Welcome to Mickey's blog, a blog about a dog who has been there for me and made me smile even when I thought I couldn't any more. A dog who was sent to me by a loving God who knew I needed him as much as he needed me.

Mickey's story is much like other adopted dog's stories. Left at a kill shelter at only six months because his owners didn't want him any more. He waited and waited, but because of his age and because of his energy level he was never taken home and so awaited his death. But Mickey was one of the lucky ones, the rare few who are rescued by those non-kill shelters to be given more time to find their forever home. After waiting patiently for over a year, we finally found each other at a Petco in Austin.

Five years later, Mickey is my companion, best friend and and athlete. With elite and master titles in multiple Agility venues, he competes all over the state, traveling from hotel to hotel. Not only that, he's a Canine Good Citizen and loved by everyone who meets him.

Unfortunately, the unthinkable has happened. And though its fairly common in working, athletic dogs, I was devastated and distraught. Mickey was diagnosed with an ACL tear/rupture on April 3rd 2009 and after a long weekend of research and studying the procedure, he was admitted into Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital for a much needed TPLO surgery by Dr. Kerpsack.

*I'm not a vet and and in no way am I liable for any information on this blog. Please contact your local vet for information on medications or treatments.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day Twenty Nine


Today Mickey started some new types of physical therapy! I think he enjoyed them too. They didn't appear to be too much strain on his leg, and I was inspired by another TPLO recovery patient's mother. So, I'll post some videos for you to see of the types of things he did today.

We only did a total of about two minutes of it, varied throughout the day. The first session is in the first two videos following and the second session is in the last two videos. However, as much as he didn't seem affected by either sort of exercise, I think I'll wait until six weeks to actually begin the second type of therapy we did. That or I'll try and find a much lower set of ladder poles to work him through.

For agility training in the beginning we worked extensively on this ladder, so Mickey knows exactly what to do in these videos. It teaches the dog to be aware of where their legs are and encourages them to lift and flex.
I also bought Mickey a new tool! I'm not sure when I will begin using it though, it's called a "wobble board". To help him with weight baring exercises. I think I might wait another week for that, and for now just use the first exercise as seen in the first two videos.

Exercise One, straight

Exercise One, sideways

Exercise Two, side view

Exercise Two, front view

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day Twenty Seven


Mickey has a toy, a very vicious toy, that he enjoys attacking and harassing. His reward? Food! What could be more fun for a dog than viciously attacking, chewing, biting, throwing and pouncing on a squirrel, except for a squirrel that spits out little pieces of munchies to devour at random! And for me, a squirrel that doesn't smell awful when you find it dead in your backyard. I'm lucky that Mickey isn't fast enough to catch a squirrel, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching him play with one. Here are some photos for your enjoyment.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day Twenty Six


We're almost to four weeks, almost to thirty days, almost to one month! I really want to get my hands on a new set of x-rays. I'm dying to see how its healing, but I know only four weeks isn't going to show us everything we want to know, and it would be a waste of money. When I know that physically he is doing really well and recovering fast. I'll just have to wait until to week six. So sad.

Everything has been going really smoothly, really nothing to report. Right now Mickey's schedule looks a little something like this.

Morning -
  • 10 minute walk
  • Breakfast
  • Icing
Mid Day -
  • 5 minute walk
  • Play time (fun safe games)
Night -
  • 10 minute walk
  • Dinner
  • ROM Flexing
  • Massage
  • Icing

Mickey's diet looks like this now, with all the supplements and then his staple food. Since he's been out of work I've had some trouble keeping his weight down. When he's training and competing I have a really hard keeping weight on, but now its the opposite! And I know that any extra weight will put unnecessary strain on that leg.
  • Nature's Variety Raw Instinct Dry, Canned & Raw Dog Food
  • Glyco-Flex III
  • Salmon Oil Capsules
  • Comfrey, Devil's Claw & Slippery Elm Herbal "clumps"
  • The occasional "greenie" or snack treat for times he's alone
Here are some cute pictures I have Mickey in his days of "patrolling" the barn before he had to be crated or leashed... enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day Twenty Two


So, I've come up with some alternative methods I'm going to use to help Mickey recover quicker and for his bone to heal stronger. I've always been in to the alternative type medications, treatments and so on. But mostly it's been for my horses, because my horses are ALWAYS hurting themselves. Like just today I used comfrey oil on my show dressage horse. I rubbed his legs down with it to help reduce the swelling he's built up (wind puffs - for you horse people reading this) from standing in his stall (because of all the absurd amount of rain dumping on central Texas right now, and I don't have a covered arena). Not only that, he has a hard bony swelling/growth on his mandible as a result of four surgeries from a broken jaw (he snapped it clear across when he caught his lower front set of teeth on a near by blanket bar and yanked his head up as hard as he could to get free). The swelling/growth is supposed to eventually disappear, and it has been slowly (though there is still some trickling puss coming from the most recent entry sight for his last surgery, do too a degeneration of the bone - long story). Anyway, long story short, I use herbal stuff on him and all my other four horses for all their many problems. My list include (but is not limited to); Dried (cut or powdered) lemon balm, comfrey, echineca, silppery elm, marshmallow, chaste tree, devil's claw, raspberry root, ginkgo, and others ; Compressed Comfrey Oil ; Various Aromatherapy mixtures and types such Lavender, Lemon Balm, ect. ; And many different Bach Remedy mixtures including Rescue Remedy, Vervarian, Aspen, Cherry Plum, Cerato ect. I've also used acupuncture, massage therapy, red light therapy, hydro therapy, laser therapy, chiropractic therapy, magnet therapy and others as alternative to medication and surgery. So, naturally, I would start moving my treatments on over to Mickey. Who is going through a very valid reason to use them.

My first thought was that I should start feeding him something internally that will reduce inflammation (inflammation not only happens from surgery, but also during recovery and stressful physical therapy) and encourage bone and cartilage growth. I jumped to all my natural healing books and found some useful information. Which I'll list in a moment. My second thought was that surely there was some sort of poultice or compress or something I could apply topically to help reduce swelling and encourage muscle building. Here is everything I've decided to go ahead and start doing.

  • Comfrey - Natural Anti-Inflammatory, heals wounds, bones, entire system, cleanses & purifies, encourages healthy blood flow.
  • Slippery Elm - Draws out impurities, encourages healing
  • Devil's Claw - Natural Anti-Inflammatory, mild pain killer
To feed Mickey basically "plant" material, that he wouldn't choose to eat normally, I took some ideas off the web as well as added my own. He gobbled it right down!

I took about 1/4 cup of the three previous stated herbs in a powdered state, mixed them all together thoroughly. Then, I added just enough water to make the mixture "tacky" so that it would stick together and form clumps. Clumps about the size of a nickel or quarter, a size I thought he would be comfortable eating. (slippery elm is a very "tacky" substance and without that "medium" this recipe would need another ingredient such as all natural unsweetened peanut butter or something else "tacky".) Then, I added just a slight bit of honey to make it sweet (though I don't know if I would do that next time, I think he would eat it without the honey). and mixed it all thoroughly. (At this point it looked like a thick mass of nasty junk that was tacky and disgusting looking. lol. ) I rolled the "clumps" in a very slight bit of all-natural unbleached whole wheat flower to keep them from sticking to everything and to each other. Then, (this is the part that made him want it) I layered the ball in a thin layer of his Nature's Variety Raw Instinct Canned Food (which I use as agility "jackpot" treats - but any canned food will do). He inhaled it.

The rest of the "ball/clumps" I put away in the fridge (without the canned food on it, because I didn't want that to dry out and fall off) to use only once a day. Herbs are such a guessing game most of the time that its hard to tell exactly how much to feed your dog. I'm no vet or herb specialist, I just guessed a small amount would do for a medium dog as compared to how much I use for my 1400 lbs horse (which actually isn't as much as you'd think). Also, you're never supposed to feed your animal or yourself herbs for a long period of time. Especially comfrey as it can cause liver function problems if used excessively.

  • Comfrey Oil - Massaged onto bruised or damaged muscles/skin will encourage healing and draw out excessive heat. Will encourage healthy blood flow as well as strengthen new growth of muscle and bone.
  • Comfrey Compress - Another tool to get the body to absorb the comfrey, except this is a warm infusion absorbed into a light weight/clean cloth and placed directly onto the injury sight. In essence, you are making comfrey tea and soaking it in a cloth and wrapping your dog's leg in it. I place a plastic wrap over the cloth to keep the moisture and heat in so it doesn't cool down as fast. Warm skin absorbs things faster.
  • Icing - and of course the ultimate treatment, icing. Reduces swelling and encourages blood flow.

Anyway, I have updated movies of Mickey's walking. Plus, a video of his first massage (which he didn't think was exactly a super idea, but I think he's starting to like it. It was the noise that bothered him at first I think.). And, pictures! Of the "clumps" as well as of Mickey and his attitude....

HEY! I don't have an attitude...

With his comfrey compress on..

The clumps... ewww... one with the canned food, the rest without

Walking away from camera

Its kinda hard to video when you have to walk him too...

Getting a massage while he's eating some dinner..

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day Twenty


Today was Mickey's therapy session with Deborah Carroll. And it went very well! She said he was doing nicely and coming along great. She looked him over, flexed the leg and everything and said their was no swelling or stiffening in the joint and he looked good. She gave us the following homework for the next couple weeks until May 14th, which will be our second session. I'll list the homework here and then I took some brief videos of him walking. This evening is probably the most sore he has been in the last couple days, I think its because he took one more walk than usual and also was flexed a lot today. Tomorrow we will take it a little easier and settle into a routine. Homework
  • 5 minute walks 3 to 4 times per day for three days then begin 10 minute walks 2 to 4 times per day for the next week. Continue to follow homework protocol weekly unless problems arise.
  • Continuing Icing as frequently as possible or after exercise/walks/flexion
  • Begin Homedics Massage with hand held rechargeable massager as demonstrated. Dividing Mickey's body into 5 minute sections. Mid Thoracic to Tail Base, Left Hip & Thigh, Right Hip & Thigh, Combine Shoulders and C-Spine. (i'll post pictures/video of this in action later)

Mickey is slightly "off" in these videos..
Notice the "swing" in the leg as he moves?
Instead of flexion at the knee.

After a long day... he's exhausted..

And apparently so is his sister.. haha.

Mickey sleeping the day before surgery..

his cute little toes by his nose.. awe.. my adorable boy

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day Nineteen


I admit, it's been hard for me to get Mickey the amount of attention he needs and keep him on a regular schedule. It's turned out to be a lot more time consuming that I originally thought! But I'm okay with that. Whatever it takes. This week will be much much easier. I'll be home most of the week because my family is leaving town and it will just be me and the animals at home. Which will be beyond nice. I need a break from stress. And Mickey needs a break from boredom.

Mickey is doing great, here is a short (I apologize for the bad quality) video of him doing "ROM" stretches (Range Of Motion). He doesn't seem to be affected by them much. Every once in awhile he'll flinch or pull away really quick. I just try and take it very slowly and very calmly.

Good news! Mickey's new physical therapist is coming tomorrow! She's a traveling therapist that was recommended by my agility trainer. I'm really excited, she seems perfect and exactly what I was looking for. I explained to her my frustration with the other therapist and she totally understood and explained how that was frustrating to her as well and her profession. She's worked in the horse world too, and so she knew what I was talking about when I was trying to explain how frustrating the difference was between horse care/recovery/medical and small animal care/recovery/medical. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day Eighteen


It has been hard keeping Mickey from just barking out of boredom.. he just barks and barks. "HEY! Pay attention to me!" He has soooo much energy it's insane and getting very difficult to control. So a couple things.
  • One - Mickey now goes with me places. When I go to feed the horses in the morning and evening he rides in the gator with me (which he used to do before his injury). I tie him in the front seat so he can't jump off when he sees the cows or gets excited and he drives out there with me and sits in the gator while I feed and do horse work, like riding. He's the happiest man in the world.
  • Two - Games, I'm starting to come up with games. Lots of games. Like.. playing a quiet game of tug while he is lying on the ground (which he sort of did anyway before his injury, he likes lying down and playing rather than standing up. I think that's from all the years of playing with young dogs or dogs smaller than him.) I'm also playing the "pick which hand game" with a little piece of his kibble. He's having a really hard time with the "using your nose" part of it. He is really sight oriented for a dog. And so I kinda came up with my own version of the game. When I pretend to "shuffle the treat between hands" behind my back I swing my hand a little each time I switch hands. He watches my hands/arms swing and keeps the memory until I show my hands. He therefore knows that if my hand swung a little to my right that it will be in my right hand. So he uses his paw to pick that hand. He loves it. haha. But that's it for the games inventions so far. I'll be coming up with more in the future.
  • Three - Walks. He loves his walks and they do tire him out a little. So I try and make them as variable as possible and in different places and and varying times in the day to keep him interested and always curious. Because we live on a ranch its not too hard to change up where we walk to.
Anyway, I took a video of him walking to keep track of his progress. I think he's putting about 80% weight on it. The problem seems to be that he's very reluctant to flex it while walking.. you might notice in the video that he really is almost "swinging" it as he walks. Now, he does this to a certain degree with both back legs. This I think is a side affect from the fact that his lower spine (between his hips) has begun to fuse together in an advancing stage of arthritis. It's not Hip Dysplasia. His hips are in fact not that bad, which surprised me. But his right leg where the surgery was seems to swing more than the other, reasonably enough. It's a good thing to be aware of though as PT progresses.

Here is a video of him playing and him walking! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day Sixteen


Today marks the first day of Mickey's rehabilitation program. The first two weeks we spent watching the incision sight and keeping him from moving as much as possible. Now we are beginning the very long and slowly progressive return to "normality" after surgery. For the first couple weeks everything will seem rather simple and not like it will do very much I'm sure, but Mickey will feel it and it will help. And that's all I need to know, that its helping him.

During his vet visit yesterday they told me his muscle hadn't atrophied much, at least less than normal. So! That's a good sign that his recovery wont be as much of a struggle. The biggest issue will be rebuilding the strength of the knew and his weight bearing on it. The vet also said he was putting a lot more weight on it than is normally seen at this stage, so I'm very hopeful.

Week One PT Program -
  • Walking - 5 minutes 3x per day on level ground at slow pace
  • Stretches - Range of Motion stretches 3x per day
  • Ice/Heat - Alternate Ice & Heat therapy 2x per day following exercises at intervals of 10 minutes in an Ice / Heat / Ice order to flush inflammatory fluids and refresh blood supply.

"whatever I'll do any of that."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day Fifteen


The stitches are gone! Today Mickey had his two week check-up and they gave him a clean bill of health. First the doctor checked his movement and his flexions. He checked the surgery sight for heat, swelling, abnormal movement and so on. After his full exam I was informed that he was healing incredibly well and had lost less muscle mass than was normal for this amount of time for this surgery. Hence, he is healing! But of course, the bone isn't any where near healed, so he is still on crate rest with minimal physical therapy and exercise that is always to be monitored.

Once he removed the stitches we met with the physical therapist, who I didn't like. She didn't talk enough. I'm one of those people that I want to know EVERYTHING I could possibly do. I want to know about the recovery, the future, the extent of the damage, the possibility of his return to work, the minimum and maximum recovery and so on. I suppose that's come from being around horses. Horse people are
very serious about their equine's injuries. We do everything from shock wave therapy, heat therapy, laser therapy, red light therapy, cold therapy, physical therapy, hydro therapy, injections, scoping, and almost anything else you can imagine when it comes to our horses recovery. Especially when it comes to joints. If one of my horses had done the same injury or something similar, our vets would have been on the phone with us daily, we would have sent them to a special physical therapist that could have been half way across the world for all we cared. Everything would have been done, nothing left undone. But with dogs, the vets seem so unconcerned and like they could really care less. I keep having to be like "He is a working dog, I'll do anything and everything I can to help him recover. Name it, I'll do it." and they say "leash walks". LEASH WALKS?! Sure, I'll take him on leash walks.. but I had to dig it out of her what else I could do.. she never even mentioned that we could do stretches. (which I only asked because of two reasons. One, I would with my horses. And two, I read about other people's physical therapy sessions after their surgeries with their dogs). Anyway, I'm sorry to rant. I'm just frustrated. I think I'm going to try and find another physical therapist in the area and get more information. I know I don't want to push Mickey, that rest has almost everything to do with his recovery. But surely there is more I could be doing for the next four weeks than a five minute walk three times a day?! He's doing that right now.

I've been reading up on this idea of using "ball" therapy.. I know he's not quite ready for that yet. But I want to be planned and prepared for the next few months. Not to mention that I plan on using hydro-therapy at home. I read about someone who bought a stock tank and swam their dog in a vest and with support once a day. Which, Mickey loves swimming and I've heard of great results from this type of physical therapy. Anyway, for now Mickey is just resting for awhile longer with a few more walks a day on flat ground. And also mobility stretches three times a day. At least for another two weeks, that's the plan.

Mickey didn't want to be at the vet today, but he was amazingly good and very well behaved. I have a few pictures for you to see! The first is of Mickey watching the window, waiting to leave. And the second is of his stich-less leg! Yeah!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day Thirteen


Vegas, the sin city of the United States, is where I was this weekend. After a wretched and horrible experience trying to actually GET there before I died from old age, my sister and I enjoyed our sister trip immensely. And despite the fact that when I said "Vegas" you probably instantly assumed we went their to gamble and party, we actually went to watch the Rolex Las Vegas World Cup International! Probably the largest international horse competition other than the Olympics. I don't know this for sure, but as far as I know there isn't another competition as publicized are talked about or has as large of an audience attendance in the Stadium Show Jumping and Dressage equestrian sports. We had an amazing time, but it was very very hard for me to leave poor Mickey. And of course my Fiance. (who I missed exeedingly) But Mickey is my baby and especially when he is in the sort of shape he is in right now, I worry about leaving him.

I left him in the good and familiar hands of my parents, who took very good care of him while I was away. He looks great overall, now that I'm back! I'm so relieved to be back. We left on Friday afternoon (the 17th and arrived home this evening (the 20th). Apparently, other than one barking fit, Mickey was an excellent boy and was hardly a pain at all. Even though he is feeling great and wants to jump and run around everywhere! Of course, I would not allow such a thing! He wasn't very happy that everyone
seemed to know what he was and wasn't allowed to do. (He thought he was going to have it easy! haha). I did leave them with a very explanatory and detailed schedule for him. Everything from the medication doses to exact times he was to go on walks and for how long and where the walks were to take place. (yes, I'm over protective and a micro manager when it comes to my babies). As far as I know they followed everything to the letter and they only had to use a very minor dose of sedation once! (Apparently he missed me a lot).

Mickey doesn't exactly have what I would call "severe" separation anxiety. He does however suffer while I'm away. He becomes "removed" and detached from the lives of my family and the people around him, always watching and waiting for my return. On occasion he'll bark, as if impatiently saying "WHERE ARE YOU?!" and then quiet down for awhile. When a stranger takes care of him though, he'll go as far as not eating and severe depression. I'm never gone for long, but to him I know it seems like forever
and I hate leaving him behind.

When I left on Friday I sedated him slightly, just so he wouldn't panic or become stressed once he realized I was gone. (It was just a fraction of a dose the vet gave to me for my other forty pound australian shepherd when she had her surgery a year back.) And so I thought I would make you smile with a cute picture of Mickey totally relaxed! The poor boy was a little out of it, but very relaxed!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day Nine


Today I have a surprise for you! Well, more like something you might be interested in. Mickey is fed up with relaxing, I don't really blame him. So, I remembered today something that I used to make him a few years back when he had to stay in his crate for awhile at a time in our old house. So! I created a tutorial for you guys who have dogs that are bored and on the recovery.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day Eight


So, Mickey is officially done with being in a crate. Poor guy is bored and wants to go back to work. Plus, his energy is building up and now when ever I take him out of his crate he tries to jump around and prance. This is going to be a very long and difficult recovery.

In the mean time, I'm putting up pictures of his stitches and also a short video of him walking as a progress report to his recovery. He's doing great. Though, he has a little sore spot to the side of the stitches that I'm having a hard time keeping him from licking. He doesn't seem to care about the stitches in the least. I've been putting triple antibiotic on it that has an added pain relief medication in it, just on that spot to keep it moist and from hurting. I think its helping. Also, Mickey is officially off antibiotics and the Tramadol. I'd been weaning him off of Tramadol for a day now and its gone. But, he is still on Metacam. Which is good, considering he is still having some pain with that leg.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day Seven


So, it's been one week today since Mickey's surgery. He is doing better by the day and his leg is a lot less swollen and hot. Except that he does strange things like, he will be eager to stay outside walking and moving around and then the minute I get him back into the house he panics and runs to his crate. This could possibly be from the fact that we have a tile floor and he feels unstable of the tile. I'm not sure. I talked to the vet nurse about this and she wasn't sure either. And it's not like he just walks around panicking, he only does it when he has to stand. Like, when I offer him a drink at the water bowl or ask him to stand for just a second. So I think it has to do more with the fact that he is feeling pain more when he's just standing than when he is moving. The vet said to keep an eye on him and to give her a call on Wednesday if he's not doing better by then.

I got his new "BiteNot" collar, he doesn't like it. He gives me this horribly sad puppy expression that only Mickey has mastered to the art of true manipulation. Even my sister agrees with me. So I think he's getting to be a very lucky dog and prove to me that I can trust him not to pull his stitches. Which I would not do with any other dog except Mickey because he seems to "know" things. If I catch him messing with them one time that collar goes on!

I thought I would post a video of Mickey one day prior to his surgery. Just for your entertainment. He just got a bath and was all nice and clean, and a little frisky too. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day Four


Despite the fact that we had a very unusual and slightly stressful day yesterday, Mickey is doing great today. He's finally putting weight on his leg and is walking so much better. Now, here comes the part where I have to keep him under wraps and make sure he only walks. Even though he is feeling better he still gets back into the house and immediately lays down. Which is good. It's really nice that Mickey is such a sensible dog. The vet told me he was "well adjusted". I suppose that pretty much describes Mickey. He seems to know that he needs rest. I just hope it lasts.

Yesterday I had to leave the house for the whole day and my whole family was gone too, so Mickey had to come with me. I couldn't leave him in his crate for over twelve hours with nobody to take care of him and walk him to stretch his leg. I packed up all of his medications, ice packs, crates, chew bones, water bottles and beds. I needed a baby bag! And Mickey stayed at my Fiance's house while I went to work with some horses and volunteer at a Hippotherapy facility about a hour and a half away.

The report I got when I got back to see him was "He missed you and barked just like one bark every minute or so.". Mickey has this special way of letting people know he wants me. He has a one very short abrupt repetitive bark. But he only does it with strangers. And then when he's trying to get my attention when he's in his crate (and knows he's not allowed to bark), he "huffs". Like, a loud puff of air that's almost like a whispered bark. It's really cute.

Well, anyway. The new collar hasn't come yet. I'm waiting and waiting for it! But you know, Mickey is doing really well without it. He almost never touches his leg and is very gentle with it. But I have a hard time trusting him at night, so I still want that collar. For now, everything is going good.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day Two


Well, I have a confession to make. I'm a bad mother I know, but seriously, it just seems cruel! I DESPISE the "e" collar. Poor Mickey can't move in his crate with it on and when he is outside of his crate he panics and starts running into walls and throwing his head around. I've heard there are other types of "e" collars that are less traumatic for the dog to wear, so my search today is for one that maybe Mickey will not freak out in. He has to wear it for 14 days! And it was all I could do to keep it on him through the night. As it was, he woke me up once at 4 am in the morning, and then he woke me up much earlier than I wanted to wake up this morning. I'm sure his leg was hurting, he couldn't move or stretch it out with that collar on inside of his crate. He has a large crate, for his size, but the stupid collar makes him look ten times his size and shrinks the crate size to almost nothing. But, for right now I'm letting him keep it off while he is on a leash walk and also while he's in his "second" (really, Kyra's crate, my other aussie) crate downstairs while I read, write, blog and watch TV and I can watch him closely. Trust me, I don't want him to pull any stitches, and he's scared to death to try I think while I'm sitting there because I correct him. It probably itches. Poor thing.

He's doing better though, I think. His leg shakes when he's standing, but he is putting a bit more weight on it today. I've been ice packing it after every walk to keep the heat and swelling down (which seem to be more today and bothering him more.). Thankfully the pain killers have him a little drugged, so he's not super excited to do much of anything. After being out of his crate for maybe five minutes he's desperate to lay down again. I don't blame him.

- - - - - - - -

Update ;

I found it! The cure! A collar that's called a "Bite Not Collar". It's on order to be shipped over night, but because I ordered it kind of late, I don't think it will be here until Saturday, Day four. I'll keep you posted! Here is a picture of it, and a link to the actual website.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day One


Home at last! Mickey is finally home after being at the vet for over fifteen hours. The surgeon reports that everything went smoothly and he didn't foresee any potential problems. Other than the fact that he was already trying to pull out his stitches (so he has to wear an "e" collar - blah! Poor guy can't see and keeps running into things), and he isn't putting any weight on that right hind leg. The vet said it just depends on the dog and how they react to the pain of the surgery whether they put weight on it or not right away. But I've heard dogs not putting any weight on their surgery leg for up to a couple weeks and the vets say they are fine. So I'm not too worried.

When I picked him up they were all really nice and nurse "Britney" was in charge of informing me of all his special care. She was very nice and explained everything in detail. I'm a detail person, and very involved, so nothing gets done half way with me, especially with my animals. The following is the instructions he was discharged with;

  • Leave elizabethan collar "e" in place until stitches are removed as he will lick at the incision. This can lead to serious infection.
  • Maintain normal diet
  • Please call if he begins to act abnormal in any way (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy ect.)
  • Please monitor the incision daily for redness, swelling and discharge. Please call if any occur.
  • Strict exercise restriction for the next 8 weeks. This is important to prevent early breakdown of the implants.
Week 1 - 6 ;
  • Cage Rest or confinement to a small room when you are not home for six weeks. Keep pet separate from other pets when you are not home. May be free in the house when supervised. Walking is the most strenuous activity allowed at this time. Take pet outside only on leash for a short walk for elimination purposes. No running, jumping or playing.
  • Sutures or staples show be removed 10 - 14 days from surgery
  • Consultation with Physical Therapist at 14 days
  • Reevaluate at 6 weeks with exam & x-rays
Week 7 - 8 ;
  • You may now take your pet for gradually increasing distances while on your leash walks.
  • All other restrictions still apply.
  • Cephalexin 500mg capsules, 14 units ; 1 capsule by mouth 2 times daily until gone ; Antibiotic
  • Tramadol 50mg, 30units ; 2 tablets every 12 hours as needed for pain for 10 days ; Pain Killer
  • Metacam 32ml, Once Daily dose 0.1 mg/kg ; Pain Killer
Week One Rehabilitation ;

Ice ;
  • Cold therapy with ice pack 2 - 4 times per day or as needed after walks to help with pain and swelling.
  • The ice pack should be applied for a maximum of 10 minutes.
  • Apply 5 minutes on either side of the incision when dealing with a larger area.
Massage ;
  • Performed 2-4 times per day, light and soft over inflamed areas. May be used to encourage healing of tissues and reduce swelling and edema.
Exercise ;
  • Three walks daily at slow steady walking pace for a maximum of ten minutes
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So! That's Mickey's discharge instructions. In the future there wont be so much "instructions" as there will be actual information about what exactly I'm doing each day to rehabilitate that leg. I'm also going to be adding videos and photos to these blogs to give you pictorial updates as well. For this week I have all of his fresh out of surgery photos, as well as an initial video of him walking to keep track of how it progresses throughout the months.