Why the Standards of Care for Animals with Spinal Cord Injuries in Are Changing

Why the Standards of Care for Animals with Spinal Cord Injuries in Are Changing

Gidget in a cart from Eddieswheels.com

Earlier on my blog today I shared that Gidget isn’t able to use her hind legs, though after a visit to the vet, we aren’t exactly sure why. She’s not new to IVDD having been “down” before and rehabilitated by the rescue I adopted her from. And since I’ve gotten her she’s never fully walked “normally” but with a wobbly walk. But she is pretty much completely down in the hind quarters once again.

After I shared the post to Facebook about this, I received a note from Kim who runs Hotdog Hill Sanctuary in Virginia where she cares for disabled dachshunds, many with IVDD.

She shared a recent article she came across about the culture shift in veterinarian medicine regarding treatment of animal spinal cord injuries and disc disease.  I felt it worthy passing along the article. Just click on the link here:

Why the Standards of Care for Spinal Cord Injuries Are Changing

While I’m not an expert or a veterinarian, I have had my share of experience with three dachshunds with IVDD, as many of you know.

This newest information makes sense to me. And as Kim also stated via our discussion on Facebook having much more experience than me, “You know with so many- each different- we have to change up our routine to meet them- some get too stressed by crate/pen rest and it did more harm than good thrashing around, etc- – we know our dogs best and we have to use our experience too.”

With my recent episode with Gidget not walking again I must say also that I realized again how education is key. I was able to deal with this much more calmly as I know my options. I also feel I know Gidget best and what will, and won’t, serve her. I think this is crucial.

I’ve also come to accept that sometimes no matter what one does, the outcome may be the same. Being paralyzed isn’t a terrible thing and I do believe the stigma is becoming less and less. At least I hope so.

From my experience, paralyzed dogs don’t realize they can’t use their hind legs. It’s really no big deal to them. They continue to live life just like they did before. I’ve found often it is much harder for their care taker to handle it. And yes, I can personally speak to the fact that I didn’t want to accept this when my first dachshund went down. Oh! Did I learn a lot and I’m so grateful!

Another factor in sharing this article is that as always, I want to give hope to others who may face this with their pet. There are options! It just takes a little research, talking with your vet, determining your pet’s specific needs, patience, and most of all love.

I know so often people who are facing a pet with paralysis have carried a huge amount of guilt that they couldn’t afford surgery. But clearly, there are many ways in which you can help your pet. There is hope!

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Gidget and the Not So ‘Magic Carpet Ride.’

Gidget and the not so magic carpet ride

You may recall my post last week Wednesday and when I got home from errands that day I found part of an area rug chewed up. I wasn’t sure if Gidget or Kylie had done it, or if they were in it together.

While I had a hunch it might have been Miss Gidget, I also wondered if perhaps Kylie’s toe nail or collar got caught on a loose fiber. My mind conjured up an image of the rug “chasing” Kylie which would have surely scared her.

But it also brought back a memory of when my dachshund, Frankie had eaten part of a rug when Kylie chewed it up as a young pup. The clue something was amiss was that Frankie had thrown up several times after that. After getting her to the vet, putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and an x-ray, it revealed a carpet fiber in her stomach. She had to have emergency surgery.

I tried not to panic Wednesday seeing what looked like a repeat from over 10 years ago. If there is one thing these dogs of mine have taught me, is to not jump into worry mode! But I also just wasn’t sure who had done what and what, if anything, was eaten. So I waited.

As the hours, then days went by, Gidget and Kylie seemed fine. Though I did note that Gidget seemed a bit lethargic. I chalked it up to the “escapade” as the wrestling with an area rug likely tired her out. I also thought perhaps the sudden warm weather was making her a bit more sluggish as I can feel that way, too.

She ate. She napped. She was, for the most part, herself. But then on Saturday when I came home after being gone most of the day, she was in the front yard with John. When I got out of the car, she ran toward me, but her back legs buckled under. Though when she ate dinner a little while later she pulled up herself up on her back legs and was standing.

I wasn’t quite sure what to think. Sunday it was on and off with her walking and then and not walking.

Monday the same thing. I thought it best to have it checked out. Because she also takes med’s for seizures, which can cause ataxia (paralysis of hind legs), I thought perhaps this might be it what was causing the problem.

Off to the animal clinic I went for a technician to take her blood as it takes a day to get results. But I also set up an appointment to see a vet for a physical exam to rule out another episode of IVDD, but couldn’t get in until Tuesday mid- morning.

But a piece of the puzzle was about to be revealed an hour after I got home on Monday after Gidget’s blood draw. I set her by the front door so she could watch me while I planted the last pot of annual flowers. You know those dachshunds – always have to be part of the action!

When I looked up a few moments later I noticed something really strange beside her. We have a full length glass storm door but I couldn’t tell exactly what it was.

When I went inside I saw she had pooped and along with it came about 24-inches of carpet fiber!!  A portion of it was knotted up.

Could this have caused her to have trouble walking? I wondered.  She ate dinner fine and afterwards I did some range of motion for her back legs and also gave her a massage.

Our visit to the vet revealed that nothing seems out of sorts regarding her spine. So right now her the fact that she isn’t her back legs hardly at all remains a mystery. I could have opted for a CT scan, but it won’t change the outcome of what I do. So therapy, massages, and working out in the wheelchair is the plan.

She isn’t in any pain and shows no sign of discomfort otherwise. And she is her happy little self, so onward and forward.

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Unfinished, Transition or Renovation – No Matter – It’s a Gift of Acceptance.

Unfinished, Transition or Renovation - No Matter - It's a Gift of Acceptance.

Author Joan Anderson, of The Second Journey, calls it “unfinished.” I’ve also heard it referred to as, and use the term often myself, as being in “transition.” On Saturday I heard a woman call it “renovation.”

Renovation was one I’d not heard before and it make me chuckle.  There are many stages of life as we all know and have experienced at some point. Some stages we go through time and time again.

And perhaps it’s because I’m a woman consciously working on my own little awakenings that these terms really speak to me. But call it what you want, we are all unfinished, in transition at one time or another, or busy renovating to welcome in new aspects of ourselves, and new manifestations that are trying to break through.

Listening to this woman who referred to herself as being in renovation, during the Spiritual Fun Fair I took part in on Saturday, was so refreshing. She was excited about being in this stage! Usually I encounter the opposite and that women fear not knowing what is next for them or try to push away or stuff down what they are feeling.

Then today my friend, Monica, who writes a newsletter for her beautiful website at Life is a Pretty Word wrote last month how she was side-lined with a health issue, which wasn’t easy for her.

But this month, now that she is better she is in total flow of manifesting some wonderful things for herself. While in that “not being able to do much stage” which was an inner battle at times, she now sees why it played out like it did.

These times of being in transition, no matter the amount of time, if we can see it as a gift, even though we can’t always understand why at the time, is the universes way of supporting us. It is preparing us for the next step, the next phase, the next path.

Thinking about the woman in renovation I met, and Monica now in a wonderful welcoming flow of exciting new revelations, turns out to be a gift to me during this time of my own transition as I am still awaiting the return of my manuscript from my editor.

I’m told by my editor it will be about another week. My new book, about my time taking a sabbatical and how difficult it felt at the time, I’m understanding more and more, is a pertinent message that I must share.

Monica and the dear woman in renovation are my messengers from the universe of the timing of how this is all unfolding. I have no control over it. My only job is to keep the faith and be open for the signs that are there and to know that each step and each phase is necessary to the process.

It’s in this acceptance of these stages that then, and only then, can the gift be revealed.

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