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Disabled dachshund becomes internet sensation after new set of wheels
October 7, 2020
A dachshund left crippled by a common disease in the breed is up and running again after being fitted with his own set of wheels.
Teddy the five-year-old sausage dog has intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) a spinal condition that affects one-in-four dachshunds during their lifespan.
"I just didn’t see it coming," says Nicci Dawn, his owner since puppyhood, with whom he lives when he’s not being looked after by Nicci’s parents in Epsom, Surrey Live reports.
"My parents had him when I was at work, and they said there’s something not right.
"I got him to the vet, they pushed down his spine, but weren’t overly concerned because he was still walking around.
"I took him to the park straight after that vet appointment, and he wouldn’t run. I crate-rested him.
"I went to work, and my parents phoned to say he’s not even walking."
Teddy went from running everywhere to struggling to walk within 24 hours.
Charity Dachshund Health UK says that IVDD is by far the most common health problem in UK dachshunds.
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For Teddy, it was not only fast-moving, but it was a severe case of IVDD – he was stage five, meaning no deep pain sensation at all and he only had a 50% chance of walking again.
Partly thanks to his wheels, the disabled has since taken on a new lease of life.
Before his wheels, he would have to be sling walked, with a harness going around his back, and lifting up his back legs.
The wheels are thanks to a company called Walkin' Pets, a pet wheelchair provider and are made to his measurements.
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A friend of Nicci's ran a 10k challenge every day for 10 days to help fund them.
Now at six-years-old, Teddy is the dachshund equivalent of around 40 in human years, no longer a puppy.
One of Nicci’s main messages to anyone whose dog is going through a similar thing to Teddy, is not to worry if it seems like a long recovery.
At his worst, she would need to change the blankets in his crate multiple times a night as he struggled to control his bladder due to paralysis.
But after a whole host of operations, hydrotherapy and gradual building up of walks, Nicci says while not fully healed, the red brindle-coloured miniature dachshund has definitely got his old spirit back, even the cheekier aspects of his personality.
"He’s definitely got his old bossy personality back. You tell him to come back, and he says no.
"He had a lot of attitude before. At the start [of recovery] he was spoilt rotten, I didn’t want him to feel like he wasn’t part of the pack anymore."
On walks, he gets so much attention from owners too, which he always loves.
Nicci says: "I’m so happy that he can live independently now, and have his wheels – it’s still sad, it’s very expensive to treat if you haven’t got insurance to cover it."