Dachshunds are something of an item in our family. My parents were the proud owners of “Heidi”, a standard red dachshund when I was born. She, like most doxies, was quite protective of her turf and her people. The neighbors protested at her protectiveness (ie, barking), and Mom and Dad eventually had to find a new home for Heidi. But dachshunds returned to our family in the shape of Susu. I recall how Susu welcomed most warmly my then-boyfriend/now-husband to the family on his first visit to meet everyone. As he slept on the couch, Susu joined him ever so sneakily, burrowed in the blankets, and breathed on him all night long! That did it. When Karl and I married several years later, we had to get a dachshund of our own. (More on her later.)
When she passed, Roxy then was chosen to move in. She was a cute, black miniature dachshund who loved to jump on the couch. Boy, did she have back pain! From a very young age, Roxy’s back pain stemmed from her mid spine, causing her to drag her back paw. Dad used a form of flexion-distraction on her. (The tail can be an amazing leverage tool!) Around 12 years old though, Roxy’s back just couldn’t go anymore. A local Purdue-trained veterinary surgeon versed in back surgery removed a disc. She walked a bit crooked the rest of her life, but she lived another 3 or 4 years. She still tried to jump on the couch!
Now when my husband and I decided to be pet owners, we chose a cute, black mini-dachshund, too. Ours is named Sasha. Now Sasha doesn’t get back pain, she gets neck pain which causes her to howl when her neck is touched and pull up her front paw to relieve pressure. Again, Dad used some flexion-distraction on her neck (despite Sasha’s loud protests and tries to nip his hands) when her episodes occur. It’s worked thus far. No surgery for Sasha, and she nears 15 this April 2010. (Her son, Momo, lives with us, too, but he has escaped back pain so far.)
THE ARTICLE: Recently, Shimizu and Mochida et al write in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Science (vol 72, no 1, January 2010) that after studying the histological and immunohistochemical studies they conducted using herniated intervertebral disc materials obtained surgically from 39 miniature dachshunds, proliferations of connective tissue, including neovascularization, were observed in 17 cases. They feel that this suggests that spontaneous regression of herniated intervertebral disc material could occur in affected dogs. (Could that have happened with Roxy all those years of flexion-distraction? Could that explain Sasha’s fortune to avoid surgery? Neat!)
Note: Please don’t write asking to have your dog treated or protocols for treating animals! These are family pet stories only. They are our family dogs who don’t mind our caring for them a little differently. J