Oct 152009
 

When your dog is injured, do you know what to expect in terms of your dog’s healing, and visits to the animal hospital? When should you expect the splint to be removed? There are some general guidelines, although of course only your dog’s veterinarian has enough information to determine what is right and healthy for your dog, and when.

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eyesHere is my time line for my injury, when my x-rays were taken, my surgery on my broken ankle, my bandage changes, when my bandages were removed and when my splints were removed.  In general, my parents and my doctors made these decisions, not I.

Day 1: I was hit by the car and brought to the emergency room of the animal medical center.

Day 6: My parents pick me up from the animal medical center and bring me home.

Day 8: I go back to the local animal hospital for a bandage change and check-up.

Day 9: I am rushed to the local animal hospital when I start bleeding profusely from my lacerated penis. The doctors fix me up and send me to the big animal medical center.  I go home!  All is well.  (Except that from now on, the shades in the living room will be drawn and no children will be able to come over to our home . At least for a while.)

Week 2, Day 6: I go to the local animal hospital for a bandage change and check-up.

Week 2, Day 2:
I return to the animal medical center for my “Day 9″ (counting from when I was allowed to go home) examination.

Week 4, Day 4: I go to my local animal hospital for a bandage change and a check-up.

Week 4, Day 7: I return to the animal medical center to see the surgeon.  He will decide whether or not I need surgery on my broken ankle. He also changes my splint. He decides I need surgery.

Week 5, Day 2: I go into the animal medical center for surgery on my broken ankle.

Week 5, Day 3: I have surgery on my broken ankle, though I’m asleep and don’t know what’s going on.

Week 5, Day 4: I go back home!

Week 7, Day 1: I go to the local animal hospital for a bandage change and a check-up.

Week 7, Day 4: It has been two weeks since my surgery on my broken ankle. I see the doctor again for an examination.  He is really happy with how my leg is healing, and I get to go right back home.

Week 8, Day 1: I have a bandage change at the animal medical center and get to meet new friends and dogs. This is an emergency visit; my parents have discovered I’m chewing at my splint and my bandages are wet.

Week 9, Day 2: I have a bandage change at the animal medical center.  I get treats!  It has been 4 weeks since my surgery.

Week 10, Day 3:
I go to the animal medical center for my bandage change.

Week 10, Day 4: I go back to the animal medical center when my parents discover I’ve been chewing on my splint and my bandages are wet.

Week 11, Day 4: It has been six weeks since my surgery!  I go back to the animal medical center for another bandage change, and to make friends with some new animal friends.  I get treats!

Week 12, Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for a bandage change. It has been 7 weeks since my surgery. Although he was going to only take x-rays at this time, my doctor removes my splint!

Week 13:  Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for x-rays on my broken ankle. It has been 8 weeks since my surgery. My doctor removes my bandages!

There were a few other times when I had to go to the animal medical center for bandages changes – when my parents found me chewing on my bandages and splints.

Part 2: My next time line tells do’s and don’ts and may and may not’s for my aftercare.

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Jul 262009
 

After ankle surgery, how can we know when it’s safe to take your dog running again?

My parents have been watching me like hawks to see when it’s okay for my dad and me to go running again.

My mom has started a series of long neighborhood walks with me, walking at a quick pace.  She wants to strengthen my injured leg. She also wants to build endurance in me.

She looks to see if I am limping or using three legs and holding my injured leg up when I go quickly.  She looks to see if I am walking on the grass or on the asphalt or sidewalk. She is looking to see if the pads of my paws are tender or are getting calloused and tough.

My parents are looking at the muscles on my left side, the injured side, and comparing them to the muscles on my right side.

When Dad and I are walking and he sees me hopping, he says “Use four legs” and I slow down.  Mom has a different technique:  “Walk slowly,” she says.

Today we were outside in the back yard and my dad has started throwing the ball for me to catch. He wanted me to see what speed I run at naturally and he noticed if I was hopping or using all four legs.

maybe i'm a little too wild for this stage of my recuperation

maybe i'm a little too wild for this stage of my recuperation but catching my ball is so much fun!

He noticed that I ran to catch the ball and that I used all four legs.

He noticed that after about ten minutes, I got tired and needed to stop and rest, so we stopped playing that game.

Yesterday my mom and I had a good long walk for 50 minutes. She was happy to see that I kept up the pace. She was happy to see that, though in the beginning I was hopping a little and she had to slow me down, after a while I used all four legs even when we were going at a fast walk.

My mom noticed that I walk comfortably on the street or sidewalk.

My parents are going to keep their eyes on me and watch me closely and patiently. They are also going to keep taking me on long walks with a quick pace. And they are going to throw me the ball in our back yard and watch me run after it and see how I do sprinting.

I’m happy to get all this training; it’s lots of fun but it’s no substitute for the real thing.  My urge to run again is still alive and well.

May 082009
 

Will a dog who has been hit by a car learn his lesson? Will a dog who has run into the street learn to not run into the street?

designer-bandages

I’d like to show you the latest in my series of designer bandages. This one seems to be designed specifically for me, the lightning bolt, since I like to bolt from the back yard as fast as lightening!

Do you see what I see? Do I see what you see?

May 072009
 

What can we expect after our dog has surgery? How should we treat him after we bring him home following surgery?

Is there anything we need to do to our home to protect our dog?

evan-and-joey

One of my new friends was Evan. Here you can see Evan and me, as I was about to leave the hospital. Even has a mixed Labrador Retriever puppy. He said that he hopes his Lab will grow up to be as strong and healthy as me. Wow, that’s quite a compliment!

The air at Angell energizes and excites me. When I was leaving, I saw a lot of people who made me happy, and I let them know that by wagging my tail. I think that people really like it when dogs are friendly to them.  When I go to this hospital, people who pass by me, or who I pass by, say “Good boy” and “He’s a beautiful dog” and “He’s so friendly.”  I don’t understand “boy” or “beautiful” or “friendly” but I do know that people are saying the nicest things!

Outside of the hospital, I jumped into the back seat of my parents’ car, they jumped into the front seats, and we drove off.  Suddenly I started to feel really tired.  My dad opened the back window so I could get some fresh air. That was nice. But still, I felt very slow, very low on energy.   At some point the car stopped and Jane got out of her seat and ran around the car to the back and got into the back seat with me, and petted my head, and kept saying, very softly, “Good boy. Good boy, Joey.”  She said, “We’re going home!” I felt so knocked out and barely heard the word “home” but I do know that I was with my parents, and that was just fine with me. Mom scratched me under my ears, and in between my eyes,  some of my favorite places. It was so pleasant that I kept dozing off.

Maybe my being so groggy was a good thing. When we got home, Mom walked me into the house with the lead on, and then she took the lead off of me. Freedom rang and I was able to walk around the dining room and the living room and the kitchen on my own.  I was able to drink my water right in the kitchen, in its old place.  Life had the ring of familiarity to it.

But many things about our home, and about my life, had changed.

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