Picture of Dr Anuska Viljoen

Dr Anuska Viljoen


“Beasty” is Pain free and full of the joys of life!

July 2017 was not a good month for Beast, a 5 year old Dachshund. Only he knows what happened that fateful winter day, when something just snapped in his back. By the time his parents arrived home, he was in terrible pain.

X-rays revealed a spinal disc protrusion at the level of his 12-13 thoracic vertebrae. Over the next month, his owners tried a host of conventional treatments from their dedicated primary Veterinarian; however, he continued to deteriorate. By the beginning of August, he could hardly walk straight, wobbling all over the show and was still in terrible pain.

Having seen what Acupuncture has done for Dachsies with paralysis, owner Kirsty contacted Dr Anuska to see if this could be an option for Beast.

The examination

Beast had been confined to a cage for several weeks, for rest and to limit painful movement. Even so, he was so sore when he first arrived at Simply Vets, that he would not let Dr Anuska touch his back. He showed no superficial pain in his back legs, and had no reflex over the normal placement of his hind legs, called proprioception. He was also incontinent with both his urine and faecal functions.

Treatment commences…

Owing to the terrible pain, Beast had to be sedated for Aquapuncture, where homeopathic substances are injected into the acupuncture points for additional healing effect. He was sent home with a modified form of injury remedy for nerve regeneration and pain relief (see more on this below).


Within a week, there was marked improvement in his ability to balance and the pain was far less. He was getting control back over his incontinence. Two weeks later, he returned for an Electroacupuncture treatment, where electricity is pulsed through the acupuncture needles – and he improved even more.


By the third visit, after another two weeks, he was no longer in pain, had regained the superficial reflexes, showed no incontinence any more, and walked without wobbling.

He showed off by lifting his leg to pee on his way out the surgery – and did not even fall over. J His left leg still needs to regain full strength and proprioception, as this reflex is still a little delayed. Dr Anuska expects full recovery within a few more weeks.

Degenerative Disc Disease is very common in the Dachshund breed, owing to their long backs and short legs causing abnormally high stresses and strain on the cushioning that the discs provide between the vertebrae. This causes many areas of minute trauma, which later turns to calcification and scarring within the disc. This can then lead to bulging of the disc into the spinal canal, causing compression and inflammation to the spinal nerve, which is incredibly painful. Left untreated, it will often result in full disc rupture and damage to the nerve, resulting in paralysis. Aquapuncture is the procedure of injecting specific medications into acupuncture points to elicit an effect that lasts longer than using needles alone.

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