Mini Daschund and Slipped Disc

Updated on November 08, 2014
L.J. asks from Picayune, MS
10 answers

We have a mini daschund who's 4 1/2 years old.(we adopted him when he was almost 1) Anyway last month our 14 1/2 month old son was going to sit by him on the floor and when he did he accidentally sat on his back leg area. He let a noise out. He seem to wobble a little. The Next day he was dragging his rear legs. We watched him for a few days and noticed he wasn't improving so we made a trip to the vet. They checked him and did a x-ray and said by the x-ray he slipped a few discs. They put him on 3 medicines; pain medicine, muscle relaxer and steriod. We was told to bring him back in 2-3 weeks. He took all the medicine as directed over the weeks. He seem to be doing a little better. We noticed when he had to do number 2 he looked as if he wanted to squat his back legs and held it for awhile and his back legs went limp. He look like his back legs where standing normal then goes limp also. My husband took him yesterday and saw a little improvement but took him off of all the medicine. She wants him in another month. She said if he doesn't get better it two choices; surgery or a doggie cart. Surgery going to run 2800 or more and they said they aren't 100% sure if it's going to work. We priced doggie wheel chairs where it's 200-350. The vet said putting him down would be a very last choice if he was very bad off like losing weight, not wanting to move, play etc. He's a very good dog. He loves our kids and is very protective of them when people he doesn't know is around. I know we heard different things from family members. That putting him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life is wrong, I guess they didn't want to say it to us but meaning that we should put him to sleep. I don't see doing that. Another said about how it's going to run up the vet bill etc. We don't care about the money if we have it, it's no problem. We knew when we got a daschund they were prone to back problems and etc. He gained a pound in weight since the last 3 weeks. We took him outside earlier today and he seem happy with his tail wagging. He can still wag his tail, one back leg has a little feeling in it where thhe other not so much. So I guess what I need is some advice on what seem best for him?? The vet said she knows we have 4 kids and if it's to much for us to call her and drop him off and she'll find someone to take him. We don't haven't a problem with him, we love him. Just made me think why she told us that. Anyone had a problem with a daschund and their legs etc. What did you do? Thanks!!

Edit: we been having him in a crate for the most of the time then letting him out to use the bathroom or feed him. He hasn't been jumping on or off stuff since he got hurt. I figured they would give him another few weeks of medicine since he seem to approved a little. He doesn't look in pain. Like i said he's been wagging his tail and still walks a little. He just don't have that much feeling in back and he doesn't know he's dragging his back legs. I thinking about going to another vet and getting a second opinion.

Edit again: 11/8/14- well last night I read online about water therapy. I had in the tub for about 10 minutes as I watched him he move his back legs straight a little and was walking in the tub like that. Today he went outside to do his business and saw his back legs again going normal for awhile before draggingl and he was running pretty good and looked so happy. I pray he is getting better. He seem to be approving more better. Thanks for the advice!! :)

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

When I was in college I had a dachshund who had to have back surgery. He was only 4 years old. The surgery was expensive, but the prognosis was good and everyone loved that dog, so my parents split the cost of the surgery with me. I still had to pick up some extra bartending shifts, but Max was worth it. The surgery went well and he lived happily for another 12 years. I hope you find a good solution for your dog, too.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would get a second opinion. If my dog were in pain and walking funny, I wouldn't watch him for a few days - especially when I KNOW my, little over 1 year old, child sat on him.

The vet that you are taking him to doesn't seem to care much and wants to wait weeks. Find another vet. There is a mom on here who IS a vet...I hope she sees this...

Your dog is young. So if you can afford the $3K for surgery? I would do it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

When our dachshund woke up unable to use her back legs, she was too old for the surgery. She had maybe a 10% chance of even surviving it and we ended up having to put her down. It was the worst thing ever to us. If she had been younger and had a higher chance, we would have done it. I say if you can afford it, get it done. If your dog doesn't gain back the use of his legs, then you can look at a cart. You have more options than we did and if you can afford it, I hope you take them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

I agree with Tara. He is only 4 yrs old and should be ok with surgery. My 7 yr old had to have surgery a few months back and did fine. I would get another opinion.

Also, search on the computer. Type in: mini dachshund has slipped discs.

If you see that your dog is in pain....Ask for some pain meds from the vet.

Will say a prayer for your little dog.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I don't have a daschund but I just wanted to tell you that one of my neighbors does, and he has a wheelchair too. They take him on walks quite often and he is so cute and seems to be happy. Don't worry about what others want you to do, do what's right for your family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

ETA: Kay, thanks for the updated post with how you have been managing his care thus far. It sounds like if this is managed well, he has a chance to make a full recovery without surgery. I am not sure why the meds were discontinued, when he is still exhibiting problems, they might need to be resumed, but only a vet that has examined your dog can make that call. Therapy or other holistic treatments might also help during this period. And again, a vet that specializes in sports injuries might have an innovative approach that will have greater results than traditional rest & medicine.

To everyone else reading her post, just because Kay listed the costs of different treatment options, doesn't mean they are avoiding surgery based on cost. It is expensive, so if it wouldn't be successful, there's no point in going forward with the expense, & recovery. This is where a 2nd surgical opinion is important, and also therapeutic treatment beforehand - to lessen the need for surgery, & increase the chances of a positive outcome.

Original response:

I don't really get a good feeling about your vet from what you have written. I'm not sure if it just isn't translating well, or if your vet is not as proactive as she should be.

Medication only, with small improvement, & now your dog is on no medication with a hope for continued improvement is what I am taking from your post. And if there is not continued improvement, they are recommending either a surgery or adaptive device.

First of all, are you making sure to eliminate activities that could make the slipped disc worse, such as not allowing him to jump up or off furniture, etc.? What I know anecdotally, & what I was able to find online in a brief search, your dog should have been confined, preferably in a crate, for a number of weeks while on medication, and then gradually allowed freedom of movement as he improved.

In addition to medication, I know a number of people who engage in therapy for their dogs, either cold laser, ultrasound, chiropractic or water therapy (swimming). These have a number of different benefits, & some may be appropriate for your dog to help him continue to heal.

Considering your dog is only 4 1/2 years, if he is a good candidate for a successful surgery, that would be an ideal option. If surgery does not come with a high risk of success for him, an adaptive device like a doggie wheelchair is an excellent option. I know many people who have dogs that have utilized them, either for recovery from injuries, loss of limbs (cancer/injuries) or degenerative diseases that caused rear paralysis. The dogs still maintain a quality of life, as long as you are able to adjust your lifestyle & home environment to let them continue to engage.

I highly recommend you get a second opinion from another vet (& possibly a third from a holistic vet, such as a chiropractor). If you have the option to get a consult with a sports medicine surgical vet, that would be ideal (check with local kennel clubs in your area, or training facilities that specialize in competitive activities, such as Flyball or Agility for referrals).

I'd like to give your vet the benefit of the doubt that she has the best interests of the dog in mind, but her bedside manner, & lack of proactive treatment in this case is very underwhelming, & if this were my dog, I would want more information to make sure the right steps were taken to help him get better.

Good luck! T. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Your dog is young enough to withstand a surgery based on life expectancy of a dog that age and size.

I know from experience that its a tough decision to go forward or not. I would hope your vet has sent you to specialist's by now,

Next week, my 8.5 yr old poodle will have his 1 yr post check on cataract surgery from last Nov. He is going great, has a bionic eye and can see!!!!

It was very pricey but we are aware that he possibly has 10 more yrs with us. Our option was to wait and see if the other eye immediately was blinded overnight. Leaving him completely blind. We took the chance and it worked. He has 1 eye that is superb and will always be ok unless he hasva specific eye accident.

We had a Cocker who had an accident at 2 and broke something, somehow in his spine and he had a successful surgery. He would run to chase s ball and head butt the door or a tree. Just once, he hit wrong and it was costly. He was almost 15 when he died.

It difficult to justify and you have to weigh the options both for your pet's health and financially.

Best wishes to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd get another opinion, and I'd also look into something like animal chiropractic. I'd also look into renting a cart short term, or buying one used on Craigslist or eBay, to see if taking the strain off the legs for a while helps him heal.

You don't euthanize a dog because it's too expensive to get surgery. Humans get operations all the time without 100% guarantee of success. When we adopt a pet, we adopt for better or worse, and we have to budget for expenses. If an animal is beyond help and is in excessive pain, then euthanasia may be the best choice. But you're not there yet, not even close.

Re-homing a dog is possible but it's extremely stressful for the animal. We adopted a dog who had been given up twice, and she was in a really bad way in the shelter and had to be put in foster care. We filled out a 6-page questionnaire making sure we understood how much a dog costs, identifying our plans for vacations and any possible move to a place that didn't allow animals, detailing our "rules" in the house such as areas where the dog wasn't allowed and where she would sleep, etc. The shelter wanted to be sure that every dog went into the right sort of home. She's come a long way and is a new, mostly-secure animal, but she still needs a lot of reassurance. Obviously a dachshund is a difficult choice for a family with very small children (so is a greyhound, by the way - big but fragile), but you're already committed. So I wouldn't stress this poor dog out by re-homing him.

I'm really distressed that your vet would be so cavalier in saying "Just drop him off and I'll find someone to take him." Is that really the tone she used? I'd seriously consider another vet - get a second opinion on the back (take the x-rays, as you already own them) and see if you can find someone a little more caring about the dog's emotional as well as physical care.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would seek out another vet opinion and one that had knowledge of holistic modalities. see what their opinion is about surgery or if they think there are other options to try first. Make sure you continue to interact with your dog even if he's on crate rest.

I know I would do whatever my dog neede to have the fullest life possible but would consult other medical opinions to make a decision and to make sure there was good pain control.

Good luck. Sounds like you are going to make sure he's cared for well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Wow. Bad predicament. I could not afford to have the surgery on a pet. I would not want to saddle him with a cart and having to deal with the children playing roughly with the cart.

How about having the vet gift him to another family who would allow your family to visit him monthly and take treats (bog biscuits)? I think she is thinking of a lonely senior who may could afford the surgery and the doggy wheel chair will not be an issue with curious children.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions