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The Olympia Dachshund Meetup Group Message Board › Back surgery

Back surgery

Patty
KatWrangler1
Lakewood, WA
Post #: 1
Some of you have met my very timid little Petunia. She had disc surgery on her neck last December and just yesterday had back surgery. Can anyone that has been through this share some advise? Thank you.

Patty
Whitney
user 3122671
Olympia, WA
Post #: 10
Hi Patty,

Our little Josie, who turned 8 in July, had back surgery last September. Although we've always kept her at a healthy weight, given her regular exercise, good quality food and so on, she had quite a bit of compression in her spine. One day, after my husband gave her a bath, she escaped and ran down the wood stairs, slipping and falling. After that I noticed one of her hind legs lagging when she walked. We took her in to our regular vet who did an x-ray and referred us to Dr. Demuth at Summit Vets in Lakewood for an evaluation. She ended up needing surgery for a herniated disc.

Dr. Demuth was absolutely fantastic. Prior to going through the surgery with him we'd called around to a variety of facilities and vets - he was close by (we live in Olympia) and came very well recommended. Josie's surgery went well and we have been much more cautious since. When they released her she was supposed to be on complete bed rest (except going to the bathroom) for 2 weeks (I think, if I recall correctly), then given progressively (slowly) more time out walking around. We purchased 2 different wire frame crates from Petsmart - one was for a dog her size (she's 10 lbs), and she had pretty limited movement in it, the other was for a larger dog (maybe 60 lbs). We used the small kennel when she was on complete bedrest and moved her to the larger kennel after the vet permitted that she be moving around more.

Although we originally crate-trained her as a puppy, we had not crated her for years. After the surgery we re-evaluated how we did everything and made some distinct changes in her environment:
-We don't allow her to walk up and down the stairs from the first to the second floor (she used to bolt up and down them, and it was on these stairs that she slipped and fell) - we put a baby gate at the bottom and the top of the stairs to prevent her from doing so (we also have a toddler so this served two purposes for us). Now, she is pretty well trained to not go up and down stairs so if we accidentally leave the gate open she usually doesn't go. But, we try to keep the gates closed to prevent stair usage.
-We keep her from jumping on furniture as much as possible (she knows she is not supposed to but she still attempts to). We don't pile blankets or leave dog toys on the couch, so as to not encourage her to jump up and burrow into blankets or get the toys.
-We crate her whenever we leave the house and sometimes when we are home as well. This is to discourage jumping up on furniture when we aren't home or aren't watching. We made the larger wire crate (referenced above) her little den, with a comfy bed, food and water dish, and toys. There's enough room for her to move around in it, and because it is wire and not a plastic crate, she can easily look out and she what people are doing, which she likes. She has taken to it just fine.
-We give her Vitamin E daily - Dr. Demuth recommended this as it is supposed to aid in healing the spine. We also feed her good quality food and give her fish oil, though we've done those things for a long time, not related to this incident.
-We try to generally be more cautious of her back when carrying her, what activities we let her do and so on.

If you have any questions or want to chat with someone who's been through the surgery please let me know. It's almost a year later for Josie and so far so good (knock on wood).
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