Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sam Recovery Day 2

Hubby decided to sleep downstairs on the aero bed with Sam while I slept upstairs with the other dogs and had the baby monitor on. Ok, the baby monitor does work pretty well, and caught him whining at midnight. I went down to check and we decided to take him out. No pee yet.

We slept through the rest of the night without incident. I got up at 6am when the dogs wanted out and fed. Since Sam and hubby were both asleep, I let them sleep and we all went back to bed.

Woke up, and there was Sam, laying in his crate smiling as usual. Woke hubby up and Sam was raring to go outside, so we took him out. No pee. I don’t think its a matter of not being able to go, he just doesn’t have to go, since his bladder doesn’t feel full, plus he’s more interested in sniffing. He’s using his back legs better, and for short periods while he leans on my leg he is able to support himself on his back legs, good sign.

I gave him his antibiotics and pain pills, but decided to hold off on the sedation to see if he would be calm without them in the crate. Feeding. The little brat, he’ll lick a bit of dog food out of the bowl, then turn his nose up. Hubby got a can of tuna and put some of the tuna water in the food, which he licked excitedly, but got to the food and stopped. Hubby fed him the can of tuna, which he inhaled. He’s such a brat.

Temperature again was 101.5, very good.

We’re mildly concerned about the lack of pee, just wishing the brat would pee when we took him out. He was restless down there while hubby was sitting with him, so hubby came upstairs to leave him alone in case his presence was causing him to want to be out of the crate. I do know that when I was visiting with him last night that he would whine and complain until I started scratching him, then he’d lay down. If I stopped, he’d wake up and complain until I started scratching him again. He’s such a high maintenance patient, and spoiled.


We heard him woo in the baby monitor, so we went down, he’s all rambunctious, which means I’ll probably have to give him Ace at lunch to keep him from being all rambunctious. We took him into the yard, to his normal pee spot, where he stood, a bit lopsided and sniffed the air. Then he mosied over to a tree, sort of leaned and let fly with a good pee. We did the pee happy dance and brought him back inside. He’s currently whining in his crate, I’m sure he’s now bored and wants attention, because when we’re down there and petting him, he’s fine.

Sam is a butthead. He wants attention, he wants out of the crate, he’s whining when we aren’t there, and sitting there when we are, but he wants out of that crate. Um, no. At lunch, if we can figure out what he’ll eat, the spoiled little baby, I’m giving him an Ace pill to calm him down.

He, of course, wouldn’t touch the dog food, but he wolfed down some cut up turkey lunch meat. He got his Ace pill, and we spent some time with him then left him alone.

He started whining pretty loudly, so we took him out again, and as we suspected, he had a MAJOR pee. Good stream and everything. Since we had him out of the crate, I cut away at the hot spot near his butt to give it some air. It probably should be shaved down, but we don’t have clippers, so cutting away as much as I could was the best we could do. I may go out and buy some clippers later if it doesn’t look like its healing. Tonight maybe I’ll do some warm wash cloths on it to get the hair from it and do more clipping, but right now the Ace hasn’t kicked in, so he’s still a bit active. Hubby and he are down there watching that horrible “Battlestar Earth” film. Its like a car wreck, you get trapped watching it.

Meeshka and Loki are still pouting because they can’t go down there. Meeshka is laying in a crate so she can supervise him and watch over him. Loki has decided that he’s king of the deck and lays on it looking very regal. They did manage to knock over the baby gate at the top of the stairs and make a break for the downstairs, but I intercepted them. They were surprised that ANOTHER baby gate blocked the bottom of the stairs, foiling their plans. Loki refused to walk up on his own and had to be carried up.

Gosh, this recovery thing is boring. We’re both tiptoeing around the house trying not to make noise, which is a good excuse for me NOT to do laundry or dishes. Its very stressful still, as we want him to rest as much as possible, concerned about his recovery, and trying to keep Meeshka and Loki from bothering him. The both of them are currently asleep on the deck, which makes me feel bad that they’re outside (seeing how they are spoiled rotten house huskies) but apparently look very comfortable out there napping. To drive me further insane, Meeshka is laying with her back right on the very edge of the deck stairs, and now I’m afraid she’ll wake up and topple down the stairs. Cuz I’m paranoid like that now. Its about time for their usual play time, which consists of me standing in the yard while they chase each other. They haven’t been that active since the incident, since Sam was the usual chaser, and I make a very poor substitute.

After feeding Meeshka and Loki, we went down and made a huge production of opening a pouch of dog food, pouring some into a human desert bowl, pretending to eat some of it, then offering it to Sam and he ate it down nicely. All but three small pieces were left. He drank 2 small bowls of water (about half cup each bowl), took his meds, and his temp is 101.4. We put him back in the crate so he could percolate for a bit and work up a pee and maybe even a poo. We’ll have to get more of that pouch food for tomorrow as I think that was our last one.

Sam is still sacked out. He’s so sacked out that I went down to make sure he’s still breathing. He is, he opened his eyes when I lay in front of the crate, then fell back to sleep as I stroked his head. He has no intention of waking up, so we’ll just let him sleep until he does wake up.

Sam finally woke up so we took him out. The crate is the right size for him, but he’s so leggy that when we take him out of the crate, his back rubs against the top of the crate, thus causing us to freak out. We noticed that the side entrance has a bit more room, but still its a close fit, so we’ll be taking him out of the side from now on.

No pee or poo, he was too interested in trying to speed demon himself around the yard. He showed some interest, but he also showed more interest in trying to motor himself all over the place, so we brought him in, treated him with a kong bone with peanut butter in it, which he loved, and I had to hold because he’s a stand up chewer. Sigh. He drank some more water, and now he’s sitting around after his hours long nap.

I’m assuming the sedation is wearing off, so it’ll be a long night. Lesson learned... use the sedation morning and night, and he needs the sedation in order to mellow out.

Sam Recovery Day 1

We drove the hour to the Neurosurgery hospital to pick up Sam this morning. Paid the bill (ouch) and went into a room where we went over all of the details and instructions with one of the assistants. He is allowed up to 4 “walks” per day, which is to say that we can carry him outside to his “spot” and allow him to go to the bathroom, but these “walks” cannot last more than 10 minutes at a time, and since his legs are still wobbling from the after affects of the surgery, we have to sling him.

He’s on W/D diet from Hills, and we’ve been instructed to let him eat as much as he wants. Apparently his metabolism will be high from the recovery, so there’s no chance of him gaining weight, let him eat what he wants. They did admit that he was finicky of the W/D so they were feeding him chicken and turkey while at the hospital (he’s such a scammer).

She brought him up and the floor was slick, but she did show us how to lift him up with the sling (we need to get one of those, for now we’re using a cut up towel) and help him to his feet with it, and support him as he walks. He’s not very weight bearing on his back legs now, but his tail did wag when he saw us. Poor thing, the surgical incision is pretty long, but looks good except for a bit of swelling. He’s asleep now, but I’ll take pictures later.

We helped him out to the truck and the tech was going to try to get him to pee, but he saw the truck and all he wanted to do was get in the truck. He even looked like he was going to leap into the truck if hubby hadn’t picked him up and put him in. We put a thin dog bed on the side, which allowed me to sit in the seat, but before I could even get belted in, Sam wanted in the truck, so we helped him in and got him settled... on my coat, so I was trapped in that position for the ride home.

He travelled well, having been given a dose of Ace in the morning to help his ride home. He shifted a few times, each time it seemed brought the incision closer and closer to the edge of my seat and I was freaking out about it rubbing or touching when we hit bumps, but he was pretty calm throughout the whole ride (much calmer than we were).

We got him into the yard, and then just carried him into the house and settled him into his new private crate. We let the other two out via the deck door upstairs and then I went and got his food and other goodies. He settled into the crate very well, although we’re both nervous wrecks. He managed to eat a little of the W/D, but only out of my hand (such a scammer), we gave him some ice cubes, and set up a water bottle on the crate for him (which leaks, so we may have to rethink that one).

Hubby has been spending time downstairs with him, and the other dogs (Meeshka and Loki) are very curious as to why they can’t go down there and see the “new dog”, but they’ll get use to the new routine soon. Of course, they are huskies, and Meeshka (the Queen) is very insistent that she be shown this “new dog” and inspect the area she can’t get to.

Sam showed interest in getting out of the crate, so we figured he had to go pee. We carried him out to the yard to his pee spot and discovered that using a cut up towel as a sling on a 53lb dog SUCKS! He sniffed around a little, he’s pretty much useless in the back leg department, I hope that’s just the swelling in the spine from the surgery and the trauma. I eased up a few times to see if he would be able to hold himself up (as the tech instructed) and he stayed standing for a bit, I didn’t push it. He moved forward a bit with our help and sniffed with interest, but no pee.

Brought him back inside and he situated himself in the crate nicely and drank a small bowl of water. He’s watching some movie now.

I ran upstairs while hubby sat down there with him (he’s got a laptop down there) and tried to find an orthopedic sling for him online. I have to say that even on the handicapped pets sites that I recommend on gimpydogs... they all suck for spine issues. Most of them support the chest, which is fine for dogs with more mobility than what Sam has. Others require you to loop their legs through them, which is not an option with Sam’s injury. My friend, Karen, and I searched and searched for the type of sling they used at the surgeon’s office, which actually looked like a fleece-lined climbing belt. Hey, climbing belt!

We happen to have walking belts, that are about an inch wide, cushioned, and clip into a belt with a rather sturdy plastic clip thing. Its the same diameter as the sling used at the surgeon’s office, and would allow us to support him where he needs support, and not cover up his pee pee.

Sam is a bashful pee dog, apparently he wasn’t too bashful at the vet’s, but when he’s at home, he’ll hide behind a tree to poop. He better get over that real quick because he’ll have an audience for 8 weeks. There are signs that he has pooped (they cleaned him up well, but not totally) and we’re suppose to see at least 2 pees a day, and at least 1 poop every other day. We made him a progress chart to make sure he gets his meds, and to track his temp and bodily functions.

Keeping the same routine as usual, he’ll get fed and his morning meds at 6am, and then lunch at noon, and his nightly meds and dinner at 6pm.

We can tell that the meds are wearing off as he’s getting a bit rambunctious. We took him out again to see if he would pee (he didn’t), but he did try to skitter back to the house. The walking belt sling does work so much better than a towel, so I highly recommend buying a walking belt instead of trying to use a towel as a sling. He’s back in his crate taking a rest, and the other dogs are outside, no doubt sniffing where he’s been. So far, the other dogs have been more of a pain to care for than he has.

Sammy didn’t want to come out of his crate, apparently because he knew I intended to take his temperature. Its more likely because his pain meds were wearing off, and he had a pretty busy day, most activity since the surgery, what with the car ride and all.

We first attempted to hide his pills in bread, but he figure that out and spewed them. Then we tried hiding them in the glob of canned dog food, and he flicked them out of the dog food and ate the dog food. So, I had to pill him, and he wasn’t too happy about that.

He also decided that he won’t eat from a bowl, he will only be served by hand. Not only that, but he only wanted the dog food glop if we smeared it on small pieces of bread. Sam loves bread, so we indulged him and made him little finger sandwiches. He ate about one slice of bread and half the dog food glop, then sunk down for a nap. We’ll let him rest from that, then later on before bed we’ll try to take him out for a pee and get his temperature at that time.

We bought a baby monitor. The evenflo Whisper connect 900mhz baby monitor. So far I’m not too pleased with it. I’ve got the sound totally cranked up on the parent’s listening one and can barely hear anything. Of course, that might be a good thing, as he’s asleep, but I would think I could hear the tv down there or something, as its on, not very loud, but still on.

Sam continues to sleep very soundly and we really don’t want to disturb him, and yet we’ll need to get him up to try to go to the bathroom and take his temperature. We are waiting a bit more before we try to wake him and get him up again.

Got his temp: 101.5 (yippee) but also noticed that he’s got a small hot spot on his left leg, so we’ll need to clip that area, and then call the vet tomorrow to let them know. Since he’s on antibiotics already, I hope that will help clear it up once we get some air to it.