Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Pixie Update

Went to a pirate themed dance last night within the park and I'll post about that later. Y'arrrr.

A few kind readers (including you, Leigh) have asked for an update on Pixie as I've not mentioned her for some time.

As regulars know, Pixie is 'our' long haired miniature dachshund and soon after we all arrived here in Buttonwood Bay last year for the start of our winter season in Florida, she blew a disc in her back which paralysed her back legs.

Since the surgery her recovery has been very slow but at least it has been progressive. In the initial weeks we saw improvement every few days as nerve recovery and therefore movement returned to her legs. She'd wobble and fall over, but week by week, with the aid of medication and regular physiotherapy (provided by our good selves) she was becoming more and more like Pixie of old.

The last few weeks have seen the outward signs of improvement slow down as you'd expect by now. She rarely falls over (except when doing abrupt u-turns on the slippery kitchen floor) and can move quite rapidly when out for short walks.

I wrote about the special 'pooping' sling we'd made for her in the early days so that we could hold up her back area to allow her to pee and poop (as control of these functions were slow to return and she still hasn't mastered them completely). Well last week we were able to dispense with the sling and we are back to using her normal leash anytime we take her out.

Her gait was a bit bizarre for a few months as sensation slowly returned to her legs and she waddled with a pronounced hump in her back with both back legs moving in a very stiff and unnatural way. The vet said the fact that the 'nerve sensation' hadn't been totally restored to all parts of her legs meant that she was 'feeling' for the ground as she walked rather than sensing it was there - and the strange gait was the result.

That has mostly gone now and she walks and moves almost like she did before. It's still obvious to anyone that she's not 100% by any means but compared to how she was after the surgery, it's almost miraculous.

Personality wise, she's Pixie again. Yes, now and then she'll not let us know she needs to go out and leaves us a small deposit, probably because she's not sure herself. It's a small price to pay and I'm sure that will become less and less frequent over the next few weeks.

The fur on her back is VERY slowly returning and she looks 'normal' unless you get up close to her. She only walks short distances before putting on the brakes but we're gradually building this up as it helps her recovery a lot. We now do the walking instead of the therapy which is easier for all of us !!

And that's about it. Leigh, in your comment you mentioned about trying to stop your dachshund jumping up and down. That's hard to do BUT vital. We knew about the potential back issue with this breed but as with a lot of things, we thought it would never happen to Pixie !!

We've (and Pixie) have learned the hard way and it's been a very worrying and expensive lesson. This has been one of my reasons for documenting her story on here as I'd hate this to happen to anyone else - although I know it will.

Thank you all for your interest and concern. That comes from Pixie too.

4 comments:

Daphne said...

Good news!

Jennyta said...

Wonderful. I'm so glad she is making such a good recovery.

Rosanna said...

Little Pixie is strong like her Mommy!!

Silverback said...

Don't think 'mommy' is feeling very strong right now, Rosanna. She's back in wintery Michigan for a long weekend with the family and I can hear her teeth chattering already.

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