Do I even need to tell you how much these photos make my heart burst? Erin and Peter perfectly captured our little family.
All photos are by Daphne and Dean Photography.
I’ve already posted on Instagram about Gracie’s back issue, but just to recap here since this post is all about the girls…
I noticed about two weeks before the wedding that she seemed to be walking a little bit differently, and that she wasn’t as active as she normally is. We have a sunken step into our back living room, and one day I heard her whining while I was in another room. I went looking for her, and found her at the step unwilling to step up into the kitchen. That’s when I knew something was wrong, so I took her to the vet immediately (the Monday before the wedding) and they did a physical exam. The vet pressed on every vertebrae, rotated all her joints and did neurological tests. She seemingly passed the physical exams with no acknowledgment of pain, so we were sent home with instructions to rest and a prescription for the painkiller Rimadyl. Three days into her prescriptions I noticed no improvement, so I made another appointment to take her back to the vet the Monday after the wedding since that’s the soonest they could see her. I was so anxious waiting to get her in and do X-rays – I could tell she was in pain but still never yelped, she wasn’t paralyzed and didn’t seem to be worsening. She limited her own movement and wasn’t walking right, but was able to walk fully. She exhibited some weakness in her back leg and sometimes it would slip inwards. I just knew it was IVDD and couldn’t help freaking out picturing the worst case scenario.
She wasn’t moving around like she normally does, but was still her normal self behaviorally. The day of the wedding, my brother brought her down to the venue and she and Millie were so great for pictures. She was happy and excited to see us, and afterward she went home with Jen and Mike from Paw Play. Jen texted me an update when they got home, and my brother gave me another when he got home to them. No change.
So Monday came around, they did X-rays at the vet and they confirmed that she does have some calcifications along her spine, which were causing the discs to shift slightly. Luckily she wasn’t a “severe” case and they told us that it was likely a hereditary issue and not a result of injury, which. We could opt to be referred out for an MRI but the vet said because they have to put them under for an MRI, they usually don’t recommend it unless a dog is showing signs of paralysis so they can go right from the MRI into surgery. She had deep pain sensation in between her toes, full bowel control and no paralysis, just weakness.
We were sent home with instructions to rest and new meds: Prednisone, a steroid to help with inflammation, on a tapered dose for a month; and Methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer to help with her pain. We noticed a difference the very next day. She is walking normally and if you didn’t know she had the issue, you wouldn’t be able to tell. She is no longer allowed to jump or do any stairs, but she’s made a complete turnaround with her pain. I’m nervous to see what happens when the meds stop, and the vet said this will be an issue that will plague her for the rest of her life. Hopefully we’ve made it out of the woods this time and the meds will have a long-lasting effect, we will just have to watch for spasms in the future and manage her the best we can this way until we have to move to a new course of treatment if another episode arises. She could be fine for ten years, it might be a consistent problem. Every dachshund is different and we just have to pay careful attention to her (no problem for me, I watch her like a hawk anyway).
So I feel hopeful and scared, but we’ll do whatever we can to keep her happy and comfortable. So far, so good in that respect.
I’m so thankful Erin and Peter got such wonderful pictures on our wedding day of us with the girls. They turned us from a couple into a family and the day wouldn’t have felt complete without them.
Gracie trying to sneak in for a three-way kiss 😉
So I think tomorrow I’ll just share some family photos, and maybe a few inspo vs. reality shots to show you how everything came together to finish off this little wedding week. And then I’ll stop, I promise! 🙂 🙂