as possible, but we had a small window of worry regarding permanent damage. We were given a 70 – 80% recovery.. With Pete’s spirit, we knew those odds were definitely much higher, and as anticipated, he was home by the weekend. He started moving his legs within a few hours of surgery, which was a great sign! Now, home to recover....
Home on 8/17/18
So here we are, a little more than 4 weeks later. Pete is cruising around pretty well, but still has some recovering to do. The next 60 days we will be exploring some treatments such as acupuncture and massage. He (and Ernie) have started joint supplements. Certain behaviors, such as jumping off high surfaces (top of couch, my bed), will no longer be allowed. We have a comfy, safe haven for him in every room, so he is usually pretty content. He is definitely wanting more freedom as he continues to feel better, but he still has 60 more days of restricted rehab. (i.e. NO: running, jumping, stairs). It's a challenge to keep him safe AND happy 24/7, but his recovery takes priority over a little discomfort for him ( and Ernie).
So thankful to the TEAM of efficient veterinary professionals, especially his neurologist Dr. Pettigrew . He was very honest and forthright about Pete's prognosis. Thanks to the swift intervention starting with the receptionists that took my initial frantic call and got us in immediately, to the surgical team that tended to his burst disc and mended him, THANK YOU!! Feeling so grateful and optimistic about Pete's future and it could not have happened without all the wonderful people that dedicate their lives to saving animals.
Little man should be back to lizard hunting in no time!
Get well soon Petey!!