OWNER'S SURVIVAL GUIDE
A commonsence and light hearted approach on surviving IVDD
DISA asked owners who have been through the IVDD journey what supplies and aids helped them. Depending on whether you are rehabilitating your dachshund conservatively or post surgically this is what you may or may not need.
- Crate (recovery suite). It is highly recommended that you opt for a metal crate. 36” is a good size. Many owners have commented that soft crates are easily chewed and destroyed as well as they do not offer your dog good visibility. Metal crates can be set up on wheels and wheeled around and they can also be safely put on top of a coffee table etc. This allows your dogs to feel a part of the family and relieves stress for both dog and owner! Don’t forget to cover the crate with a sheet to make it feel snuggly and safe.
- Sturdy (unescapable) pens – remember dachshunds are Houdini’s! The set up at the bottom of this page is a great example of a recovery suite.
- Sling (when dog is able to toilet on its own but unable to stand). Can be something like a dressing gown cord, green shopping bag handles. PS Make sure you pop your dog on a lead as well.
- Pee pads
- Baby wipes (for accidents)
- Lots of towels.
- Polar fleece squares
- Belly bands for incontinence Check out Dundies – Australian made and environmentally friendly! New Born disposable nappies with a hole cut out for the tail is also a great option.
- A wheat pillow or doggy hot water bottle.
- Change table or similar to save your back!
- A good orthopaedic type mattress for the crate. Should not be too soft.
- A water bowl for the crate (attached to the side) raised high enough so that your dog does not need to bend down to it.
- Pet stroller – just make sure your dog is securely harnessed and avoid 4WDing on the rough roads for a while. These have found to be a godsend for most owners.
- Infra-red anti-barking device has found to help in some cases.
- Kongs filled with treats (non-fattening). Remember we are trying to keep our dog at a good weight to avoid stress on its back.
- Adaptil Diffuser. A synthetic analogue of canine appeasing pheromone, which has a comforting and reassuring effect on dogs.
- DISA Aids & Supplements Guide contains heaps of other ideas to help you survive the IVDD journey!
When the pain has eased and your dog needs to get moving or “If you don’t use it you lose it”
Physiotherapy and alternative therapies play an important role in a dog’s recovery. DISA urges all owners to seek the advice of an animal physiotherapist, they will guide and provide you with a range of exercises including lots of homework. Working on your dog doesn’t need to be difficult, it can actually be beneficial and very rewarding for both of you.
Here is a list of items that will help –
- Electric toothbrush (used for massaging feet, legs and other parts of the body (as per professional advice) to stimulate nerve endings) ps: borrow your husband/partner’s they will never notice the excess dog hair :-p
- Yoga mats can be used in several ways – standing your dog up on a mat while doing stretching and massage prevents slipping, rolled up and slipped underneath your dog’s stomach holds them up for balance and when your dog becomes more mobile Yoga mats lined up in a row are great for proprioception exercises. g. stepping over items like broom handles, garden hose etc.
- Life jacket for swimming, great for strengthening the core.
- Dog boots, Pawz dog boots or baby socks (encourages the dog to start feeling their feet and place them correctly. DISA sells Pawz dog boots in their Shop.
- Human hands and fingers – great for gentle massage, tickling and stimulation … your fur baby will love you for it!
When all else fails
- A good bottle of wine
- More patience
- Login onto DISA Support Forum and have a whine whilst having the wine.
- If all else fails a one-way ticket to a remote island, but remember, dachshunds are smart and they will hunt you down and find you.