My name is Lynne and I wanted to share my IVDD story with you all, in the hope that it can give you some hope and inspiration on your path through the tough journey. My boy’s name is Frank and he is a smooth haired miniature and he was 4 and 1/2 when he went down.

It was Saturday 19th March 2016 that I first noticed he wasn’t himself. He seemed very swollen in the mid region and couldn’t get up onto anything. He didn’t seem like he was in pain, and I thought he may be constipated. I took him straight to the vet, where they checked him over and found nothing. Monday morning he wasn’t himself at all, so I took him back again to the vet, where they said they will keep him in for the day and do x-rays and blood tests. I went back that afternoon to get results and they found nothing at all. I put him on the floor to walk out and that’s where it was the first sign of the “drunk walk”. My heart just broke and I asked the vet why he is walking like this.  She panicked and said he was not like that all day. She referred me straight away to either South Paws or Werribee Hospital. When I got home I called Southpaws straight away, but they couldn’t see me till the Wed, so I panicked and took him to Werribee, as I wanted an answer straight away.

I had absolutely no idea what I was dealing with and felt lost.  He spent the next 2 nights there, where they did an MRI and he was diagnosed with IVDD.  I was given the option of conservative treatment or surgery, and was so upset and confused I had no idea what to do, as I couldn’t think straight.   That’s when I decided to put a post onto the I Love Dachshund Melbourne Facebook site. The response was unbelievable, and it’s then for the first time, that I didn’t feel alone through all of this. It’s there I was also introduced to the DISA Facebook site. It was still a very hard decision to make, but through the encouragement of people who have been through it, I opted for the surgery.

Living in East Bentleigh, and travelling back and forth to Werribee was very stressful in itself, so under a very high recommendation, I took Frank to Southpaws, where they operated on him on the Wednesday and I picked him up the next day. In that time I was speaking with Helga from DISA quite a lot, and she was so wonderful in guiding me as to what needed to be done. So that night I met Helga in person, where I collected an IVDD kit from her that has everything you could possibly need, when your head doesn’t think clearly enough to take action. When I picked him up, I had the very good news that he was standing and going to the toilet on his own, and the surgery was successful. What a relief!! And I was also prepared at home in everything that I needed for his 12 week crate rest.

I had him home 2 weeks on strict crate rest, before I put him into Dogs In Motion Rehab. I didn’t want to overdo it, but I also wanted to get him started ASAP on to his recovery to walk again. He was going 2 times a week to hydro for 1 month, then they dropped it to once a week for a month as he was doing so well. In between those visits, I did physio with him at home 3 times a day. His progression was so positive, and for the first time in a long time I felt hope for my baby boy. I was able to walk him daily for 10 minutes increasing to 20 minutes week by week. His last visit to Southpaws was on May 19th, where they gave him the all clear, and his last visit to rehab was on June 7th where he had his last physio and discharge. They were so impressed with his recovery time and I was considered very lucky.

I had spent the whole 3 months 24/7 with Frank and I was lucky that my job flexibility allowed me to work from home to be with him. There were days where I had him out of the crate and in bed with me, as it killed me to see his little face in the crate. But I never ever left him unattended.

So currently up to date now, on the 10th of August 2016 I am walking Frank daily almost up to an hour. You would never guess that he ever went through this unless you knew him. He believes he is better again and trying to jump up and down on things, but I limit him, and am trying to change his ways as I never want to go through this again.

But as I leant on this journey, you are not alone in this, and the DISA Facebook site was my bible. It’s just so lovely to speak with people who are going through this and give them inspiration on the other side. The knowledge I gained from the information provided by DISA is just wonderful. I am forever grateful to everyone involved and now everyone new that I meet, that owns dachshunds, I am introducing them to this knowledge, and encouraging them to be aware of IVDD and get onto the DISA site.

I hope that my story will inspire any of you that are currently going through this to never give up, and remain positive and strong. You are not alone in this. Also one other thing is that I have had pet insurance since Frank was 8 weeks old, and cannot stress enough how important it is. I would not have been able to do the surgery without it, and thank god I did, as I believe Frank’s recovery was much quicker through this.

I wish everyone all the best, and both Frank’s and my love and thoughts are with all beautiful dachies who go down to this dreadful disease. If I can help in any way, even just by telling my story, then it’s a step to making people more IVDD aware, if not to the current dachie owners, but to the potentially new owners out there who are thinking of getting one. They sure do change your life for the better and I would not change one experience I have had with Frank even the IVDD, as our connection is even stronger, and I cannot love him anymore!!

Thanks Lynne and Frank xxx​