Easter Sunday, Fritz crawled out of a hedge in our garden paralysed. Unable to move his back legs.
Our trusted friends Renee and Masa were house & dog sitting over the Easter break while Denis and I went for a celebratory hike with friends, 25 years since the creation of the Kahurangi National Park.
A big thank you goes to Masa, who recognised straight away what was wrong with Fritz and got in touch with the ‘Remarkable Vets’ in Arrowtown. Fritz stayed in their care until we came home three days later, the following Thursday. A very long 11 hour nonstop trip from Kaiteriteri to Gibbston preparing us for the worst.
It was heartbreaking to see him. Fritz was crying, we were crying, but a decision had to be made.
Grasping on straws, we arranged an MRI in Christchurch (with fully booked Dunedin sadly the only option for animals in Otago ) and a possible OP with no guarantee of success.
But ideally, this procedure should have been done within 24 hours after the injury to be of success. We missed that window by three days, but it was the best we could think of at that moment of total emotional turmoil.
Later in the afternoon, the Vet clinic rang. Fritz was distraught after he had to be mildly sedated, and the veterinary team suggested taking him home overnight to get off early the following day to Christchurch. He calmed and relaxed at home, and we nursed him through the night and after endless discussions, we concluded that it would be far too stressful for the little chap to go again into an unfamiliar clinic environment for many days to come.
In the meantime, I read and researched about intervertebral disc disease or IVDD, not uncommon for an 8-year-old Dachshunds, and Google stories from other dog owners helped enormously.
There was an alternative option, also mentioned by the Remarkables Team, but again with no promise that he could walk again. It was cage rest with a long slow recovery. At this time, Fritz could not pee or poo or feed himself and was losing condition rapidly. We still cancelled the MRI and Op the next morning and kept Fritz at home.
It was the best decision we ever made *. Watch this space …
A big thank you to Dr Ash Write & Dr Geoff Woodhouse for coping with our rollercoaster emotions, empathy and professional advice, and the nurses for a practical crash course in vet nursing. Ux