Freia and the Knitwhit

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

Under the Knife – Freia’s TPLO Week 7 & 8 January 9, 2009

Oh Brother.. so much for willpower. Well Christmas was the beginning of my downfall.

I think for about another day or so I kept Freia in her Xpen, but probably daily have given her more and more freedoms. It started with letting her watch me prepare dinner with her lying down on the rug nearby. Then she got a case of the zoomies one day and tore around the house like a 4 month old puppy. She survived that just fine, though I thought I would keel over. I kept watching her for a limp, but nothing. So then one night I let her have the whole bedroom, instead of only access to her sleeping area. Another time I let her hang out outside the pen in the livingroom, but kept the stairs blocked off.. you see where this is going, right?

The one thing that I did notice, and this was a big giveaway that she was feeling good, is that her behaviour went completely down the tubes this week. She was very snappy to other dogs, becoming extra territorial and bitchy. Watch out, Freia’s back in town.. Well. Not if I have any say in it. I realised that I’d completely slipped in the training/reminding of good behaviour since her injury in May. I let it slide. Not so good. So this was also a crackdown week in the training dept. Lots of kibble rewards for ignoring other dogs on our walks. By day 3 she got it, now she’s back to signalling me when she sees another dog, not by growling at them, but by turning to me for a treat.. Good girl! This isn’t going to make her an angel overnight, but will act as a reminder of what is and is not acceptable behaviour.

What I love about this is that now, a week into it, she’s no longer the dog freaking out, she’s the good dog ignoring the other dog (who’s barking it’s head off) As far as she’s concerned, she has more important things to do than worry about other dogs on our walks. Dogs to her mean something good might come from me to her, if, and only if, she’s good and ignores that dog. You gotta love the trainer that came up with this, it’s so simple and works like a charm. I almost want to tell the other people with the crazy barking dogs, but I’m still getting too much satisfaction out of having the ‘good’ dog! 🙂

New Year’s Eve. Some doggy parents came over for a glass of champagne. Freia had not seen one of the parents, the owner of her best friend, Rufus, (the dog who sadly was killed in a car hit & run earlier last summer) since her injury back in May. She was sooo excited to see him – she brought him her bones, gave him lots of smoochy kisses and tail waggles and finally just curled up as close to his lap as an 80lb dog can get and contentedly gnawed another bone. Well, since that night I just decided to continue letting her run free in the house. A little bit of guilt and concern for getting into trouble with the surgeon at my appointment this week, but then I would look at her thick, bony, grown-in rock-hard knee and it just seemed OK. She occasionally had a bit of limping which would quickly pass and I chalked it up more to a muscle ache than anything else.

So, today was the big day. Day 56. It’s been 8 weeks since the surgery. The first two were hell. Trapped downstairs with spiders crawling over us at night, uncomfortable, sleepless nights for the both of us. Lots of medication for her, multiple times a day. By Day 5 we’d cut back one of the three meds, by Day 10 we were done with the antibiotics, after 30 days, the antinflammatories were tapered to one pill every other day, till finally two weeks ago, no more pills. It started to feel like we were getting somewhere. I’m so glad to have found the ortho that I did. He encouraged exercise within limits which helped keep us all sane. Somehow in the beginning 5 minutes was all she wanted, and at week 3, 10 minutes was just right. Having an adaptive dog has certainly been very helpful for me. She’s been a most excellent patient.

She’s definately a little frightened of the ortho, though she doesn’t hold it against any individual there, she looked at me when I led her in as if to say “what?? again? how many times do we have to do this? Is this gonna hurt????” poor thing. I dropped her off at 8am, and came to pick her up and meet with Dr. Sams at 11:30. He said that “she looked like a million bucks” and proceeded to run through her freedoms and restrictions. Basically it ain’t bad, she can do almost anything on leash, her main restriction is no full out crazy play at the dog park. She can hike, swim, walk, play gently – all within the limits of her not-as-fit-as-she-was body.  As she rebuilds muscle, my concerns to watch for are her achilles tendon and patellar tendonitis. Since it’s been such a gradual, yet consistent, increase in her activity, she has so far not shown any signs of soft tissue injury. He did also caution me that someday she will probably tweak her knee and may need rest and NSAIDS for a couple of days – along the lines of how my own knees are after 30+ years of skiing. If the tweaking lasts more than a couple of days then to call him for a check up. But that’s all she wrote!

Day 1 - Day 56

Day 1 - Day 56

Day 1- Day 56 - side view

Day 1- Day 56 - side view

In another 4 weeks he wants me to come in for one more Xray, she still has some bone growth to come in yet, but overall she’s done great. He expects her to be toe-touching for another 6 weeks or so, but that also six weeks from now, she can.. wait for it… wait for it.. be OFF LEASH at the dog park again!! woo hoo! That will be one happy day for this not-so-little dog!


4 Responses to “Under the Knife – Freia’s TPLO Week 7 & 8”

  1. Dana Says:

    Yea Freia! I am glad to hear your are doing so well! It was nice to hear what your OS said for excercise permissions… I have been anxious about that! Also great to see your x-rays so I know what to expect. Moose goes in next wed and it will be a few days shy of 8 weeks (we are way late for his 6 week check!).
    I had to laugh about your relaxed restrictions. That is where I am. I think it is the 7 week itch! I had to whip us back into shape though and have kept him in his x-pen as much as I could. During our move, all hell broke lose and he was having a lot of stress but doing better on all counts.
    Great that her behavior got back on track so quickly, very smart to nip it in the bud! Thanks for the update and give her some scratches from me and licks from Moose!

  2. Dana Says:

    You have been tagged to play 5th file Meme!

    p.s. My last post totally copied you! I posted moose’s xrays and such… Hope Freia is still doing well…

  3. m.annema-luinge Says:

    Congratulations to Freia for healing so well and to you for having her operated. It takes some brave dissisions parenting animals. I am sorry for your loss of your two cats (I have been reading your backlogs this morning and seen I am doing my stitches right, it is not always easy being Dutch and knitting Englishlanguagepatterns, but so much fun, having all these extra pattern available). We in our house have one firm and never to abandon rule: As long as our animals have joy in being alive and are not in uncomfortable pain, we are allowed to enjoy them. As soon as this is no longer true, their time has come, even if this seems too soon for us. Our animals comfort come first, our grieve is for us to deal with when they are gone. This is so we will know we do not cause unnesesary pain to our furry children. Seems you have done the same to your cats, we have never had the terrible feeling of too soon or too late a decision, just to suite our own desires. We have done well, as have you. I hope for you and Freia there are many joyfull years to come, I will follow your blog. I cries for your cats and Rufus a little, so unfair. And please, do not let us again a month without a follow-up about Freia when you have posted about some ailment of hers. This morning I found just a few minutes to check if there was an update about her leg almost too long, let alone waiting for news more then a week. We are worried about her too, you know. Just saying.

  4. Christina Says:

    Well my pitbull is in week 10, post op and seems his plate has become infected, as he was not as behaved as Freia. He managed to work around the e-collar. Had I known about the bitenot collar, perhaps we would be saving ourselves from another surgery to remove the plate and my pockets would be $500 heavier. More like my credit card wouldn’t have a balance. Anyhow, thanks for the blog. It was pleasant to follow you on your adventure that I know far too much about. This being our second leg. Well if you happen to still have that collar, perhaps we could make a deal. Sounds like it was gently used.

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