Thursday, January 31, 2013


Last night we received a call from a frantic pet owner.  Her 4 year old dachshund was no longer able to walk.  The most likely all-to-common and devastating condition was intevertebral disc disease, and is notorious amongst the breed.

She arrived, and a physical exam confirmed my suspicions.

Tearfully, the client explained to me that her dog was "her child" and she'd do anything for him.  I explained to her that her dog needed a hemilaminectomy, a detailed and complex surgery near the spinal cord to relieve the problem and allow her pet to (most likely) recovery completely.  The surgery is typically only performed by surgical or neurological specialists, given the difficulty of operating near the spinal cord.

 Without surgery, his prognosis to walk again was significantly worse, meaning he might end up paralyzed or need a cart in the future.

"What! The surgery costs WHAT?  There's no WAY I'd spend more than $300 on this dog! It's just a dog!"


Glad I'm not your kid.


  1. Don't you love that? Can't tell you how many "beloved babies" I see that aren't even on heartworm prevention. In Missouri. In the summer.

  2. Just wow. I guess she doesn't understand that you practice actual medicine. No magic cures... Anyone who has a dachshund should know to plan for surgery, whether or not it comes to that.

    I see this in sheltering sometimes when we are asked about adoption fees (pretty low ones). People roll their eyes and say "wow, it's just a cat". I am lucky that at least I know the cat isn't under their care.

    Thank you for your blog. It makes me a better client for my vet. :)