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Brutus is a 12 ½ year-old, full-sized Dachshund who has lived with me for 10 years.  On May 8, 2018 after our morning walk; I heard a “Yelp” and Brutus was paralyzed from the waist down.  Brutus has been a pretty healthy and strong-willed dog and this was a scary moment.

We immediately went to Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Norristown, PA.  We had never been there before, but it was highly recommended by friends.  Having called ahead, the staff was ready for Brutus.  They had seen this type of injury before as disc injuries are common in small dogs; particularly Dachshunds.  The doctors were clear on the alternatives: while there was a surgical procedure, they could not guarantee success and Brutus’ age made any procedure risky.  By 8:30 that morning, I was able to speak with Brutus’ regular Vet and some others in the veterinary field.  Keeping our decision clinical; we decided to try the surgical procedure.  The surgeon, Dr. Timothy Schwab, was much more positive about the prognosis.  We were given the cost estimate of $7,000-$8,000. Within 5.5 hours of the injury; Brutus went under the knife.  The surgery was a success as they removed all the broken bone of a crushed disc in Brutus’ back.

Being an older dog and because he’s Brutus: he was not a great patient.  He wanted to come home and be in his surroundings.  Dr. Schwab gave us daily updates and the staff let me visit for hours at a time.  By Day 5, we were able to bring the little guy home.

Brutus still couldn’t walk but he was home and on his way to recovery.  Dr. Schwab estimated 8 weeks for him to regain the use of his back legs.  This was a slow process, but the recovery was taking hold and Brutus got better every day.  We returned to our normal routine although the morning walk was now a morning “carry”.  But, the little guy kept charging.  He was out of pain and dealt well with the frustration of falling often.  During this time; we submitted our bills ($6,900-below the low end of the range!!) to PetPlan Insurance (Brutus and his old house-mate Cheeks were long-term clients).  The good people at PetPlan helped expedite our claim and even collected the additional information from our regular Vet themselves.  Within weeks we had our check for $4,600!!  And, Brutus was able to stand and take his first steps!

Now we’re 60 days past the surgery.  Brutus’ hair is growing back, he can move himself from one room to another and enjoys walking the yard again (although it takes some time and patience).  He’s never been in any pain, his check-ups with Dr. Schwab are all positive and he’s headed for a full recovery.  Every day he gets a little better as his coordination returns.  It was a tough road for him (and us) going through this process but we made the right choice for our Dachshund.  This choice was made a WHOLE lot easier knowing we were insured with PetPlan and that we had such a good hospital (Metropolitan) to care for him.  Thanks to all!


Every year Metropolitan Veterinary Associates organizes a 5K run/walk (leashed participants are encouraged to join) with all proceeds benefiting local non-profit animal rescue organizations.  To learn more about the MVA5K click here.

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