Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Talking Dog Daschund hot dog talking standing NOT funny



I found this video on YouTube and I used the exact same title in this post as the author did for their video because clearly they used search terms for people to be able to find their video.

Nothing wrong with that in itself but what concerns me is how other Dachshund owners or potential owners might watch this and think "Oh how cute! I am going to teach my Doxie to do the same thing!"

I did leave a comment asking the author and watchers to type IVDD into YouTube to see the 100s of videos of paralyzed Dachshunds either in cages (Forced to rest for 8 weeks) or later, wheel chair things if their spines do not heal.
It was not an attack on the author more a of a warning to other people who might not know any better.

However,  my comment was removed (immediately) which made feel compelled to post my "warning" here.

The least the author could do was add some kind of disclosure in the information about IVDD and acknowledge they no longer encouraged their daxie to do this trick as "responsible loving dog owners."  

Teaching a dog with an elongated spine such as a Dachshund or a Basset Hound  (Both breeds I have owned) to do absolutely unnatural body contortion tricks is a time bomb waiting to happen.

I have my own mini Daxie in a crate for 3 weeks now.

His back legs are paralyzed.

I have to bring food and water to his crate, carry him very carefully to and from the yard to encourage him to drag his bottom along the floor to then urinate all over himself and/or hold his bum up as he poos or wees (If he lets me! He is not used to such interference!)

I have to have him in some kind of container where ever I am in the house.

I have to feed him the steroids prescribed for him which so far have done nothing.

Clean the accidents up when they happen in the crate.

I have to monitor what goes in and when so I can then try and calculate when it's due to come out.

And all of this in the hopes that perhaps in 8 weeks he MAY be able to use a cart (wheels) for 6 months and then he MAY be able to regain some of his rear leg mobility.

Many don't
Some do.

And I am lucky. Harvey does not have pain (many do) and he can wag his tail which is a positive sign.

You don't know just how independent your dog is until he can't walk to his food bowls, or to the garden to do his business.
And watching him caged up 98% of the day for 8 weeks is no barrel of laughs either.

So I am going to do what the author of this video is refusing to do and that is try and demonstrate WHY this is the worst thing you can train a Dachshund to do.

And here is why:





Monday, 17 September 2012

dogswheels.com Dog Carts Dog Wheels IVDD - Customer Review Terrible Customer Relations.

http://www.dogswheels.com/

Harvey our mini Dachshund became paralyzed 2.5 weeks ago.
He has been on strict crate rest and steroids for two weeks.

I immediately began researching and like most things on the internet there is conflicting advise. 

In relation to buying a cart for Harvey, our vet refused to comment and support groups advised not to buy a cart too fast as there was a good chance he would walk again in 3 months after crate rest.

The problem for us is we have our own health issues and both work full time and nursing Harvey which requires our full attention for 85% of our waking day is stressful.
Plus he cannot really support himself when he needs to go potty so it's a messy stressful affair for him and us.
He is crated or carried he has his food and drink and medication brought to him we have to toilet him by taking him to and from the yard and support his back legs as he tries to hobble about to "squat"
The steroids make him thirsty which make him want to urinate more which means we have to potty him more...

In the crate he is manic from the steroids which make him hyper but confined to a cage so he sits there panting and whining and its just very hard to watch and live with on top of the day to day working and general life commitments. 

So I decided I wanted to get him a cart  but of course I needed to research whether it would be good for him at such an early stage in his rehabilitation. The last thing I wanted to do was make his spinal damage worse by allowing him to move about on wheels.

Buying a cart was new to me. Having a paralyzed dog was new to me. We had just moved house and had not settled yet. My partner has Rheumatoid Arthritis and works 50 hours a week and could not take time off work. I have health issues and I am actually in bed as I write this. 

Dental abscess, flu type virus and just run down with stress in general.

The care and research for Harvey falls into my lap. I am the nurturer and the one who is at home all day but I also have my own work commitments which have had to be put to one side during this time. 

Anyway, long story short is this:

I contacted someone on eBay about some cart wheels and naturally I had some questions.

Here is my first communication to the eBay listing:    

Dear jimcoted,

Hi

My mini Dachshund has been very recently diagnosed with partial spinal trauma or ivdd.
He has ability to walk on his back legs but they're weak and wobbly.
He is currently resting in a crate most of the days and is on an anti inflammatory drug (No pain thankfully)

He can urinate and he can poo etc...so far so good.

I don't like keeping him crated up, as you know Daxies are high energy curious dogs and it's tearing me apart watching him sat inside a zipped up tent like crate.

Anyway, my question is can these wheels be used to keep his spine and legs supported and stable as he recovers in the house, no steps etc?

Or does he have to stay crated for 6 - 8 weeks and then we buy the wheels if he is still unable to walk properly?

The vet said his condition is mild.

I just want him to be happy as possible and being caged in for 8 weeks is upsetting (probably more for me than him as I feel guilty!)

Many Thanks in advance.


And his reply: 

Dear roseenglish_2009,

Some years ago we built one for a Daxie in Tamworth, 8 years old named Bob. His vet advised against an operation saying it would cost thousands and might not work. He recommended this esign of wheelchair because it is fully supportive. 9 months later Bob was walking unaided again. Because Daxies have such short legs they can also lie down in this design. I thnk it would benefit him greatly. If you wish to go ahead scroll down the listing till you come to contact details click on it and you will get my email address, email me and I will send you measuring instructions. Jim Colla

- jimcoted
So that letter was helpful and encouraging but again, I wasn't 100% sure it was not too early to be putting him in a cart and I had hoped perhaps in a week or two he may be walking or at least showing some indication of recovery. At this stage (A few days after diagnosis) I was still green and unsure of so many things.
But after a week Harvey was actually worse which I now understand is typical. They often get worse before they get better. 

Anyway. I wrote back to the eBay seller just to get some more reassurance that it would not aggravate Harveys condition. 
Here's my second letter: 
Dear jimcoted,

Hiya

I wrote to you a week ago and you replied.

I have a mini dachshund who has been crated for 2 weeks. His rear legs are weak with one just dragging behind the other just about supporting him when he needs a wee and poo.
We carry him to the yard to do his business but its breaking my heart and making me anxious watching him dragging and tumbling side ways as he sniffs for his potty patch as every step is dangerous.
He is in no pain that we can tell Thank God.

I REALLY want to get him a cart to aid his recovery but the Vet would not comment one whether carts would be good or bad for him as they said they have no experience of them.

My only real question is this:

With the cart keep his back/spine from twisting. I know it will keep his back legs off the ground which is important for the next 6 weeks at least but I don't want to aggravate what ever is wrong with his spine by using a cart.
It will be used a few hours a day on the ground floor and when we take him to do his business.

- roseenglish_2009
And his reply to my second letter as follows:  
Dear roseenglish_2009,

Our carts are the ONLY design that is fully supportive of the spine, all the others use a fabric harness which will allow the body to twist our carts do not do this.We have a saddle that is made from 8mm solid round aluminium bar , shaped to your dog and then welded into position once welded it is then padded. This fully supports the dog and has helped a few recover from operations. I told you a while ago to scroll down our listing till you come to contact details click on it and get the email address then e-mail me for measuring instructions. Your dog can stay in our design for hours because it will fully support him. This design is used for rehab in the USA.

Jim Colla
 

At this point I did as he instructed and contacted him on his direct email. Here is my letter dated 12th Sept .
Hello,
What measurements do you need from me to place the please?
Length from the back of his neck to the start of his tail?
Width of his chest (Left to right) ?
Height from his bottom of his paws (front and back) to the tip of his middle back area?
Thanks!  

He replied as below and attached some measuring instructions in PDF format with pictures.

With a littlke daxie try to be as accurate as you can, not to the mm but a a few cms out on a german Shepherd wouldnt noice on a little chap it will
I attach measuring instructions in both word and pdf format. Thigh is a straight line width measurement. Do not add anything to them 'for a bit of room' we will calculate that ourselves.
Jim Colla
You had to make a caliper from cardboard which I managed to do but we struggled as some of the instructions seemed to contradict and we was not 100% confident. 
So after 15 minutes of lifting and moving Harvey about and us both getting stressed and worried about the damage we may be doing to Harveys spine...we said we would come back to it... soon.

Last night, I did a little Google browsing to see if there might be an easier cart to buy. One that you could adjust to fit the dog rather than having one custom made.
After all, we hope this is only going to be a short term solution not a life long commitment. 

As is often the way with these things, you visit one website which has links to another and I ended up on what I thought was "Eddies Wheels" 
This is the first time I had written to any dog cart website so I had no reason to recognize the page or the name of the company.
I thought it was new inquiry to a new possible dog cart manufacturer.

I sent this email last night:
Hello

Our 7 year old mini dachshund (Harvey) has been crated for 2.5 weeks when he started to lose mobility in his rear legs.
He is not in pain. His tail wags and there is DPS (Deep Pain Sensation) in both rear legs but potty times are stressful as he currently cannot support his bottom to wee or poo so it's messy.

He is on steroids and the vet has just reduced them with a plan to wean him off explaining it was literally a matter of rest and time for his spine to recover.

We still think crate rest is important but we are desperate to allow him spine supported mobility on the ground floor for a few hours a day and to give him the support to urinate and poo when we take him to the garden.

He is 17 KGS (  i think its kgs) which the vet said is perfect.

I want to order the least bulky (toy cart) that is shown on your products page - the one with the pink wheels and the daxie in it.

But I wanted to ask if we can raise his back feet off the ground so they don't drag?
Does the cart maintain support for a rehabilitating spine? (no twisting left or right too easily)
Can we at a later stage lower his back legs in the hopes he will regain mobility and therefor aid in rebuilding muscle tone and flexibility? 

We are hoping he is not going to be permanently disabled and so we see this as a tool for rehabilitation or an aid to support his recovery.

Assuming the above questions are what we need, how fast can you get us a cart?

We live in Lancashire.

Thank you  
This morning I awoke to a barrage of angry replies to what I now realize is Jim the eBay Seller and and owner of dogswheels.com

You have been asking me these same questions for the past weeks and I have answered all of them via ebay and then via my e-mail address given on ebay and now you are asking me them via the website address. Kindly go elsewhere I have more important things to do that to be continually telling you the same thing via different avenues.
Jim Colla
Jimcoted (ebay)
------------
Look almost two weeks ago yet instead of getting him wheels you are still firing the same questions off to all and sundry when he could have been on his wheels a week ago!!!!!!!!!
Jim Colla
I replied as follows:

Jim.

I am sorry that I got you confused with what I thought was another creator of wheel carts.

I did get your instructions and I did get as far as making the caliper but we struggled understanding the instructions and so "i" Googled to see if there was another cart that did not require measurements, a cart that might be built for a specific size and weight but would also allow for adjustments on straps.

I contacted you from your website last night (not ebay) and thought you were "Eddies Wheels" after following the links that took me to your website.

We are both under extreme stress both physical and emotional. We both have our own health issues, I have M.E (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and my partner has Rheumatoid Arthritis and we are both just newly moved into a new house and both working so "forgive" my memory and confusion.

I find your customer care given the nature of what you are supplying somewhat lacking in patience and empathy.

Forget me or my feelings but what about my dog Harvey? Why should he suffer because of my memory and your loss of patience.

I am very upset with the "Go away I am too busy for this nonsense" customer care response.

Thanks 

I was hoping he would calm down, see how easy it was for me to be confused under the situation of eBay and his website and not realizing there were the same but instead I got this! : 

You asked me these self same questions two weeks ago, then again days later then I send measuring instructions then you ask the same questions again. Enough is enough. You either urgently wanted your dog to get mobile again or you want to be continually asking the same questions of different people. You appear to take the view that because we are in the business of helping animals to walk again and therefore sympathetic to the owners needs we are fair game to be asked the same questions over and over again without ever getting fed up with it. I make weheels to get animals mobile again I am not a vicar or a social worker and I am too busy to be answering the same questions continuously I have wheels to build for dogs that cannot walk.
I have no idea whether dogswheels.com carts are good as Jim Colla refused to deal with me  because I was annoying him by asking him the same questions. 
In my opinion. This is a company that cares about money and reputation "for" the benefit of more money.
I am appalled and upset that I was spoken to like I was some annoying troll when I was just very early in the learning of IVDD and trying to work out what was best for Harvey.
I don't think 3 emails is a lot of bother for something that could be life changing and costs £195.
I deal with customers all the time for a lot less ($20) when we are trying to determine a custom request for some textures they want making. 
I would never tell a customer to "go away" just because they seemed un sure or confused over something new, scary and expensive.
 










Friday, 14 September 2012

Ancient Weathered Mosaic Textures - TRU Textures


















 



In between a house move (And all that comes after that)  re modelling the TRU Textures Ltd virtual store in Secondlife.com and nursing my newly paralyzed Mini Dachshund; Harvey,  I have struggled to find the initiative and time to sit down and focus on much for the last 8 weeks.
Click to see 2048 Pixel sample.


However, after my last texture collection which was also Mosaic I decided to create another one but make these much more ancient and weathered in design.

These feature aged cracks and areas where the tiles have been lost totally.
They're also dirty and moldy looking as you would expect to find ancient Mosaic floors.

As always are seamless on both axis.
Available in two sizes. 1024 x 1024 and 2048 x 2048 Pixels.

For use within Second Life you can purchase them for 450 Linden Dollars from our in world store by clicking this SLurl.
Also available from the Second Life Marketplace
And as always, textures are available for use outside of the Second Life environment from the TRU Textures website under various types of User Licenses ranging from "Any World" to "Extended License"
Available from Contentparadise.com for $6.99
Click to View 2048 Pixel Sample.

Click to see 2048 Pixel Sample.

100% Zoom View.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Dachshund IVDD Spinal Paralysis Signs Treatment UK

Harvey 2011
Harvey, our mini Doxie, Daxie or Dachshund is approx 7 1/2 years old.
We got him when he was 4.

Two weeks ago,  when letting him in from the garden he wouldn't do the little jump up into doorway step so I picked him up.
When I put him down, I noticed one of this back legs was kind of dragging, buckling over a touch.

A single tear ran from my eye as I rang my partner as I knew from past experience with a Basset Hound what this could mean.
Boris, one of my last hounds lost all use of his back legs in 24 hours and we had to put him to sleep.
I was dreading a repeat. 

We took Harvey to the vet that afternoon and they confirmed my worst fears. Spinal trauma causing loss of sensation in Harveys back leg/s.

Possibly or probably IVDD, we don't know yet as we have just been told to crate him for 6 - 8 weeks and to give him steroids.

Now, I have to say I fell apart for that first week. My immediate emotional reaction was "run"
I did not want to watch him suffer and not be able to do a damn thing about it "but" watch him suffer.
The emotional stress was overwhelming.

Harvey is "the doggy love of my life"
I have had several Bassets and a mini Schnauzer before him, all rescues and I loved them all but Harvey is my baby.

He looks and behaves like the eternal puppy.
Tiny, full of mischief and will play "chase" with you all day.

So the realization that if his condition worsened, (incontinence) we would have to put him to sleep was crippling me.
I don't know how this may come over but those early days I just wanted to leave him with the Vet so I didn't have to watch and wait.
It's the not knowing that is the hardest thing to learn to live with for me I think. Stuck in limbo.

Harvey Before He Got Sick.


















And of course you replay all the things you let him do that you know you shouldn't have.
Free range of the entire house, running up and down the stairs 50 times a day. Jumping on and off the sofa and any other object he managed to get onto.

And of course, the classic, Dog insurance.
Hindsight is such a bitch!

Daxies are VERY high energy dogs. They do not sleep all day like some breeds and they are very much the pack animal never really happy unless we are all together whether that be at home or out walking.

I am ashamed to admit I even had thoughts during initial emotional fall out,  along the lines of:
"One way or another... I just need to know what we're dealing with"
And by that I meant, a small part of me would have preferred to have been told "Sorry there's nothing we can do...." because at least that way, I could start the process of acceptance and grief.
The thought of caging him for 8 weeks and watching him unhappy was terrible. 

I started doing what I always do in these helpless situations. Research.

I needed to know what we were dealing with, what the future held and what we could do to help him recover. Knowledge is power.

And today, two weeks on, I am determined to see him mobile again. No matter how long that takes or whether he uses his legs or some doggy wheels. As long as he is not in pain and happy is all that matters to me.

He has never been caged in or crated so that was the first and hardest hurdle emotionally as you can't reason with a dog. But after one full day, he chilled out and seemed to accept the situation and curled up to sleep most of the time

I take care of him all day every day.
Feeding and giving him water in his crate, carrying him to and from the potty area and supporting his back legs if he is unable to stand straight to wee or poo.

I give him his steroid medication disguised (crushed up) in tinned salmon. (lol)

I have spent a small fortune on importing some stomach protectors from the USA (Pepcid AC which dogs can take) as here in the UK the vets don't seem to care or offer them routinely preferring instead just vocally list "Vomiting Blood or Blood in his feces " as a possible side effect of steroid use

This is actually totally avoidable IF you give him Pepcid AC an hour before the steroid pills. 
Me & Harvey 2011


I asked the vet about buying him some wheels to make his rehabilitation easier for him and us and was told: "We don't have any experience with wheels so we can't advise" (Brilliant

So once again, I went and researched them mainly needing to know whether they supported the spine and hind legs or did they allow the back end to swing around as that would be a recipe for disaster.

I have found a UK maker of mini wheels who claims they are the only brand who design their carts to keep the spine straight and supported as all other and bigger brands have loose harnesses that swing about which is NOT good for a recovering spinal injury.

I am going to measure him up tomorrow and order one.

I don't want him to become dependent on it of course,  but if he can support himself when he sniffs about the garden to find his "pee patch" and have a few hours a day out of the crate on the ground floor... then I will feel so much happier for him and I know he will be too based on the videos and peoples experiences I have read about.

They're not cheap at £170 but then you shouldn't have a dog if you can't afford the insurance or like us were stupid enough not to take insurance out!

It's a small price to pay for peace of mind and to watch him mobile as his spine heals.

Here is the link to a wonderful forum that deal with IVDD and spinal issues in dogs, mainly Daxies but other breeds too. Join the group and post your experience and they will give you tons of user experience advice that your vet may well not do.
http://www.dodgerslist.com/

And here are some videos of success stories for recovering IVDD Dachshunds.