For those who know me, they know these stories. But for you that don’t take a moment and read. Today as someone from a group I am is putting her dog to sleep, I feel the need to tell the story. So many who have dogs, do not know of this disease, And the things that can result from it. First read what it is, then read the story.
IVDD- Copied from http://hospital.vetmed.wisc.edu/sa_services/surg/neurology/ivdd.htm
Intervertebral disc disease
Small breed dogs with short, thick legs such as the Dachshund, Bassett Hound and Beagle are at the highest risk of intervertebral disc disease, which develops earlier in these dogs (ages 3 to 7) versus other dogs (ages 8 to 10). About one in every four Dachshunds will suffer from disc-related problems in its lifetime. Dogs suffering spinal cord trauma are also at a high risk of IVDD and should see a veterinarian immediately, especially if they are paralyzed.
Vertebrae are separated by soft tissue, which acts as shock absorbers, called intervertebral discs. The intervertebral discs form an elastic cushion between the vertebrae, which allows movement, minimizes trauma and shock and helps connect the spinal column. With age, the inner part of the intervertebral disc (nucleus pulposus) degenerates, decreases its water content, becomes hard and finally loses its elastic cushioning function.
In Dachshund, Beagle, Shih Tzu and other toy breeds this process occurs at young age. These breeds tend also to have the acute form of intervertebral disc extrusion (type I), in which the inner part of the intervertebral disc extrudes into the spinal canal and compresses the spinal cord.
German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd and large sized dogs in general tend to have the chronic form of disc protrusion (type II) in which the inner and the external part (annulus fibrosus) of the intervertebral disc degenerates. Usually clinical signs occur at middle age and are slow and progressive.
Initially, especially in the acute form in which the intervertebral disc compresses the spinal cord, mild to severe pain is present. In later stages of intervertebral disc disease, dogs may have incoordination, paralysis and loss of bladder control.
Early treatments for IVDD may be simple cage rest in which the dog is restricted from jumping. Treatment with corticosteroids to alleviate spinal cord pain can be dangerous because dogs that are pain-free tend to become more active (instead of rest) with the consequence that additional intervertebral disc can herniate and irreversibly compress the already damaged spinal cord.
Surgical therapy is used if the dog is not improving or getting worse with cage rest and if signs of incoordination are present. Surgery should be performed immediately if signs of paralysis are present. If a dog suffering paralysis from a compressed or slipped disc goes without surgery for more than 24 hours, the damage may become permananent.
Brandi. A scared unsocialized dirty dog. We took her in one day when a elderly lady let us know it was to much to try to care for her. She was only a year old. We got her to find she was deathly afraid of men. Would urinate herself whenever one came near her. Finally we found what we believe to be the cause. She was beat by a lawn crew because she likes to bite at the mowers. (I don’t know many dogs who like them, they are like vacuums) Right after we got her, we lost our other dog to a freak accident. But we continued to work with Brandi. When we got her and gave her a bath, she jumped on my couch and REFUSED to go outside. She was so scared she was gonna be left again. I had to pick her up and carry her out to get her to even go potty. We house broke her, crate trained her, taught her to sit and stand. She would jump on and off furniture. You would find her in someones bed. We took her to get her shots, and spayed. Found out our cute lil black doggy, was part doxie. We did not know what she was. The week of Thanksgiving 2007 rolls around. And she was about 3 years old. She stood on her back legs let out this loud yelp and sat down. Me not knowing made her stand again. She cried and ran to her cage. I had a neighbor come over that she hated(a man) and she refused to even bark. I checked her paws, She yelped when I moved her hips. I was scared. And then our story began.
I began calling vets. I put her in her cage and made her stay(not like she wanted to move anyway) I did not have money. So no one would help. I called our new ASPCA(Oklahoma just got this withing the past 2 years) and the sad thing, they could not even help me. It was suggested that I put her down. That also I could not afford. Then I was told to just take her to the pound and have them do it on D-Day. I cried. Finally was told about a foundation that needs all the funds it can get. And I will add them in my links section. The Bella foundation. I called them and while I waited for them to get ahold of me I managed to scrape 29 dollars together. And this was by also taking my kids money from their banks. I took Brandi to our vet we used to have our animals fixed at. And since I did not have money for htem to barely touch her, they thought it was probably a bladder infection, Because she would yelp and pee when you picked her up. By that night I was in tears KNOWING I was going to put herr down. I called another vet who happened to tell me her problem did not sound like a bladder issue, but to make her pee to put her in a tub of warm water. As I picked her up to put her in, she peed all over me. And them could not stand up. The foundation got back to me that next morning very early, and we took her to the vet they suggested, and found out what it was. IVDD. Now she had some deep pain stimulation, so there was still some hope. THey took her in and the foundation said they would help. They put her in a cage with IV’s. But she got worse. And began to not use her legs at all. visited her the day before Thanksgiving so that our oldest could see she was still alive. He thought she was gone for good. And she just drug herself to us. and leaked urine. But we brought her home the day after Thanksgiving. And that day she got home, she decided to stand up. Our orders were a strict 6-8 weeks of crate rest. And while all this was going on, I found a wonderful support group that knew what we were going through. And dodgerslist will also be added into my links section. I learned so much about a disease that only days before I had known nothing about. But after this morning. I felt the need to add something that can also happen with this disc disease. Its called myelomacia. And pretty much the spine turns to jelly. And there is no cure. Not all the money in the world will fix this. But the animal will die a horrible death. SO the only option is to euthanize. Now keep in mind. THey do call IVDD the weenie dog disease. But it could happen in any dog. The long bodied dogs are more succeptable to it. But its still not just them. Take a moment and hug your animal. ANd check out my links for support or to donate to a wonderful charity.