Sunday, November 30, 2008

SnuffleupaMoose

That is what I call Moose when he does his labbie snuffling. Lately I have been on the receiving end of this since I have to lie on the floor of his pen if I want to curl up with him. While I am in there I usually have treats because we are practicing his new skilz and when you lay on the floor with treats Moose is going to snuffle till he finds them! So the pics are the sort of view I have while I am in there! It is hard to get pics of his whole face looking down on me because snuffling involves lots of moving around plus my camera would get slimed in a hurry!
Today we practiced a new skill: getting him to present his beak when it is time to put on the gentle leader. We have been using it without problem since this spring however, since he has been in recovery he will try to keep me from putting it on. I think he is indignant about using it when we are only going for a 2 minute stroll in the back yard but it is more important than ever that he does not pull! Aside from that we are also working on the 'Quiet' command. He is not a big barker but when he gets frustrated at being in his pen he protests pretty loudly. He is learning fast as usual!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 7 of my captivity...

I brought Moose home from hospital a week ago and he has been in his pen except when he is taken on a leash to the back yard for less than 5 minutes 3 or 4 times a day. He has not really protested except for the past two nights when he barked a lot while I was making his dinner. I guess he is worried that I will mess up the recipe if he is not right there to supervise! I am glad he is not overly restless but worry that he is a little depressed. He used to love to be outside and would play with his toys on his own all the time. Now when I take him out in the back yard he does his business and pulls me back toward the door to go inside, especially odd given the lovely cool weather that usually makes him frisky. The first few times he did this he would pull me toward the front door, obviously wanting to go for a walk, but doesn't do that anymore. He also seems to have lost all interest in his toys. I can't get him to play with them for more than a minute and he definitely doesn't play on his own. Poor boy! I am going to get him a new toy like a tug-a-jug since he will still get excited about food. I have been training some things that he can learn while laying down and he likes that because treats are involved. Still he just does not seem to be himself and we have a long road ahead! We will have a 2 week checkup next Friday but pretty sure he will still not be allowed to increase his activity until week 8, and I think that, even more than confinement is to blame for his melancholy.
The 2nd pic was snapped mid-yawn but could not help posting it because he looks like a crazed caged beast which is what I imagine he feels like these days!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

Moose and I are stuck at home because it is way too soon after his surgery to travel to my family which is a 7hr drive and all the getting in and out of the car that it would entail.
So instead we are having dinner here at home including chicken (easier for us single folk) mashed potatoes and green beans which he is having along with his usual kibble. Awhile ago I started using a Kong at mealtime to try to slow him down (typically finishes his kibble in under 60 seconds!). I started putting an empty Kong in his bowl just as an obstacle but now I put part of his kibble in the Kong and plug up the hole with the fat end of a carrot and cut up the rest to put in his bowl (he loooves carrots!). Now it takes him almost 15min to finish his dinner! He will eat part of the kibble in his bowl then take the Kong to his bed and work on that then go back for the rest of what is in his bowl. He really loves it and somewhere along the way he learned to bring me his Kong on command!

video

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 5 Post-op

Tonight I ventured out to the grocery store (the first time he was left alone since the surgery) and I was pretty worried he would try to get out of his pen and possibly hurt himself but did not want to restrict him to his crate while he is wearing his cone. Things were fine until I came home and he was beside himself excited and pushed up against one side of his pen which caused it to move and tip over his water bowl on the other side of his pen! Aside from that it was hard to keep him from hopping around he was so excited! Normally I love this welcome home but for now it is a real problem. I am going to try putting him in his crate next time I leave since he can't jump in there and when I let him out I will be right there to keep him from hopping around.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Orthodogs Unite!

A few days before Moose's surgery I found a discussion group called Orthodogs and it has been soooo helpful and reassuring through this that I thought I would share. If you or anyone you know is going through an orthopedic injury with their dog it is definitely worth checking out!
Since I work from home it is easy to keep an eye on my boy and just for a change of scenery I let him hang out with me in the office instead of his pen/crate in the living room. My office is so crammed full of moving boxes that he has about the same amount of space as in his pen but he does not have to wear his dreaded e-collar since he is right next to me. It is Day 3 since his surgery and he is ok but he seems a little lethargic. He has been sleeping a lot today and when he wakes up he does not seem interested in much. Hopefully there is nothing wrong. I am pretty sure I am being overly anxious about it... I wonder when I will stop worrying about every little thing he does. It is exhausting!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 2 Post-op

videoMoose seems to be doing pretty well on this 2nd day after surgery. His incision looks good and there does not seem to be much of the swelling or bruising that the doctor told me to expect.
He is not showing any signs of being uncomfortable and has stopped all crying and whimpering unless he wants out of is pen. He is walking pretty well for short periods but still limps some and will hold it completely off the ground occasionally every now and then. As youcan see in the video he will actually stand on his bad leg and lift the good one to pee which he could not do before the surgery. For the next two weeks he can only come out for a leashed walk in the back yard only long enough for him to potty then it is back in so I think he is pretty bored. I am giving him his kibble in smaller amounts throughout the day and it is stuffed into a Kong that takes him about 20min to get out so he has a few of those to look forward to too. It is hard to see him cooped up but he is doing so well that I need to fight the urge to let him do more!
He is using a 'Pro-Collar' instead of the typical cone shaped collar to prevent him from licking his incision. I do not want to put the cone on him since he is in such a confined space but unfortunately I may have to since the pro-collar only makes it a little more difficult to get to his leg. definitely not impossible!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Homecoming

Well we made it home safely (the scary part was getting him out of the car but thanks to the ramp and rolled up sweatshirt (used as a sling of sorts) I single handedly wrangled my Moose into his new Ex-pen! I had to move some furniture to fit it into my place which is especially crowded owing to the stacks of moving boxes... Oh the chaos! I had to lie in there with him for awhile and he seemed really anxious but I finally figured out he needed a potty break. He was a little better after that and I gave him a stuffed Kong but he was still whimpering while he was chewing it. Still it was a little better and his clumsiness with the kong showed me that he is still a little out of it and he took breaks instead of just finishing it like normal. Right now he is sleeping and I want him to do as much of that as possible! The whimpering when he is awake is upsetting to hear. Other than the crying he does not show other signs of pain so the doc was pretty sure it was an anaesthesia hangover so I am not worried that he is in terrible pain though I am sure he is uncomfortable which is upsetting but inevitable I am afraid.

Moose is headed home

He is crying some but doc thinks he is more stoned than anything else.
My poor baby!

Friday, November 21, 2008

TPLO Done

I went by the hospital to drop off Moose's food (forgot to leave it in the AM) and he had just gotten out of surgery so I was lucky enough to talk to the doc again. All went well 'it was text book' and Moose was waking up and seemed fine, in some pain but they were managing it well. He seemed to tolerate the anesthesia fine. As for the joint, the ligament was in fact fully ruptured as expected, but the meniscus was in tact which will hopefully make things easier from here on (assuming it stays that way). He said arthritis was there but minimal. While I am relieved to hear good news I have my skepticism as always. Would they tell me if he was in a lot of pain or had a problem during the surgery. Still I am a little reassured that he has made it this far.
I will pick him up at 10am so tonight I need to get the house ready to receive a crippled hound!
I took some video of his bunny-hop gait so I will hopefully see the improvement after surgery.

video

Lame Moose

This morning I took a very nervous Moose (I was probably worse though) to Miami to see an orthopedic specialist. He is not usually crazy about car rides but today he was crying from the start. We had a consultation with Dr Wosar at Miami Veterinary Specialists this morning to videocheck out Moose's knee and prospects for surgery. The doc says that it is most likely fully ruptured and surgery is his best bet at resuming normal activity. There are a few surgical approaches to stabilizing the knee including one less invasive approach called tightrope stabilization which is usually considered appropriate for non-Moose sized dogs. But after hanging out with the Orthodogs Yahoo group I learned of many larger Moose sized dogs that have had this procedure so I had a sliver of hope that the doc would consider it. But when I mentioned it he said it does not work on larger dogs and he will not do it. I have my doubts about this opinion and I could have taken Moose to other docs to look into it but in the end it would have delayed things and I might have been told the same things at the other 2 places and spent more $ on consultation fees and mostly the more invasive approach is considered to be successful so I decided to go with his plan and hope it was the right decision.
I mostly felt comfortable with the place but was a little frustrated when the doc was trying to get Moose to sit by pushing his butt down (doesn't seem like a good thing for an injured dog) and when I got him to sit and lay down on command he laid down on his bad leg so instead of trying again they called a 3rd tech in, muzzled him and wrestled him into the right position! My vet and I have always been able to do this with a tiny bit of patience so I was not overly excited about that. Other than that the staff seemed good and very playful with Moose while we were waiting.
So Moose was scheduled for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery this afternoon and they are planning to keep him at least overnight so I won't see him again until tomorrow when it is over.

Going to see a surgeon about a Moose

Moose and I are headed to an orthopedic surgeon. He seems worried. He
is not crazy about car rides but this morning he has been crying and
restless in the back seat. It could be that he did not get his kibble
or maybe that is what tipped him off that something is up! We may just
get a consultation but if I like what I hear and they have the right
plates, today is the day. We are scared!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cripple Hound

Well Moose seems to have finished off his knee on Saturday night. So sad. He was doing very well and we were being very careful to prevent any high impact activity since we learned his CCL was damaged last month but last night he was in the back yard and I heard a yelp and went out and he would not put that foot down. I have no idea how he did it but he must have bolted after the neighbor cat or something. We are headed to the vet in the morning to see what she says. She was very reluctant to recommend surgery before because it is not always successful but now that the injury is worse I think that might change. Honestly I do not like any of the options and just want a clear answer about what I should do for him. Down side of surgery: Horrible mutilation of bone, potential for complications or death, 2 to 3 months of recovery time, will not stop the progression of arthritis, expensive. Down side of non-surgical management: Uncertain recovery time and potential, long term pain management medications with potential liver damage, since it is likely the other knee will go (regardless of treatment) he may have 2 bad knees and be essentially immobile making surgical intervention and recovery more difficult in the future. What to do what to do what to do? In the mean time I got a crate to keep him from moving too much. I thought he would hate it but he does not seem too bothered by it so far. Of course having Dinner and some treats in there seems to help. I am in the middle of packing to move and all of my moving around meant that he would get up and follow me so I was worried he would make it worse by getting up and trying to walk every few minutes! Poor baby boy.

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