Grace is a cream, longhaired dachshund who turns six in May. She’s sweet but protective and fiercely independent. She’s active too and looking back, I should’ve put up ramps around our house and supervised her more, but at the end of the day, if she wants to do something, nothing gets in her way!
Grace lost the ability to walk overnight. We learned that she had experienced an intervertebral disc herniation (slipped disc) in her lower back. Having been down this road with a dachshund I had when I was younger, we made the decision to go the holistic route and not have spinal surgery. Taking my childhood dog (Roxy) to regular acupuncture, aquatherapy (swimming lessons in a heated pool) and other effective physiotherapy techniques led to her walking again. I knew deep down that Grace would have the same outcome.
It’s important to be prepared for extensive at-home therapy too. With consistency, determination and constant positivity, there’s a strong chance that your dog’s mobility will improve daily. Here are my at-home care tips:
Crating is creating a small space for your dog that confines the area in which he/she able to move. During this time, it’s crucial that your dog’s movements are limited to prevent further damage.
A leaner, lighter dog will walk quicker than an overweight dog. We were told Grace was overweight by a few kilos. We limited her food portions and reduced her snack intake. This was tricky for us as we felt like we were taking away her only joy (treats) but we had to think long-term.
We used a soft scarf to pick up Grace’s back legs while she did her business. Once you get into a regular routine with this, you’ll get the hang of it. When she started taking her first steps, she then went outside on her own. It was amazing to witness.
Patience is everything
This process will teach you the art of patience and persistence. I made notes of Grace’s progress each day and documented it on social media. I also suggest talking to people going through the same thing. Recovery for your fur baby is around the corner.
In August 2022, Grace took her first few steps. It was one of the best days of my life! Her strength and determination continues to inspire me to this day. Remember, each dog has their own pace. Be there for them every step of the way.