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!