Today we are now 16 days post-op for Charlie and he’s doing fabulous. He honestly feels like he could probably run a marathon, I’m sure (my opinion as a crazy pet-parent). He’s got spunk and this renewed energy. But, so far he’s listening to his limits i.e. Mommy yelling. He now has his stitches out (yesterday) and he’s very happy about that. He spent one more night in the cone and this morning, he is cone-FREE. Pet parents reading know that this is such a triumphant moment. Cone-wearing is always such a shitty thing, for both the dog and the owner. It just sucks.
Yesterday, Charlie had his appointment to remove the stitches and what a happy day it was.
Our friend, Dina, picked me up in her jeep as it had more room to accommodate two crates in the back of her jeep. Both dogs needed stitches out yesterday so she thought it would be best to take the dogs together and it made sense, too, because they had appointments back to back. Charlie heads into the room and in comes to Orthopedic Vet and he examines the incision and then watches Charlie walk a bit and observes he’s putting full weight on his left hind leg.
Then came the fun part.
Charlie tolerated the first few stitches being cut and removed well…. but then the last few, he was just not having it. I don’t blame him – they were probably tender and prickling him. I was holding him. Dumb move. My arm got scratched to hell. But that’s alright, because Charlie was happier than a pig in you know what and he was FREEEEEEEEEE! Freedom at last. We were told that he was healing very well, to keep the cone on for another day so that he wouldn’t get any saliva in the little pin holes the stitches had created. And then the next great part – Charlie could come out of the crate, confined the same floor, always, no jumping, stairs, etc. Five minute walks, three times a day, icing three times a day, etc. I’ve got him taking this holistic anti-inflammatory with turmeric in it. So, the rest of the afternoon yesterday, Charlie napped and SNORED his cute little face off. Last night, I let him sleep with me on the bed, next to a wall, with the leash wrapped around my hand three times and hand on him and he slept peacefully through the night.
Our first rehab appointment was at 11 am. We get there and Charlie gets weighed – he weighs 8.2 kilos. I make a mental note to check my paperwork when I get home to see how much he weighed going in. [I check and he was 8.6 kilos sixteen days ago, that’s almost a pound of weight loss]
We wait a few minutes and then get called into the hydrotherapy area of the facility, within the Emergency Hospital. In a nutshell, we were there for an hour with the Vet Tech that does the Rehab (and also another woman helping) and this is what we did: Virgilia (the Vet Tech) had a look at Charlie’s range of motion and observed he was walking full weight on his foot, great range of a motion, although a bit stiff in the upper quad. She then made me feel it quiver a bit. Suggested that we do some ultrasound massage on him. (Sure.) We went into one of the side rooms and Charlie had some gel put on his leg and a wand-like thing was used to massage the area. He didn’t mind it at all, was even giving kisses to the two techs. 🙂 After, he had about five minutes of stimulation (apparently helps break up the tissues and fibers, promotes stimulation). Once we were done with the ultrasound, we then went outside and Virgilia walked Charlie and made him do some cavaletties (small little jumps or bars – this horse jumps, but on a much smaller scale, obviously), he did a few bunny hops over (a lot of small dogs do) but mostly walked over each bar with each leg (good!). Then, she grabbed her balance ball and put Charlie on it, while still outside and it was gorgeous I might add. After we did some balance work for about 5-10 minutes, Charlie then got into the water and did beautifully for about five and a half minutes before he started to display some short-stepping (fatigue and not putting the entire foot down while walking in the water), so we called it a day. He lapped up the loved getting towel-dried and shaking off, getting everyone wet (to be expected). He then had about 5 minutes of cold laser therapy (the kind where you were funky looking hippie tinted blue-blockers) and then another 5 minutes of getting iced.
If you really want to check it out, I took a short video of Charlie in the water.
The afternoon, thus far, has looked like this: