Egon the Dachshund, IVDD, and Surgery Round II

As you know, my little dachshund Egon has had some back problems in the past, thanks to IVDD. Six months ago he had a ruptured disc that had caused him to lose the ability to walk on his back legs. Surgery helped. It was a long recovery process, but afterward he was able to walk again. He got good results partly because during the episode he never lost deep pain sensation in his legs.

[282/365] Puppy Dog Eyes

For the past 12 days, Mr. Eegs has been experiencing some slight symptoms of disc problems again: some minor pain and stiffness, some reluctance to move around. This was something the vet and I thought could be treated conservatively, with very strict crate rest and steroid anti-inflammatories. He was doing pretty well on this regimen.

Today, however, he had to go back in to the neurologist and will be having a second surgery tomorrow. I’ll skip the blow-by-blow report of the day and just tell you that he woke up with more pain and less function and then he just rapidly deteriorated throughout the day. It was scary. He was obviously distressed and in a lot of pain. By the time his vet had seen him and gotten him a referral to the veterinary school’s hospital (best place to go for neurology), he had begun to lose deep pain sensation in his legs. By the time those neurologists examined him, it was gone.

[181/365] Feets

His prognosis is worse this time for that reason and also because it’s his second episode in about six months. He may or may not regain the ability to walk. He may need a wheeled cart and may need to have his bladder expressed (by me) in order to pee.

Mr. Eegs and His Blankie

This time around, the financial aspect is worse as well. I already took on thousands in debt for the first surgery, and will do so again this time.

Let me make a brief aside: it may seem foolish or ridiculous that I would spend this kind of money — money I don’t really have — just to help my dog. I’m sure to many of you, it’s inconceivable. It’s crazy to me, too, but when it comes down to it I don’t really have a choice. You guys, it’s Egon. The sweetest, dearest little dog in the world. My little guy. I have to.

[269/365] Blankie

I may not have enough credit available this time, though, because the estimate is significantly higher. He will also likely need physical therapy. If he needs a wheeled cart, that costs a large-ish amount, too. The timing of this, during a summer when I get to teach only one class (and thus only earn about one month’s salary) is not ideal.

I am already thinking of ways to slash my budget. I am canceling all of the following: Netflix, Hulu+, Birchbox, cable internet, my gym membership, and unlimited texting. I will not be spending any money on restaurants, booze, soda, coffee, makeup, clothes, or any other luxury item. I am buckling down. It may not be enough, though, especially if the surgery costs more than my available credit and must be covered from the rent money I have saved for July & August (which seems very likely).

[348/365] Egon in Sweater

What this means is that I’m doing something I absolutely hate doing: I am asking for help. Can you help sponsor his surgery?

Believe me I know it’s unbearably tacky to ask, but every little bit would really help. I would be immeasurably grateful. And a few folks have asked how they could help, and this is just one possible way.

If you feel moved to help sponsor his surgery, you can make a donation via PayPal by clicking here.

All money raised will go directly to his veterinary bills (and/or to buying his cart, if the need for one arises). Everyone who donates any amount — every dollar counts! — will not only receive my heartfelt gratitude, but also a tangible note of thanks from me and Eegs.

If you’d like to donate $10 or more, I would also like to send you a small print of one of my many adorable photos of the dog himself, Mr. Egon the Dachshund. This original artwork will not only be a lovely addition to any space, complementing any style of decor and making your friends positively green with envy, but will also show your proud status as a Team Eegs Sponsor — somebody who helped get him, hopefully, walking again.

Egon's Snout

If you don’t want to donate money or can’t, believe me, I completely understand. Times are tough on all of us financially and I know a lot of you are in the education field, too, which means you may not be getting paid in summers either. I really appreciate every kind thought or prayer you can spare. That helps, too. You also have the option to share this post with any dog lovers (or millionaires) who may be in your social network by using the social sharing buttons below.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the kind words you’ve already shared with me, online or otherwise. I really do appreciate every last bit of it.


  1. Oh, pupper. I’m so sad. We lost good ol’ Oscar almost a year ago and it was (slightly) more clear-cut than this but allllll of the possible permutations of ways it could go wrong were floating through my head for weeks. And there was never any question that we’d do whatever we could.

    Good luck. Thinking of you guys. Many skritches behind the ears for the pup.

    Also: make an Amazon wish list for stuff you need, and publish that too.


    1. Oh dear, I am so sorry about Oscar. Thanks so much, and that’s a great idea about Amazon! When he is ready to come home I can see what kind of things would be helpful and start making a list.


  2. I will send money as soon as I can. I bet I also can get Amanda to send some as well. If Eegs needs anything else you know where to find us.


    1. That is so kind of you – thanks so much. But I know you two are not exactly swimming in cash either what with grad school and such so feel free to help out by sharing the post if that works out better!


  3. Oh, the puppy eyes!
    Coming out of lurkdom to say I hope things go well for Egon. I’m looking for work, so I’m broke and no good in that respect, but I’m sharing this on FB and Twitter, which I hope will help. Sending Aussie love from me and the kittehs.


  4. Poor Egon. I’ll donate! Instead of a print (or as well as), would you mind making me another mix cd (like the Christmas before last)?
    I just read a discussion on the NY times website about people spending money to save pets. Some thought it was crazy (as it more or less is) but others realized that if it were their dog then it would be a whole different game. As a dog owner, I can completely understand why you’d want to do whatever it takes.
    I hope his surgery goes well! Thinking of you guys often.


  5. I am so sorry to hear about Egon’s troubles. I think this is the same thing that happened to my friend’s pup, and I was so proud of the way our community rallied for her. I am honored for the chance to rally for Egon! About to donate and I’ll wait until tomorrow morning to post this, when more of my FB friends will see it. Best of luck to you both! Hang in there, Egon!


  6. The magic of the internet! You don’t know me, but I know Chrissy, and now a donation from Oklahoma should be headed your way. I have an 80 lb lab pit bull mutt monster baby and he’s my pride and joy and all that is good in the world – he’s only 2, but I’d lose my mind if anything happened to him, so I understand! Best of luck to you and Egon!!!!

    Rachel (and Pinto)


    1. Wow, thank so much! It is really incredible how people are coming together to help out. I’m so grateful!


  7. Oh, my dear! I’m so sorry to hear this. Count me in as a member of Team Eegs. I’m going to send you an e-mail today. I meant to leave you a comment days ago, but this week has been nuts.

    (Also, my ears perked up at the mention of mix CDs! If you’re mixing, I am more than happy to pay for postage.)


    1. Thanks, Rose-Anne! I haven’t actually made a mix yet but I’m gonna! Working through photos and thank-yous this week 🙂


  8. I am very sorry to hear about Mr. Egon. I am going through a similar situation, but my weenie did not have surgery the first time. I hope everything works out for you two.


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