Boo’s journey as an IVDD survivor

boo._thefrenchie

|

September 07, 2020

|

Share

~ 5 minutes read

What is IVDD?

IVDD: Intervertebral disc disease
One of the most common neurological disorders of dogs and it is the most common spinal disease of dogs.

Do you know?

Chondrodystrophoid (dwarfed) breeds of dogs whose normal cartilage development have been altered genetically for the purpose of a short, stout appearance – i.e.: Dachshund, Beagle, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Pekingese — are most commonly affected.  Other chondrodystrophic breeds that may be affected by IVDD include Corgis, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Shih-Tzu and Poodle. Nonchondrodystrophic breeds that are commonly affected by IVDD include German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Doberman Pinscher. Obese dogs of predisposed breeds are especially likely to suffer from IVDD.

 

BOO’S STORY

I wish I could turn back time.

Boo’s mom.

She is perfect in my eyes. Nothing can replace her. We have each other and that is enough. I wouldn’t mind burning my salary all on her, it was worth it. You can say I am the worst kind of pawrent, but I wouldn’t care. I give her my best.

I recalled 8 months back, I couldn’t bring myself to talk about Boo’s condition. Boo was diagnosed with IVDD days before Christmas. Retracing the memories, I wish I could turn back time. There was so many regrets, so many things where I wish I knew. I wish somebody knew. There were so many sequence of events that I wish I could change, maybe Boo will be better. But who really know? Who was actually prepared for this?

French Bulldog has always been my love. I recalled 3 years back, I did the necessary research; finding a true frenchie breeder, research on their possible medical conditions. Oh boy, found her and that was it. I got her from a reputable breeder. The chances of lesser medical issues is getting from a reputable breeder where you know the complete bloodline of the pedigree, you know the prerequisites. To me, first step complete with additional coverage to getting her an insurance.

Trust me. French Bulldog are not for the faint of the heart. They are highly expensive. It is never the initial cost but the maintenance of it. Imagine getting a printer and the inks are hella expensive, oh sorry wrong. More like getting a Ferrari, and the road tax and the petrol will kill you. Well, we are here on IVDD, so let’s keep it as that.

Definitely it was my fault, I allowed her to jump. It was difficult. We slept on the same bed, she takes the stairs, she loves playing fetch, occasionally I’m lazy I didn’t use a harness but instead a collar. Whatever it is, she was a very happy hyper dog. Nothing could stop her. She was invincible. There are so many wrongs here that I did not stop.

Honestly, all the research in the world, how the hell would you even know how does IVDD look like? When you probably noticed, you are posssibly going downhill. Trust me, google ain’t helpful by then. You can only guess and assume. It was terrible. I remembered I brought her home after a playdate. She was restless. I thought ok maybe she was tired. I carried her, she screamed in pain. I left her. She was dirty, I decided to bathe her. I probably shouldn’t have. I lifted her up and put her down, she screamed again. Oh god, it was bad. It hurt her so bad that she pooped.

She was shivering. I thought maybe she was cold from bathing. She didn’t want to sit at all. She was eating as per normal. It didn’t affect her. I left her alone with heat pad and towels surrounding her. Until 2 hours later, she peed and poop where she slept. This was not normal. It was 9pm. I couldn’t find a place where I could go. I didn’t want to pay extra for overnight consultation. I decided to go to where Boo’s always go. I was so dumb, I should have rushed her to a specialist.

So many mistakes, I didn’t even know where to begin. My emotions was taking over all my decisions. I couldn’t stay sane. I see pain in her eyes, it was terrible. My heart was breaking at every minute. My happy little girl became a 360 change within 12 hours. Honestly up to date, I wish I could turn back the clock.

I should have brought her to a specialist. Don’t bother on saving money. It cost the same end of the day. Or maybe I wasn’t smart enough or maybe the vets I went all charges crazily high.

Reasons to go to a specialist

Going to a specialist, you get your diagnose quicker. Time is the essence for IVDD. Every minute counts as the dog can lose the ability to walk, control their bladder, or even have any sensation in their legs. There are 5 stages of IVDD, 5 being the worst.

Personal experience

  • Some clinics do not have all the equipment. You will end up transferring your pet from vet to vet. – It was too painful and stressful for both parties. Imagine, you want to know what was the condition but it was all you can get is only a suspected diagnosis because they do not have the full amenities for a proper diagnosis.
  • After many times saying no, the vet continued to insist on the dog to be in something because it will be easier for them to do the scan or they probably learnt it that way. – it was too painful to watch. Boo freaked out, couldn’t recognise me, she blanked out. They dropped her at that moment, Boo was rolling on the floor non-stop, went into a panic attack and bit me till I was bleeding non-stop at the vet. It was terrible, the only pain I could feel was my heart.

Anyhow, only about 4 days later. Boo was operated on. Did not go to a specialist. It was said we need a miracle if she ever walks again. We bit the bullet and proceeded anyway. She was diagnosed with stage 5 of IVDD with no deep pain sensation and being incontinence. We are still ongoing physiotherapy weekly and she only shows improvements of her core.

Total damage:

Surgery + Mis = ~SGD$14,000K
Physiotherapy = $180 per session


Boo used to go intensive physiotherapy 3 x week for Dec to Feb
Which cut down to 2x week for March to May
Currently: 1 x week for June to Aug
Think it’s cheap, think it’s easy? Do the math….

Above are some of the little glimpse of Boo’s story on her facing IVDD. I wished I could be of more help on the signs. But one can never be so prepared for it. What are we? We are still humans. Nobody expected this. Nobody wants this. However, trust me. If i could turn back the clock, I promise you I will do it better.

I see many people owning Frenchies these days because of certain trends etc, but do they really know the cost? Do they know what they got themselves into? I see Frenchies being abandoned due to medical issues. I got Boo from a reputable breeder, but shit still happen. Are you really prepared for these cost? Do you have minimum SGD$20,000 set aside for emergency? Oh btw, credit card extension isn’t allowed on vet bills – It is not approved by MOM. Bank loan isn’t immediate also. BTW, vet will ask for 60% downpayment of the estimated bill before admitting the dog in. Will you dedicate your time to assist them if things go downhill? Are you willing to sacrifice your personal live for them? Are you really? I see people thrashing me previously, but really what will you do if you were living in my shoes?

Getting a pet is a commitment. It is a responsibility and sadly, love isn’t enough. It cost money. To older generation or people who don’t own a pet, might think it is just a dog/cat/animal, but it is a life. A life you hold. Remember in these 10-18 years of commitment, you have many responsibilities or milestone things coming your way, but your pet only have you. Please don’t abandon them if you are not ready for the cost or the hefty bills or not willing to part with it. Pets only understand love but love alone isn’t enough.

XOXO,
Boo’s Mom
Insta: @boo._thefrenchie

* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

Author: boo._thefrenchie