So I have everything packed up for Riley’s visit with his cousins Erin and Brent. As bad a packing up for a small child!
We met at a Pack Walk in San Jose for a little train the cousin trainers. Brent worked Riley for the session, did the path walk and the drills at the end.
Dog weave and the dog knitting (random weaving), Brent and Erin passed with flying colors.
After the pack walk they were off with Riley.
Next on my list was to pack up everything for Abby’s visit to Bishop Ranch.
Pills with instruction.
Food so it was easy to prepare. Boiled chicken and kibble softened with extra fatted chicken broth.
And I found out that taking the pills out of the prescription bottle is bad 🙁
So Rob had to bring the bottles up the next day to Bishop Ranch, which turned out to be a good thing. Abby wasn’t doing very good there, she wasn’t eating and something weird had developed with her paws. It was like she couldn’t control them. He left her there Monday night but when he called on Tuesday she still wasn’t eating so he took off from work and brought her home.
I got home Wednesday night and Rob showed me what was going on so it was off the the vet again on Thursday.
We started physical therapy this week at The Canine Rehabilitation Center.
We started with a weight in and unfortunately she lost 3 more lbs so now down to 103, arrrrggghhh.
We got to go to the rehab room and to my and Abby’s surprise she got to be off leash and have the freedom to investigate the room. Our first visit went really well, she met Dr. Erin Troy and Betsey Carpenter and like them both. She was a little nervous but not bad over all a great visit.Dr Troy examined Abby and then talked about what we would be doing, the water treadmill and cold level laser therapy. We started with the water treadmill. First you get the dog in the tank and then slowly water is added until it gets to almost cover Abby’s back. Once the tank is full they start the treadmill. She was in the tank walking about 10 minutes and she did amazing.
Next we did the cold level laser treatment. This treatment uses a laser light to stimulate the biological process hopefully leading to faster healing. All Abb’s had to do for this is lay down with me and Betsey so easy peasy.
Lastly we talked about homework, ugh, there is always homework… But not hard homework, para-standing and sit to stands.
- Single leg para-standing is lifting one leg at a time for 30 seconds forcing her to balance on the other three legs, repeat 2X. We will start with a session every other day.
- Sit to stand I will do on Abby’s outings park walks, she has a rough time sitting be she does it and I’m gonna start with 3 sits per walk.
So she was eating kibble and now she doesn’t seem to want anything. Every time I feed her I switch out various combinations of kibble, kibble & beef broth rice, natures balance lamb or beef, nothing is getting her to eat. She has lost more weight, ugh so last night we cooked her a chicken and she ate some chicken and later chicken and kibble. She ate breakfast and lunch today, so chicken is the meal du jour at least for now.
So we have been doing everything we can to get Abby to eat and to my surprise the last couple of days she has prefered kibble. She wants nothing to do with peanut butter or yogurt, peanut butter not so bad but she needs the good bacteria from yogurt. I was considering using human probiotics but after consulting with my many Vets I found that there is aminal probiotics so I went in seach of that. The other thing I found is pill pockets, unfortunantly they are really small, one pill per pocket but because Abb’s is getting so many pill if I can hide three in the morning and three at night it’s a better deal. Also her anti-inflamitory I got the chewable version and the probiotic is chewable so I only have to pill her anitbiotics.
Abby is 4 paw puppy out on her walks! She seems to really want to go out for walks as well, progress. She is limping less and getting around a lot better.
So the latest dilemma is how Abby will get her meds when I travel later this month. I was hoping Leisa (our pet sitter we used when Abb’s was a pup) could help but she will be on vacation when I’m gone. I tried to find a vet tech that would like to make some extra money but the lunch time meds were a problem because most had a full time job. I thought about using another pet sitter but with no history with a new sitter I’d be a nervous wreck. I checked a few vets that did boarding and day care with little success until one of them mentioned that Bishop Ranch did medical stays. Medical stays are for dogs that need medication or therapy when you have to travel, who knew! So today we went to Bishop Ranch for a quick checkup so she can stay there while I’m gone. I was a little anxious about getting her in the call but she got in with no problem and all on her own!
A week ago Sunday Cheri came for a visit and pup check. After a nice day of wine tasting we came back to the house for a look at my gal. We had been talking earlier about what’s next, ex-rays, the pros and cons of leaving the plate in place, physical therapy, and drugs. I decided to err on caution with next steps, so we will do therapy, I will up her pain pills to help with leg use, and because of the resistant infection we will remove the plate when the bone has healed.
This week we are back walking half way around the park with three sits alone the way and she seems to be in 4 paw drive. Her eating has been hit or miss but a dollop of peanut butter on top seems to help get her going and if she doesn’t finish her morning meal she gets another dollop of PB at lunch.
Abby has been so tolerant of her confinement but some times she just looks bored.
But we are back on the road to recovery!
So we are coming to the end of the second week of the new antibiotics and Abby is improving every day. She is loving the three meals a day and Riley too when I forget to pick up her bowl if she didn’t eat it all. She seems to like the kibble/beef broth rice/nature balance beef/yogurt mix. When we come back from her mid day walk she has been going straight to the laundry room for lunch.
She is now sleeping on her leg on a regular basis.
And she is sitting again!
Abby is getting out 4 to 5 times a day for a short walk, a out and back in the park across the street. It can be a little stressful when people are with their dogs off leash but for the most part everyone is understanding and they keep their distance. Well… except for one family the other night were complete jerks. When I asked them to leash there dog they suggested that I come at a different time. It’s a leash park! Really me with my dog on a leash has to choose another time to come park so that I can avoid a family with a dog off leash. Right. I couldn’t believe it and I was going to call the dog police but decided that I would just carry my direct stop and their dog comes any where near us I’ll use it.
Anyway things are going in the right direction, looking forward to more improvement.
So it’s been a week with the new drugs and we are seeing progress. Two days ago she started laying on her bad lag and on selective surfaces she started using her leg. Yesterday we walked her around the park on the sidewalk and she used the leg all the way around. I think we are on the road to recovery!
Cheri (Dr. Nielson) and her husband were passing by Pleasanton on the way home so they stopped by for a quick check and she is happy with her progress. Her leg has atrophied so we need to get her muscle back and we need to get some weight on her. We talked about exercise and food, made a plan. Instead of all around our side of the park I’m upping the number of outings but shorter duration and feed her as many times a day that she will eat.
She went out four times yesterday and she had breakfast, lunch and dinner!
So the culture came back on Sunday, and got her on new drugs on Monday. The new drugs are much stronger because the infection is pretty resistant strain (Staphylococcus) Six weeks of new drugs, 5 pills three times a day, I’m gonna be missing digits by the end of the six weeks. I’m guessing she had this all along but the antibiotics weren’t strong enough to get rid of it, just keep it at bay. To add insult to injury the drugs kill her appetite so she is getting all sorts of smelly food to get her to eat, when this is all over she won’t want to back to dry crunchy stuff.
We did manage to get the swelling, I came up with a good way to ice her leg, two ice packs and a ace rap that you can put in the freezer so it’s cold as well. The great thing is she doesn’t seem to mind the cold wrap!
We are still taking her to the park for a pee or a poo, she isn’t using the leg, kinda drags it a long, but she seems to like being out of the house.
We are hoping to see some improvement by the weekend, so far not so much (except the swelling continuing to get better)