Meet Mary Francis

11 May

Meet Mary Francis Christian, a Dachshund, born June 21, 2001.


In November 2010 Mary Francis jumped down off a chair and hurt her back. She was unable to walk and in a lot of pain. The poor girl just looked at me with pleading in her eyes asking me to help her move. I was able to help her to her feet, but when she tried to move, her back legs would not support her and all she could do was just sit there.
I immediately called Marshall Animal Hospital to see if Doctor Jay was in. He took X-rays and found Mary Francis had ruptured a disk and had several other disks that were calcified. Dachshunds have a tendency for back problems since their spine is so long.

The prognosis wasn’t the best I have heard and it was hard to take since she was our baby from the age of six weeks. Dr. Jay gave me several options from costly surgery in Dallas to the most unthinkable of putting her down. I need to add here that he never told me what option was best, but did offer several options we could try, adding that some of them may not work. He let me make the decision of treatment. We decided on injecting Mary Francis with a horse steroid once a week for three weeks, combined with working the legs in and out to keep muscle tone. We gave her Prednisone (½ a 20mg tablet) every twelve hours to reduce the inflammation, along with a 50 mg tablet of Tramadol as required for pain.

After the second injection, Mary was able to walk some but the right hind leg would not support her weight completely so she would walk with her hind end falling every once in a while, but she was walking. After the third injection there was not much improvement, but she was getting around much better. She has a very positive outlook and was not giving in, so I decided on a more rigorous exercise program.


In January 2011, I started massaging Mary’s leg muscles and working her hind end back and forth working the legs and hips. I used physical therapy methods of warm blankets and walking to help her grow stronger. We would walk several times a day down the driveway and back. Then I would work her muscles back and forth with a soft massage. After several weeks of this I had her start walking up and down the hill to help build her muscles on an incline.

In May I started having her walk up and down steps and then up and down a steep ramp. This continued for several weeks, with accompanied massage, until I finally had her running up and down the driveway and the ramp.


Today Mary Francis is back to her normal self, running, hopping like a bunny, jumping like a baby and lifting herself up on her hind legs to be picked up. She has a love for life and adventure and has made it clear there is nothing to hold her back. This success story does require a lot of work and love, but the results are amazing.

Edwin Christian
P.O. Box 669
Scottsville, TX 75688

2 Responses to “Meet Mary Francis”

  1. the warrioress May 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    That was a touching story,Ed. I loved it. Your little girl has guts!

    • efchristi May 12, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      That she does! We have become very close through this and she decided she owns me. When I hug or kiss Ann, Mary gets jealous.

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