Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Surgery #2 is scheduled

Rudi will be going in for his 2nd surgery on January 15th. Just like the first surgery, we will drop him off at 8am on the 15th and pick him up Friday, January 16th around 5pm. We will nurse him back to health over the next 16 weeks of recovery. This time I've taken some time off work to spend with him so he's not alone immediately after surgery. We will have the entire weekend after surgery then I'm off that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He'll have a good week home with me taking care of him around the clock. We'll be a pro at this before we know it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oops I did it again!

Two weeks ago, Brian and I noticed some issues with Rudi's left leg. The leg that was NOT operated on. We kept hearing a clicking sound but was unsure what is was. Over the past two weeks it's gotten louder and accompanies some intermittent limping. Today I took Rudi in to see Dr. Stallings. I just had this sick feeling that we were headed down surgery lane again with his other leg.

Sure enough, 5 months exactly since the day his first leg was operated on, we find out that he has partially torn his left CCL and will need another surgery. I don't have to remind anyone how hard it is with the economy these days. We thought spending the money on the first leg was bad enough. Now here we go again. At first we thought we'd manage him very quietly and keep him restricted without any activity. It hasn't done him any good. He's getting worse and Dr. Stallings confirmed it today. We will most likely schedule something at the beginning of the new year. We can't do it before Christmas nor do we want to.

Rudi is still out of it right now. Sleeping peacefully next to me on the floor. He got sedated today for xrays and it always takes him some time to come out of it and back to normal. His leg is also a little sore from the examination. By tomorrow he should be feeling a little better.

We hate to go through this again and hate to put him through it again but once it's done he'll have two perfectly strong legs and we won't have to hold our breath everytime he goes flying out back.

Stay tuned...I'm sure we will have more updates in January.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Week Thirteen Post Op

Rudi is at thirteen weeks post op today. We decided to let him start having the freedom of the entire house while we are at work. He's done a great job of being the "man of the house" while we are away. Three weeks from now and he'll be at full recovery and also one year older. He'll be the big 4!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Enjoying the great outdoors

This weekend was the perfect fall-like weekend! The weather was extremely gorgeous. Rudi has been able to venture out back by himself but of course under my supervision. We still want to make sure that he doesn't start running around the yard like a mad man. As you can see here, he is just taking in the sunshine and gazing through the back fence at the yard below where he used to run. He probably won't get that priviledge for quite sometime seeing as how his leg was injured from all the running in the first place. I think he's just happy to be off lead at the moment.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Week Twelve Post Op

Three whole months have passed since Rudi's surgery. I simply cannot believe we have come this far. It has been a great success and we still have 4 more weeks to go until final FINAL recovery is considered over. Rudi and I are still taking our nightly walks to build his muscle in his leg back up. Tonight, especially, he was tired after our walk so he took a nap in the office while I worked on the computer. This is the precious picture I got when I looked over at him. He's such a sweet boy....and a tired one too.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Well we questioned whether or not we were going to allow Rudi back on the couch again. As you can see, he made the decision behind our backs. This is what we found when we came into the living room tonight. He's been allowed to wander from room to room for some time now but he hasn't had much interest in jumping on the couch. I guess he changed his mind. We watched a movie tonight and he stayed up there without any jumping up and down constantly so I guess you can say we caved.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week Eleven Post Op

Rudi is at his 11 week mark today. Still going strong! I was going to wait until 16 full weeks to let Rudi off leash to go potty but I decided to let him go out on his own this morning. That may sound like a kind gesture on my part but I have to be honest....it's because it was very windy and rainy and I was too lazy to go out with him. haha! He did very well. He went potty then came right back in. I'm not too sure he wanted to stay outside anyway because of the bad weather. Either way, it was yet another piece of freedom for him....and for me as well!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week Ten Post Op

Ten weeks after surgery and we decided maybe Rudi could start sleeping by the bed again at night. We were excited for him to be able to go back to the normal way he used to sleep. As you can see he got very used to the idea right away and found his usual spot on Brian's side of the bed.

However this is what I found when I woke up the next morning. Rudi back in his kennel sleeping soundly on his pillows. I had to laugh to myself because he's only going back to the routine he's been used to for over 2 months. Bless his heart!
Now we just keep his kennel door open at night and he ventures between sleeping there and next to the bed.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week Nine Post Op

Week nine and doing fine! Nothing new to report. Rudi is still undergoing his rehabilitation process with his walks. He is doing great!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Walking on Sunshine

Because Tropical Storm Hanna came our way this weekend, we didn't get in as much walking as we normally do. However, today (Sunday) turned out to be a pretty day with lots of sunshine. I took Rudi out for his daily walk once this morning and another this afternoon. He did really well and Brian even got some good pictures of us on our stroll. Our neighbors were outside doing yard work and stopped to comment on how well they thought Rudi was doing. I would have to agree!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week Eight Post Op - Half Way There

Wow! Eight weeks! People keep asking me how long it's been since Rudi's surgery and it's shocking even to hear myself say it's been eight weeks. It's gone by so fast and Rudi is still recovering very well. We are now at the half way point until Rudi can be let off leash to run in the yard. We can't wait for that day to come! I can't even imagine how much more of a difference the next eight weeks will do for his leg after he's already come so far. We shall see!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day 2008

Labor Day means alot of things to alot of different people. Of course it's a day off of work and who isn't excited about that. There's cookouts, the beach, and hanging out with friends....and for us it was a reminder of Rudi's injury. One year ago today Rudi injured his leg running around playing fetch with his tennis ball. It was his favorite past time. We haven't played with him in the year for so long and I know how much he wishes he could play. It's hard to believe that it's been one year since the beginnings of his lameness. It makes it that much more worth it knowing how much better he is today. He did hang out with us in the screened in porch after we cooked out. He even had a bit of corn on the cob! Boy, was he happy about that treat! Hopefully, this time next year he'll be outside playing ball again.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Week Seven Post Op

Rudi has been enjoying the change of pace as far as his freedom goes. During the day while we are at work, he has the whole office to himself. No more crate to contend with until it's bedtime. When we come home we give him a little extra space to roam in addition to the office. We've put up a baby gate so he has the hallway to walk around in as well. Before it gets too dark we also have our nightly walks. He's still doing very well. One night last week he was a little stiff getting up so according to doctor's orders we are to shorten the walks if that happens. Could be too much too soon. His hair is almost fully grown back and the scar is just a faint line that can be seen on the inside of his leg. Just a small reminder of what he went through almost 2 months ago.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rudi's Rehabilitation Begins

This past weekend was Rudi's first time out on walks since his big day 6 weeks ago. He was released for short walks up and down the street and as you can see in the pictures above, he was very happy about it! Because he's a big puller we bought a Gentle Leader which is a harness type leash that helps to keep dogs from pulling. It was a huge stress reliever for us knowing that this worked immediately. He does not pull at all which will decrease the chances of him lunging or trying to pull when he sees another dog! The walks have been going very well and we hardly see a limp when we take him out! So far so good!

Friday, August 22, 2008

6 Week Check Up

Rudi had his 6 week follow up appointment today with Dr. Stallings. We were crossing our fingers that everything would point to a positive prognosis. We brought Rudi in at 9am. His ride there was very stressful for him for some reason. He cried the entire ride. I'm sure he is putting two and two together that whenever he goes "bye bye" he goes to the vets office. Not fun for him, I'm sure. Anyway, he got weighed in at 77lbs. He lost some weight but Dr. Stallings said it's fine. He's not skinny that's for sure. He would prefer Rudi stay pretty lean due to his orthopeadic problems anyway. His xrays came back and Dr. Stallings went over them with us. He is pretty much fully healed. His bone looks great and his knee is stable according to the doctor. The good news is that Rudi was released for short leashed walks everyday and we will gradually go longer as time progresses. We still have the issue with the other knee. Since this is degenerative it will be a matter of time for his other knee to give out. Dr. Stallings was honest enough to say that it could be 6 weeks from now or 2 years but there isn't anything we can do to stop it. I refuse to worry about it right now. I'm just going to concentrate on Rudi's physical therapy. Since Rudi is a major puller Dr. Stallings recommended the Gentle Leader to use as a harness when walking Rudi. Brian and I took him out for his first walk this evening and although he resisted a bit with the new leash he got used to it after a couple minutes. He enjoyed being outside and it was great to be able to walk him again. It's been an emotional day for me. I haven't cried but it's a bit of a relief to know we've come this far and we are getting some good news. Lisa, who works at Dr. Stallings office, has been so sweet during this entire journey. Between her and my cousin, Crystal they have talked me down from some pretty high ledges. I've been a nervous wreck through all of this and they were patient with me. Lisa is in the picture shown here. She has no idea what it meant to me when she handed me Rudi's physical therapy instructions and said "Here is the light at the end of the tunnel". It hit me right then and there that this has been a long road but yes, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel and it will only get brighter from here!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Week Six Post Op

Today has been six weeks. Tomorrow is a big day for Rudiger. We have an appt to see Dr. Stallings for follow up xrays. He will be able to show us and tell us how good or bad Rudi has progressed since surgery. Brian and I both think Rudi has done exceptionally well. We've let him out of his crate during the day and he stays in our office. He doesn't have that much walking room and so far it's gone really well. He's walking better and better everyday. I can see a huge difference. I wondered if I'd ever remember what it was like prior to Rudi's injury and now I know the answer. Yes. He walks normal now. No toe touching, barely a limp if any at all and he seems happier. He truly is a different dog.
After tomorrow, I'm hoping Rudi will be released for walks. He really needs to get his leg strengthened again since it atrophied so bad. I'm crossing my fingers and I'll post more info tomorrow on how our appt goes. Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Week Five Post Op - Stir Crazy

Over the past five weeks there have been rawhides, chewtoys, kongs and stuffed animals for Rudi to keep himself occupied. I find myself at the pet store atleast once a week trying to find some other toys to keep his attention. Rudi enjoys his rawhides and it keeps him busy for quite sometime. The only thing we have to do when it comes to those is keep a close watch so he doesn't break a piece off and choke. Last Saturday, I ventured out to get him a rawhide and a brand new stuffed "baby". Rudi absolutely loves stuffed animals. Especially those that squeak! He also has a fondness for rabbits and we aren't sure why but he has had several in his lifetime so far. I think Rudi is getting a little stir crazy after five weeks. Check out the picture above. You will see that he "loved" his "baby" just a little too much. He decided to sit on the floor and "love" all of its stuffing out! haha!
All in all, five weeks have proven successful and Rudi is walking better and better each day. We have one more week to go to find out how well the bone has healed. I'm hoping that Dr. Stallings may release Rudi for some short walks up and down the street after next week. Rudi needs to get some more activity into his life. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll be vacuuming up stuffing for awhile.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Week Four Post Op

Today has been four weeks since Rudi's knee surgery. We have come a long way! He is feeling so much better. It's a bit hard to keep him contained and calm. As you can see, he is wishing very hard that he was outside playing again. I think he misses his days of laying in the yard basking in the sun. That day will come again but it won't be for another 12 weeks. He has awhile yet before he can be let off leash in the yard. There is still some healing going on inside his leg with the bone that was restructured to support his knee. I think the excitement of chewing on rawhides has passed. I can't seem to find many more toys that hold his attention. I spend as much time as I can with him when I come home from work. He is still crated at night and during the day. Alot of the times I will bring him out and sit with him in the office on the floor while we play with his toys. I think he prefers to be engaged with me or Brian rather than alone in his crate or "apartment" we've made him in the office. Everyday and every week that passes I'm pleased with the progress. So far we haven't had any major set backs. When he does walk to go potty he is using his leg pretty well. He's not holding it up and his confidence is gradually coming back. My confidence grows along with his knowing that I made the right choice. This has been a long process and many more weeks to come but I know when the day arrives that I can take his leash off will be a tearful and joyous day! YAY, Rudi! You've made it one whole month of post op!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Escape Artist - Rudini

So I'm going to recount the events of this evening. Although it's created some good laughs it's really not all that funny if you think about what a nightmare this could have turned out to be. So I'll start from the top:

Brian got home from work before me. He did the usual potty breaks for the dogs and afterwards put Rudi in his new den in the office. It's a small space we've made for him so he can be with us and have a little bit more room than what the kennel provides.

I got home and started working on dinner. Prior to that, I stopped in to see my boy and gave him a treat. He was very happy and excited to see me of course. I went back to my dinner preparation and there was about 30 minutes before it was finished. I sat down on the couch for a bit until the timer went off. Got up, fixed plates and told Brian that dinner was ready. I wasn't even thinking that Rudi was still in the office. I was starved. Big mistake!! Let me reiterate that Rudi is barracaded between a wall, a desk, Elmo's kennel and a baby gate supported by one of our office chairs. This has been working out very well. Ok now back to dinner....we sat down and 5 min into eating Rudi started barking. Brian went to go check on him and everything was fine. He calmed down and stopped barking. Brian sat back down and we both went back to eating dinner. Two minutes later as I put a bite of chicken in my mouth I noticed Rudi was standing right next to me at the table. I swear, it didn't even register for a moment.

Anyway, I doubt he will be left unsupervised again unless he is under lock and key in his kennel. There are many things that could have happened tonight. He could have jumped on the couch or even the bed since our bedroom door was open. Or he could have come through the kitchen and slipped on the tile floor.

We are grateful that none of that happened and while we can chuckle about it, we realize how important it is to not be so complacent during this recovery process.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Rudi's visit with Nana

Today was my Mother's birthday. We spent pretty much all day together including lunch at Aldo's. Afterwards, we came back to the house for a bit and Rudi got to see his Nana. We sat out on the back porch for a little bit and she expressed how well she thought he was doing. Brian and I see Rudi everyday and while we believe he is coming along nicely, it's always nice for someone else to recognize it as well. Rudi was happy to have a visitor and he gave my Mom lots of kisses. He is such a sweet boy. He got lots of attention from my Mom. It was a good day! Happy Birthday, Mama!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week Three Post Op

Three weeks ago I would never have thought we'd get to this point so quickly. It seemed like time dragged on for Rudi and the rest of us when we began this journey. Now, three weeks later I feel like time is flying by. Maybe it's because Rudi can spend some time out of the kennel with us in the living room or the office. As long as he's by our side. He's still progressing very well and we are happy about that. Still limping but when we walk him outside he seems to have a bit more confidence in his leg. Standing still, he continues to lean on his left leg more. I'm sure only time will work this out for him. Atleast I hope so. He's getting more and more restless, however. I know he wants to get out of this confinement mode. Once the six weeks post op mark comes around and his xrays look good, maybe Dr. Stallings will approve of him staying in a small room during the day rather than his crate. Just three more weeks to go!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In honor of our Rudi

The video below is a compilation of pictures of our Rudi set to music. Watch him grow up before your eyes! Make sure the volume is up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 17 Post Op - Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Rudi spent pretty much the whole day with me in the home office. I spent the day on the computer while he relaxed by the window in the make-shift cubby hole I made for him. I think he was pretty pleased to be out of his crate all day and was near me most of the time. We had terrible storms tonight but he napped right through them. He hasn't licked his incision once since the cone has been off. That's a relief. I was a bit worried that the minute I was gone for work all day he'd take the opportunity knowing I was gone. You know those Shepherds....smart ones, I tell ya! This coming week will be 3 weeks Post Op. Everyday seems to be a bit easier. He's been a trooper through it all.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Staple Removal Day - YIPPEE!

We took Rudi in this morning at 10am for his staple removal appt. Brian sat in the back of the car with him to keep him calm on the ride there. The office is about 35 min from the house so it's a bit of a long ride but eventful for Rudi since his surgery. I think he was excited to go "bye bye". Brian carried him in so he wouldn't be on the slick floors. They took him to the back and asked us to wait in the lobby. Five minutes later we were called to the back to speak to the surgeon. Dr. Stallings brought Rudi into the room for us and he was staple free!!! He said he looks great and he's progressing well. He did look at his knee and it's not swollen or infected. That's what his knee will look like because of the way the procedure is done. It will be less noticeable once his hair grows out. He's getting his undercoat back so it should be grown out within the next month I'd assume. We go back in 4 weeks for xrays to check on the bone healing. He said he can go without his e-collar once he can be trusted that he will not lick his incision. I was so happy to get a good report. Dr. Stallings said we are doing a good job and just make sure we continue on this restriction protocol over the next 4 weeks due to the importance of the bone growth during this time. He said the cells are starting to come together now to form the deep healing within the bone and it's important for Rudi not have too much activity. I can't wait to start walking him again and build up his muscle. Two weeks seemed to go by fairly quickly. Maybe we will be as lucky with the next 4 weeks going by just as fast. It will be great to hear that his bone is healing well when 4 weeks passes. Our next appt is August 22nd at 9am.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Week Two Post Op

I can't believe we've made it to two weeks. Whew! One more day and Rudi's staples come out. Rudi was given time out of his kennel today to hang out in the living room while we watched movies. I called Dr. Stallings to make sure he could spend extra time with us and he said it was fine as long as he was kept close to us and no lunging, jumping or running. I always have the leash in my hand when he's sitting on the floor with me. He has all of his toys around him to keep him busy.

Tomorrow is his big day. In addition to getting his staples out, I plan to ask the surgeon about his knee looking swollen and red. It appears to be infected but I can't really be sure. Rudi doesn't seem to notice and it's not warm. I never noticed it before so I'm a little concerned. I hope it won't delay getting his staples out. I keep telling Rudi that tonight is the last night he'll have to wear the dreaded e-collar. Crossing all paws and fingers that tomorrow goes well!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 12 Post Op

Rudi finished all his meds on Sunday night and last night was a restless night for him. I'm not sure if he was in pain or a bit withdrawn from the paid meds, Tramadol. My cousin did tell me that they can have that effect once they are gone. There really isn't anything to take the edge off except the Acepromizine now. I called the vet this morning and he said he did not feel it necessary to refill the Tramadol but to keep giving him the Ace to keep Rudi calm. I can't believe Rudi is as active as he is in his kennel especially when we leave. I just feel like he moves too much. The vet keeps reinterating the importance of keeping him quiet and give him an Ace if he is too wound up. We are going to have to give him an additional one at night because he's not sleeping as well. We took Rudi out during the night at 2am and while we were out my other dog, Elmo decided to pee on the carpet. So in addition to my frustration of being up in the middle of the night, then I had to scrub my carpet clean. I was so aggitated. This seems so challenging at times. I really hope his other knee can hold up. I'm scared to death that we will have to repeat this process one day. It's not only hectic on us but I'm sure it's confusing for Rudi. Friday can't get here soon enough. It breaks my heart to put the e-collar on him in the morning. He fights me a little and then once I get it on he just hangs his head and waits for me to tie it on. Then I have to lead him into his kennel because he bangs into everything on the way there. It's awful! I'm taking Friday off and I'm hoping Brian does too. Staples will be out and the cone will be history! 3 days and counting!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Freedom in tiny doses

Today I decided Rudi needed a little bit of freedom. Brian wasn't as sure but I knew I was going to have Rudi tethered to me pretty tightly. I set up a living room picnic for him complete with his bed, kong and rawhide. He even had some of his stuffed babies around. I made sure he stayed laying down the entire time and I sat right beside him. He was pretty happy about himself. I watched a movie while he enjoyed his little bit of freedom from his crate. I hated seeing him cooped up but I was also contending with doctor's orders. I was arguing with myself over it but in the long run knew I would keep a close watch on him. All was good and he ended up tiring himself out and back to the kennel he went for a nap after an hour. It was a nice break for him. Can't you see the smile on his face?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Week One Post Op

We have arrived at our one week milestone! Can I just say I can't wait for his staples to come out so we can get this cone off of Rudi! It's so loud during the night when he tries to get comfortable and all you hear is what sounds like a jailbird with a can raking against the bars. I've thought of moving Rudi to another room but that's counter productive since we want to be available immediately if Rudi needs us during the night. He's pretty zonked out on his meds so he's been sleeping better the past few nights. I get up earlier than normal so we can take our time with him in the morning. I hope I can catch up on my sleep this weekend. One week down and 15 more to go! After 6 weeks, he can be released from crate rest and have the run of a small room. His next xrays are in 6 weeks as well. By that time we will be able to tell how well his bone is healing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 5 Post Op

Rudi made it through today without getting his cone off. We also gave him a full dose of Ace before leaving and I watched him on the webcam all day. It took him awhile to doze off but he finally did around 9:30am and slept the majority of the day. It was pretty uneventful with Rudi. It was another sleep deprived day for me however. Not because of Rudi but because the phone rang at 1am with my brother in law on the other end announcing that Brian's grandfather had passed away. This is where I begin to wonder how much a person can really handle. I felt a little frazzled at work today. The lack of sleep is really getting to me. Sometimes I feel like breaking down into tears because I wonder if I made the right choice. I know it's just irritability and sleep deprivation that makes me think this way. I know in the grand scheme of things, Rudi will be able to play again. He's bearing some weight on his bad leg but hopefully over time he will gain more confidence in using it equally with his good leg. Only time will tell.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 4 Post Op - Rudi's Ooops

Brian got the webcam set up today and it worked perfectly from the office. He wasn't happy when we left and I hated hearing him howl even when we walked out the door. It was heartbreaking but I had no choice. We gave him 1/2 an Ace hoping he would sleep through the day. By noontime everything was uneventful...until I sat down at my desk with my lunch and pulled up the webcam to check on my boy. I almost fell out of my chair. Rudi had gotten out of the E collar and was licking his leg. I jumped up and decided my lunch break would consist of me flying home (10 over the speed limit) to get his cone back on. Took me 30 minutes and I wondered with each passing moment how much damage he was causing and how many staples he was pulling out. I got home and checked his leg. Just red but no missing staples and no bleeding. I put his cone back on, gave him a full Ace and went back to work. By the time my husband and I got home we noticed a small blood spot on his bedding. I opted to take him to the emergency room but they had an hour wait. Then I called my cousin who is a vet tech and she said she'd come over to check it out. By the time she got there, his bedding looked like a murder scene. There was blood everywhere and I was freaking out. She wasn't phased and just pulled him out to look at his incision. A staple was tweaked and he basically licked a scab off. It was oozing but not infected. She cleaned him up, I changed his bedding and gave him another Ace for the night. I was in tears....it was only day 4. What more could happen? I was doing everything by the book and never expected this. She showed me how to tie the e-collar tight enough but not too tight. Now I was educated and felt more confident for the rest of the work week. Thank God for the webcam! My husband is a genius!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 3 Post Op

Rudi seems to be coming out of his fog somewhat. He is already getting a bit anxious which seems too early for that to start. He's not used to being in a kennel for so long during the day. He hasn't been crated since he was 6 mos. old. This is going to be hard for him I can tell. Our other dog, Elmo isn't quite sure what to make of all this change but he's leaving Rudi alone for the most part. I think dogs know if other dogs are injured or sick. He's keeping his distance but I think he also feels the shift in attention. It's not intentional but the amount of work that this is requiring we have to remember that Elmo is a member of the household as well.

We left the house briefly today to see how Rudi would cope. He got a little upset but when we got home he was sleeping. He pooped again today and ate an entire bowl of food and consumed tons of water. He must be feeling better. His appetite is good. Again, I hate to leave him tomorrow. Brian has decided that he is going to set up a webcam for me to look after Rudi from work. How genius is that!? I hope it works. I don't want any problems to arise while we aren't home. It's been a long weekend and I'm still tired. I hope I get some sleep for work tomorrow. It won't be good if I'm exhausted at the office tomorrow.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 2 Post Op

To say I didn't sleep well last night would be an understatement. I laid awake most of the night worried if Rudi was in any pain. He situated himself multiple times in the kennel so the sound of the e-collar scraping the kennel was nerve wracking. We got up once around 2am to let him out and he peed again for a very long time. He also pooped!!! We had been told that this could take days and even up to a week. Brian worried before surgery how on earth Rudi was going to support himself to poop after his operation. Well, he did it and he's fine. Whew! Atleast that's one thing I don't have to worry about. Rudi is also drinking fine....lots of water actually. I'm sure the meds make him very thirsty. He also ate a litte before bed last night. I can't complain about that. Atleast his eating, drinking and potty habits are normal right now. We decided to give Rudi only 1/2 an Ace today because we didn't like how "drunk-like" it made him. He is still very swollen and bruised. I wish I could stay home with him on Monday but I have to work. Brian is very busy on his job as well so it's not an option for him either. I'm guessing I'll come home for lunch but handling him by myself will be sketchy since he likes to pull me all over the place. Brian isn't too sure about me coming home and risking an oops moment. Maybe we will ask my Mom to come by. It's up in the air. Right now, I just need to take a nap. I had to run an errand today and thought I was going to fall alseep driving. Not good. I need more sleep.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 1 Post Op - Homecoming

We picked Rudi up tonight. It's good to have him home. He's still very doped up and sleepy. I feel like a pharmacy with as much meds as I have to give him. He's on Tramadol (pain), Ace (sedative), Cephalexin (anti-biotic) and Deramaxx (anti-inflammatory). He's pretty swollen and bruised but the incision is very clean. He has staples instead of stitches which will come out in two weeks. We had a rough ride home. He whined all the way so I'm not sure if he's in pain or just excited to be out of the hospital. He has to wear the dreaded cone which is making it hard to maneuver in his kennel. He peed for quite awhile outside when we got him out of the car. All the fluids from the IV caused this, I'm sure. We are trying to get used to the sling in order to support his weight for his leg. It's a little awkward but me and Brian are a good team so far. Rudi still wants to pull which is what I expected. He was always a terrible puller. We got him acclimated to his kennel but shortly after coming home he stood up and peed again for what seemed like forever. Poor guy must be really out of it for him to do that because he's never had an accident in his kennel before. I had to get him out and change his bedding. I hope this is not indicative of what's ahead for us. Hopefully we will get a good night's sleep but knowing me, I'll have that maternal ear perked up for any sound coming from the patient's quarters.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Waiting is the hardest part

This morning was harder than I thought it would be. Rudi has never really had an issue with the vet's office but when they came out to get him and put the leash on him he struggled and tried to get out the door. I almost picked him up and took him back home. It was torture. They finally got him down the hall and my last sight of him today was him walking to his kennel to wait for his procedure.
It's been a weepy day for me at work. I was totally consumed with thoughts of my decision to do this and I waivered off and on today. I wanted to go back and get him. I called at 11 am and he was still waiting to be operated on. That made it even worse for me. I wanted him to be first but he went in at 12:30.
The surgeon, Dr. Stallings, just called to let me know that the procedure went well and Rudi did fine. Talk about a huge weight being lifted. I almost cried. He said he had to release the meniscus because it was torn up pretty badly. His CCL wasn't as bad as he thought but he still felt we made the right decision. He will rest tonight at the 24 hour hospital so someone will always be around to check on him. I will be able to pick him up after work tomorrow. I know I will miss him so much tonight.

Day of Surgery

The day has arrived for Rudi to have his knee fixed by Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA). We, or should I say "I" have been dreading this day. My husband has been the calm one. I don't think I have many more tears to shed but I know this is inevitable. 10 months ago, Rudi injured his knee when we were playing ball on Labor Day 2007. I really didn't realize what had happened at the time. All I know was that I threw the ball, turned around and then saw Rudi on 3 legs. He didn't yelp and then he was back running again. We dismissed it as a fluke thing. Thought that he had stepped on a pine cone. Over the course of a month he started limping. Back and forth to the vet we went only for the problem to go unfounded. He was taken out of doggie daycare and hasn't returned since last year. That has been hard for him as he had lots of buddies to play with. He was tested for hip dysplasia and lyme disease and nothing was found. He was given Previcox which seemed to help but it only masked the true problem. I went to see another vet who told me he should have his knees xrayed. Again, nothing was found and I was told it didn't appear to be arthritis. We did conservative management for 8 weeks which kept him from jumping on couches and beds. He was behind baby gates at all times. His activity was extremely restricted and he got very bored. He also developed severe muscle atrophy in his bad leg. I must have cried everyday watching Rudi go through this new lifestyle. Then I found a PT in the area that thought he sprained his tendon. I finally had hope! For two weeks we did short walks and did extension and flex exercises. After two weeks of PT, Rudi got past us and jumped on the bed which he was not allowed to do. He jumped back down off the bed and yelped. After that he was hobbling on 3 legs and immeditely took him back to the vet. We finally got a referral to an Orthopedic surgeon. After more xrays and drawer tests he confirmed a ruptured CCL and significant arthritis build up in the bad leg. His good leg is showing signs already and we know that he has a 40% chance of damaging the good leg. Today is the day that will hopefully start the road to recovery and give Rudi his life back. Maybe he'll even see doggie daycare again.