Pets

Paralyzed - Warning about getting a dachshund online

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 9th, 2017 11:12 am
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 27, 2013
24 posts
10 upvotes
Mississauga, ON

Paralyzed - Warning about getting a dachshund online

Just wanted to give a heads up to anyone who was as naive as me.

We bought a puppy off the internet. There were cute adorable pictures of the dog in cute poses with cute stuffed animals and we fell in love. The site had testimonials and even statements saying they guaranteed the health of the dog. I didn't notice at the time that most testimonals were from people who only received their dog in the past year.

The seller actually shipped the dog by plane from another province. This was very traumatizing to the puppy. A huge red flag.
The seller never sent the so-called CKC papers. The puppy came with funny marks on his skin. Our vet diagnosed a skin disease as well as giardia. When I complained and quoted the guarantee, she said to ship him back. This would traumatize him even more and we had already bonded with him. I couldn't imagine doing such a thing. We kept him.

Long story short: my beautiful miniature dachshund developed IVDD by the age of four, even though we took all precautions to keep him healthy, trim, not let him jump and excercise him regularly. It started with the occassional yelping during a walk. Sometimes his rear foot would seem to seize up when walking outside, which I thought was due to cold weather. Soon after, he woke up one day completely paralyzed in the lower half. The vet said it was due to poor breeding.

Bottom line: Do not buy a dog off the internet, even if the site looks professional, even if there are testimonals and guarantees. I want to save anyone the heartache of what we went through, and what my beautiful little dachshund went through. It was my worst nightmare to see my dog dragging his lower body around, unable to walk. It will also cost you dearly: $1000 for the xrays, $3000 for the MRI, $10,000 for surgery and countless tears. I still remember my dog traumatized and crying all the way home from the emergency veterinary clinic.

One last piece of advice: if your dog becomes paralyzed due to IVDD, do not put him in a wheel-kart right away. Be very careful and try the conservative crate-rest treatment before anything (if not going the surgical route). Follow instructions on http://www.dodgerslist.com/ for conservative treatment and follow it exacty and you may have a chance of seeing your dog wag his tail or walk again.
12 replies
Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2011
701 posts
255 upvotes
British Columbia
I am sorry this happened to you. In general I agree it is best to meet the parents and meet the breeder. Do as much research as you can on the breeder and the breed beforehand. Ask questions. My thinking on never purchasing a dog online has changed somewhat, as many good breeders do ship. In order to obtain some dogs from a reputable breeder it may require looking away from home. My dog wasn't shipped but the breeder did drive her 3 hours in our direction (we drove 2).

In this case, you ended up with a poor breeder and a poor choice of breed. Disc disease strikes a huge percentage of Dachshounds -- one of many breeds mutated by humans trying to follow arbitrary "breed standards" that do not place any logic towards sound build and health. Your warning would be best followed suit by "Do not buy a Dachshound. Period." ... or a Bulldog, Cavalier, Boxer, Golden Retriever, etc. etc. -- it's one of the many ruined breeds.
Member
Mar 13, 2012
314 posts
79 upvotes
Sarnia
Bottom line: Do not buy a dog off the internet,
+1 And I would add, do not buy from a pet store -my experience from 30 yrs. ago. My lovely dachshund Max became paralysed at age 3. Surgery would not have been effective, we were told at the university vet school we took him to. He did get a cart and survived and thrived for another ten years (with much care on our part). It is a shame that breeding has so badly affected dachsies - they are truly great little dogs.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
438 upvotes
There is a reason why we no longer have a Dachshund - the dogs of my life (the alphas in particular).

The quality of breeding will help, but the bottom line is is that Dachshunds will often paralyze regardless of how careful you are. And we were very careful. I would also not adopt a Dachshund without meeting him first (ours were all males). Our dogs picked us.

Our first Dachshund had 3 events (and was crated at the vet's for 2 weeks at a time - and put in increasingly smaller crates as movement returned). All 3 events occurred before age 3.

At age 3 his neck discs "went" - presenting with a limp of the front paw. Then his body paralyzed. He had the surgery - and lived and walked again. It took 40 days for full feeling to return - the first 30 days feeling returned to only one half of his body. Our vets were looking into one sided wheelchairs - this dog had an incredible will to live which is the only reason the neuro performed the operation. On the day he walked again - everybody cried.

Our second alpha Dachshund was fine until he was 6 and we stupidly began to relax. Then he started to paralyze fast - we immediately got him to the vet. They took X-Rays, put him in a crate and made an appointment for him to see neuro Dr. Patricia Cochrane at the Clinic on McMurrich St. However, while at our primary clinic he started paralyzing very quickly and McMurrich said he had to go to Guelph immediately and the referral was made. McMurrich specialists needed a 24 hour window before operating.

We arrived at Guelph (this was in the dark with roads under construction) and were met by the emergency vet who examined him (I can now live through anything) while we waited for the on-call neuro. The neuro had just done the same surgery on his 2 dogs. Our dog survived but regained only 70% of the use of his legs - which was enough. But at his follow-up the neuro told us it would happen again within a year - and that a second surgery would not be successful. He had Stage II disc disease. The neuro was fabulous. There were many other Dachshund parents waiting with us at our follow-up - many in tears.

Our guy lasted 10 months to the day of his surgery and then had to be put to sleep as he started paralyzing very quickly. For those who have Dachshunds you will know that if the pressure from the calcified discs is pressing hard on the spinal cord that you absolutely have to get the pup to the vet a.s.a.p. due to the pain.

I would not give up 1 minute of the 10 months we had with our guy. But had I known that this would happen I would not have had him brought out of the surgery. But the doctors were certain he would regain 95% use of his legs - but this surgery falls into the category of "there are no guarantees).

It is a terrible surgery, but it is wonderful when it works. We had no time whatsoever to think about our options because our vet and the McMurrich vets said he had to be operated on within 8 - 10 hours if there was going to be any hope. And, of course, having been through the surgery before with success (with a dog who was in worse shape) we went ahead.

We had a few other Dachshunds each time this happened - they were not alphas. None of them required the surgery. I can tell a Dachshund who has the issue at first sight - there is a way they walk - and the scar is often still there, particularly on the short-haired pups.

Many dogs are now experiencing back issues requiring surgeries. Beagles etc. come to mind. But with Dachshunds it is a real cr@p shoot.

Alpha Dachshunds get along very well with Doberman pups. Big dogs in small bodies and no one had better look the wrong way at Mommy.

Personally, I think that breeding of Dachshunds should be stopped. At one point there was talk of breeding them to have shorter backs, but that seems to have gone by the wayside.

Re the wheelchairs, if our 2nd dog had retained use of his upper body we would have purchased one for him (fit of the wheelchair is very important). Many Dachshunds "on wheels" due extremely well. But I would not keep a fully paralyzed dog alive - I know people that do.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 27, 2013
24 posts
10 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Blanche123 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 9:59 am
I would not give up 1 minute of the 10 months we had with our guy.
What a beautiful thing to say. Your story was very touching...you’ve been through a lot.
Blanche123 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 9:59 am

Personally, I think that breeding of Dachshunds should be stopped. At one point there was talk of breeding them to have shorter backs, but that seems to have gone by the wayside.

I also agree with all of you that this breed is better to be discontinued, at least the way they are now. They used to be a functional, strong breed but in the Victorian era they were overbreed just for looks, making then longer than needed. I just hate to think of all the suffering dogs and owners the way things are now. There are so many that go through this. And the painful reality is that many cannot afford the treatment and expensive vet costs which adds to the guilt and anguish. I read one story from a distressed parent who had to work 10 hours a day and leave their suffering dog alone.

There's an excellent documentary on pure breed dogs that really exposes this issue of over-breeding.
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/pedigree-dogs-exposed/

It almost makes me wonder if this is feeding the medical industry, which could explain why there is not too much effort to stop this.

My little guy did regain his ability to walk, with conservative treatment. I still remember coming home from a walk and seeing him in his crate and thinking I saw his tail move for the first time. I cried like a baby, I was so happy. It was still a hellish process of worrying about his muscles wasting away, possible bladder damage, stomach damage from meds (at one point he was on 5 different meds). He still can't walk 100% and I am afraid to take him on any long walks. We will always be living with the fear of reoccurrence since he has multiple weak points on his back.

Every time I see someone with a dachshund I keep thinking that person might be in for a world of hurt.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 19, 2007
1753 posts
244 upvotes
We lost our dachshund Captain Jack last year at the age of 13. He had a few back episodes over the years, but only once he got older. Though we knew heartbreak was in the future, he was our first baby, and he was a great guardian of our human kids that came later. I've never had a dog with that much love, he was amazing.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
36689 posts
2545 upvotes
Toronto
Frig that's sad...
I see it as a consequence of the quickly expanding digital world. Its just way too easy to make a fancy website and start breeding dogs... These puppy mills make a killing and EASY. Give them the crappiest food, no vet check ups, no paper work, sell on Kijiji... Or in your case, a fancy website.. Everyone has a cousin that can make a good website... ITs one of the easiest things to do now.

Not sure if cats have this problem... Kitty mills? I made sure to adopt. :)

I hope you dog feels better and you can find a way to manage the pain for him/her.

What are the solutions to such controversial problems? It seems like its too hard to contain with Kijiji and online selling. Any bozo can sell a dog... Or pretend to give one up for adoption. "Please adopt my pet... I'm moving... Just give me $300 to cover all the vet bills?". Meanwhile they are secretly breeding a farm.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
438 upvotes
Altana - Thank you.

I also know exactly what you mean about being scared that your pup will suffer a recurrence of his back issues. And, also how you cried when your pup moved his tail. You should have seen us at the vet clinic on day 30 when our first Dachshund put all 4 paws on the floor and walked. At that time the neuro travelled so our Dachshund (Wonder Wiener) had his neck and back surgery at our vet clinic and they allowed us to visit him due to the circumstances.

The look of joy on our Dachshund's face when he was able to move all 4 paws and the disbelief and relief and major tears on our part as well as the vet and vet techs' faces was something to see. He had to stay in the clinic for 10 more days on meds but he continued to improve.

When he came home he had to stay in a crate for a few weeks. I put the crate on the bed (he was a "person" and he did not believe in crates!) so this was tough. I closed the crate and went downstairs to fix him a snack - leaving him with his brother, the very lovable but not nearly as smart Dachshund. Next thing I knew I heard one of our dogs drinking water by my feet (we had 4) - guess who? Our Wonder Wiener had shown the not as smart Dachshund how to open the crate and they had traded places.

I went upstairs very fast - Wonder Wiener looking very pleased with himself - I blocked the stairs but watched anyway - and the then crated Dachshund had a very confused look on his face. We bought a lock after that. How I miss that dog - he was without a doubt the smartest dog our vets have ever seen. I am not morbid when I think about him, but remember the good times. Of course I know the exact time and date of his death and there had better be a Rainbow Bridge because that is where I am going.

I was not prepared for it to happen twice.

Many vets will tell you that it is the normal person who will pay for surgeries, not the people who have a lot of money. Certainly this seems to be the case with the people I have met.

Note, should you or anyone else have to make an emergency trip to Guelph's Small Animal Clinic for surgery, you will need to pay 50% of the expected cost up front in cash or cash equivalent and the balance on release of your pet.

Don't leave home without your wallet. And maybe apply for Care Credit before you need it. Just in case
Jr. Member
Jul 17, 2011
160 posts
61 upvotes
Unfortunately it is probably more the breed than the breeder. Dachshunds are just prone to disk disease (and it often happens at relatively young age). Just like great danes are likely to develop a gastric torsion somewhere in their life, bulldogs almost always develop breathing problems, cavalier king charles spaniels will develop heart disease, and a lot of shepherds will die of cancer. Any dog breed that has an 'extreme' look most likely coincidentally was bred for certain problems. Some breeders are putting a lot of effort into trying to get these problems out of their lines (and some couldn't care less as long as they sell their puppies) but certain dog breeds will always be predisposed to certain problems.

Nevertheless indeed it's probably never a good idea to buy of the internet. 'Health guarantees' are nice, but the backyard breeders know they can get away with offering a replacement puppy as most people won't ditch their dog after already bonding. It is a good idea to see the parents, see how the puppies are housed and ask for proof that the parents were tested for (and free of) breed related diseases.

Sorry to hear about your dog but thanks for posting it as a warning story.
Newbie
Aug 8, 2017
12 posts
11 upvotes
I have 2 dachshunds. One is a red standard male (who I bought from a reputable breeder, and who came with CKC registration) and the other is a female miniature piebald. Both have had back issues. My girl (6 years old) fully paralyzed in the back legs. My vet suggested therapy and crate rest for 2 months. She recovered completely. My male (8 years old) lost the use of his back legs and the vet suggested the same for him. He didn't recover quite as well. I did continue therapy with him, and bought him an adjustable wheelchair (therapy chairs) and while he is no longer paralyzed, he walks with a strange limp and has a "hump" to his back now. But, I'm just grateful he's walking.

Make sure to not allow them to jump... on/off couches, up/down stairs. I have a ramp on my back porch so they can easily get to the backyard without the strain of the steps and I carry them up and down the stairs in my house.

http://imgur.com/jcFoxD4
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 27, 2013
24 posts
10 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
Your two dachshunds are beautiful. Here's my little guy:
weedachshund.jpg
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13400 posts
1223 upvotes
I don't want to sound insensitive here, but the main issue isn't good or bad breeding, it's an issue of artificial selection. There's a reason that unusual and often fitness-limiting traits are not found in nature. If you try to force nature to accept the unnatural, you will always have health issues. Breeding can only limit them to a degree. Like trying to remove a grease stain with detergent.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.

Top