A Dachshund’s recovery from spinal surgery

Dachshund recovering from spinal surgery

Pup the Dachshund on a post-surgery walk in April 2010

Progress! Not so Paralyzed Pup by hooeyspewer on Flickr

Pup the Dachshund lost all movement in her hind legs when she ruptured a disc. The Doxie News discovered her story on Flickr where Pup’s peeps and personal paparazzi wrote in April 2010:

Her back legs still don’t cooperate, but while walking her on a sling today in the park, she actually moved her hind legs into position and urinated without assistance or prodding on our part. She still can’t support herself on those legs for very long at all though. Yesterday marked a week after surgery. We’re very hopeful that she will regain mobility in her hind legs again.

She did indeed. Late in the summer, Pup’s peeps checked in again to offer inspiration to another Dachshund lover whose pet was facing surgery:

Our pup is almost as good as new. She walked 2.5 miles with us the other day. It was a really tough few months for us after her surgery, but we are just so grateful that she recovered so well. Best of luck to your daughter and her frenchie. I hope her pup is up and feeling better soon!

Who says now news is good news? Definitely not the Dachshund News.

26 thoughts on “A Dachshund’s recovery from spinal surgery

  1. TΓ’nia B.

    I have a dachshund that had IVDD in 2004. The vet didn’t tell us there was a surgery that could fix it, and 3 months later he wanted to put her down, because she was still not walking. But she could move her back legs, just cound’t stand up. After about one month of swimming in a very shallow pool she was able to walk again. She is 13 now, and still runs around the neighbourhood.

    1. Tiffany M.

      Tania, do you remember the duration you had your dog swimming in the shallow pool each day? I am thinking of trying that out with my dog. I am not sure how long I should keep her in there. Thank you!

  2. Savitri Ramkissoon

    My doxie Mona Lisa suffered a ruptured disc in 1999. It was traumatic but we were lucky to have the great people at Texas A&M who worked magic on her. 4 weeks later she was walking again with much therapy performed at home. Today she walks with a slight limp but at 12 years old she is extremely active running and playing with our 2 year old rescue. Don’t give up if this happens to your baby!

    1. Taleen

      Hi you said 4 weeks after surgery she could walk again. But how long did it take for her to be able to even move her back legs? It’s been 2 weeks now after my baby’s surgery and he still can’t even move his back legs yet which really worries me πŸ™

  3. Taleen

    My weener Otto got back surgery Fri the 24th (2 weeks ago) and still doen’t have deep pain sensation in his back legs. Yesterday we took him to the vet for his weekly catheter check and they said they are worried that by now he can’t move his back legs. They said because of this his chances went down from 90-95% to 50/50 chance. I’m so worried that he will be 1/2 paralyzed and that this surgery was a waste of $5,000 and that I could have just got him the wheel chair to begin with. These stories about taking a month of so to start moving the back legs again helps but I’m still a worried mother. The good thing is that every now and then he will give a wag of the tail so hopefully that’s a sign that he will indeed recover back to his original self? By the way he only gave me a 12 hour notice that something was wrong before he had surgery! 12 HOURS!!


    Shadow is a chihuahua/dachshund mix. She is 4 years old. Just last week she was up beat and running around. Then about 6 days ago she tried to get up to drink water after her walk and she was dragging her back legs. We rushed her to the emergency and after an x-ray we were told that she has a herniated disc with severe damage. She was scheduled for surgery the next day which cost $6,300 (no insurance). The surgeon told us she has a 50% chance of full recovery and another 20% chance of this happening again. Its been almost a week since she came out of surgery and still cannot move her back legs. She has however moved her tail on her own and stretched her back legs once. When we try to pick her up to relieve her bladder she cries like I have never seen and it kills me to see her like this. Did we do the right thing? Was surgery the right decision? Will she walk again? And most importantly…are we making her suffer? I love my baby and I hate to see her like this. Someone please give me some good news. Greatly appreciated.

    1. Taleen

      that’s weird…she doesn’t have a catheter? Mine still has his after 2.5 weeks!! The doctors were starting to get worried that Otto didn’t have deep pain sensation in the back of his legs either but he can wag his tail more and more now. He still hasn’t moved the back legs but they think he does have feeling in them. So keep hope, this is a loooong recovery process and unfortunately longer for some and shorter for others. But given a 50% chance before surgery doesn’t sound too good. If she doesn’t get those legs moving by the end of 6 weeks I believe it will become a permanent situation and you will have to get her on the wheelchair/wheels which will be fine but the hard part will be getting her to express her bladder. Looks like we are in this one together fellow Armenian


        Yes we are. Thanks for the reply. Really appreciate it. I will ask the vet for a catheter. They never offered one, weird right? As for the 50% recovery…I know its not a high percentage, however the night before her surgery the emergency vet told us a 95% chance. But the actual surgeon said they usually give a high percentage because of the success rates. The surgeon was giving us a more reasonable recovery percentage. Not to get our hopes up too high. The fact that Shadow was able to move her tail already and stretched her back legs only 4 days after surgery is a great sign. Although we are extremely happy, she still can not move her back legs regularly. With that said, I hope your Otto has a speedy recovery, unfortunately hope is all we have left in our case. Good luck to you. Please update me on Otto and I’ll do the same with Shadow. πŸ™‚

  5. Taleen

    O that’s real good! Sounds very similar to ottos story excePt mine got worse as of 12 hours ago! I came home to Otto in a lot of pain & discomfort. Whenever he moves he’s grunting & whimpering & he’s kind of shaky so I get to go back & spend more $$ for them to reexamine him…they think he might have tweaked his back when he was in the cage & might have to up his meds that I just weened him off of ;(

    They said If the tail is wagging that’s a really good sign so keep your head up…mine unfortunately is down right now because of this latest incident…plus other bad things (also involving financial issues) are piling up on top of this huge stress case.

    Just realized too maybe females can’t have catheters because they don’t have a penis? Lol

    Hopefully our stories both end fantastically tho!!


      That is true! Lol Nice catch…A quick question. Is Otto pooping properly? Mine hasn’t pooped since she came home from surgery (7 days now). Any Ideas? Not even the surgeon could give a straight answer. I am worried.

      1. Taleen

        They said they should poop after 5 days…I won’t be coming back to this site anymore because I had to put my poor baby down last night…turns out that pain he had 2 nights ago was another disc failure in the same exact surgery site so I saved him more pain & a possible crippled life….I’m miserable & a blubbering mess…best of luck to u

        RIP Otto 08/05/08-09/12/12


          OMG! I am so sorry to hear! My condolences… At least he is not in pain anymore… Thank you for the wishes and wish you the best as well. If you ever need someone to talk to you can always email me. alexamirkhanian@gmail.com

          RIP Otto πŸ™

  6. Di

    Taleen, i am so sorry to hear of your loss, its so devastating, my heart goes out to you, RIP Otto… My Duke is 4 and a half and had the surgery 3 days ago after going down suddenly, i am a mess, i work away and cant get home yet but am lucky my parents (they look after him when im up at work) saw the signs that he lost the use of his legs and got him to the emergency, he had surgery within 15 hours but lost deep pain sensation the morning of the surgery πŸ™ I was given a 50/50 chance and also 20% chance of it happening again:( Today the update was that he is comfortable and eating but they have to force him to drink, I am truely hoping i made the right desision for my baby, the surgery is up to $8000 today as it was a weekend when it happend and i dont have insurance either. I come home on thursday from work so i am really eager to go and see him, i feel so bad i cant be there and see him, he must be thinking ive abandon him:( My mum told me yesterday that his spirits were low but that was day 2 and he was heavily sedated.
    Alex how is Shadow going?

  7. Dario

    Hi, my spike had his surgery a week ago, yup Christmas Eve, he was doing fine and all the sudden I took him ou and he sat down and couldn’t get up anymore. We rushed him to the emergency care where within 12h he had his surgery. The surgeon told us that he still had feelings but every case is different. So we went ahead and proceed. $5400 later, my wife nor I hadn’t slept or eat, he stayed at the emergency care for 4 days. Now he’s home. He wiggles his tail and can pee and poop by himself. Also with assistance he can stand. My wife and I have him inside a playpen where he stays all the time except for taking him out and changing his blankets twice a day. I started to do a bit of physical theraphy but I really don’t want to work him out too much so I do mostly massages to his back legs to stimulate blood flowing. We Live one day at the time and look forward. I had a lot of people telling me that I shouldn’t wasted my money. But he’s my baby and I know he will be fine. He will have to see the surgeon in 3 weeks. If there is any other suggestion from someone who went thru this I really appreciate it. Thank you.

    1. Sophie

      Hi, the physical therapist that was helping my dog said to walk him for 5 mins 4 times a day on all surfaces so grass, sidewalk, stones, anything he/she would normally walk on. To do this she said to put a harness on him/her, hold the harness with one hand and support the bum with the other hand. I don’t know if this is the same for every case but I’d defo get then walking some how so they build strength again in their legs. Hope this helps a little!!! Also, when you picking him/her up hold him straight and don’t let his legs hang down, support them with your hands πŸ™‚

  8. Felicia

    All your emails have helped me. I just went through surgery for my 7 year old Doxie Tuesday. I am so messed up. Reading your discussion has helped me. Copper has the fight in him. This is so hard. I just want him to regain his confidence. I am so scared he will never walk again. Before- he always acted like he could fly, he had no real signs of aging… Just joint issues recently.

  9. Sophie

    Hi I have a 3 yr 9 month old baby boy miniature dachshund. He had been crying for a week or so every time we picked him up so I booked him an appt at our vet where he had X-rays (Β£200), the vet told us he had a bad hip and a bad back but nothing tht wouldn’t fix itself, a week later my baby woke up and was dragging his back legs, I was distraught and thought I was going to lose him, rushed him to the vet where they said he had slipped a disc and needed surgery NOW. So I rushed him to a specialist vet 20mins away, he had an MRI to confirm the slipped disc and surgery that evening. He stayed at the clinic for 1 week where he receive therapy 5 times daily. He is now home (been 3 days so far) and I am continuing his therapy at home. He goes to the toilet fine and does walk like a little drunk man, but I just crawl along side him supporting his legs as instructed by the vet. I have seen improvement and pray he will be able to walk alone again someday. I’m not focused on him running someday, I’d settle for being able to go outside for the bathroom alone. Altogether this procedure has cost Β£5300. But luckily he was insured!!! I definatley recommend insurance for this breed! It may be a monthly expense but its all worth it to save your baby rather than having to put them to sleep. Hope this puts some people’s minds at rest. Believe in them and they will sense it, just be patient! πŸ™‚

  10. jeff

    my dachshund Pogo hurt his back at 8 years old,the vet told me put him down or try surgery,3500$ on credit card was the best money ever spent.He is now 18.5yrs old and still chases the hand ball that hurt him .he is truley my best friend .Jeff Fasig

  11. Jacki

    Hi all,

    This was a big relief to read as I had no idea there were so many people out there struggling with the same situation. Up til now I’d only heard the wonder success stories and was wondering why it hadn’t happened to my darling dog Harley. He was put to sleep last weekend. After 5 and a half months post surgery, and lots of Physio and hydrotherapy he couldn’t stand up for more than a second or two and could take one or two steps with someone helping him to balance, and he was suffering being left when my family were forced to go to work. We decided it was no life for him. Ill always wonder what would have happened if we could have kept trying. Has anyone been in a similar state with their dog? Or do most of them take only a month or two? My vet couldn’t give me any answers until right at the end when she said he had little to no chance of recovering any more nerve function. This thread has already given me a lot of peace to read so thank you.

  12. Warren Vandergriff

    My little 4 yr old dacshund Lucy just had surgery to repair ruptured disks in her back on Wednesday. I get to pick her up in the morning. I’m scared to death I’ll do something wrong at home with her recovering. I am glad I have read whats on here it give me a little more hope for a full recovery. She’s my baby girl it broke my heart when she first couldn’t walk. She is at UT veterinary hospital in Knoxville Tn.

    1. Warren Vandergriff

      Lucy is home now she came home friday morning. She already wants to get up and walk but we were instructed by the vet to give her 4 weeks of strict crate rest. She doesn’t seem to mind right now probably due to pain meds and Trazadone to relax her. She can stand already and empty her bladder. I’m told everything looks good now. I just can’t wait to get to see her waiting at the door when I come home from work.

      1. AnnB Post author

        Glad to hear the recovery is going well. Please keep us posted. Thanks so much.

  13. Suzanne

    My dachshund is having spinal surgery tomorrow on 6 disks, any advise ? I am so worried , he is still walking and even running if he can….. I lift him everywhere , I call him the prince at the moment, treated better than royalty
    Thanks for any advise or tips.

  14. Spring

    CHase our 8 yr old mini Daschund had surgery last night. She has good feeling in her hind legs but can’t use her legs. We are sick with worry. Any good feedback would great.

    1. Diane

      My 10 year old Lucy had surgery on Nov. 23rd, the day after she lost the use of her hind legs. She is home now and not doing very well. She has never been made to stay in a crate, so she is very agitated by the whole process. She is so nervous that she is having trouble keeping food down, and that really worries me. She has some feeling in her back legs, and can stand for a few seconds, but cannot move the legs. She is peeing on her own in the crate, so lots of blanket washing and butt bathing! I am told this is a very long recovery period, and it sure looks like it. I hope I did the right thing, quality of life is important for these little creatures.

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