Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Lily; One Dachshund's Experience of IVDD

This is a post I probably should've written on so many occasions but i've either not wanted to or not felt the need to but this time is an exception.

For those that don't know Lily suffers from IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease) which affects 1 in 4 dachshunds at some point during their lives. Lily has gone down on three separate occasions; May 2015, six months later January 2016 and most recently July 2017.
On none of these occasions has anything happened to "cause" it, in some dachshunds its inevitable as is the case with Lily. The first two times her back has gone we were referred to Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists who operated on her both times, each time she has been operated on she made a full recovery to the point you couldn't actually tell that anything had been wrong with her (I was incredibly strict with Lily's recovery and did everything I was told and restricted her exercise/out of crate time and i'm sure that is why she recovered so well!) after the operation in January I decided that if it happened again that despite my vet and the insurance being willing to operate again (and again!) that we wouldn't put Lily through it again (more on that later), so when it went again in July we pursued a conservative treatment plan.

Big sister Ava helping with Lily's physio
I noticed that afternoon almost 3 months ago that Lily was off colour and not as enthusiastic as she usually is about things, so that to me was a warning sign that something wasn't right. I restricted her activity and put her in her crate to rest, as the weekend progressed I noticed she was getting wobbly and reluctant to move, so the following monday morning we rushed her to the vets, to have our usual vet confirm it was her back once again.
Having done the surgery route twice I could probably write a book on the aftercare/what to expect but this time we went into it blind! The basic idea of it is the same; strict crate rest, strong painkillers (Gabapentin in Lily's case) and an anti-inflammatory (Metacam for her). Because our local vet is absolutely brilliant she is also a fully qualified to administer acupuncture, we have been going to weekly acupuncture sessions where Honor (our vet) usually inserts 13 needles into the various pressure points, by doing this is releases endorphins which encourages blood flow to the various points, Lily finds acupuncture quite calming and is always very settled whilst at the vet, which in itself is a miracle because after all the trips to specialists she gets incredible stressed, but it is something we are working on.
 Acupuncture time!
 Letting the needles do their thing!

Each time we've operated on Lily once we've brought her home she always suffered from terrible separation anxiety (each time she's had surgery i've and to take a month off of work because I couldn't leave her without her getting very worked up) and car journeys after where always an absolute nightmare because she'd stress and pant. I'd thought she was bad before, but it was nothing compared to what she's been like this time, every time I leave the room she would scream loudly and get incredibly worked up (she has gotten so bad we've been giving her Zlykene daily, although it's not stopped the SA it's definitely helped!).

 The last few months have been hell really, as much as I didn't want to describe it like that, thats the honest truth. Which is part of the reason i've sat down to write this, so many people take on Dachshunds or come up to me telling me that they'd love one and literally have no idea what they are getting themselves into. Within in the first fortnight after going down Lily was in so much pain that i'd made the decision to have her PTS each time she continued to fight - it's down to her sheer resilience that she is still going, and on the third occasion I'd even got as far as calling the pet crematorium, watching her struggle and not even being able to toilet by herself was utterly heartbreaking, there really are no words to describe what she's been through; IVDD is so hideously cruel to witness.
Another thing i've dealt with this time is guilt, now that might sound ridiculous, but each time previously where she had been operated on I felt like I'd actually done something to help her, the conservative option is good as a last resort but to watch your dog get steadily worse (which is normal according to my vet!) by the day is utterly soul destroying, and something nobody ever seems to mention.
A very determined Dachshund!
But due to Lily's sheer determination and a little help from acupuncture she's back up and about, albeit rather wobbly at times but our vet is confident she will continue to get better, the simple things like watching her beat Sev up, wag her tail and stomp her feet as she barks are things I honestly didn't think she'd do again!
We did try hydrotherapy a few weeks ago as some of you may have seen on Twitter, Lily has a serious dislike for water, hates being bathed and point blank refuses to go in the sea but we decided to give it a try anyway! The first time she did great and it seemed to help, but the second session a week later was clearly too much for her and ended up with her loosing control of her legs again, we've slowly built her back up since then but I'd definitely think twice before doing that again but thats just my experience!

As I finish typing this Lily is snoring on my lap quite oblivious to the chaos she's caused; but happy and very much alive and that's good enough for me and makes all the tears oh so worth it!
If you have anymore questions please feel free to contact me. I know this hasn't been the cheeriest of posts but I wanted to be honest in the hope it may help someone else in the future.

A fab website to visit for more information is the UK IVDD page linked here;

Thank you for reading,
Jaime & Lily xo

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

2017 Christmas Gift Guides - Want To Join In?

So as most of you know I go seriously overboard at Christmas time (well, lets be honest most of the year!) and as a fall out of my excessive dog buying habits came the Christmas Gift Guides and each year they get bigger and better, so this year i'm asking for your input!

The tiers that I usually go for are:
- Festive Food/Treats
- Stocking Fillers (£10 or under)
- £20 and under
- The Luxury Gift Guide (£30+)
- Lily & Sev's Christmas wish list

And to change it up a bit this year i'm asking if there are any specific areas/sections that you'd like me to include (e.g. Dachshund themed presents for people)
Or, do you know a brand/shop that you think has something i've not spotted that would be perfect for the gift guide? Or do you run your own shop/brand and would like to be included? Or perhaps you have featured in a previous years' gift guide and would like to be in this years?
If you do please let me know! Either comment below, message me on Twitter or email us at

The photos below are a sneak peak at one of the brands that'll be featured this year; Paws With Opulence

Looking forward to your suggestions!
Thank you for reading,
Jaime, Lily & Sev

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Teddy Maximus Love (& Discover Dogs 2017)

It should be no surprise to anyone that reads the blog/follows us on social media that we are big fans of Teddy Maximus! We've been avid fans since I first met Holly at Crufts 2015 when Teddy Maximus had only just launched and i've been obsessing over her products ever since!

Lily and Sev have quite the collection now but one thing i've never bought was one of her beds, that was until a few days ago when Holly had a sample sale on her Instagram and I couldn't resist!
I have spent the passed few months working on my office/studio and have been on the lookout for the perfect dog bed; I wanted something that matched the colour scheme, was nice to look at and finally (and most importantly) warm and cosy for the dogs! Holly's sample sale had just that!

I picked up a "Sky Blue" (this colour was never actually released but perfectly matches the bookcase in my office!) Luxury Slumber bed in size Med/Large, I wanted something that gave both of mine room to spread out and the the bigger size is perfect for the pair of them. It came in a gigantic box and is so beautifully made, Lily has spent the whole afternoon curled up in it and hasn't once asked to get on my lap like she usually does!

It's also practical as well as pretty, the bed can be popped in the washing machine if it gets grubby which is handy with winter fast approaching! We love it!

Also we have an exciting announcement, me and Sev will be at Discover Dogs with Holly and #TeamTeddy on October 21st (or 22nd, we haven't decided yet!) so excited to be attending again as we really enjoyed it last year!

Are you going?
Thanks for reading,
Jaime, Lily & Sev xo

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

August Favourites

Theres been lots of things we've been loving this month and it was super hard to narrow it down to just 5!

Firstly we have the Camila set by SuperPuppies - I wrote a more detailed post about this here but it just had to make our favourites, Lily has worn this all month and I love it! It's made from the softest fabric and the bow is the perfect size, it's not to big/bulky and stays put on the collar!

Our next favourite is our new Ruffwear Front Range Harness, they revamped the incredibly popular harness at the beginning of the year and i'd been waiting until they went on sale to upgrade. They are pretty much the same accept the straps are now the same colour as the main body of the harness, there are a few other small changes but it's still as brilliant as ever! The Front Range has been my go to since it first launched, 100% worth the money! If anyone would like a detailed post on them give us a shout! (Sev and Lily wear size XXS)

This months treat favourite is from Lily's Kitchen an is their ever popular Mini Venison Sausage treats, I use these for training or while the dogs are in the ring, these are a special treat and the gang will do literally anything for one!

Next up is our House of Henry treat bag, I wrote about this here. I took it on it's first show outing earlier in the month and it was perfect, its so easy to pop into my bag and I know I have all of Sev's show essentials safely in one place!

And lastly we have K9 Connectables! As Lily has been on crate rest over the last month I've been on the hunt for ways to keep her amused and these have been brilliant! I bought the original pack (which have been the best for Lily) and the dentist (I bought these to add to the original pack so that the bigger girls can share too!) i've been filling them with treats and then using a fish cube to block the whole which keeps her busy for ages, they will get a more in-depth mention when I finally write Lily's update post.

What have you been loving this month?
Thank you for reading,
Jaime, Lily & Sev xo