Pet Star of the month April 2019 – Tipsy Lutz
Meet Tipsy, a 4 year old dearly loved furry family member of the Lutz household. Tipsy’s human mommy is our senior surgeon at Bakenkop Animal Clinic. Dr Lutz have always had a soft spot for dachshunds. The day Tipsy became a part of their household, was one of the happiest days of their lives.
For those who do not know the breed well; dachshunds are more prone to have back problems due to their elongated spines.
Tipsy gets treated like royalty. She gets plenty of play time, sleeps in the bed and even goes to doggy day care at a family friend, Antoinette, every day when Dr Kristina comes to work. Being in the veterinary industry, the Lutz household did everything .Tipsy received all the medical care she needed. From vaccinations and dental procedures to sterilization.
Shortly after her sterilisation Dr Kristina realised that Tipsy had picked up some weight. Something we warn all pet owners about due to the change in hormones slowing down the metabolism. Knowing that the extra weight will put unnecessary strain on her spine, Dr Kristina made an appointment with our Pet Slimmer Clinic nurse, Sister Cindy and enrolled Tipsy into the weight-loss program in August 2018. Tipsy lost 1kg of weight (18% of her bodyweight) in just under 5 months. She also lost 4cm around her chest and 8cm around her waist.
Tipsy’s weight was being maintained. Her new dachshund sister helped her to keep trim and slim because together they never had a dull moment. They played and chased each other around the house. Life was fun and the family was happy.
Until one night…
It was the 31st of March and typical of the Sunday night theory. Tipsy was fine over the weekend but all of a sudden jumped off the couch and was paralyzed in her hind limbs. One of her discs had moved and placed pressure on the spinal cord. Dr Kristina being a vet herself and knowing the signs of disc disease knew she had to keep calm but her whole world felt like it was falling apart. She immediately started communicating with Dr Camby, one of the best orthopaedic surgeons. He was available to see Tipsy the following day. It was one of the longest nights for the Lutz family. A night filled with stress and no sleep.
Early the Monday morning Tipsy was taken to Zambezi Animal Clinic where Dr Camby examined her and immediately placed her on his surgery list for the day. The operation was a big success but Dr Camby warned Dr Lutz, just like all his other clients about how important the aftercare was. They needed to be patient and realise that it will take time for Tipsy to walk on her legs again. She will also be in pain and almost the worst part is to keep her movement restricted by cage rest and leash walks only.
She came back to Bakenkop a day after her operation for a few days of strict cage rest and pain monitoring as we have a 24 hour night monitoring service available. Dr Lutz knew that Tipsy would feel comfortable staying with her Bakenkop family and she entrust her colleagues to look after her “baby”.
Her rehabilitation process started within 48 hours post-op with leg exercises done by the nurses. Within 5 days she tried to use her left hind leg to walk and with the help of a physiotherapist, using treadmills and swimming, within two weeks she was walking even though with a limp on the right leg .With ongoing physiotherapy she should be up and running in the next two to three months.
With sharing Tipsy and Dr Kristina’s story we want our clients to know that we understand. The veterinary profession is much more than just a profession. All of the employees at our Clinic have our own pets that we call family and we care for deeply. We also get stressed when they fall ill or get hurt. We also have to treat them medically and pray for their recovery.