Monday, February 19, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 53: 19 February 2007


We started the morning like a normal work day, since we had to leave around 8 am to get to Sam’s 10 am appointment on time. Of course, we forgot that today was a holiday, so traffic was a lot lighter than we though, the roads weren’t slick at all and we got there an hour early Oops.

It was icy there too, and Sam just couldn’t find the right pee spot, and he really, really loves that vet place and pulled us into the waiting room. There was a couple sitting there with their dachshund waiting for a swim therapy session. I herded Sam across from them and sat in a chair, and Sam did his girly squat and proceeded to shoot pee across the small waiting room and peed a river. The dachshund owners looked aghast, not sure if it was the river of pee or the fountain coming toward them. I knew better than to move him, because he’d just spray everything in the waiting room, so I just let him finish up and then we asked the receptionist if they had a mop. They laughed, and we blamed the pred.

Dr. Schueller saw him and was simply amazed at his progress. Despite Lyme, platelet count low, the extent of the rupture, he was thrilled beyond words at how mobile he was, his attitude, how good he looked, and his reflexes and movement. He declared him 70% healed and told us to slowly increase his activity level, slowly re-introduce him to the other dogs for limited and supervised visits, and that he can walk up a small amount of stairs, but not down them until he gained some more weight, got his muscle mass back up to normal, and in a month or two he’ll be 100%.

We’re to decrease his pred to 5mg once a day, then call them next week for the next reducing dose and to make sure he’s doing ok and give them an update. He’s rejecting some internal sutures, which he said is fine, some dogs do that. If we see them migrate out, we’re to just clip them with fingernail clippers to keep them short and not catch on things, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get infected.

He also said that the urine leaking is most probably due to the pred and muscles not being as strong as before. The issue should go away once he’s off the pred, and if not, we can bring him back in for some testing to make sure its not nerve or spine related, but he was pretty confident that it was the pred.

When we got him home we allowed him to walk up the three back stairs to the outside, but he’s still on sling restriction, at least until the ice in the yard melts (hopefully tomorrow). Once the yard isn’t so slippery, then he’s just on leash restriction and we can walk him longer out in the yard. He took the stairs really well and didn’t freak us out. He may have issues with pooping where we’ll need the sling to help him, but he’s been doing that with minimal help lately. On the way back in, we cautiously let him try the stairs going down, but the fool decided just to leap down the three stairs. Luckily I still had the sling on him and hubby caught him before he landed, so we were able to give him a smooth landing. So... he can go up, but no going down.

Now that he’s allow to do steps, I’m thinking that hubby will finally allow him to be free downstairs while he sleeps, and I’m sure I’ll get to hear him complain about him hogging the bed. We still plan to keep him downstairs and segregated from the other pups for now. They’ll be allowed to visit with him for short periods of time, but due to the no stairs thing, it would be premature to move him back upstairs and then have to carry him up and down those stairs.

So, its business as usual for recovery, except he’ll now have more exercise in the yard, more freedom out of the crate during the night, and maybe even limited play time.

Of course, he was listening in to this whole plan, so when I went upstairs for something, after making sure the anti-puppy jumping on the sofa block was up... he figured out how to move that aside and I found him smiling and happy laying on the couch. Ok, fine, you can jump up, but no jumping down. When he decided that he had enough of laying on the couch, I helped him off.

I can’t believe we have 70% puppy now, we’re so relieved that he’s doing much better than expected, and that he’s well on his way to recovery. Sure, we’ll have some bumps here and there, but looking back at the Christmas day where we were in the Vet ER asking them if this was something that could kill him... I’ll take a few bumps, now that we have our happy, smiling Sammy almost back to normal.

7:00 pm
Sam survived a vacuuming. We didn’t vacuum him, we vacuumed downstairs because his little area was getting slightly nasty. He was crated during the traumatic event, and did well except for some screeching. He doesn’t care for the Dyson. Meeshka and Loki yelled at each other over empty kong bones. They’re going to need some tough love, since they’ve been pretty much left to their own devices for Sam’s recovery. I figured they might have some “issues” to deal with. Give a husky a foot and they’ll take a mile, so now they think they own the upstairs. I’ll have to teach them who the real boss is (they are, but lets keep that a secret).