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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Aug 192009
 

Here’s a really fine dog, Luca, whose whose his front leg was broken in two places.  I know just how he feels. Or close to it.

Luca_cr

Luca is an American Eskimo dog and is four years old. He’s thinking, “Mom, why can’t we go back to the good old days?  Take this thing off my leg, please!!”.

I know just how he feels….Seeing his leg all bandaged and seeing the lead attached to his collar. He’s not moving very far for now, unless his parents are moving him around. It’s an awful feeling when you’re a dog who’s active, like Luca has been, as is his nature, and wants to be again.

Luca had surgery too.  He has a metal plate and screws in his leg just like I do. Shall I tell him how I’m now running and swimming again? Would that give him hope? I think Luca would still be miserable right now, even if we told him that one day he’ll be playing and moving around again. I know I was, and the word “future” wasn’t in my vocabulary.  But looking at Luca’s picture and alertness, maybe – hopefully – his bright and strong spirit – and his mom’s strong support and love – will carry him through!

I don’t know what Luca likes to do to play but I hope that he gets to do all those things.

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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.

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