Monday, January 3, 2011

Dolly Needs Help and Advice

We're sure that you remember the astounding tale of A Doll Named Dolly, and if you missed that wonderful reader submission you need to read it!  Dolly has been injured in a horrible accident, and her human, Carl B., has contacted us with questions and concerns that we don't have any experience with; we're hoping that The Long and Short of it All community can help out a fellow Dachshundist:

Dear Joey and Maggie,

I own a Miniature part longhair, part shorthair female Dachshund that I love very much.
She was our neighbors dog and at first she hated me. After about a month she accepted me and came to love me and my family as only a Doxie can. I'm retired and disabled. The dogs name is Dolly. We wound up sometimes babysitting Dolly while the neighbors were at work. In the fall of that year the neighbors became involved in divorce proceedings. The husband moved out, wanted to take Dolly with him, but could not because his rental home would not allow it. As soon as he moved out Dolly got it in her head that I was going to be her new owner. That's just how it turned out. They gave her to us.
We treated Dolly as we would a toddler who has not begun to talk yet. That is what she reminds me of. An alert toddler who loves new experiences, truck rides, lawn tractor rides, or anything new and interesting. We take her everywhere we go and have always been protective of her.
My problem started last week. We were helping my son move out of his apartment in Kansas City and back home. It's a three hour drive. In the process of moving I let my guard down. Everybody was in a hurry. We got a late start because of icy and foggy roads. I was outside the apartment moving my truck when some doors fell on Dolly seriously injuring her pelvis. I should have taken her with me to move the truck.
Here we were three hours from home and I don't know any vets in the KC area. A GPS is useless in searching for them because it kept sending me to wrong addresses. Here I was with a hurt dog trying to get around in rush hour traffic when I happened to drive by a pet spa. I dropped in there and asked instructions to the nearest vet. I wound up at Lionsgate pet hospital in Overland Park Kansas. I highly recommend them. Dr. McHugh took x-rays then recommended that I get her to a Orthopedic Vet. She gave me some good pain meds to ease Dolly's trip home.
It was a hard trip home. The next day our regular vet at Horton animal hospital got us in to the school of vet medicine at Missouri University in Columbia,Mo. They performed surgery on Dolly the next day and repaired her broken pelvis as best they could. I am highly impressed with them also. Even though it's a large clinic with lots of animals they obviously fell in love with Dolly and best of all Dolly was in love with them.
I now have Dolly at home. I am keeping her in a crate. She still has stitches and a cone collar to prevent her from biting at them. My wife and I had worked in hospital settings our entire careers BUT.... humans can usually convey their wants and feelings to you whereas with Dolly we have to go with our intuition. We have never in our lives taken care of a seriously ill pet. All of our previous pets only had minor health issues up until they got old. Our Dolly, now that she's home and feeling better, wants to do the things she always did before. Her former owners had a crate for her but she has an aversion to them. I have the crate sitting where she can see me at all times and she sits there looking at me with those sad eyes of hers and it's getting to me.
Another problem I'm having is that she will not pee or poo in the crate. To her a proper dachshund is to go outside to do their business. Her former family was very strict on this. She's had accidents with us but we have treated it like it's no big deal while she sets there with the "I am so sorry" look on her face.
Do you know of any good places where i can purchase a belly sling for her?? I have one coming from Drs. Foster and Smith but I think it may be too big even though I ordered the smallest they had.
Any advice at all will be highly appreciated.
I thought we protected Dolly well but I was very wrong. Ten seconds of inattention was all it took. I grew up in an era of time where men were not supposed to cry. I've done quite well in not doing that sometimes not even crying at funerals. I can't help it with Dolly. Being disabled myself I am very familiar with bone pain and how you never quite recover from an accident. I mourn Dolly's lost youth. I am afraid she will have the same problems I am having.

We're hoping Dolly's recovery goes well, and that our expert readers can offer some great tips. 


Anonymous said...

Hi there
These are the guys you need to give you all the advice and support you need . The resource site for disabled, injured and recovering dachshunds was set up in honour of Dodger, a dachshund who was put to sleep prematurely after a back injury. They have helped me so much ( our first dachshund - Stanley, ruptured 2 discs and needed surgery), in fact we could not have gotten through with out them . And the people who run it, Paula, Linda, Sharon and others are some of the nicest people ever. Every person I meet with a dachshund, I tell them about Dodgers- List, including my vet.
Here is the link, and my very best wishes to you and Dolly

Caroline, Piggy & Bubby x

curator said...

I'm so glad Caroline left that great resource! All I can give is my love to the little gal and best wishes for her fast recovery.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if my comments will help, but here I go. I've had to crate my disc-injured dachshund several times.
1. Dolly will get through this!! Keep your chin up, as dogs often sense our moods and anxiety. My dog lost the use of her back legs in 2008 and had to be crated for 8 weeks. It is hard, but you will get through it and she will heal.
2. Go to Dodger's List for information on belly slings, etc. They can even show you how to create one out of a scarf. Dogs usually won't pee and poop in their own space/dens. You're doing the right thing to find a way to get her out. Also, I found that my dog pees more readily when she's outside and can smell around, etc.
3. If Dolly gets aggravated in the crate, don't hesitate to ask the vet for sedatives or pain meds. This is not the time to forgo medical intervention. My dog will not go into a crate -- or rest comfortably -- without the help of meds.
I hope these ideas help. But please hang in there!! It sounds like Dolly is getting good care.
-- Molly's Mom in McLean

Jayne D. and Annie said...

Another possible company to try is They have slings in many sizes and will ship to you quickly. What about trying a small playpen for her? - maybe not as confining as the crate. Try not to become discouraged - Dolly will heal with all your caring and attention to her needs. Please let us know how she is doing. Jayne D.and Annie

Keren Hening said...

Try and also try dodgers list. Both are great resources!

Anonymous said...

Dolly will heal but Dad may take some time. We all have had tragic events that we felt were our fault. Accidents happen. It is heartbreaking. Dolly will never place blame. She loves you. Just as simple as that. She loves you.

#!. Dodgers List

#2. Check with your Vet but I had to crate my Ali last Summer for a neck issue. She is elderly and that makes a difference meaning she sleeps a lot anyway. He said I could have her on the couch with me, next to me. If I had to get up she had to be carried with me or crated. It is hard. I don't think we could have done it without the pain meds and muscle relaxers. She was on them 2x a day for 34 days. I thought gee I am going to have a junkie dog but nope the day we stopped all was fine.

You have great advice here and I am sure all of Joey and Maggies buds will help. My best to you guys.

I too have Ortho problems. I thought my heart would break knowing she was in pain. Good Vet time and love. Sounds like you ended up at an experienced Vet. Take care and keep us
posted about her.

Anonymous said...

another good spotp -we got our rear harness there..

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to wish you the best of luck! We view our dachshund as our son and if anything happens to him I also take it to heart. Bless you for taking the actions you needed to get him back in good health :)

Anonymous said...

just wanted to let you know another doxie owner has you & dolly in our thoughts! i'm sure it's difficult, but like people mentioned above...keep your chin up, they can sense your emotions. being positive will allow dolly to feel that way too and well on her way to recovery. keep us updated! wendel and i wish dolly a speedy recovery!

Anonymous said...

I work at a rehab animal hospital and I must say it seems you did a great job taking care of her!! The surgery is over and now begins a long healing process, but don't give up hope.
A great company for slings is Doggon' Wheels ( Their slings are a little different than most in that they form a square with the pelvis, so it is boxed in and supported. It also takes pressure off of her bladder and allows her to move around a little more freely. Whenever a dog comes in using a sling we always recommend getting one that boxes the pelvis in. Believe me I have seen dogs in pain from the sling and when we put them in one of these they move around much easier.
As for the crate, I know it is very hard for you to watch, but it is what is best for Dolly. In a few weeks you may be able to pen off a small area for her to be in where you can sit in their with her, but for now it is best she gets as much rest as possible, even if she whines and cries (we all know those pathetic, heartbreaking cries the doxies use on us to get their way). Stay strong!!
Puppy prayers and licks to get you through this. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, contact K9 Karts with your questions about rehabilitation and nursing Dolly back to health. Good luck to you and her!

Anonymous said...

Sending good healing vibes to you both. Dolly will heal and dogs do not hold grudges and live for the moment so be happy. Accidents happen and you have done everything possible to help her heal. Many dogs have had their pelvis broken and repaired and go on to live normal doggy lives. She is a young pup also so that is also on her side. Is she allowed to come out of her crate for potty needs? If so, maybe puppy pee pads placed beside her crate will help. Pee pads have a scent in them to encourage the pup to do their business on it. Smile, crate time will go by fast. We are all woofing for you and Dolly

Anonymous said...

Looks like earlier commenters have given you some terrific advice, but I just wanted to chime in to compliment you on the excellent care you arranged for Dolly under a very, very stressful situation. I know I would also be a wreck if anything happened to my little guy, but please, please do take comfort in the knowledge that Dolly is getting the best medical treatment possible, in addition to the loving care and attention she receives from you and your family at home, which is the best 1-2 combo for recuperation and recovery.

I think you're right that one of the most stressful parts of having a sick pet is not being able to ask them about their needs directly, but it sounds like you are very attuned to all the non-verbal doggie cues, so I hope you feel confident and perhaps a little comforted by the knowledge that you're doing right by your beautiful Dolly Girl.

Please keep us Long and Short readers updated on her condition. We will share in your happiness as she continues to make steady progress in her recovery. Thinking of you, and sending you the very best from Tel Aviv.

Becky (and Michael the doxie)

Anonymous said...

Hi Carl,

Please please please try and find an ondamed practitioner in your area , we healed our puppy's fracture in 1/3 of the normal time and he has been completely fine ever since. It was truly a God-send and I am sure it will help Dolly as much as it did us.

Kind regards,

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