Frankie is a 3 year old 11.5 pound mini-dachshund who
lives with us and our 2 other dachshunds in Northern Illinois.
Frankie has always been an active and very healthy dog. He
comes from a conformation breeder in Wisconsin and has a
Frankie gets wound up chasing his younger housemate, JOEY around our home and yard. Sometimes the play gets too rough, lots of rolling over and intense horse-play. If this rough-housing contributed to Frank's back problems...
well, I will never know.
Frankie's First Symptoms
Frankie had his first symptoms on January 14, 2004.
First thing in the morning, I picked him up, and he yelped.
A little later, Daddy picked him up and he yelped again.
We knew..... Frankie was crated and was seen by our regular
vet that afternoon. His neurological exam was unremarkable and
he walked and ran well, but his x-rays showed another picture.
Frankie's x-rays showed major calcifications in many of the lower thoracic and most of the lumbar discs. The vet gave Frank a shot of Adequan with instructions for crate rest. He felt that with no other symptoms, this could be managed medically for now. He gave us instructions to call the neurosurgeon if things did not improve or if they got worse.
After a week of crate rest, Frankie still yelped when we lifted him up.
I decided to call a surgeon for a second opinion.
I wanted to be sure.
We soon took Frankie to a specialty medical center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois,
The Vet Specialty Center, a highly recommended complete facility and we were lucky enough to get an appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Claude Gendreau, one of the best surgeons in our area. When Dr. Claude saw Frank's x-rays, he recommended immediate surgery. He said the x-rays did indeed show major calcifications in the lower thoracic and lumbar discs as well as what was most likely a rupture in lumbar 2-3. Needless to say, I was shocked and not prepared for surgery. The doctor convinced us that doing surgery now would prevent the other discs from major rupture, probably paralyzing Frankie. The surgery was done in the afternoon on
January 30, 2004.
At 9PM that evening, the vet called us and told us the operation was over and Frankie was walking and doing very well, he said the operation was a success. He had done a myelogram and indeed found one disc to be herniated. He preformed a hemilaminectomy on lumbar 2-3 and did fenestrations on the thoracic 11 to lumbar 5! A lot of disc material was removed from the spinal canal. Surgery and anesthetic recovery were without incident. Frank was coming home in 48 hours.
We picked up Frankie on Sunday afternoon, February 1, 2004. I was not sure what to expect, but I got a pleasant suprise! Frankie was very alert, and seemed to have little surgical pain. Upon arriving home, we set him very carefully down to potty outside and much to our suprise, he bolted towards the nearest squirrel!
Frankie remained in his 'recovery suite' for the next
six weeks. He had his crate within an ex-pen,
his little bed and some potty pads, some bones and water.
He was quite comfortable and could come out of his crate
if he should have an accident.
Nancy looks on at her buddy with curiosity.
Frankie's only instructions upon leaving the hospital
was to restrict activity level for 6 weeks at which
time we would see the surgeon. His stitches were removed
at 14 days.
Frankie remains in excellent condition and you can see
Frankie at 4 weeks post-op sunning himself on our
first nice day on March 1.
Frankie had his 6 week post-op checkup on March 15, 2004,
just 2 months after his first symptoms. He has
been given a clean bill of health by Dr. Claude.
Frankie has no restrictions even though I will continue
to closely monitor his rough play with Joey!
We will also not allow him to do any furniture
jumping/leaping! The doctor said he should live
a long and healthy life!
I joined a support group
that is a wealth of knowledge and support,
Our Thanks to all at Dodgerslist for such
wonderful and encouraging support!
In January 2008, our almost 5 year old Brindle Dachshund JOEY
also had IVDD surgery. For his story, Please see his website:
Joey Has Back Surgery
For more information about disc disease
in dachshunds, go to Dodger's List
Back Disorders Information
Return to the Home Page and Visit the Rest
of our Family! Nancy, Frankie, Joey and Sammy
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