This is the story of Gamine who suffered from an IVDD episode in 2007.
One day, I suddenly heard Gamine, my 6-year old miniature dachshund loudly crying in the garden. I was upstairs at that moment, and I ran downstairs to the garden to see what was going on. I saw that Gamine could no longer stand on her back legs.
I never knew what happened exactly, but there is a raised terrace in our garden and I suspect that Gamine jumped off and then suddenly got the hernia.
I went straight to the vet and after a CT scan and examination the vet told me it was a hernia in the middle of the back. It happened on a Friday and he said that I could wait until Sunday at the latest, but that it would probably have to come to an operation if there was no improvement by then.
Back home I had to give Gamine a good rest but the next day there was no evolution. On Sunday, I called the vet and I was allowed to bring Gamine on Monday morning for an operation that had an 80% chance of success.
The price was expensive, 2000 euros, but it was that or an injection because there was nothing else to do at that time. It happened during the year 2007, so there were not as many options as nowadays.
Fortunately, the operation went well, but we had a very hard time because our Gamine had to stay in the veterinary clinic until she was able to pee by herself. It took her 8 days to do it, I was going to visit her every day at the vet clinic but having to leave her there every time was heartbreaking. She could not walk then and she had to practice in that garden there, that went a little better every day.
On the 9th day she was finally allowed to go home! She finally peed by herself. The vet suggested a follow-up treatment, a rehabilitation as one would say. I then opted for water therapy, or hydrotherapy.
She has then followed this treatment 10 times, ie, loosening the muscles in a dog jacuzzi and then swimming. The therapist went into the pool where he could stand up, and he let Gamine swim for him and held the rear potties and did the running movements in the water. So she had to swim for him at a distance of 6 meters. And this twice a week.
The cost was 500 euros for the 10 treatments, but this really helped enormously, because afterwards she could walk again.
Although not very firm on the legs yet, that went better and better
Eventually she was able to walk and walk again as before and lived for 14 years.
I definitely recommend surgery IF nothing else can help, but I now recommend mostly manual therapy and also hydrotherapie for IVDD.
At the time the technologies were not very advanced, but if it happened now I think I could have avoided the surgery by choosing a conservative treatment.