Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ziggy the Cardigan Corgi - IVDD - Week 3

This week has been a bit of a depressing week for me regarding Ziggy's post-surgical progress.  I really thought (hoped) that we'd see more progress 3 weeks in.

From what I read, and what the vet shared with us, recovery can take a long time.  What constitutes a long time?  That seems to depend on what I read.  6-12 weeks seems to be a recurring theme - but I've read about longer and shorter.  In our vet's experience, bigger dogs take longer to heal than smaller dogs - and he considers Ziggy a bigger dog.

The progress I've seen this week:
  • Slightly (and I mean very slight) more resistance when he's "standing" and doing his biking PT
  • On a couple of occasions he even seems to pull his foot forward from the hip
  • The Husband has noticed some very mild "paddling" when he's walking Z in the sling sometimes

Other things I've noticed this week:
  • Ziggy gets very upset when he can't see me.  He barks and whines.  It's funny, because his bark sounds a lot different than before - much shorter & higher pitched.
  • He really likes to move around the yard in the sling - he's drug The Husband and I through the bushes more than once.
  • At times he seems a little bit "down."  Maybe I'm projecting, but he sometimes seems resigned and not very perky.

Z moving around in his sling with The Husband in tow.
When Z wants to go somewhere, we really have to hang on 
and move quickly to keep up.

I was working on the computer, 
so I took Z out of the crate to sit under me.
Rip came to lay next to him.  Very sweet. 

My goal for this week to try and get Z an appt w/ a well-regarded rehab clinic up by Chicago.  


  1. My only direct experience was with a dog who did not fully recover, but who ended up in a cart. But I do know that progress can be slow. They say (and I believe myself from personal nerve damage) that whatever you get back at two years is what you get.

    Two years is going to seem like a very long time to you.

    But I would say the biggest progress is in the first 3 months. Not three weeks, three months.

  2. Hang in there. I know it's tough. When Cenwyn (Cenny) went down in the back and had surgery, I believe he was in full time rehab at Back on Track in Beaverton for approximately 5 months. When he came to live with us, he could walk, but he still dragged his back toes and hopped in the hind end instead of gaiting normally. Our vet told us to let him "self police" at this point in his recovery so we let him loose all day on the 2 acres surrounding the house. We kept nail caps on him, as he would wear his nails to the quick otherwise. Some nights he would collapse in exhaustion and could barely get up in the morning. But after living with us for a year, he was like a different dog. I would say Carolyn is right about the 2 year mark. It was right around 2 years post surgery that Cenny went to live with his new family. He was about 90% recovered.

    It's hard to say this early on what Ziggy's prognosis is, but I wanted to share Cenny's experience to give you some hope.

    What about hydro-therapy? I know they used that a lot with Cenny at the rehab center.

    Also, Cenny loved his medical grade memory foam pad. It seemed to allow him a lot of comfort when sleeping or resting.

  3. Wben Kip went down, he had several disks that required surgery and some bulging disks that still cause problems. But he and his family persevered. It was three months, but he was up and he was walking, even trotting later. Taking his job as a hospice guardian seriously -- getting attendants when they were needed. He's still happy and loving. While his people may recognize his shortcomings, he does not. Ziggy will also get to that point -- he just needs room.

  4. Lani - Lindsay Heaslip's boy, Flee, went down around 5 years ago, I think. Like Zig, he was in for surgery in less than 24 hours. My recollection is that his recovery took a long time but I'm not sure how long. If you'd like to talk directly with Lindsay, I can make the introductions. Flee is doing pretty well now and at one point was even able to do some herding - although not competitively. Let me know if you'd like to speak to Linds. She's a very nice lady and has been through all this so she knows what you are feeling and what is involved in this process.

  5. My first cardi Dylan had IVDD, but he never went down until his last 6 months, so I've got no words of wisdom. I just want you to know I r family thinking of Ziggy and you, and sending healing vibes.

  6. I saw Flee at a herding seminar about a year and a half ago. He moved pretty well - just a little bit of funkiness in the overall movement.

    Where Bug goes to PT there are a LOT of dachshunds who have gone down in the back. They all do a lot of hydrotherapy on the road to recovery.

    Also, if you would like I can lend you my Nina Ottosson toys. That might perk Ziggy up - to have a treat/training exercise he can do. Kyjen makes some cheaper models. E-mail me if you'd like me to send them out to you.

    The hardest part of any recovery is how individual it is. It is frustrating, yet understandable, that the vet and rehab specialists can only give you an idea of the average, not how quickly your actual dog will recover. Ziggy remains in my thoughts.

  7. Hello, I am writing because Elizabeth Blanks gave me the link o your blog. I have a Pembroke who has a disc injury and is currently on strict rest. He is not down, thankfully, but Elizabeth thought it might be a good idea to get in touch with you to share experiences, etc. I am on Facebook as Amy Carmona if you want to friend me.


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