Wednesday, July 13, 2011
A little over a month ago, my farm pup, Roxy, had surgery on her left rear leg to repair a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and a luxating patella (floating kneecap). Normal recovery time (when dogs begin to use their mended leg again) is anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks. Disappointingly, things have not gone "normally" for Roxy and, to this day, she is still preferring to use three legs instead of four. Fortunately though, I see daily improvement and I remain optimistic that she be back on "all fours" again soon.
That said, it has been a really long month. For the first two and a half (almost three) weeks following her surgery, I was her private doggy nursemaid, 24x7. She required meds (a combination of painkillers, antibiotics and an anti-inflamatory) three times daily, she had to be carried up and down stairs (of which we have a lot), and an eagle and attentive eye was required to prevent her from licking and chewing her incision site.
Here's the command center where meds were tracked, cut and dispensed. Copious notes were kept on all aspects of her care:
Pills were deviously disguised in something I dubbed "tempting cheese balls":
Though, this was mostly wishful thinking on my part. Even morsels of one of her favorite treats didn't generate any enthusiasm:
Post-surgery, Roxy completely stopped eating. Getting her to drink water was virtually impossible. She lost almost a pound in less than a week. Back to the vet we went:
Her pain meds were increased and we were given a lovely prescription dog food that made her little salivary glands bounce with joy. She *loved* this stuff:
There was cause for great celebration when she began eating on her own again:
Such a good girl:
Once we had the pain management and food/water intake under control, most vital to her recovery have been long hours of rest and recuperation:
What's that around her neck, you ask? Well....:
Despite my attempts at having a vigilant eagle eye, it seemed like every time I turned around, she had managed to get another suture out of her leg:
It became clear she was going to need (insert ominous music) a cone of shame. We experimented with a number of them, trying to find the one that would work best for her:
We would try to make her happy by taking her, and her bed, outside wherever we were:
The goat boys, Pete and Reggie, even came by for a visit during one of Roxy's outside times. She wasn't really feeling up to company, though:
As of today, Roxy continues to favor her left rear leg and when needing to move fast, does a three-legged run. She will put her repaired leg down only for balance and when she is walking slowly:
We took a spontaneous trip to the beach on Sunday - one of Roxy's favorite places in the world:
It made our hearts feel light and happy to see our girl smiling again:
Her sparkle is back and she's eating again, now...if we could just get her to use that leg:
...then everything would be perfect.