Freia and the Knitwhit

A Blog about a Dog with some Knitting thrown in here and there

Under the Knife: Freia’s TPLO – Week 1 November 16, 2008

Filed under: cats and dogs,Chesapeake Bay Retriever,TPLO,Walking the Dog — knitwhits @ 11:11 am

Well, it’s done. I can no longer stress myself out about whether to have the operation or not. It’s a done deal. This is what she had done:

Wednesday 11/12 AM:
Dropped Freia off for her TPLO this morning at 7am. Left in tears (with worry but also some relief to finally just be moving forward again) and proceeded to try to distract myself for the next few hours –
not expecting a call till the end of the day.

At the bank at 10 am my cell phone rings, I see it’s the surgeon’s office and immediately drop all my papers, receipts, pen and wallet on the floor with nerves! (and laugh at myself too)

They told me she was out of surgery and waking up and that all went well. I don’t have specific details of her surgery yet, but the vet will call me later.

Wednesday 11/12 PM:
Just spoke with the surgeon, Dr. Sams.

He said Freia came though just fine and is alert. The operation was problem-free – She had a 25-30% tear and since most of the ligament was remaining and her meniscus looked good he didn’t release it. He said the ligament can help with rotation of the knee even with the angle change of the TPLO so what was remaining is left intact, and also helps with preventing damage to the meniscus.

She will have round the clock care now while she stays there (and lots of pets and lovin’ too by the sounds of things). I asked if I needed to worry about anything else and he said no, now that she’s
out of anesthesia it’s all good, occasionally dogs may do things like chew the bandage but that they are closely monitored. Since she’s not a chewer I’m not worried about that in her case. I asked
about her general overall strength and recovery from the stress of surgery and we both laughed since she’s a Chessie and is actually very strong! She’s not the withering little flower that I can be!

Such a relief to be done, and onto the next step in this road to recovery.


Bald and Bandaged Leg

Thursday 11/13 PM:
Freia’s home, and boy does that feel good!

I have her set up in an Xpen that is about 6×4 feet. She just wolfed down her dinner, and her meds and is about to go to sleep.

She’s on Tramadol, Previcox, Clavamox and the vet gave me Ace just in case, but I’m not to use it in conjunction with the Tramadol. I told them I might take the Ace (just kidding!) – I think everyone says that to them!

She’s actually in much better shape than I was expecting. She had a BM this AM which surprised even the vet, and another one just now, so it looks like no pumpkin is needed here. She’s always been quite a regular gal. She’s allowed 2-3 5 minute walks in addition to potty breaks, but no longer than 5 minutes for the first 2 weeks. I showed them a picture of my stairs and they said it would be fine, but given that she’s not very stable and walked gingerly up the ramp into the car (even though she’s quite familiar with it) I will hold off for now and probably sleep with her in my studio. The gave me a ruffwear harness which makes both my life and hers easier.

Freia in her harness

Freia in her harness

They told me also that she’s shown no interest in her bandage but I have an e-collar at the ready, and a bite-not collar on the way. When she’s gotten excited I can hear she has a sore throat, so I’m making some chicken broth ice cubes for her.

I took her out to pee which became a walk as she was already raring to go. She made every attempt to convince me that she was ready for a long hike but I kept it to about four minutes, much to her disappointment. I can tell already this is going to be a long 8 weeks!!

I am so very glad that she is not too uncomfortable or in much pain. That being said, I wouldn’t have liked to see her yesterday, but the vet said that she’d been great the whole time and from the sounds of it was “working the crowd (ie, staff & vet techs)” for treats from the get-go!

Friday 11/14:
My info sheet from the vet said that Tramadol can cause “uncontrolled urination” (or something like that) basically sounds like not able to control bladder function, and Freia may have been spotting  in her sleep as she is fastidiously cleaning the bed when she wakes up (a couple of times). Tramadol can also cause additional whining too. “They” say the whining and panting are normal side effects. In addition to panting, I check Freia’s pupils to see if she’s in pain or just hot or if it’s just the drugs. We’ve had a little heatwave here so it’s been more heat related for her, her pupils have not been super dilated at the same time as the panting/whining..

I think all the meds are getting to her digestive system, but it’s not dire, yoghurt seems to help.

Day 2 is sure turning out fun


Do Not Knock!

Saturday 11/15:
I’ve been sleeping with her at night, her pen is actually bigger than 6×4, I have a foam mattress on the floor. I will probably continue to do so until she can do stairs. She normally doesn’t sleep with me (on my bed) but next to me on the floor and I know I will worry less if I’m with her overnight. I work at home, so I’m with her during the day too.. The first night i also had to take her out to pee a couple of times in the middle of the night. Last night it was just an early morning pee. I think by tonight she’ll be back on her normal peeing schedule too.

My laptop has been great for DVDs the last two nights and I have a stack more movies I’ve not yet watched. I should be reading or something more useful than movies, but it’s about all my brain can handle right now!

She’s using her leg very well when we walk, barely a limp. Standing still she’s a little more than toe touching. In her pen she’s more clumsy with it, and when it gets caught in bedding I carefully help her move around – that’s also partly the bandage as she can’t bend her knee.

No outside of pen time other than structured walks per the vet’s schedule (3x5mins/day max for the first 2 weeks, not including potty breaks). Once her bandage is off I’ll see if she’s OK for stairs
(vet says she is now) – I may wait even till after her staples are out – and then she will have a queen size futon (enclosed) to lie on, but again, no free roaming around the house. She has a tendency
to charge at doors if there is an outside sound and my loft actually has 3 outside entries. So I can’t risk that, and I have hardwood floors, so if we do go upstairs I will be holding onto her until she
would be penned in again on the futon. Even then it would still be only down in the AM and up in the PM, so only once each way per day, spending the majority of her time in the Xpen she’s in now on the
ground floor.

She’s only 2 1/2 so I expect she may heal a little faster than an older dog, but she’s probably at more risk for doing something stupid too. So far I’m keeping a tight grip on her leash, and harness if needed.


Eight Weeks

I filled in the eight week rehab schedule on the calendar, I may finally get use out of this thing. If all goes to plan she will have her 8 week post pop Xray around the 7th/8th of January, which is a week earlier than I thought and better timing as my next TNNA trade show is the following weekend. I’d love for her to have the first “all clear” before I put her in doggie day care again. She still won’t be allowed to play with the other pups, but I won’t have to worry about her either.. Let’s just hope she continues as well as she has been so far. I think these first couple of weeks are key. I’m concerned about seromas and infection but I can’t see if there is any seroma as long as the bandage is on her leg. Patience…

Sunday 11/16:

Well, she’s a little sneaky this one. She’s already figured out that once her business is done we head back in.

This morning’s five minute walk was, I’m sure, closer to 15. I’m going to change my strategy and take her out only to pee and wait until she starts signalling that she’s really desperate before we go
out for #2 otherwise she’ll be walking all around town and back if we do it on her time!

She also managed to get in a trot! I say this with both trepidation and a smile as up till now if she needed to move quickly for some reason (primarily to escape the patch of ground on which she just
peed to keep her paws dry) it was a hop. BTW,I do have her on a short leash (max 2-3 feet and next to me except to sniff) though it may not sound like it from what I just wrote.

She’s beginning to show interest in chew toys/rawhide. I also give her all her food in 2 Kongs to keep her occupied for more than 20 seconds.

Her staples are beginning to peek out from the top of her bandage and what I can see looks really good, creepy but good. Bandage comes off anytime between Tuesday and Thursday next week, then I get the big picture.

Lastly we both slept really well last night! Yay!

Sunday Morning Snooze

Sunday Morning Snooze

Monday 11/17
Freia slept all day Sunday. She did surface on Sunday night though and was playful all evening. I was getting a bit worried, but felt better once she got interested in her toys at night. And then it continued all night.. for hours!

Today she’s done much the same, now it’s 5pm and she’s come to life.  If this is the routine for the remaining 7 1/2 weeks then it won’t be so bad.. for either of us.

It seems the general concensus is the hardest part is to keep them calm. I just now had to turn her Xpen into a fortress as my half-blind, half-deaf, totally senile 20 year old cat wants to join Freia in her pen.. Bad Idea. They’re friendly, but not THAT friendly…

Freia's Fortress

Fortress Freia

I filmed a little video of her today on her 5 minute walk. I did this so that people who’d not yet done the surgery could be somewhat reassured that they’re dog will be OK pretty quick. Not “feeling ok, letting off leash” kind of good, but able to enjoy a sniff of the outside air.