Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 6 - Bandage Off...yay?

Today was the Big Day. The bandage from hell was finally coming off for good.
Shaved leg. Poor baby.

Gone were the horrible moments of watching him try to maneuver the leg around and under him as he tried to turn around. Gone was the little plastic bootie from hell and the awkward walking he did while wearing it because he couldn't feel the ground with that pad of his foot.

Take this ridiculous thing off!
Of course, it's never easy. Getting the bandage off also meant that gone was the covering to his staples...and that means Cone o'Doom. And because we work...that means cone of doom in a crate. Always a joy. Watching him try to move around in there with the cone of shame on is just heartbreaking, but he manages it. Thankfully, he doesn't have to be in there all the time. Just sleeping and when we're at work. And I think...just until the stitches come out.

Still stressing about leaving town on Thursday, but trying not to let it to eat me alive with worries  - my favorite game being Worst Case Scenario.

I think what I need to do most, though, is sleep. I don't think I've had more than four hours sleep since this happened and it's starting to show. I've got shadows under my eyes and I've lost five pounds. Okay, it's not like I couldn't stand to lose the weight, but this isn't the way I wanted to do it.

A woman and I were talking in the waiting room at the vet's this morning and she agrees with me that this is a lot like having a newborn baby in the house....on the uncertainty level anyway. Even in my most desperate mom-of-newborn moments did I think sedating the baby and locking him in a crate when I left was a workable option. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 5 - The adventure reaches its first week

It's been a week since the injury happened and I'm having a hard time reconciling everything that's changed in a week. What a difference seven days makes.

I thought we'd had a good night. I put his inflatable e-collar on, gave him a sedative, and headed up to sleep in my own bed for the first time in a week. When I came down, everything seemed fine. He was laying quietly in his crate, sleeping. I lay on the couch and dozed for a little, read a little. When I went to get him his breakfast, though, I realized he wasn't coming closer.

Mom. I really hate this crap
You betcha. His bandage caught on something in his crate and he'd been stuck for I have no idea how long. He wasn't in an uncomfortable position, but he was still forced to stay in one place. I got him out, and another pee was achieved (he's doing better at that), but I realized that we were going to have to go back to the emergency vet. Again. Because he kept whimpering in pain I was positive he'd hurt something, undone something, but the ER vet said he looked fine. And...bandage #4 was applied.

Enjoying his pen
Once we got back home from that, he had some more pain meds and seds and he had a quiet day. He's so much happier in his little pen and I think it might make his mandatory crate time easier. And that time is going to increase soon. Tuesday, I'm going back to work, so he'll be here and in his crate alone.

Part of me knows he'll be fine - because he's used to being alone and snoozing during the day while we're at work - but this is different.

One thing no one told me - butt seepage. He's gone poop twice since the surgery, but the last time was Friday, I think( the days are blurring together) and ever since he's been...sort of leaking poop. That's a lot of unexpected fun.

Had a few bad dog mom moments today where I went from wishing this didn't happen at all to thinking...about the other road we could have taken rather than surgery and just thinking for a few minutes how much less stress I'd be under, how I could enjoy the family reunion I have to go to this week (gone for 10 days) and so on. It was a bad, bad moment.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 4 - A Day full of in maybe it's this that's bothering him

The little challenges that come up are starting to drive me mental. Like tearing my hair out crazy.

First, when I got up this morning, he'd messed (poo) in the crate so it was time to strip the quilt and cover, wash them, and put them, and him, back in again.

Sorry, Mo
Vet visit
Then, once that was done, I saw a dark spot on his bandage. I did the bad thing and went to Google and found that it could be seepage through his bandage...which is a bad thing. So I let that cycle into worry about infection and ... in we went to the emergency vet. Two hours later we were home with a new bandage (no seepage, it was just dirt from his other foot, but it was slipping down his leg again.)

Finally got him home, settled, more sedation and a few hours nap. Then the fun started.

He wouldn't settle in his crate for anything. He kept getting up, dragging at the crate pad as if trying to nest into it, trying to get onto the part of the crate not covered by the pad. This lovely orthopedic pad I bought just for his convalescence.

So, it was back to PetSmart for another, thinner pad. He hated that one almost at once. Scratching at it, up every few minutes to readjust.

Went early on the sedative and he settled a little more, but not what I was used to over the first few days.

I've made some adjustments to the crate - I wrapped the metal part of the liner pad with the quilt - thinking the metal on metal sound was annoying him. Then I put one of our bath mats in there. He loved lying on the one in our bathroom before this happened, so maybe he'll find some comfort with this one.

Tonight he's out of his crate and I'm sitting over on the floor next to him and he seems more at ease than he's been most of the day.  He can stretch out to "sideways dog" position better and maybe he was going a little stir crazy being crated all the time.

Going to ask the vet on Monday when we go in to get bandage off (finally!) about how much is too much for moving around the room. I'm so paranoid about not letting him do too much that maybe I'm being too restrictive of his activity when we're here.

Maybe. Always with the maybes.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 3 - Challenges

Saying goodnight to daddy
 I remember thinking to myself as I logged in to work that it had been a good morning. Okay, he got restless at 4.30 and needed pain meds, and again I was up at 5.30, but we got him up and moving. Even got him outside and he peed. Getting excited over this dog peeing makes me laugh.

He's a neutered male but marking is a big thing with him. Most of the time on walks, we had a hard time keeping him from peeing every thirty feet or so. Now, I'm thrilled stupid if I get a little steam of pee. I'm looking forward to the happy days that he marks every damned bush in the neighborhood again.

He didn't go again today, and hasn't pooped since yesterday morning, but vet says that's okay, as long as he's eating and drinking.  Which he is, though not quite as much as he used to.

Then the day moved on and I realized that he wasn't settling. He was really restless in his crate and started panting. Worried that he was crate anxious, I gave him another half of his sedative (about 3 hours early), but that didn't make any real difference. I fretted a little about pain until I gave him his pain meds...but half an hour after those were administered, still no difference.

Finally sleeping
Tried taking him out, he wouldn't go and would barely walk. Tried letting him lay on the floor with me next to him, he still wouldn't settle, so I put him back in his crate and looked at the blankets I had in there.

The ortho pad has a top lining of sheepskin. I had a fleece blanket and a quilt in there, too.

What a concept - he was panting because it was hot.

I had moved the little fan outside his crate to point and over the spot where he lays down, thinking it might be annoying to have it blowing on him. Apparently, it was doing it's job of keeping his bedding cool so when he did get too hot, he could roll over and go to a cooler spot.

Felt like a complete derp mom.

Lesson learned: Less is more in the crate.

Mom's bruised feet

I'm getting better at leash and sling walking with him - though I have had moments of trying "tail-hold" walking when I'm hoping he'll pee so he doesn't pee on the sling.

Best news is, he's walking well on all four legs. Unfortunately, we sometimes get a little tangled up and his feet end up on mine. Ouch moments.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 2 - Settling In

No pictures today as nothing much changed.

I did realize today that the little plastic bootie they put on the bandage serves another purpose aside from not getting the bandage wet on the infrequent trips outside. It also keeps the bandage itself from catching on blankets and making shifting positions awkward and difficult for the already-stoned dog.

Had a few moments of panic this morning because his bandage had slipped down off his leg and over the incision. Poor baby looked so pathetic with half his bandage over his foot as he tried to walk this morning.

After that frustrating big of fun, and the dismal failure of breakfast (he didn't want cold chicken and rice, he wanted his normal kibble and it was a struggle getting his meds in) I had to work for an hour or so before taking him to the vet to get the bandage replaced.

We achieved poop! Haven't been this excited about bowels moving since the potty training days. We also achieved pee...but that didn't happen til we were at the vet's office and walked him in the grass outside the building. Lots of other scent marks meant that someone had to leave his calling card.

Potty issues have become the worst part of this for me. Both the not knowing if I should be taking him out to go...but also taking him out to go. Trying to get him to walk in the first place, coordinating the leash and sling...and then ditching the sling to tail-hold because he's a guy dog and will pee on the sling otherwise.

A coworker has lent me a high-end harness, but getting him into it is just not feasible with how loopy he is. I think  that will come in handy in a few days, when the bandages are off and he's more comfortable putting that foot on the ground.

Otherwise, he's sleeping a lot and more comfortable today. More moments of being himself.

Today's lesson learned: Don't put too much in the crate with him. I took out one of the blankets and the pillow and he seems much more comfortable. I think I'm going to change out the quilt tomorrow, though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 1 - Home

Got the call this morning that Dex had a good night and was ready to be picked up. We decided to pick him up at noon, well past the time the doctor had office visits so the waiting area would be empty of other dogs.

It was so good to see him again. I immediately went down to the ground to rub his ears and kiss his head. His tail started wagging and I felt like everything was right in my world again. Then I tried to help all 85 pounds of him to walk with the leash and sling.

Take me home, Mom!

Ouch. My back is already hating me a lot.

One thing I never thought of, and no one ever told me, is that the bandage covers the bottom of his foot and because of it, he doesn't want to put his leg down because he can't feel the ground with it. Makes trying to get him to go outside, or anywhere, a challenge.

I've also felt more like the mother of a newborn than the mother of a dog today. Every time he shifts, or pants, it's guessing game time. Is he in pain? Thirsty? Hungry? Hot? Have to pee?

I wasn't a huge fan of that when the boys were babies, I'm still not now.

We've tried twice to get him to go outside to pee. Both were dismal failures. I did manage to get him outside, but all he wanted to do was flump over. I'm going to try again in an hour or so. If nothing happens, he's getting a diaper so he doesn't accident it and pee all over his bandage.

Chicken, rice and yogurt noms!

He's drinking, though, and eating. Tonight's dinner was antibiotics and anti-inflammatories mixed with boiled chicken, rice and a little plain yogurt. He snarfed that stuff down, so his appetite is still good.

We've also discovered that the Kong Inflatable e-collar is pretty much useless. It doesn't prevent him from getting at his bandage, or his patch, and he's already taken it off of himself twice. Tomorrow I'm going to get the soft-sided version from PetSmart. I can't stand the huge-ass plastic thing so I will only use it if I absolutely have to.

It's hard to see him so stoned, but I know it's best for him to rest, and rest lots while his poor body heals.  As hard as today has been, I'm glad he's home, glad to be on the first step of this journey rather than still be waiting for it to begin. I don't kid myself that it's going to be anything but trying and challenging. But he's going to be himself again. I've got my eyes on that.

Surgery Day

Dropped him off at 8.30 this morning...and it sucked. Had to sit in the doctor's waiting room and have a little cry before I went off to work.

Still not sure how I got through the workday - exhausted and worried - but I don't think I made a colossal hose-up of anything. Tonight I'll go to bed early and sleep in my actual bed. Might be the last time for a while. Depends on how he does at night post-op.

(In happy personal news, I got my work laptop today - complete with VPN - just in time for me to be working from home for the next few days. Have I mentioned my boss is awesome about this shit? She is. Not even a blink about me working from home for a while so I can be home with him.)

It's so hard being in this house without him. I ate dinner without him sniffing at the wrapping and drooling onto the couch. There was no jingle from his collar or woofing for his dinner when I came home. No happy thump of his tail when Zach came home from practice.

Tomorrow morning we pick the baby up and start the process of recovery and rehab. Not looking forward to it day at a time.