Kona’s Recuperation – Day 15

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If I’ve learned anything in life, there’s one thing that’s a constant – Murphy’s Law.  With the best of intentions at heart in keeping up with blogging Kona’s daily recuperation after Day 7, the train got derailed.  Even still, for those who have been reading and trying to keep up, today is June 6!

Before I get ahead of myself, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide a quick recap.

  • Physical therapy – it was going well up until a couple of days ago and then Kona began resisting and then began positioning herself to make access to her leg much more difficult.
  • Medication – we weaned Kona down to only 1 dose of pain medication for the 2nd week.  She didn’t mind taking it as it was laced with PEANUT BUTTER!!
  • Sleep – Looking at those beautiful blue eyes turning sad and soulful as soon as the “cone of shame” is put on.  The E-Collar unsettled her and made sleeping for all of us a bit challenging.  She wanted it off.
  • Walking – Kona made steady progress this week.  She hasn’t like putting her foot down inside, but with gentle massage and coaxing, the foot slowly made its way back to the floor.  In the back yard, she has done extremely well, using the leg while she sniffed every blade of grass and hunted “wabbit” – all while being tethered to a short leash and body sling.
  • Body Sling – Kona tolerated the body sling but then showed signs of resentment.  Yes, our dog gave us that look of resentment when the sling, coupled with the leash, prevented her from doing more.

Okay, so that’s the “Cliff Notes” version.  Now on to an “adventure”!  The other night, while taking Kona out for her final potty for the night, I noticed not one but TWO rabbits in the backyard.  SAKES ALIVE!!  Gene had Kona in his arms when she caught a glimpse of the late night snacks invading HER space and taunting her with their fluffy tails.  Gene put Kona down and left her with me.  He then went into the backyard to chase off the rabbits.  They both escaped under/through the fence, but Kona, in the meantime, went BERZERK!!!  There’s nothing quite like trying to contain an extremely powerful animal with a high prey drive, who is less than two weeks post-surgery, from wanting to go after those “wascally wabbits”.  Needless to say, we needed to break her fixated mind.  Gene picked Kona back up to get her inside.  He ended up with a battle bruise, but we had to protect Kona from herself.

Last night, she wanted so desperately to curl up with daddy, but she wasn’t allowed quite yet.  She looked so comfortable!  How can you resist that amount of sweetness?!

So, the news from today’s post-op visit.  It is June 6, by George!

Kona received an EXCELLENT report!  The surgeon stated that most dogs at this point are putting about 20%-30% of their body weight on the leg, and that’s all that’s expected.  Kona is ahead of the curve and putting 60%-70% body weight on the leg.  Dr. Kunkel was very happy with how Kona was walking and that she had excellent range of motion.  WooHoo!!  On top of that, she no longer needs physical therapy, she no longer needs the body sling, she no longer needs her pain meds, and NO MORE “CONE OF SHAME” aka “wimple”.  We can begin to increase her food intake as well as her walking time.  Kona’s VERY happy with the latter.  Us, on the other hand…it’s a struggle to keep her contained.  Dr. Kunkel told Kona to try and “keep it to a dull roar”, to which she responded with “mwuff…mwuff”.  She so smart!!

Today, Kona experienced “life beyond the gate” (she wouldn’t make a good cloistered nun), albeit short-lived, and she’s beginning to learn to do stairs again.  Each day is one day closer to her full recovery, and one day, Kona will be free to move about the yard without us following her every move.

This is not the end, but the beginning.

 

 

 

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Kona’s Recuperation – Day 7

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Day 7

The Mid-Point Adventure!

When we first brought Kona home from the SPCA 4-1/2 years ago, we weren’t sure what to expect from this beautiful and sweet creature, but we quickly realized how smart she was and that she wanted to be with us.  That first night, I remember looking to the side of the bed and found the sweetest little face just waiting for an invitation.  I called her up to the bed so she wouldn’t be alone, and from that moment forward Kona’s pack was formed.

Fast-forward to Kona’s injury and surgery.  Throughout this process, Gene and I have taken to sleeping in the living room with Kona because that’s the most comfortable place for her these days, not to mention she doesn’t like being alone at night.  She needs to be with her pack – US!   Yes.  The house looks a bit like a college frat house.  And no!  I’m not going to post a picture!  LOL!!

Last night, as we were preparing our bedding to go to sleep, Kona did the cutest thing.  Actually, she used her amazing cuteness to try and lure us into submission, but we held fast.  Rather than curling up in her bed, she made her way to Gene’s bedding, which is next to hers, and plopped herself down.  Her head was resting on her front paws, and her baby blues were looking up as if to say, “Please don’t make me move.  I want to be close to daddy.”  Unfortunately, we had to move her over to her bed as it was the safest place for her.

Today, we had another win with her once again asking to go out; however, when it’s in the upper 80’s to near 90 with high humidity, and Kona wants out for the sake of being outside, it calls for a well of patience.  I was drenched by the time I came in with her.  Thank you Mr. Carrier for air conditioning!

Kona’s physical therapy is coming along.  She enjoys the heat pack, but she’s beginning to become resistant to doing the range of motion exercises, even with falling asleep during the therapy.  Go figure!

Tonight’s “before bed potty” adventure brought more excitement – a Rabbit!  It was a lucky rabbit to have gotten to the other side of the fence before Kona could get to it.  Lucky for us we had Kona in both a harness and walking support sling.  Either way, Kona’s tail was up and wagging.  That’s my girl!

Tomorrow will bring a new set of adventures and uncertainties as Kona will be home by herself tomorrow.  That means doing what we can to keep Kona in one area and in her “wimple”.  This is a combination she won’t enjoy.  I’m hoping to find a reasonably priced expanding dog playpen so we can set it up in the great room when we cannot be home.

With that, we have completed Day 7, and before we know it June 6 will be here.

Kona’s Recuperation – Day 6

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Day 6

We’re Still Alive!

At last night’s post, our biggest concern for today was the rain from Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto.  Gene was keeping a close eye on when the bulk of the rain was to enter our area, etc.  As luck would have it, the sky opened up just after midnight.  By the time we woke up this morning, we capitalized on the dry pocket that was over our area and took Kona out.

Today’s adventures included Kona getting up on her own to let us know she needed to go out and sniff the backyard.  We had a couple of outings like that, but it’s difficult to keep such a creature like Kona from spending time in the outdoors.  During one of those outings, she spotted another creature on the other side of the front fence.  It was quite the struggle to keep her from running after it.  Both Gene and I had to rely on all of our strength combined to counter her strength.  WOW!!

Kona still doesn’t like to walk on her leg when she’s inside, but we understand that’s normal.  When she’s outside, though, Kona is using her leg.  I know that she will eventually get her complete foot down rather than walking on the front pads of that leg.

She continues to enjoy her physical therapy.  She actually falls asleep!  Perhaps her enjoyment is due to getting lots of love…

Speaking of falling asleep, Kona spent the day getting creative with her sleeping habits:  head hanging off her bedding.  LOL!!!

We look forward to tomorrow, as by day’s end, we will be at the half-way point before Kona’s staples are removed.

Stay tuned!

Kona’s Recuperation – Day 5

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Survived!

When I think about the many pets I’ve had over the years, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how thankful I am to my parents for their example of what it means to care for a pet.  As a child, I remember when we had three cats, one dog, four rabbits, and a parakeet – all at the same time!  There were sundry goldfish and a couple of hamsters that made their way through, too

In the middle of a hot summer night, I heard one of our cats, Blackie, being mauled.  It was a horrible sound.  My parents rushed him to the vet who did everything he could over the course of a couple of days, but Blackie didn’t make it.  Blackie gave his life so my young cat, Radar, could escape and live.

As Radar aged,  he developed kidney issues.  Working with the vet, my parents and I did whatever we could to make Radar comfortable, but then the day came when there wasn’t anything more that could be done.  It was a very sad day.

There were other sad times, but they weren’t without trying to give our pets a fighting chance.   Those childhood memories helped form how I cared for my pets – with love and compassion, doing what was necessary to help improve quality of life for one of God’s creatures; one that had been entrusted to my care.

So, too, with Kona.  She’s such a joy!  Actually, she’s the smartest dog I have EVER had.  Today’s adventures showed us how resilient our sweetness is.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Kona graduated today to the next phase of her home physical therapy – from ice to heat.  She seems to like the change.  Her PT consists of range of motion exercises to help with muscle memory and bone growth.  While we follow a schedule, Kona – on her own – is putting herself through her range of motion exercises.  She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it – or does she?  Hmmm……

Another pawsitive today is her getting up to let us know she has to go out.  It’s encouraging to see her beginning to get back to her old schedule.  Now, if she will only be as cooperative tomorrow with all of the rain that’s heading our way.  She HATES steady rain.  If it’s light, she’s okay, but anything more than that…she gives us that “you’re joking, right?!” look.

20180527_213257[1]Her leg doesn’t appear to be as swollen as it did yesterday, and the incision site appears to be improving as well.  Kona even came out to the kitchen this evening while I was cooking supper.  She didn’t stay long, but she came to check things out.

Tonight’s challenge, as it has been each night is the wimple – aka: E-collar.  Since we’ve been close by her throughout the day, she hasn’t had to wear the “cone of shame” except for at night.

Each day we are one step closer in her full recovery.  I know…it’s still early…but anyone who knows me knows that patience isn’t my strong suit.  I have no doubt that God has provided me this opportunity to help me grow closer to Him.  For that, I remain thankful for the gift of Kona.

Kona’s Recuperation – Day 4

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SURVIVED!!

Now come the added challenges…

First of all, we all got some much needed sleep.  We even slept in this morning – until 7:45am.  We all roused together and Gene and I found a much more energetic doggie!  That means the anesthesia is just about out of Kona’s system.  Hooray!  It was sweet to see her giving daddy “Kona kisses”, and her sweet face was readily awaiting “mumma kisses”.  “If she’s doing better, what’s with the ‘added challenges’?”, you may ask.  Keep reading…

Kona MUST be on activity restricitions to prevent what’s called “overuse injury”.  No exceptions.  Now that she’s feeling more like herself she wants to be more active.  We can’t afford her getting an overuse injury.  It’s going to be much more difficult to keep her at bay while she wants to do more.  It makes me think of the phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  Kona isn’t old, but she’s no puppy.

One of Kona’s “things” is to sniff EVERY blade of grass in the back yard – from the root to the top and then back again.  This is a recuperation challenge because she won’t void unless she’s sniffed the entire back yard.

Another of Kona’s “things” is that she wants to experience life beyond “the gate”.  For the past 4-1/2 years, Kona has been taken on walks around the neighborhood.  Not once a day, but twice.  She’s longing to sniff the neighborhood.  Instead, she is taken to the back yard, only to engage in a struggle of the wills – ours and hers.  She will start to go in one direction, then circle around and head for the gate.  One day she’ll go beyond, just not anytime in the forseeable future.

Now that a couple of the additional challenges have been laid out, we did have a “win” today – and I didn’t have to add pumpkin to her diet.  YAY!!  We had gone out for her morning constitutional when it was time to come in.  We get in, and she’s gluing herself to the doors.  We just thought it was because she wanted to go for a W-A-L-K because it 20180526_103308[1]was a decent day to be out.  So, in order to calm her down, we had to pull out the crate.  She was none too happy!

When 1:00pm came, we decided to let her out of the crate to get some water and to try another backyard outing.  It was a like a bull being released from its pen at a bullfight.  Kona needed to GO, and nothing was going to get in her way if she had anything to do with it.  And did she ever GO.  Not once but TWICE!  Hooray!

Mind you, each time she goes in and out, she needs to be picked up and carried down the steps.  Yes.  Kona is our 50-lb toddler.

If you look closely at this pic, you’ll be able to see her incision and staples.

Since we have been able to keep Kona in our sight, she hasn’t had to wear the E-collar all of the time.  We save that for when she isn’t in our direct eye and for overnight.  Oh!  We’ve taken to begin calling the E-collar Kona’s wimple.

As for her physical therapy, tomorrow we switch from post-PT ice pack to pre-PT warm packs.  She’s doing great!

Tonight’s potty-runs provided Kona with a little excitement – TOADS!  She’s such a huntress and toads are no exception.  We encountered three of various sizes.  Luckily, by keeping her on a short leash, it keeps her just outside of their reach, much to her chagrin.  At least she only encountered toads and not rabbits, which we need to sweep the yard for before taking her out.  For Kona, “Rabbit Stew” is the special for the day!

As today comes to a close, I am thankful for another “win” for Kona and for us.  We are one day closer to staple removal day – June 6.  It can’t come soon enough.

Kona’s Recuperation Days 2-3

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Day 2

Survived!

Thursday brought a new challenge – Pet Insurance!  I can hear it now, “That’s like closing the barn door after the horse escaped.”  There’s a lot of truth in that statement, but as a veteran pet owner, pet insurance has never been part of the proverbial mix of things to secure.  I’ve learned an expensive lesson – better to insure than to not.

After several phone calls, I finally found a company that does not have a bilateral exclusion for CCL injuries.  That’s right!  Pretty much every company excludes CCL injuries.  It’s too extensive to get into here, but I’ve learned it is best to insure a dog as quickly and as young as possible in order to avoid a serious financial hit and the risk of never recieving any reimbursement for any treatment. UGH!

Otherwise, Kona had a quiet day.  While still a bit groggy she was compliant with allowing us to help her with her physical therapy.  She dislikes her E-collar, but it’s necessary for her to wear it when she is out of our eyesight.  She cannot, under any circumstance, lick or sniff her incisions due to the likelihood of introducing bad bacteria.  We DON’T want that to happen!

 

Day 3

Survived!

Kona and “daddy” spent the day together while I went to work.  Gene had the chance to experience a day like I had yesterday.  The only difference is that Kona got up on her own this morning.  This is a great sign as it means the anesthesia is beginning to work itself out.

By the time I got home, I was told that Gene spent most of his time next to Kona so she wouldn’t have to wear her E-collar AND she had received her afternoon physical therapy session.  That just left one more session for this evening.

Our sweetness is willingly taking her antibiotic, pain medications, and supplements – as long as they are accompanied by PEANUT BUTTER!!

I’m already exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.  Perhaps we’ll all sleep in a little since it’s a Saturday.

 

This entry was posted on May 25, 2018. 4 Comments

Kona’s Recuperation – Day 1

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When I began The Adventures of Sally, my intent was to blog about the various adventures life took me on.  And trust me, there are many! With that in mind, today found me embarking on a whole new adventure – Kona’s Recuperation.

Last Wednesday, our sweet Kona tore the CCL in her right hind leg which led us on an adventure to the animal emergency hospital in Columbia – a truly pristine facility with professional and extraordinary care.  Following Kona’s diagnosis, we were told she would need surgery.  Our heads started spinning (and no, not literally).  I’ve had my share of pets over the years, but I’ve never encountered this!  This began the adventure of Kona’s surgery.

The orthopaedist, Dr. Kunkel, a specialist in CCL repairs, told us about the procedure and gave us the low-down on recuperation from a surgery of this type.  The surgery took place yesterday and we picked her up today.  Let’s just say the next two weeks are going to be very challenging.

We were very impressed with how meticulous the surgeon was at keeping us updated on Kona’s progress.  He called us post-surgery, and then we received another call this morning from the intern to let us know that Kona was doing well and ready to go home.

Before picking her up, Kona received her first PT session.  When we picked her up, we were taught how to help her with her PT at home – a nerve-wracking experience!  She was not happy about having strange men (even if they were professionals) touching her leg and getting close to her private areas.  Kona’s such a lady!

On top of the PT, Kona is required to become familiar with pre-American history – namely, the Elizabethan era.  Kona needs to wear an Elizabethan collar, aka: a cone.  This will prevent her from licking her incision sites.  Oh! Kona’s CCL was repaired and meniscus removed; she was sutured with staples.

Getting Kona into the car was a trick because the E-collar prevents her from having any peripheral vision.  Obviously, we got her into the car, since she’s home.

When we arrived home to familiar territory, Kona was thrilled to begin sniffing her old stomping grounds.  She’s allowed slow, short walks, and we are using a body sling to help stabilize her back legs while she learns how to put weight on her leg again.

She did eat supper tonight – of course it was laced with unsalted peanut butter.  HER FAVORITE!!  She’s drinking plenty of water.  YAY!  Since she slept all evening, it was difficult getting her up to go out to see if she would potty.  She went out, but didn’t do anything.  Most likely tomorrow morning she’ll be more awake.  On a down side, she does have some very mild bowel leakage, but I have no doubt that it is either from the anesthesia or one of the medications she is on.

We made it through her nightly PT session.  She began falling asleep.  Score one for the home team!  The icing, she wasn’t too keen on, but tolerated it well.  The picture below shows Gene keeping the ice on a very hot area.  20180523_230032[1]

Now that we’re all done with our nightly regimine, it’s time for all of us to go to bed.  Day 2 will be posted as the adventure continues…I hope.  I will be home with her.

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for all of us.  Your prayers are felt!