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Help - My Pug Has IVDD Intervertebral Disc Disease

November 2nd, 2005, 04:52 PM
Hello Everyone,

I am new to this board and I am hoping that someone might be able to help with some advice. My wife and I find ourselves in a horrible situation. Crockett tried to jump on our bed, but slipped and fell on his back. He screamed in horrible pain and it appeared that he broken his back leg at first glance - as he couldn't move it.

We immediately took him to a 24 hour emergency hospital and were told after he had been looked at, that Crockett had spinal damage. Specifically he had what is called IVDD - Interverbral Disc Disease. The doctor had told us that Pugs having this disease is quite common. Now obviously the fall is the main factor in this, but the doctor wasn't sure if Crockett was already prone to having this disease and the fall just helped it along or the fall alone did this.

Crockett is able to fully walk now, but he has lost feeling in his bum. He can hold his poo, but he can't actually push it out himself. So when we take him outside, he just stops holding his poo and it just comes out as he is walking with no control. In addition, he can only pee - as he walks. He can no longer lift his leg to pee.

Ultimately he needs an operation and we were told that they do it at the University of Guelph (we live in Toronto) - however the cost is $5000+ and that is a factor for us financially. We were told that for now, we can keep him in a crate for a month and half - with minimal movement (beyond taking him outside to pee). The swelling needs to go down and we have him on medication. There is a chance that once the swelling goes down, he may actually be fine for the most part. But having the operation would be better.

The reason why I am writing to the board is because we would really want to give him the operation and we were wondering if someone on the boards might know of any vets in the Ontario area that will do operations and you can pay in installments or if anyone might know of some other solution that would allow Crockett to have his operation. We are just not that knowledgeable as to what is out there in terms of animal health care and we would greatly appreciate hearing from people on this forum.

Here is a link to some IVDD info:

Thank you so very much and I look forward to anyone that can help with this very sad situation that we find ourselves in.



doggy lover
November 2nd, 2005, 05:06 PM
Try this website, it might help. Most vets that do big surgeries like that and let you pay in installments are vets that you have been with for a while. Mine does it for me but I've been going to him for over 12 years. I don't think there are many that would do it if they don't know you it is too big of a risk for them. Can you beg from any family, have a garage sale and use the money that they make from it, Christmas is comming, any rich aunts. Just a few ideas, my last dog cost me over $5ooo in his life time in surgeries, I just used the visa, good old plastic it works in a pinch.

jesse's mommy
November 2nd, 2005, 05:10 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this. I wish there was something I could do to help you out. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with this and hope you keep us all updated with the health of Crockett.

November 2nd, 2005, 05:16 PM
Check out it is a type of credit card used only for vetrinary and dental costs. I know my vet lets me pay weekly for anything major I usually have to pay half up front and the rest in installments or maybe you could do post dated cheques. I hope some of this helps, and I hope your baby is okay.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:05 PM
I am sorry to hear of the situation with your pug.

I would scroll thru the threads at the web site bulletin board - there are other organizations that provide financial help and many of the imom clients discuss them in their stories about their pets.

The Univ of Guelph is one of the best in the country - and is pretty good about money too, if you have had a history with them. I would also ask family members or even hod fund raising actvities themselves. Some of the imom pet owners, many on social assistance or fixed incomes have done some really creative things to raise money for the furbabies they love. - they have found stuff to sell on eBay, held dinners, sold cookies and chocolate bars and all kinds of innovative things. Even their children have sold money they might have been saving for a new bike or computer to donate to the pet's health care costs.

Good luck - my own brother recently spent a few thousand on an unexpected surgical procedure for his lab (unexpected accident) and he framed the vet's reciept. He did ask me for help - and my sisters and parents - and we all came up with money for "our" beloved lab! The alternative was to loose a family member and that was not acceptable!!

I wish you well!!

November 3rd, 2005, 06:30 PM
I'm so glad your little pug has two people who love him so much. :thumbs up

I'm not sure what your credit is like, but if it were me, I'd go to the bank and ask for a cheap loan or line of credit. I'd probably alter the truth if pressed for info on what I needed the money for, but hey, that's me. If you get your line of credit now, the rates are pretty reasonable and you wouldn't have to sell half a kidney to get the credit card companies off your back.

November 3rd, 2005, 08:05 PM
Vet financing or line of credit, credit cards, etc. as noted above. Prior to surgery, you will have to give a 50% deposit to Guelph in the form of cash, bank draft, credit card etc. - not a regular cheque. Balance due on release. The fee will include a pre-determined number of days in hospital, plus physio. And you will have to go back for a follow-up. I also live in Toronto so understand the problem. Two of my Dachshunds had full back surgery at Guelph - cost each time about $6,000. The first was one of the first to undergo the surgery, prior to that it was treatment with steroids while being hospitalized at the vet's and as movement returned, he was moved to increasingly smaller cages to restrict his movement. My second dog had the surgery in 2003 - we would have had it performed in Toronto by the resident neuorsurgeon who works from the McMurrich St. Emergency (excellent doctor from what I have been told), but our dog needed surgery within 10 hours or he would have died (actually he did 10 months later, but absolutely fabulous neuorsurgeon at Guelph did all he could - just as he did for his own dogs who suffered from a similar problem). The cost of the surgery whether done in Guelph or in Toronto would be approximately the same - might not hurt actually to ask your regular vet to make the referral, if not already done. Perhaps your dog's surgery must be done at Guelph but if not, consider Toronto. Would have been a lot less stressful to have avoided the midnight run to Guelph. Guelph does not require the 24 hour work-up that the Toronto specialists do - but the surgeons are on call and midnight surgery must be set up by a referring vet or Emergency clinic. It is very possible that your dog may recover full or say 80% movement while on steroids, but, and I hate to say it, a recurrence is likely. Dachshund disc disease is a bit different and comes in 2 stages - with Stage II being the one the presents with the fewest symptoms, but regrettably also contributes to spinal cord death. I know how hard it is to keep your pup still. When my first guy came home after 40 days in hospital he had to be in a crate and he was a super alpha guy. Taught our other dog how to open the crate so he could get out and then locked the other guy in. He had 3 events treated by steroids before his surgery. Our Stage II darling had only one - steroids were not an option. I wish you the best of luck.

the gang
November 3rd, 2005, 08:34 PM
here is a vet that is just wounderful he is in caledon ontario, he is the best his name is dr. john, check out his website its hope this helps ,i know its hard i have a 6yr old m. min pin that fell off the sofa thanksgiving 2yrs ago and was parillzed !!with meds and lots of rest also his own chryo we are back on the road againabout 95% better good luck keep us posted. :fingerscr