Our precious dog Sadie (Chiweenie) has IVD and is in much pain. Her form of this disease is in the back area and she is facing possible paralyzation of her hind legs. She is only 3 years old and a very big part of our family. We cannot afford the needed surgery and were advised by our vet that this surgery would cost us around $3,000.00. She has now been on medication including anti-inflammatory, pain med, and steroids for 2 weeks and we are not seeing much improvement. We have to keep her kenneled 24 hours a day and let her out just a few times a day for a bathroom break and that only works when she can make it down the porch steps which is about 50% of the time. I am currently attempting to build her a ramp to take these steps out of the equation altogether. I have posted below more information about IVD to familiarize anyone interested in what our puppy is going through. I hope you find it in your heart to help us as we love this family member very much!
Up to half of all reported canine cases of intervertebral disc disease (IVD), or herniated discs, involve dachshunds. A disc, in very basic terms, is like a cushion that is positioned between each bony vertebra that makes up the spine. Discs have a tough, fibrous outer ring with a gelatinous interior. When the gelatinous interior of the disk penetrates and protrudes through the disk's tough exterior (as in a hernia), it puts pressure on the spinal cord. The result can be excruciating pain, reduced mobility, and even paralysis. The dachshund's discs are metabolically different from those of other breeds, with 75 to 100 percent of them already being degenerated by the time a dachsie is one year old.
Your dachshund has a one in four chance of suffering from a slipped disk at some point in her life. Of the herniated disks that occur, 85 percent are in the back and 15 percent are in the neck area.
When it occurs in the neck (cervical disk disease), symptoms of 1VD include crying out in pain when the dachsie's neck is touched, difficulty or inability to move the neck or head, tight neck muscles, and difficulties moving the limbs. Symptoms of IVD when it occurs in the lower back (thoracolumbar disk disease) include a hunched back, difficulty walking, dragging back toes, crying out in pain when touched or picked up, and, in severe cases, paralysis of the dog's hind end.
At the first sign of suspected disc disease, keep your dachshund quiet in his crate and carefully transport him to your veterinarian for a complete diagnosis. Additional damage to the herniated disk may cause the dog to become paralyzed. Paralysis caused by IVD is often irreversible. In some cases, through aggressive physical therapy, a paralyzed dachshund is able to regain enough mobility to be functional. Other times, a dachshund can adapt readily to a wheeled cart that supports his rear end and allows him to be mobile on flat surfaces. As research into the field of spinal cord nerve regeneration continues, perhaps in the future there will be a means by which this severe damage can be reversed.
In more serious cases of IVD, in which the dog is not paralyzed but is exhibiting difficulties walking, an arched and painful back, or dragging its back toes, surgery to the affected areas can have lasting and outstanding results. Surgery is expensive, however, and can cost upward of $3,000.