‘He’s like my child’ - how one sausage dog owner helped her pet fight back from injury
PUBLISHED: 18:30 26 December 2019
The organiser of a popular sausage dog walk that attracts visitors from all over the country has said she was inspired to raise money for charity after her dog was left paralysed.
Laura Baggott's Dachshund Percy was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) in June 2018 and required surgery - prompting his owner to raise funds, through dog walks, for others suffering from the condition.
The Southwold Sausage Walk is held every few months in the town in aid of charity Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD.
The next event is being held at the end of January and is doubling as Percy's eighth birthday party.
Ms Baggott said: "Percy will always suffer from IVDD and I worry every day that he will have to go in for emergency surgery again.
"It very nearly killed him. The surgeon operating on him said his was one of the worst cases of IVDD he'd ever seen."
IVDD is a degenerative condition that causes the gel-like centre of intervertebral discs in a dog's spine to turn dry and brittle, causing severe pain, limited mobility and, in some cases, paralysis.
Dachshunds are more prone to suffer from the condition than other breeds due to their short legs.
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Percy had emergency surgery after being diagnosed with IVDD and then underwent a rigorous rehabilitation schedule, involving physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, to relearn how to walk.
Ms Baggott said she was determined to nurse Percy back to health despite the fact many owners have their pet put down as a result of the condition.
She added: "Percy is like my child. It has been the most stressful time."
What began as a walk with a few friends became a charity fundraising effort, attracting dogs in their hundreds from all over the country.
The most recent Southwold Sausage Walk attracted more than 150 Dachshunds and their owners.
Previous events have raised thousands of pounds for Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD.
The next walk on Saturday, 25 January coincides with Percy's birthday, with Ms Baggott promising a party complete with a cake and DJ.
She added: "People who attend will learn a lot about Dachshunds and the dangers of IVDD."
For more information on the Southwold Sausage Walk, visit their Facebook page.