Friday, January 30, 2009

Staples Out!

Today was Rudi's first big milestone after his second knee surgery. We got to go for a car ride down to the surgeon's office to remove Rudi's staples. He was pretty anxious the whole ride. We had to give him a sedative pill to take the edge off but it didn't really kick in until on the way home.

Either way, we got there on time and Dr. Stallings said the incision looked great and he was healing nicely. We always like to hear good news. We did bring up the clicking in his leg and it turns out that it's in his right leg (the leg operated on last year). It's not his meniscus tearing it's his patella (kneecap). He said not to lose sleep over it because the movement of the kneecap can happen after the recontructive surgery. His right leg is still stable and he said the clicking is more like a slight tick to him. He said it's nothing to worry about but to keep an eye on it in case we see him start limping in the future (Lovely!). He really seemed pretty passive about it so I'm going to take his advice and not stress (yeah, right!) haha!

Rudi is home and sleeping after his very busy morning. It's the most activity he's had since day of surgery. We go back in 4 weeks for follow up xrays but Dr. Stallings is pleased with the way he's coming along. He believes the final outcome will be a full recovery and going back to normal life again. We are happy with that!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 10 Post Op

Today has been another restless day for Rudi. He's really getting bored with his confinement. Brian and I went out to dinner last night so atleast we got rid of some of our weekend cabin fever.

We still feel like Rudi is progressing well but we will have some questions for the doctor come this Friday when he removes the staples. First of all, we heard some clicking coming from his surgical leg again. This was the same clicking sound that we heard prior to surgery. I don't believe we should be hearing anything if the meniscus was repaired. I'm hoping this is not a bad sign. Secondly, Rudi is still bearing weight on his leg but not as much as I hoped. He's still toe touching but maybe I should just keep in mind that this leg was more damaged than the other. It's just that the lack of confidence in bearing weight along with the audible clicking is making me nervous that something might be wrong. I'm trying not to jump the gun but it just seems like last time went more smoothly than this.

I hate to even think that Rudi may need more surgery if something is not healing right internally. I guess we will find out by the end of the week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 6 Post Op

I had two doctors appointments today so it was a good way to get Rudi used to me not being home all day after today. I have to return to work tomorrow. I'm glad I took the extra time because I think Rudi needed some looking after moreso than last year. He's definitely getting back to his normal self and ready to be out of the crate. I keep telling him "Not so fast, buddy." He's got 5 more solid weeks of crate rest. He's so bored. Elmo has been really good about leaving him alone. Elmo has had some good one on one time with me and Brian. Rudi was so excited to see Brian when he got home today so I know he's feeling alot better. His eyes are bright, appetite is strong and he's pottying normal again. He's putting more weight on his leg....not the best idea right now but promising that the outcome will prove to be successful and he'll be ready to run in the Spring.

I did find out from the surgeon that the square shaved on his side was from a new cauterizing machine he has started to use during surgery. It helps during the surgery to keep the bleeding down and the area has to be shaved on a flat surface of the body in order for electrodes to be placed properly. I'm not sure I fully understand the concept but I'll be getting more information on that when I take Rudi in next Friday for staple removal. Wow! Next Friday is staple removal day! I can't believe it's come so fast. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 5 Post Op

Today was freezing! The weather reports called for snow but none arrived. Brian woke up sick today so I had a post op puppy and ill husband to handle. Brian headed out the door to the doctor while I stayed home with Rudi to babysit. I didn't have that much restlessness to deal with today. I think the cold weather caused Rudi to curl up and nap in the xpen today while I watched the Inaguration. It was a non-eventful day today. Tomorrow is my last day home with Rudi this week. I will be heading back to work on Thursday - Rudi's one week since surgery. I now think I have some faint idea of what it's like for new Mom to have to return to work after being with her new baby for so long. It's a meniscule comparison but it's how I feel about leaving him. It's been a rough start but each day is getting better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 4 Post Op

Rudi was very restless today so I had to give in and give him an Acepromizine (sedative). He kept standing and walking around too much in his xpen. I hate to drug him but in these early stages of healing I just don't feel like it's in his best interest to be moving around constantly. He rested the remainder of the day and was up and moving again by the time Brian got home. Nothing major to report today....only that the fog is definitely lifted and Rudi is wanting to be on his way to playing outside.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 3 Post Op

Rudi has come out of his fog for the most part. Today, it was evident that he was becoming a little restless. He moved around alot in the xpen and then decided that it was more fun to sit up and look outside at the rain than lay down and stare at the carpet. I had to snap a picture of him looking so studious staring out the window. The bruising and swelling seemed to subside a bit today. Not a whole lot but enough to see a difference. The only bad part of the day was that it rained and was very chilly outside. Of course, he felt like wandering the yard to find just the perfect spot without a care in the world that it was pouring down rain on us. I think he was just happy to be out. His appetite is still very good and he's almost finished with his anti-inflammatory meds. Then we'll be down to keeping track of 3 different type of meds rather than 4. I feel like a pharmacy these days. I'm noticing that he's putting a little more weight on his leg so that's good. I'll be handling the Rudi duties on my own for the next 3 days while Brian is at work. I think I can handle it but it feels like I'm lugging an 86lb suitcase when I take him out. It's like dealing with fine china on 4 legs. Hopefully, tomorrow it won't be raining or too cold.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 2 Post Op

Rudi slept through the night last night. We all managed to get some sleep and I was surprised but grateful. We got up at 7:30 to give him his dose of meds and take him out for a potty break. He ate breakfast and then we decided to try out the xpen we put in the living room for him. I think he really enjoyed being around us while we watched TV and had our coffee. He was very calm this morning as it appeared the pain meds were steady in his system now. He dozed for quite some time....Brian and Elmo also had a morning nap. It's been a fairly quiet day for Rudi and he seems to be a little more comfortable. I do have to say that his leg is awfully swollen and purplish, red. It's not a pretty sight so I decided to post a happier picture of Rudi sleeping peacefully. I'm sure everyone reading this is thanking me right now :) I'm hoping that over the next few days the swelling and bruising will recede. It's worse than last time but this leg was damaged worse than that first one so I'm keeping that in mind. Each day that goes by is another day under our belt toward healing. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Rough Start

We picked Rudi up from the vet hospital at 6pm tonight. It started off on a bad foot right from the beginning and I had a bad feeling about how the rest of the night was going to go. We walk in and announce that we are there to pick up Rudi. The night shift ER vet techs were on duty and I don't think they were expecting us. Took them a minute to even figure out who Rudi was. Irked me of course. One of the girls was very rude. Never really acting caring at all so I was totally put off by that. The other tech was very helpful and went to work gathering Rudi's discharge paperwork. We were told to pull our car around the side so he didn't have to walk very far. Before I could get everything signed and squared away and even move my car out comes Rudi. Why they did that was beyond me. He shouldn't be on his feet for a long period of time and we weren't even prepared. We were told he would come out once we were done with the paperwork process. The biggest issue was that he had a huge square shaved into his side. That startled me and when I asked about it no one had an answer. Said I could call Dr. Stallings on Monday. I persisted in knowing why that area was shaved....was something wrong during surgery etc? They didn't do that last year. Still was told to call Monday. I was very frustrated and walked out the door a bit angry.
Rudi cried the whole way home. He seemed very uncomfortable. We got home safely and he pee peed right away for what seemed like 5 minutes. He leaned on his surgical leg which he isn't supposed to but didn't know how to shift him in mid-potty. We got him inside and into his crate. I got a good look at his incision and it appeared very swollen and bruised. Very angry looking compared to the last surgery. He could not get comfortable and constantly whined into what seemed like at times a howl. Before I knew it and could control it I had tears streaming down my face while I tried to comfort my boy and soothe him. Nothing worked. I resulted to the pain meds quickly and put it in food. He ate all of his food and had water. Good signs. Still cried after the pain meds, slept for 5 min and up again crying. That cycle has continued all night long. I've been on the phone with the vet on call because this wasn't what happened last time and I'm worried about him. He said I could up his pain meds dosage and give him one of his sedatives so he could relax. He read his file and said everything went well during surgery so not to be alarmed but if he got more red and swollen to bring him back.
Not sure how tonight will pan out but he's getting ready to get his sedative so we can all try to sleep. It's going to be a long night and I think this recovery process is going to be a rougher ride than the first.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rudi's Big Day - Surgery #2

Rudi's big day finally arrived! His second leg was getting operated on today! I had been so very prepared. For weeks, even! I woke up this morning with an unexpected nauseated feeling thinking about what Rudi was going to have to endure. It was a rough drive to the surgeon's office because Rudi whined the entire way there. All of his car rides end up with a vet poking and proding him and I think he remembered that. Poor guy!
Anyway, we got him there at 8am but he wasn't operated on until 3pm. An emergency situation presented itself when a cat needed a shattered leg fixed. It pushed the scheduled surgeries back several hours. Although it was frustrating to wait, I can respect Dr. Stallings for putting the emergency situation first.
Dr. Stallings called with good news at 5:30pm. Rudi came out of surgery with flying colors. He did very well and was sleeping it off in his crate peacefully. His ligament was totally ruptured. Nothing at all left so I was right when I figured that's what had happened on New Year's Day. His meniscus (cartilidge) was damaged but was saved. I was grateful for that because it would be easier on his bones later to have that extra cushioning.
I called to check on him an hour ago and he was resting nicely. The vet tech that answered the phone said "Is Master Rudi your handsome German Shepherd?" Of course I was all proud to say he was. I'll be calling again before bedtime. Boy, do I miss my Rudi! It's so empty without him in the house but before we know it he'll be right back home with us nursing him back to health. Long days and nights ahead but we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. He is well on his way to being the Bowery Bionic Boy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, not such a happy beginning to 2009. The first day of the New Year and Rudi lost his footing off the back step going potty and went from a partial tear to a full rupture of his left CCL. My poor boy is now hobbling around on three legs. There is nothing we can do now but wait for surgery in about 11 days. I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait for the day to get here. Rudi is still a happy guy even through it all but I know it's extremely uncomfortable for him. Hopefully, the rest of 2009 will be a success for him with lots of running and playing again!