Dachshund with back injury

This is my second dachshund with a back injury.

My little Brownie had her back injury a few years ago- around age 5- and we were able to nurse her through it without surgery. She was always gimpy and a little delicate after that- with definite loss of musculature on the back end- but lived a good dog life. She died a year and a half ago of (misdiagnosed) liver cancer at age 8. She was an awesome dog and I still miss her.

About a year ago, I took in the little blonde doxie, Abbie. She will be 5 next month. And about 6 months ago I took in the red one, Koko. I didn’t really want anymore dogs, but succombed to the begging a pleading of a friend who knew Abbie and knew her need for a better home. A friend who knows my fondness for dachshunds. And, since I had the one, I took in the other…

Anyway, Abbie was uncharacteristically aggressive toward Koko last Saturday night, so I created her for the night. She just woke up lame last Sunday. Went to the vet on Sunday who recommended surgery and called around, but no surgeons were available Sunday. On Monday the surgeon said he could not see her until Tuesday, and Tuesday he said it was too late for surgery. He would do it anyway ($3500.00) though, but not recommended.

So, she’s 10 days post injury and I don’t think she will regain any use of her hind legs. She doesn’t seem to feel them at all. She can be balanced upon them but then starts to fall one way or the other and doesn’t respond when I poke around in her pads. She can poop and pee, but I can’t tell how much control she has over that.

I try to take her out about every 2-4 hours. When I take her out, I support her back end in a sling. She will eliminate while being ‘walked’- meaning she does not stop to void. I’m wondering if the sling encourages elimination via compression or if she just doesn’t want to take the time to stop “to go” because she has been mostly crated for 10 days.

Since the injury date, I have now noticed a bulge on her right flank. I’m not sure if the bulge is liver or intestine. If she is constipated from the crate rest and meds, she is not complaining about it. She does stool 1-2 times a day and the stool seems normal. Her abdomen feels normal to me- not too firm, not distended. Maybe the meds are too hard on her liver.

I guess a trip to the vet is in order.

I have not ruled out having her put down, as much as it saddens me. I’m not convinced life in a dog wheelchair is a good life. Do they live long after that? She will be much more prone to illness and injury. Skin breakdown, urine scald, pneumonia… Do I have the time and inclination to have a wheelchair dependent dog? In any case, she could not be wheelchaired for another 5 weeks or so.

I suppose I’ll have the bulge examined and if it is liver, make a decision from there.

I understand IVDD is hereditary. I wish breeders would stop breeding dogs with IVDD. It’s just heartbreaking to see a dog in her prime stricken so suddenly.

I am not, not, not getting any more dogs, cats, birds, fish, turtles, etc. Do not call me.

Im a dog lover. I lost my Keeta and she was only a year and a half. Im a grown man and I cried like a baby. There are some people whose pets are more then just the dog of cat. My wife brought home another dog and I didnt respond well. It took time, but I did get over it. I still grieve for my baby girl, but I have since realized I have room in my heart for others. I now have Aspen and Kahlua. Both are as close to me as Keeta. You will always miss the ones you love, but it shouldnt stop you from loving.

I mean, where can you get such unconditional affection, attention? I dont even refer to my boys as my dogs. They are family.

I’m sorry to hear about Abbie’s injury. I’ve never had to deal with a dog in a wheelchair, but I have seen them darting around, and they seemed happy. If you can find a used one that isn’t too pricey to try, you might do that. IF it doesn’t wokr for you, you can euthanize if you have to, but I’d hate to do that feeling I hadn’t given the dog a chance.


It’s a common problem with wiener dogs. They’ve been bred to a body shape that isn’t strong enough to hold their weight. Sorry to hear about it. You’ll have to see how she handles the wheel chair. Dogs are pretty resilent creatures. After weeks of immobility she’ll probably love the idea of getting around on her own again. I don’t know this works out long term for dogs. It’s certainly worth a shot.

Here’s some good information for you that brought our dachshund back up. http://www.drwp.net/files/Dachshund_Back_Digest.pdf

We tried mega doses of vitamin C, water therapy, and complete rest and it worked. This on a dog that couldn’t move anything below her waist. I remember putting my swim suit on and sitting with her in the tub for 45 minutes at a stretch. The vet injected her with vitamin C and as she began to regain function I did a lot of massage and gentle stretching of the affected limbs.

YMMV of course, each injury is different. After her recovery she was shaky but could walk.

So sorry to hear about Abbie. I know how tough this must be for both of you. I’m sitting here next to my boy Jake, a 6-year-old dachshund mix, who just had his second surgery last week to repair a ruptured disk. He’s not recovering as quickly the second time around, and had really hoped I made the right choice in putting him through all this again. I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting him down, so I took another chance on the surgery. After a difficult few days, I was thrilled to get home from work and find him wagging his tail at me…and I was even more thrilled to see him actually stand up on his own for the first time since his procedure.

I know you’ll make the right choice for Abbie. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

These folks made a custom wheelie cart for my doxie Tasha - http://dogstogo.net/ The cost was extremely reasonable. We went with them as a trial to see how she would tolerate the wheels. I’m glad we did, because she was able to rehab and not have to use them anymore. While she was using it, she zoomed around the yard like nothing was wrong with her at all.

I’m sorry your baby is in this situation.

My wife dragged home 2 Dachhunds (one about 3 years ago and the other just over a year now). I don’t really like dogs… but…

The first one, he’s pretty damn cool! A handsome lad and a stone-cold killer of rats, squirells, mice and other nasty stuff. Very smart and well behaved. He’s a bit thick in the middle and has more problems with his feet than his back at this point.

The second one is a scrawny little scrappy female miniture. About a pound and a half, after eating. Jumps straight up about 3 feet in the air. Runs about 30 miles an hour. Has a 9 inch prehensile tounge (please see the bad smell tread about these monsters) and is just plain nasty! Eats every dead thing and shit she can find!

So damn ugly (bug eyes, big old ugly cobby feet, joint and legs) she is positivly cute! And a stink that makes you want to breath thru a sweaty jock. Horrible, nasty little animal.

I really,* really *like her! We share a birthday, too.

I am gonna be soooooo sad when they go down the shit road of bad backs and other weiner dog trials like I hear they all do. I guess I gotta enjoy them when I can, and take care of them when they need me to…

Thanks, ya’ll. Thank you, purple haze and Hockey Monkey, for the links. And “LOL!” at Gatopescado. Silly mutts.

I didn’t take her to the doc yet about the lump on her side. She is stooling well and it does not cause her any discomfort. She’s about the same. I don’t think she will regain any use of her legs but there is still a lot of recovery to do. She seems to be feeling better and wants to get under the bushes to frog/bug hunt. This does not work well when your hind end is in a sling.


Abbie is 22 days post injury now and making good progress!

She is off all meds and still on crate rest- maybe another 3-4 weeks to go. But, she is slowly regaining use of her legs. We walk her about every 2-4 hours by placing a fleece sling in front of her back legs. She has regained bowel and bladder function (on days 2-3), can wag her tail (days 6-8, with increased ability as time goes by), can get to standing position on her own in the crate (days 17-19), can weight bear for a short time, and cycles her legs while in the sling, mimicking walking (days 18-20). She still drags her toes and can’t seem to pull her legs high enough to stand on her paw pads all the time but can do so about half the time.

She still has quite a bit of recovery to do and maybe she will recover enough to be completely independent. We keep her in the family room and make sure she has good views of the doors and windows and whomever is coming and going in the house. Everyone passing by is supposed to stop and pet her or chat her up to prevent boredom. We also have to keep the lid on her crate when unsupervised now as she has plans to escape- you can tell because she will start looking over the side and trying to put her front paws on the edge, etc.

We give her a couple of physical therapies a day with massage and flexing of her legs. She thinks this is just a petting session and enjoys the spoiling. She also gets to sit in DH’s lap while he watches tv, so gets a little more PT then.

My other injured dachshund made a similar recovery in that she lost some musculature in her hind end, but was able to do all the doggie things she needed to do except jump, which she should not have been doing anyway.

The only big problem she has these days (according to her) is her partner in crime, Koko, who comes by to steal her food and water. Lord knows why as both dogs are fed the same food and water- I guess it’s just better tasting if it’s not yours.

Good to see this update, thanks! What of the lump?

Our wiener dog Pretzel had back problems too, we think from jumping off of places that were probably too high for him and that he was hurting his back in increments.

One day when he was about 5 or so years old he tried to come down the stairs with my Mom and took a tumble and then just couldn’t use his hind legs anymore.

The vet gave him a cortisone shot and we kept him crated for weeks…and eventually, he regained almost full use of his legs.

That dog lived to be 16 years old. He was nearly blind and deaf by the time my Mom made the decision to have him put down. She really loved that dog.

Good old Pretzel!

I did take her to the vet for the lump . He thought it was not liver or spleen, but bowel and gas. Its not gas in that she is not a farter, so must be bowel. It does not trouble her and is still present. The vet did not do any labs or X-rays.

Another update:

About 30 days post injury, and the dog is walking. She’s unsteady but generally walks OK. She bobs and weaves and lists and tends to rub and bump in to things. When she gets into squat position to eliminate, she often falls onto her bottom which makes pooping a chore, but she’s working on that diligently. When she in just walking at a normal rate, she does very, very well. When she wants to go fast, she starts to hop, using both back legs in tandem.

Her gait is gimpy and funny looking. You would laugh at her silly looking style if you didn’t realize what a bad time she has had. She is still on crate rest and has about 2 more weeks of recovery. We are allowing her more freedom and I only sling walk her when I feel like indulging her in her very important frog hunts or wish to give her extended outdoor time. I will be glad to say goodbye to sling walking- it’s hard on a person’s back. Fortunately we have 4 persons to share the chore. She has been feeling good enough to try to reestablish her dominance over the other dog, but we are discouraging that much activity. The other dog kindly comes over and rolls on her back to offer to play and be dominated. She tires easily and still gets supervised trips outside every 2-3-4 hours during the day and locked up at night in the crate. she can and will “break out” if not watched.

I’m impressed with how well she is doing.

What a little trouper!

Give her a pat for me!

I’m so glad to hear your dog is recovering. I have a dachshund and I hope he never gets hurt like that. He’s young and loves to jump up on stuff.

Im glad to hear that Abbie is doing better, I have my own Abbie in my life as well!!! :slight_smile:

I wanted to post another link to a website that I have found VERY informative and helpful. It is dodgerslist.com and is all about IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) and treatments.

I have had the pleasure of being family with 3 mini dachshunds in my lifetime. When we brought home our first baby, Buster, I was only 5 years old. We let him jump on the couches, beds and wherever else he pleased. Needless to say he was only 5 years old when he had multiple discs slip out of place… he was in such excruciating pain my parents decided to put him to sleep.

We ended up with 2 more babies a few years later (Abbie and Sassy). It was hard at first, but we did NOT allow them to jump up on any furniture, (we don’t have stairs so that wasn’t an issue, but if we did we would not have allowed them to go up and down the stairs), but we have always been very cautious with their backs. It is SO important that you pick them up properly (keeping the back completely horizontal by supporting both the chest and hind area), and trying to limit anything that puts pressure on their backs such as jumping (up OR down).

Sassy just recently passed away due to severe pancreatitis. The vet said she had some sort of tumor in her stomach. She was only about a month short of her 14th birthday. She NEVER had any back problems throughout her entire life.

Abbie is going to celebrate her 14th birthday on June 18th. A week ago she began showing signs of wobbly legs and pain (she was hunching her back). When I took her to the vet they did x-rays and said she most likely has a pinched nerve due to thinning discs in the back which could develop into IVDD and/or paralysis. I recently gave Abbie a bath and she hates the water. I was having a very difficult time(as I recently injured my own back) keeping her from trying to burst the shower door down by jumping up on it. I think this is what triggered the recent injury, however I am very grateful that in her 14 years of life this is the first back problem she has had, and that it seems to be a mild one so far… she still has feeling in her legs and wags her tail when I give her lovings. She still has bladder and bowel control.

We are doing conservative therapy at home (basically bed rest and medicine)to reduce the inflamation. She is already showing signs of improvement one week in, although we are trying not to let her move a whole lot right now as that will slow her progress.

My morale of the story is this: yes, this breed of dog is prone to back injuries, but I strongly believe, and Veterinarians will agree, that PREVENTION is the BEST medicine. Of course it is impossible to prevent every little thing, but just implementing small measures such as not jumping on the couches and picking them up carefully can mean the difference between a very young dog having a terrible (and EXPENSIVE) injury that is easily prevented or living many more years Pain Free.

OH, one more brand of doggie wheelchairs is called Eddies Wheels at eddieswheels.com. They are supposed to be a very well made product, a bit more pricey than the “dogstogo”, but they also have various models for different disabilities and from what I’ve read/heard are designed for superior comfort and ergonomics. I have not used them personally, but I have heard good things about them. Just thought I would post so anyone interested could compare the two and see what fits their needs better.

Here is to all of our babies healing quickly and living pain-free, happy lives!

Thanks for reading!