Diagnosis & Prognosis

They’re back.  Actually they got back and Vince wanted to go eat Chinese . . ugh . . but I did it since he’d been brave and took Speck to the vet for me.

I wasn’t at the vet so what I’m repeating is the info I got from Vince and Chad.  They did x-rays and the problem is just at the base of his neck.  The vet said this is pretty common in dachshunds.  In a younger dog, they would recommend surgery.  Speck is 10-1/2 years old, though the vet thinks he’s not a day older than 6 years old and I truly don’t think he believes me when I tell him Speck will be 11 in June.  Due to his age and the tummy problems he already has, that we’ve thought twice now he would not survive, the vet doesn’t recommend surgery.  He said the life expectancy of a dachshund is about 13 years.  I know many have lived longer but many have lived shorter lives so 13 years is about average.

We have meds — pain pills and an anti-inflammatory med.  The instructions are no jumping, no stairs.  We’ve never let him go up stairs and have a baby gate at the bottom but he often sneaks down the stairs and will sit at the bottom and whine til I open the gate for him.  If he and I are alone, I’ll carry him downstairs with me but if he’s sitting with Vince, I leave him upstairs and eventually, he wants to come down.  So, for now, we’ve blockaded the top of the stairs.  Not very attractive but  it works.  (Thanks for the big box, Amazon!)

Once Speck feels better, he’ll figure out a way to shove the box out of the way.  Maybe we’ll stick a brick or two in it.  We’ll figure out something but for now, he has no interest in jumping or walking or going up or down the stairs.

We may have to give him the meds for a month and that’s it or they may become maintenance meds.  We’ll hope for the best and we’ll be very careful with his jumping .. which may mean removing the sofa and chairs from the living room!  🙂

We do have a ramp which we had used when he was younger but then he totally quit using it and was jumping up and down from the sofa so we took the ramp down but we’ve put it back.  Attractive, huh?

It’s supposed to have a carpet but we can’t find that piece so we’ll have to get a remnant and re-carpet the ramp!  Not only will you not be seeing Vince or Judy in fashion magazines but my living room will never grace the cover of the decorating magazines . . not with this ramp in the living room.


  1. 1

    Diane says

    ah what we do for our loved ones. I’d do the same thing. Martha Stewart never drops in anyway!
    Hope Speck feels better soon. He’s a cutie-patootie!

  2. 2


    I’m glad to hear that it’s Ok news with the thought that it will get better with meds!! He should be able to bear being touched in the next few days. Max’s discs are the 12th and 13th which are just below the rib cage so when his back acts up, he is in pain and grunts and moans at any movement. If Speck is anything like Max at those times, I feel for you!!

    Take care!

  3. 4


    So glad to hear that the problem is something that can be addressed with medication. I had tears in my eyes just imagining how I would feel if that was “Coleo” (AKA Coal)–my sweet honey bunny (poodle). Give Speck a “gentle” hug for Coal and I….and while at it, give yourself one.

  4. 7

    Susan Torrens says

    Maxine was only 4 when she hurt her back. Of course, it happened the day before the packers from the moving company were arriving. We had her on pain killers and steroids, and she rode in a crate in the car on our cross country move. When we arrived at my Mother-in-law’s home, we called their family vet, and he brought a surgeon from the vet college to see Maxine. She was 12 1/2 when she became ill, and we had to say goodbye. Hopefully the drugs will help Speck. Sometimes you just have to make those hard decisions. We had a cairn terrier at the same time as Maxine, and they were constantly together. When one had to stay overnight at the vet’s, we had to board the other one at the same time, as one would not eat or sleep without the other. When Maxine became ill, Mickey followed suit a day or so later – different illness. We had to part with two dogs on the same day – talk about swimming in tears. I just couldn’t watch them suffer any longer.
    Since we travel so much, we don’t have a dog any more, but we have a neighbour dog who visits regularly. We look after her any time her family has to be away all day. I get my “furry face fix” that way…..
    Hope Speck improves..

  5. 8

    Alicia says

    Thank you for the update and the good news. You are doing what you need to do so Speck is comfortable, that is the main thing. Don’t worry about the barricades, ramps, etc. Speck is top priority. We do love out “babies”.

  6. 10


    If it is a disc problem ask the vet if Vitamin C would be helpful. Bogart (my late Westie) had a disc problem and took one baby Vitamin C pill every day from the time he was 6 years old until he passed at 15 years.

    It had become a bit of a hassle to get the pills (I used to be able to get them at the food store, but then they didn’t carry just the plain Vitamin C pills & I had to mail order them.

    As far as your house. . . it is a HOME and there is love and caring going on there. Any one can have a picture perfect house. . . . but that doesn’t always mean that it is filled with love.

    I will always perfer a home to a house.

    Hugs to all (including Speck).

  7. 11


    Poor Speck! you are such a good mommy..see there was a reason why you cut back your schedule…you are needed at home..he is feeling better just having you there! Your house is perfect!! Caring and Cozy!!!

  8. 12

    Gwen says

    I’m glad to read this news about Speck. I’ve been worrying right along with you today. I hope the meds work and quickly. We have a ramp for our’s in our bedroom. Hugs!

  9. 13

    lw says

    I like the ramp. It says, “I have a dog I love.” I’m glad Speck’s home on meds and I hope he improves rapidly.

  10. 14

    Toni in TN says

    Hope Speck is up and about before too much longer. Thank you for the update. BTW you are welcomed at my house anytime. I quilt, I don’t do much housework!!

  11. 16


    It’s a good thing that you are so forward thinking and kept that ramp for so many years. Who cares what your house looks like to someone else. It is your home, after all.

  12. 17

    Claire sandbothe says

    The things we do for our dogs! they are so worth it. beware that the meds may make his tummy hurt and he may not want to eat. if that happens a diet of boiled hamburger and a little rice will help him out. good luck!

  13. 18


    I’m happy to hear it wasn’t worse and can be dealt with in future.
    Its thoughtful how you rearrange your home and lives for your beloved pet.
    Some folks, me included, consider our pets our furbabies.
    Good luck Speck.

  14. 20

    Julianne says

    Who wants to be in a fashion magazine or home decorator magazine anyway.

    Our daughter and sil have a blind Boston..They can’t move the furnature or anything. He was bumped with a truck… can only see some in one eye and the vet thinks not much more than shapes or movement with the other. He does fine. They do have two Bostons and the sighted one helps the blind one.

  15. 21

    Cindy in NC says

    The news is not as good as I’d hoped for, but not as bad as I feared. Here’s hoping the medicine helps. My daughter is picking up her wire haired doxie puppy on Saturday. All this gives me a lot to think/worry about.

  16. 24


    So sorry. I know the feeling all too well. Hope all goes smoothly for you and adorable Speck (love his name). My living room and bedroom all designed with my two tiny dogs in mind. Should be embarrassing but isn’t. We have our priorities straight. :7)

  17. 25


    Oh Judy, the box and the ramp are nothing compared to my living room setup right now to accomodate the two large beasts that currently live with me. I sure hope Speck is on the road to recovery soon!

  18. 26


    I was thinking the same thing as Erin. It’s a good thing you decided to stay home more. Speck needs you. Our pets are family.

  19. 27

    JoAnna says

    Sure hope Speck feels better soon. The anti-inflammatory med should really calm things down for him. Those little critters sure get to you! My little doxie is 6 and I always tell people she is my husband’s “other” wife. We both love her, but he dotes on her!

  20. 28

    Natalie L says

    you certainly deserve that drink now! I’m celebrating with you tonight, but I’ll still keep a prayer for the little guy!

    • 28.1

      CathiHarry says

      I, too, have foam steps at the end of my bed for my 13 year old cat. He can jump on the couch, etc. but the bed is quite tall. I even lifted him up onto my sewing table the other day so he could watch the birds at the feeder outside the window.

  21. 29


    I’ve got steps at the end of my bed for the old cat, and the baby is now 6 but the gate remains for use when needed to take care of sick pets. Thinking of you – and hope he feels better soon!

  22. 30

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    Hoping for speedy recovery for your little Speck! And a little ‘peace’ for you!

  23. 31


    I hope the pills do the job Judy. I don’t envy you the no stairs, no jumping part of the treatment – It’s next to impossible to keep Chesty from jumping and doing stairs and both times he had knee surgery I had 12 weeks of trying to restrain him – it was a full time job.

  24. 32


    We have all been there, and know what you are going through. I HATE making that decision, and know why we are not allowed to do it for humans. It is hard to know when it is the right time. And, as a friend just said to me-THEY live there, not Martha Stewart, (or any other company that doesn’t like the hair, licking off the plates or that they sleep on the bed, or the couch-which at our house we dont really use much, so it nicely fits 2 labs and a Cat.)They are FAMILY, and would they also scoff if you had to have a WHEELCHAIR in the livingroom for a family member? I think not. But, I digress….I feel bad for Vince too, as it must be really hard for him to see YOU hurting so much. We know exactly where you stand, and are here, as much as we can be….

  25. 33

    Karen says

    Nothing wrong with the ramp that a little carpet won’t cure. Besides, I’d rather have my pet than a layout in a decorating magazine. We have a set of stairs at the foot of our bed so Jill can go up and down. I’m glad the news was not too bad, hope Speck feels better soon. Take care of him and you…..

  26. 34


    Poor Sweetie. We have ramps all over our house for our aging cats. They need to have carpet on them for traction. I also put their feeding and water bowls on flower pots to raise them off the ground. What we do for our precious pets. You’re a Saint, Judy.

  27. 35

    Pam says

    We do what we gotta do for our beloved pets who are family. Millie, the Boykin, sends a tongue lick to Speck. I send a hug to you and the family.

  28. 37

    Greg says

    I hope that Speck remembers to use that ramp! And it doesn’t matter what your house looks like as long as he is happy and can get around. We all know how you feel, ’cause our pets are like our kids!

  29. 38


    Sorry to hear Speck will need medication but its probably best to avoid surgery. Our dog will be 11 in June too! He’s an Aussie so lifespan is about 15 years. No health problems so far other than being totally obsessed with the cats’ activities and a bit neurotic.

    Re: your living room: I loved the commenter who said Martha Stewart never drops by anyway. Cracked me up!

  30. 40


    Aw – you may not grace the pages of a major decorating magazine, but you sure could be featured in a pet lover’s magazine. Good for you for taking good care of your Speck!

  31. 41

    Cari J. in YC, Cal says

    Judy, My Cardigan Corgi had back surgery for a ruptured disc almost two years ago. The first thing we were told was to confine him to strict bed rest in a crate or bed him down in a very small pen enclosure for two weeks. Being he his a herding dog, he kept thinking he had a job to do. His job was herding his kid size basketball around our backyard. We didn’t keep him down as long as we should have. Bodie had his disc rupture within a month. We did opt for surgery because we were within the 12 hour window for optimal recovery. I slept next to his 4X4 pen for 11 weeks. If you need some support from someone who has been there, please email me. I have unlimited long distance and live in Calif time zone.
    Here is a link to Dodgerslist, support for dachshund owners with IVDD:
    http://www.dodgerslist.com also on Facebook. Here is another quick read from College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois:
    Here is one more link to explore that has several other resources to link to:

    Good Luck with Speck,
    Cari in Calif

  32. 43

    Jane says

    Glad to hear that Speck may be on the mend. Is that a whole house vac I spy in your ramp pic? Wish I had one!

  33. 44

    Peggy says

    My thoughts are with you with Speck. We had a dauxie named Max was a beautiful dog. We had to have him put to sleep on January 6,2011. He had conjestive heart failure and the vet said he wouldn’t get any better. We didn’t want him to suffer as he was 15 years old. We miss him terribly. Peggy

  34. 45


    Thank you so much for letting Speck have the ramp. My Mother wouldn’t even let my stepfather have a card table in the livingroom when he was ill (to do puzzles on) because it wouldn’t “look good”. We three daughters finally convinced her that he was more important than what company would think. (I bet her company didn’t think anything of it and neither will yours – just that you love Speck.) I do hope Speck feels better soon.

  35. 48


    I hope Speck gets better and you can enjoy him for some more time.
    I recently saw a documentary about pedigree dogs and the consequences of breeding for looks. People buy a pedigree dog and love it and then get confronted with all kind of health issues related to the breed. It certainly got me thinking. Among other things they showed the dachshund how he was about a century ago and how he is now. The elongation of the back that had taken place in a hundred years was huge, one wonders where this will end, there must be a maximum length.

    I also did things for my cat that wouldn’t get my house in a housing magazine. My former cat got sick and couldn’t get on the stairs, on my lap or on my bed, so I lifted her (had to, she used her nails to climb into stuff, including my legs). The cat we have now was afraid of a swinging catflap (imagine!), so we removed the flap, leaving a hole in the door, then when she was used to that added the flap but propped it open, then gradually dimished the opening untill in the end she did go throught the catflap,