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Harness time

April 20, 2017

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Well vet prescribed stronger antibiotics and an antibiotic ointment stronger than neosporin, said keep it covered or collar on and she should be fine.  She looks so darn miserable in the collar but can move the t-shirt around, so decided might be time to try the harness.  Fortunately harness itself doesn’t sit on top of incision to aggravate it, but will hold t-shirt in place and make it harder for her to get to — also nice to have a literal handle on my dog.

As shared on forum I think any confusion she might have had about ownership is over, since I had rescued her a year and a half ago but she still gets to see part of her family of origin considering the kids came with her and their dad came to visit regularly.  In a month the kids go back with him but she stays with me.  So not complaining but after the injury, surgery and caregiving she has changed from a slightly adoring “I really like you, you take me places and love on me” expression to good morning or welcome home or even middle of the night-“HI, let me snuggle beside you/wriggle, or sit/lay on top of you, lick lick lick, I literally almost worship you response. ”  Nice to have a stronger bond but it’s like suddenly having a 70 lb puppy.  Her behavior has turned around almost completely (in a good way).  So anyway here’s a couple of morning pics now that we’ve added a harness to the equation. Hate she had to go through this but a silver lining in terms of the bonding.

Thanks to all for the continued support, life getting easier as Ginger adjusts and I keep having projects to tackle regarding her recovery and grow closer in process.  Latest projects, get incision healed up, research rehab exercises and improved food choices.  Test drive some joint supplements on aunts aged arthritic yard dog to get some ideas of what works best for when it’s time to start with her.

 

Getting used to this harness thing, not so bad

Mmmm breakfast time


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And one paw backwards…..

April 19, 2017

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Well someone got a little overenthusiastic after staple removal and decided to do some wound licking.  Vet had initially said should be fine keeping a t-shirt on her…. guess we should have told her that, the dog is now in a cone.  Came home last night to see blood and slightly gaping wound.  Good news is no new stitching but a new round of antibiotics, ointment and a few more days of the cone.  Mischievous dog, I’m also considering getting a video of her newly discovered talent of eating a mouthful of food/treat and spitting out the pill like a gumball out of a machine and the sassy look she gives after.

 

 


Staple Removal Day

April 18, 2017

April 17th, a full 12 days after surgery and out came the staples.  Ginger of course handled it like a champ though seems the skin folded in on itself in a few places so now we are adding neosporin to a couple “raw but sealed” places as part of the medication regimen that she generally hates.  They also recommend keeping it covered via cone or shirt to keep her from licking.

Stitches out but still wearing a shirt, more becoming than a collar

 

Will consider it a positive recovery sign but Ginger is now in “I hate taking meds mode” and don’t know if it’s her nose or her being able to read my behavior but even if I bury it in the middle of pill pocket, hot dog, etc…. if I don’t bury it enough she will refuse to take it at all.   Seemed completely uninterested in peanut butter so I keep sticking to the meats.  But even if I am successful in burying a pill completely in treat/food technique she will take it, manage to eat the treat and spit the pill on the floor.  We’ve had more than one “hold head back and drop it down throat” session at this point.

We finished our pain med scripts Sunday morning.  At about 2 a.m. Monday I woke up and she was panting, a little whining and repeatedly licking her paw… based on research seemed like a reasonable assumption she was probably in some pain.  Fortunately my aunt has both tramadol and gabapentin in exact same dosage that she can’t take and gave to me, with vet approval to use them – so she is now on a PRN dose, which for now I’m just giving her before bedtime and watching closely.

So Ginger continues her recovery and showing us what a resilient dog she is, and I shift into another mode of research into joint supplements and exercises to start looking at adding to her routine.  Thanks as always to this site for a wealth of information as well as support – until next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One week post surgery

April 13, 2017

And we are back…. Sorry didn’t expect that delay in posting but seems like it’s been nonstop since she returned and busy keeping my focus on her recovery, which means half holding her down and half getting her out for some controlled exercise so she doesn’t tear down the road and lose another leg.  Have seen her gaining strength and getting better by the day.

It has been a busy week of readjustment, new routines.  A switch from the anxiety to the caretaking, but having her back is a great way to refocus .  As expected she came through like a million dollars and is making a speedy recovery.  Surgery was Weds and she came home on Friday, walking, playing a little fetch and perfecting her tripod hop.  Have been able to take her to work with me all week. She came home with what sounds like the standard, antibiotics, probiotic, Tramadol, Gabapentin and Rimadyl, seems to be doing well on them.

I will post more a little later, but here are a couple of pictures.  Of course I buy her a nice orthopedic mattress and she’s already back to sleeping on my bed.  A little challenged by going downwards and on our walk I ended up carrying her downhill but it’s obvious when she’s getting tired.

 

Hanging out with me at work

Day after coming home from surgery and already back up on my bed

While waiting for hair to grow back, after her trip to park for first short walk. Did great, only required minimal carrying on hills


After surgery, Day 1 & 2

April 6, 2017

Day 1 – Surgery day

So got the afternoon call that she had done well during surgery and everything looked good, but eventually ended up being encouraged to pay for her to spend the night at emergency vet to be monitored.  I felt that was a good decision, and totally in support of it but did make me nervous why it had just come up vs. being discussed before.   If they said it to me before then I totally missed it but anyway turned into can you come pick her up and drive her down to the place about 30 mins away and bring her back in the morning.  And boom goes the paranoia.

While happy knowing she wouldn’t be alone on her first night it sent me on a little emotional overdrive as I had dropped her off yesterday morning thinking I’ll miss the worst of it and see her half bouncy by Friday. So I had about 10 minutes to try to mentally prep myself to see what I expected to be my very pitiful dog.  She did not disappoint, poor girl was sedated (good thing) and eyes barely showed recognition.

It was explained to me at emergency vet that first 24 hours are usually roughest in terms of pain, she was on some strong meds and should be monitored for the side effects and to make sure she had a comfortable and peaceful first night.  No objections there even though my pocket keeps getting lighter and lighter at this rate, but she’s worth it and I felt better understanding the reason behind the trip now.

Here’s her same day surgery pic.  The bad was what felt like a last minute plan change, but the good was seeing the wound which actually looked better than I thought it would.  And was good to be able to look in her doped up brown eyes and be reassuring whether she recognized me or not.  Fortunately friend once again accompanied me and kept me nicely distracted through the drop off process and back home so I only had a little cry time that evening, 2 nights of minimal sleep is not helping.

Day 1 following surgery – Pickup and return to vet

So drove back down solo to pick Ginger up and transport her back to the vet, finally feeling a little more calm after seeing her and that while still obviously a little doped and know we have a long road ahead she was generally alert and already on the hop. Went in last night on stretcher, walked out this morning and just needed some help into the car.   They said she was a little whiny but already eating/drinking again and had walked out and done her business. But apparently GSD’s are known for being a little dramatic, I figure she handled it a lot better than most people would have though, she’s entitled to a little drama right now IMO :).   She was a lot more cooperative going to the car than she was getting out of it and going into vets office again.  Think she’s ready to come home, but glad she will be spending another day with vet while I get that petsmart run in that I missed last night due to moving her around.    So from this morning….

Let me tell you how I really feel about this walking thing… anxiety shining from her eyes but she made it with some coaxing and help

Ahhh, back in the car with Mom, oh happy day, the meds working right now and no one expecting me to walk

And back at vets office, shoot I’m having to walk again, why must you take my picture now, I refuse to look at camera. Must focus on ground.

 

I may be biased and not really sure on this but that leg placement looks pretty darn good in her learning to do the tripod walk.  Anyway practically had to carry her from car into office but think it was more anxiety than ability, was telling her “it’s ok they won’t take anything else”, she was pulling back towards the car from the vet porch, still has a pretty good pull all things considered.

So recovery process starting, Ginger making progress, and mom getting a little less prone to feeling uncharacteristically emotionally unstable thanks to Ginger’s progress, a good support network of the real life friends providing supportive distraction and then coming to Tripawd site and just cutting loose with others who have been on similar journeys.  Been referred here twice by both vet and the emergency clinic, so word is out there.

 

And that will probably wrap it up until the weekend.  Thanks to all commenting, sending PM’s and on the forums who keep lending their support to Ginger and I.