We took Pixie over to the vet hospital for her first checkup after her surgery 9 days ago.
The news we got was not unexpected as we had seen little improvement ourselves. The surgeon used implements to nip her back legs and skin and got no response at all. Yes she can stand a little better if you hold her up but as soon as you let go, her back legs just give way and down she goes.
He said we now need to give her physical therapy for about 9 minutes twice a day. This involves putting her into warm water, almost uncomfortably warm he said, till it is half way up her body. Then from behind, take her 2 back legs and simply bounce her up and down for 3 minutes. The second 3 minute exercise is to rotate and move her legs as if she was strutting along quite fast. Vigorous was the way he did it. Pixie wasn't showing the slightest discomfort when he did it but then again, if she's paralysed back there, she wouldn't.
She did look back at one point and gave the surgeon a look which was slightly comical - a sort of "ok I feel nothing here but I'm working up quite a sweat" look.
The 3rd 3 minute exercise is to massage her back legs and general back area.......sort of like treating the legs like marinated chicken legs and work those herbs and spices right in there !
She's also to take steroid tablets (so she'll be ready for the next doggie Olympics) and antibiotics.
Add to all that having to continue to take her out to pee and poop and I'm tellin' ya, she's going be hard work for a while !
The bottom line is that the next couple of weeks will be vital. She is to go back in 2 weeks time for another exam but if she doesn't show any improvement at all in the next week to 10 days, we're to ring the hospital and they'll probably have her back early for blood tests. Basically we were warned that if there was no improvement (she should be reacting to being pinched for a start), we might be having to make a VERY hard decision.
Just before we left, they brought out another little dachshund to return to it's owners and it was a super frisky little thing. When placed on the ground, it was like an Energizer Bunny and although not entirely steady on it's rear legs, it was running around and skidding on the tiles and generally put Pixie's lethargic condition into stark perspective. That dog had been operated on 2 weeks ago !!
So that's where we are now. She'll get the steroids, the antibiotics and the therapy and we pray that there will be SOME progress and return of feeling within the next week to 10 days. If so, we can wait the 2 weeks before the next scheduled appointment.
If not, well we just can't think of that eventuality right now.