Three weeks ago, with a heavy heart I called each of my sons to let them know that I was taking Chico to the vet and I thought he might have to be put down. My husband was going to go with me when he got home from work. It was a very stressful day.
For the two days prior to that morning, Chico had been acting strangely. He did not want to go for walks and was not eating much. Finally on this day, he would not eat or drink or get up at all and he would yelp like he was dying when I tried to pick him up. I couldn’t see anything visibly wrong with him, so I assumed that he had hurt his back.
Chico is a Dachshund and back injuries are common for that breed. I checked YouTube and Google and his symptoms sounded like this: “Intervertebral disc disease, or IVDD, is a common condition in the spine that causes back pain, partial loss of function in the limbs, and in more severe cases paralysis and loss of feeling. While the Dachshund is the most notorious breed for this disease, IVDD can occur in any breed of dog.” https://www.pawsitivestepsrehab.com/blog/ivdd-a-dachshunds-tale/
Based on the information I found that said that back surgery could cost many thousands of dollars and could not prevent IVDD from happening again, we knew that if this was the diagnosis, we would not get the surgery. The only option would be pain medication and waiting to see if he would get better. We were all very heartbroken at the thought of losing him, even though he is a major pain in the butt. He is only about eight years old.
Chico, like all Dachshunds, loves to bark, poop, and burrow into blankets, whenever he is not begging with his sad eyes for snacks or peeing on the floor. You will find him sleeping on a bed or couch if he can get away with it. He can smell a possum outside through the wall and will dig to China for a mole if you let him. He’s a hunter and a fierce watchdog. He’s also afraid of thunder and the Swiffer.
So my husband carefully picked him up, with much dramatic yelping, which we assumed was from extreme spinal pain, and we anxiously drove to the vet, one we have never seen before. After waiting awhile, and imagining the worst was about to happen, we were taken back, and Chico was checked over, X-rayed, had his temperature taken, ears checked, and was gently poked and prodded. The only time he yelped was when they did the X-rays.
The verdict? His back was fine! We were so relieved and could finally stop holding our breath.
So what is wrong with him, we asked? Well, he probably has some soft tissue damage or possibly sore muscles or pain from a virus, said the vet that we liked very much by now. In other words, he probably hurt himself jumping off a bed. Or maybe our German Shepherd played too rough with him, as she is fond of putting his head in her mouth and knocking him around with her nose or foot.
The treatment was to give him an anti-inflammatory called Carbofren (doggie ibuprofen) and a pain pill called Gabapentin (just like humans take). After one dose of the two pills, he got up and walked around and ate some food! It was like magic!
We notified the kids and our social media friends, who were praying for Chico, that he was going to be okay. It was truly answered prayer.
For the next week, I gave him the pills and he recovered and moved a little better each day. But if Ellie, my other dog, got too close and barely touched him, he would start howling like someone had just stabbed a knife in him. I mean serious drama queen action! And he would go back to walking on three legs and demand to be carried back in the house. It was pretty funny.
Chico is back to normal now, running and pooping. But he still doesn’t want to play with Ellie. And the vet bill that I had dreaded was less than $400 including the meds. It was very worth it.