Thursday, December 6, 2007

Patton plays in the snow V.2007

Patton plays in the snow 2007
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Winter has arrived once again to Wisconsin and Patton gets to enjoy two of his favorite things outside. Eating snow/ice chunks and chasing tennis balls. With temperatures in the 20's and lower, his tennis balls have become big ice balls which is fine with him. Two for the price of one.

With the anniversary of his first surgery fast approaching(Dec 9th), it was great to watch him run around like a nut in the snow since he was unable to last year. Yes, what a difference a year makes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One Year Ago...

patton bathtime
Originally uploaded by sufras.
As Thanksgiving approached this past week, the stark reminder of where we were a year ago came to mind. It is hard to imagine that our odyssey began then. It seems like a lifetime ago now. All the fear and unknowing of what kind of life my 7 month old puppy would have in the future. Would he be able to run with us, hike in the woods, and well, just be a dog?

One of the many things I gave thanks for this past Thanksgiving was, "Yes, my dog is going to be ok " and there are many that I owe a huge thanks to. I know I have done this in the past, but as I watched him run around the yard on Thanksgiving I thought of everyone who took part in making his life what it is now. If you were to see Patton today you would never in a million years know what he has been through. He tears around the yard like a demon in search of squirrels and rabbits, and the occasional bird that flies too close. He will chase tennis balls until his tongue drags on the ground and he passes out from exhaustion. Yup he is just another goofy Golden Retriever/lab. Lovable and mischievous.

As the one year anniversary of his first surgery approaches I want to give thanks to all those that made Patton's life what it should be. Dr. Gooch at the Animal Health Center for always taking care of the "golden child" from the day we brought him home to the many years to come. As well as everyone else there for taking such good care of him. I have never had a dog that LOVES to go to the vet/kennel. He loves his visits with you guys.

Thanks to everyone at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for taking such great care of Patton while he was staying with you. The phone calls before and after surgeries to keep us posted on how he was doing were great and made a scary situation a lot more bearable. You guys are the best. A HUGE thanks to Drs. Manley and Schaefer for doing such a great job on Patton's TPOs. And last but certainly not least, Courtney Arnoldy, Patton's physical therapist who got him moving again. Our family thanks all of you for doing what you do.

About the picture of Patton you see, this was taken after a week of camping this past summer. After swimming in lakes, rivers and rolling around in dirt for a week he definitely needed a bath. He wasn't too happy with me, but if you notice how brown the water is, a certain necessity

From our family to everyone, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Patton at Lake Superior, Duluth Minn.

Patton enjoying two of his favorite things, playing fetch with a stick and swimming. Could it get any better for a dog?

Hope all had a great summer

I am sorry that I have not been keeping up with Patton's blog this summer, been very busy between work and, well, playing with Patton.

So what has Patton been up to.... A lot of camping for one thing. Somehow a quest of sorts started for Patton. How many different bodies of water could he enjoy this summer. He hit quite a few, from Lake Superior to the Wisconsin River. I think he enjoyed Lake Superior the most, deep enough for him to actually swim in. The only river he really wanted to get in that he couldn't was the mighty Mississippi. We could not find a good access point for him.

He has also enjoyed playing fetch with his toys this summer. We bought a "Chuckit" for him(enables you to pick up and throw tennis balls instead of picking up wet yucky tennis balls with your hands). He will chase tennis balls and bring them to you for hours. A nice way to wear out a dog I do say. Eventually he gives up and heads for the back door as if saying he surrenders. After all he has been through watching him bound after tennis balls like nothing happened is a GREAT feeling.

Recently, he has also discovered that he can turn on the water himself in the bathtub. One night while folding laundry upstairs I heard the water running and thought one of my sons had turned it on for him.(We do this frequently otherwise he paws at the tub until we do) As I walked into the bathroom I noticed my bath scrunchie was shredded a little. I asked my son why he had let him do that he said that he hadn't been in the bathroom and he thought that I had turned on the water for Patton. Apparently, Patton found if he pulled the scrunchie hard enough he could turn the water on. I think I have to find a new hanging place in the shower..

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Patton playing in his pool

Patton playing in his pool
Originally uploaded by sufras.
So it was really, really hot outside a while back and my youngest son insisted that Patton needed a pool. So the "golden" child has his own personal swimming pool. He LOVES his pool. First place he heads when it is filled, he doesn't lay in it, or sit in it....He stands in it. He will play fetch with you and get whatever you throw, but it will end up in the pool before he gives it to you. When it is upside down(when not in use) and is filled with some rain...that's ok, he's stand on the pool in the collected rain water.

Patton and his tennis ball
Originally uploaded by sufras.

Patton was playing with a puppy friend of his, a chocolate lab puppy, and they would chase each other around the yard. Patton would grab the ball from Max and promptly run and stand in Max's pool. Now Max will swim in a lake, but wants nothing to do with his pool. So Patton would take the balls into the pool and play keep away from Max. Quite humorous I might add. That and them chasing each other around a camper and Patton deciding that chasing Max is nuts and turns around and meets Max head on in order to take the ball that way. Ah the advantages of being older and wiser.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Patton takes a bath

Patton takes a bath
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Ever since Patton's physical therapy sessions and his swim in a lake, he can't seem to get enough water. One night while I was upstairs folding laundry I heard him scratching on something. When I went to find him, he was no where to be found until I finally checked the bathroom and lo and behold, he was in the tub scratching on the tub. I turned the water on and he stayed in there for about half an hour splashing around.

So now it is routine, as soon as I go up stairs he heads for the tub and waits for me to turn on the water. Some days he just drinks from the spigot, other times he splashes around. But it is definitely HIS tub now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Patton has a seat

Patton has a seat
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Amazingly enough, he knows he is not allowed up on the furniture at home. Camping? It's all fair game.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

R.I.P. Reggie

Originally uploaded by sufras.
Yesterday a good friend was lost. Reggie was a rescue dog that my parents got when we he was barely a year old. The dog had been starved and isolated as a puppy. My parents adopted him and gave him a grand life. He had many issues like any rescue dog but my parents persevered and he became a loyal and good friend. He will be sorely missed by all.

Rest in peace.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Patton goes birding

Yes, Patton is doing pretty well after all he has been through. This afternoon while he was outside with my oldest son, he decided to go birding. My son saw the bird the same time as Patton did, unfortunately, the dog is faster then the boy. In record time Patton had his mouth wrapped around what he thought was dinner. Somehow my son managed to convince Patton to drop his snack and brought Patton in the house. My son went out to check on the bird and found it was quite alive and asked me what he should do. I told him it depended how much damage Patton had done to it. He replied it was flapping it wings like mad when he approached. I said let it be and we will keep an eye on the bird. Later on I went out to check on the bird and it had left our sandbox and moved to our neighbors yard. I could see that yes Patton had pretty much done the bird in, but it was a fighter and it was doing its best to go where ever it felt it needed to be. Its right wing was pretty much toast, checking later in the evening I could not find the bird anywhere.

What did Patton catch you ask? A Downy Woodpecker, I believe. Spotted wings and all.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Patton goes Swimming

Patton goes Swimming
Originally uploaded by sufras.
This past weekend Patton went on an adventure. Camping!! He hasn't been camping since he was about 5 months old. It was cold and snowy, so he didn't get to enjoy all that camping entails. He made up for it this weekend.

Patton went on a few hikes through the woods. Each no more then 2 miles but a lot of very steep hills to help strengthen his hips. He did great. He enjoyed all the smells to be had from the deer to the horse tracks he had to follow. And any other critter that happened along the trail previously. He truly loved these walks. Tongue hanging to the ground, tail wagging and pulling us along to go further faster.

I think, though, Patton's favorite time was when we walked down to the dog beach. The only "swimming" Patton has ever done was with Courtney in physical therapy so we weren't sure how he would react to a lake. He had the place to himself except a few fisherman in canoes a few yards out. (They must have loved us) We left him on his lead since we weren't sure how he would handle all this. He approached the waters edge and thought, "Hey! Another big water bowl just for me!!" and proceeded to take a drink. Since Patton loves sticks we figured let's throw one in and see what he does, not too far out but far enough that he would be in the water. A toss of the stick, Patton's eyes glazed, and ran for the stick. I don't think he realized that the stick was IN water until he landed with a big sploosh. (He likes to pounce on them) With a grab of the stick and a quick bolt out of the water, "What in the world was THAT?" he seemed to look at us questioningly.

We threw in another stick, a little more tentative this time as he went in after it. And that was all it took. By the time we left, he was soaked from head to toe. It was a very windy day thankfully and he was almost dry when we got back to the campsite. He slept very well that night indeed.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Patton!

Happy Birthday, Patton!!!! Today Patton is a whopping 1 years old! And what a first year it has been for him. One year ago today, Patton entered the world with his 5 brothers and 6 sisters at the Watertown Humane Society in Watertown, WI. Six months later, his Bi-lateral Triple Pelvic Osteotomy that he came through with flying colors. An awful lot for a puppy to have to go through. I have noticed though that he still has some scabbing under his right leg from the one incision that I will have to keep an eye on.

On his 1st birthday, Patton is doing great. He spent the day doing the things he loves best. Finding things to get into, everything from potholders to nail clippers and growling at folks as they pass by the front of our house. For his birthday he got a few cow hooves, a rawhide twist chew(which he is afraid of, pretty humorous to watch him play with) and a flying squirrel(a Frisbee for dogs that is square shaped) since he can now run.

I see it has been a while since I have posted so let me catch you up on all things Patton. He has been set loose by the VMTH and he is still progressing nicely. Our walks are currently up to about 6 blocks, when my legs can handle it and the heat doesn't beat him down. My oldest son also takes Patton on about a 2 block jog when he is able to. (My son is also in physical therapy for his heels and is on the mend for track. So the running is good for both of them) Our neighbor has a fenced in backyard and with the loss of their dog over Christmas has been extremely generous in allowing us to play with Patton in their yard. (Our's is not fenced and we need to train him with the electric fence that we do have) He loves it! He enjoys playing ball, both soccer and fetch, and he loves playing with his new flying squirrel. He still has a love for sticks and is a big help in picking up sticks from our lawn, sometimes he even lets you add them to the log pile.

If you were to see Patton at play you would never imagine all that he has been through. His gate is beautiful and no hitch when he runs. He is getting stronger everyday. The only hint of his surgeries is his funny looking coat. It has mostly grown back in but there is an obvious difference between his left and right sides and then from front to back in the length of his coat. The upcoming weekend he goes on his first hike as we go camping. The hill climbing will be good for him but we will have to keep an eye on him and not push him too hard. But I know he will have a ball.

Happy Birthday, Patty! Many more too come!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Patton's Graduation

Originally uploaded by sufras.
A week ago, Patton had his final physical therapy session. Yes, I said FINAL. Courtney was quite impressed with the progress he has made and with the results of his X-rays the week before, she felt that his was well on his way.

His final session saw Patton on the treadmill by himself. He couldn't wait to go in and then he wouldn't come out! He kept trying to go back in after we dried him off. His stride has definitely improved as has his gate. Just for a comparison, when he started he was walking at a pace of .5 mph for a mere 4 minutes. Last Thursday, 1.5 mph for almost 12 minutes. His muscle mass has continued to improve so it was time for his graduation. Once he was out of the tank and relatively dry, Dr. Manley (the surgeon that did his left hip) stopped by for a visit and also seemed pleased with his recovery.

It is hard to imagine that this Odyssey started 5 months ago. It is far from finished. We are still working on building muscle mass and increasing his stamina. The hills at Lapham Peak are in the near future. So I will continue with this blog for as long as possible. Keep all of you up to date on his progress, adventures and any problems that should arrive due to the procedures. Fingers crossed there won't be any setbacks.

The picture to the left is one of his final X-rays, a side view. The bone is healing nicely around the screws and the hips are sitting well. And the best news is, if you watch him would never know any of this was done.

Now if there was just a surgery to get him to stop stealing things......

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Patton's Final X-rays.....hopefully

Patton's Final Xrays.....hopefully
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Patton made, hopefully, his final trip to VMTH Orthopedics this past Wednesday. Shown are his x-rays from that day. Dr. Schaefer proclaimed him "98% healed". Best thing I have heard in months. Everything looks good and we got the green light to ramp up his activity...slowly.

These x-rays are a little different from the last ones because Patton was his usual co-operative self, and even sedated he was a wiggle worm and refused to straighten his legs out. But the bone has healed around the screws and that is what counts. While he was sedated, Courtney checked his passive range of motion because once again he is so co-operative with that during his therapy sessions. The good word....out of 165 degrees for range of motion, Patton came in at 150 for both hips. Absolutely great news! We still have to take it slow until he is back to "normal".

So, he goes back to visit Courtney this Thursday and I am sure some new activities will be added to his physical therapy exercises at home. I know he is happy to be on the move again. With the beautiful weather this weekend he and I went for an hour walk, with plenty of rest about half way through. He was totally exhausted when we came home but he later showed no signs of soreness.

I want to thank everyone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Especially the Orthopedics Dept, Dr. Manley, Dr. Schaefer, Dr. Colopy, Wendy and Leo for taking such great care of Patton and getting him on the move again. For always keeping us informed while he was staying with you. And to all the people that took care of him that I don't know about....a big thanks as well. Everyone that I came in contact with was wonderful and made what seemed like a horrible experience into a smooth ride. He is doing wonderful.

And though we are still working with Courtney there....a big thanks to you as well for being so patient with a fruit loopy dog. See you on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Patton Enjoys The Snow

A video of Patton playing in the snow days prior to his second operation.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Continued Workouts

Patton had his third rehab this past week with Courtney. She was quite pleased with how far he has come. When we started rehab he was placing most of his weight on his front legs and had a short stinted gait with his hind legs close together. He is now more symmetrical with his weight distribution more or less equal from front to back(he bears more weight still on his left hind leg but we're working on that) and his stance has spread in the back. New measurements were taken of his thighs, when we started he had a 5 cm difference between his left and right, now it is only 3 cm. So he is gaining muscle mass in his right leg. All good news.

Our walks at home have increased to 3 blocks so due to this, and him being such a fruit loop(he just wants to play at rehab), it was decided that we would put him in the tank for most of his workout BUT a weight was added to his right leg. He did great, 9 minutes of underwater treadmill. So we will continue to strengthen his back legs. I do notice that his gait is getting much better, more dog like.

For now we are going to continue with the same exercises as last week. Patton goes in this Wednesday for his post op X-rays. Depending on how well he has healed will determine our next step in his rehab. If all screws look good and the bone is healed, full restrictions will be lifted and we will get him moving a little faster. I know he is dying to chase a rabbit, bird, or squirrel, or even just play ball again.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Patton and Courtney

Patton and Courtney
Originally uploaded by sufras.
You have seen pieces of Patton's physical therapist in past photos. Courtney has been great at helping Patton get back in shape and getting him moving again. Just one of the many wonderful people we have come in contact at UW-Madison Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. I know he looks forward to our car rides to Madison(every time I go anywhere now he thinks he should be going too) and seeing everyone there.

Patton's rehab

Patton's rehab
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Sorry there has been a slight lapse in posting, life gets hectic and unfortunately this has been neglected.

Patton continues to improve. He still fights on his exercises, especially when it comes to his left leg. He will let you do something for maybe 4 seconds and then decide he has had enough. The right side he is more then willing as long as you are massaging him at the same time.

This past Thursday he had his second physical therapy appointment. Some improvement but he still has a long way to go. He is still under restricted activity until X-rays on March 21 when we(fingers crossed) get the all clear that he is healed.

More exercises have been added to strengthen his muscles. The right leg is in worse shape then the left. The trick again with Patton is to trick him into working. We have come up with us laying on the floor and having Patton step over us. He does this already, so should be fairly easy for him. We just have to make sure he doesn't jump over. Another easy exercise is for the boys to lift him up from under his chest so his front legs are slightly off the floor. Again, something that he is use to and will put his full weight on his hind legs. Patton also likes to "punch" you with his front legs, so when he does this we usually grab his leg, this will help shift his weight to the opposite rear leg, again helping with strengthening. This is also being done on a step with his front legs on the step and gently lifting one front leg.

With the weather getting nicer our walks are getting longer. Good for him.......and me.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Now this is a drinking bowl!"

"Now this is a drinking bowl!"
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Patton started his physical therapy at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The same place where he had his surgeries. We talked about how he was doing and watched him move around the room. The physical therapist pointed out some things that she noticed and that we would need to work on. The biggest thing being his lost muscle mass in his hind quarters. Some atrophying has set in, worse in the right leg then the left.

The physical therapist did some measurements on his thighs and then the range of motion he had in his hips. He came in at about 125 degrees and normal is about 165. So we have some work to do. Patton was as helpful as he is at home when she tried his exercises.
So we came up with some that will work on his range of motion without Patton realizing what we are doing and I think that will work.

After going through some strengthening exercises she asked if he liked water, he enjoys baths so why not. So we tried him in an underwater treadmill. Once he got in, he seemed quite at ease. Hence, him laying on the ground and drinking the water as it was filling. We kept trying to convince him that he ought to get up, once it reached his neck he decided that standing might be a good idea. He did quite well once he understood what we wanted him to do. For a 10 month old dog he did great. He walked for about 4 minutes before she drained the water and began to dry him off. (Now how come he doesn't eat her towels when she dries him off?) He was quite tired after all his exercise and as I got him back in his crate in the car to head home, he promptly passed out. I think he earned his nap, he worked hard whether he knows it or not.

Later in the afternoon he was a little stiff and whiny, so I did give him a Tramadol to ease some of the pain. In the water we were getting him to fully extend his hips while walking, something he hasn't done if a few months. So I can imagine those muscles were quite sore, as would ours from inactivity. I think with the exercises we received today and the sessions we have lined up, Patton will be chasing bunnies in no time. And that's a good thing.

The following pictures are of Patton in the treadmill.

"Now what have you gotten me into?"

Patton's first day of therapy.

Patton takes a walk?

Patton takes a walk?
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Patton's first day of physical therapy.

Patton plays and walks?

Patton plays and walks?
Originally uploaded by sufras.
Patton's first day of physical therapy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Good Days, Bad Days

I am noticing a few differences from when Patton last had surgery. He most certainly has days that he is his typical rambunctious self, into everything. But there are some days I have noticed that at night he seems to have difficulty getting comfortable. (Not that I could blame him, honestly.) He will lay in his cage and whine for a little, nothing serious but you know he is uncomfortable. We have pushed his walks up to one block and I wonder if that is part of the problem. He has lost some muscle mass in both legs so I can imagine it is like us when we don't use our muscles in a while. Today, I may have pushed him a little too far with adding another block in. It was so nice out ( almost 40, c'mon spring!) I decided that maybe we would try a little longer walk. He never complained or showed signs of overextending himself but when we got home he laid down and I noticed that his right leg was quivering. As I put a moist heat towel on, and gave him some pain medication, it began to ease. And for the next hour or so he would back in to me "asking" for a massage. So after a considerable rub down he seemed much better, wanting to play tug. He goes back to VMTH on Wednesday, I believe he will also see the physical therapist and I will have to see what she thinks. We just may have to take it a little slower then I thought we would.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentines Day

For Valentine's day I decided to get Patton a new toy. I found one that was a stuffed animal with rope arms and legs with cow hooves for feet. He loved it. He loved it so much that he ripped the face off in record time... 3 hours. He promptly removed one hoof within the first hour and it went down hill from there. I'd say he is feeling pretty good.

I have managed to get him to go up and down stairs with me. He is doing quite well but he still prefers his cage at night. He'll also only go upstairs (or down to the basement) when the mood strikes him or if he is afraid that I have vanished on him. You never know when that washing machine might seek revenge.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Patton's first "walk"

Since he had his staples out we started walking him again, just short walks up and down the street. Tonight, I took him around the block. He was so excited he dragged and pulled me for about half of it. But soon old habits kicked in and he walked next to me with little fight. He did really well but we did notice he seemed a little sore about a half an hour later. A little Rimadyl and rest and all should be good. Got to build his legs back up but slow and steady.

Two Weeks Down

I have been trying to post this for a few days...technical difficulties were not helping.

Two weeks have passed now since Patton's last surgery. He had his staples removed on Feb 9th. Once again he did great. As long as someone is paying attention to him, do what you want. Our other dog had to be muzzled just for exams, not this one..."love me and I will do what you want". It amazes me that he is still so willing to go to the doctors after everything he has been through. He sees it as another chance to see lots of people (and dogs) who will make a fuss over him. The ham. No wonder our nickname for him is "Lovesponge". He seems to never get enough and he gives back just as much as he gets.

We tried letting him sleep upstairs the other night since his staples were removed and he no longer needs to wear an e-collar. He was so excited to get upstairs that he took off for the steps before I could help him. He managed to get up about 5 steps before his back legs gave out. Much to my dismay, he began falling back down the steps. By this time, I was right behind him and was able to gently(though not gracefully) help him slide back down the steps. When he finally settled at the bottom of the steps he looked at me like "What the heck just happened?". I got him back on his feet and he made a bee line for his cage. After some coaxing and the use of his leash, I managed to get him out of the cage and to the foot of the steps. As he looked at me questioningly("Are you nuts, lady?"), my oldest son and I got him upstairs. Patton was thrilled. He has not been upstairs since the beginning of December.

The next morning concerned me, getting him down the stairs would be another issue. I had put the gate up across the upstairs just in case he had grand ideas of heading down on his own. I also brought up his leash and sling to help me get him down a little more gracefully. In the morning, as I got out of the shower, woke my boys and let Patton out of my room. He picked up right where he left off in December. Finding the boys dirty laundry(he is particular to socks) and bringing them to me. He was in doggy heaven. Once he had completed his "job", we headed downstairs. I was glad I had him on the leash and used the sling. His back legs are quite weak after the surgeries and I think he would have tumbled down the stairs if I didn't have his back end. I know he was happy to sleep with us upstairs but last night when it was time for bed I called him to come up with me and he headed straight for his cage. No amount of coaxing could budge him. He wouldn't let me use his leash, he wanted no part of going up those stairs again and that is ok. He has no problem with 2-3 steps but a flight of stairs is like asking someone to climb Mt. Everest.

So even though he is doing well and recovering quickly, his adventure upstairs shows me just how far we need to go yet. We have begun the short walks again. Just to the corner and back, 5 minutes. Slowly we will build him back up to where he was before his last surgery, about 25 minutes. Hopefully, by the time we go camping in early June he will be ready for a few mile hike.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

It's been a week already?

Apparently it has. Hard it imagine it but a week has gone by since Patton's surgery and followed by the incredibly long Saturday we had. The difference between last Saturday and today is amazing. I stopped using the sling altogether yesterday. Patton walks really well(better then he did after his left leg was done that is for sure), even on the slippery kitchen floor. The swelling has gone done and most of the bruising is gone. I have not given Patton the Tramadol since Thursday and I probably don't need to give him the Rimadyl either. After all the whining and crying he did last Saturday, it really does seem like a year has gone by since then. Patton is well on the way to recovery.

I have come up with a theory on his whining during the night. Good news is that it only lasted briefly. But I almost think that he was so swollen in his groin that it was causing him to go to the bathroom more frequently. He was going more then usual during the day, and even though we would take him out before we went to bed 6-8 hours was more then he could handle. So now that the swelling is down the crying at night has stopped. He is almost well enough that he could come upstairs with us at night but I want to wait until his staples come out on Thursday. Anyone that has had a dog in an E-collar can understand. The scraping against the walls and bumping the bed will make me crazy.

Our newest dilemma is that it is currently so cold here that Patton is having trouble walking outside. Not because he can't or it is too slippery, but the snow gets between his toes and it must hurt cause he doesn't want to put his toes down on the ground. A big problem for a 78 lb dog because I am NOT going to carry him. Muk-luks might be an option? But when it is -3 F with colder winds...maybe he should learn to use the bathroom like the rest of us. ;)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

5 days Post Op-Rnd 2

Originally uploaded by sufras.
Patton is doing incredibly well. He is walking much better then he did with the left hip. But the right hip wasn't as bad as the left and that may play a big part of his recovery. He is able to walk up the outside steps on his own, though with them being snow covered I prefer to sling him still. For some odd reason, the last two nights he has taken to crying and howling in the middle of the night. Not sure why this is, but it is not a lot of fun.

The picture was taken a few minutes ago, so this is Patton 5 days post op. You can see where some of the old hair cut lines are from when he had the left hip done. The incisions look good and the swelling is going down. The bruising is still the worst under his leg, as is the swelling. With his left leg I could get away with the exercises that the physical therapist wanted him to do, not so with the right leg. He seems to enjoy chewing on my hands as I try to do his range of motion exercises until I can't take it anymore. He is also found that if he opens his mouth before I get the E-collar on, I can't get the collar on. So new tactics have been developed to thwart him.

On the whole, Patton has gone through this entire process incredibly well. I am truly amazed at his patience with all he has been through.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

4 Days Post OP-Rnd 2

Each day Patton is feeling more like his old self. This morning he was his typical rambunctious self. "Punching" people as they walked away. One of his trade mark moves as you try and walk away from him. It is more like he is trying to grab you legs but unfortunately with his big paws it tends to hurt. I have the bruises to prove it. Laying on the boys so they can't go to school. He even managed to "jump" up as I was trying to get his leash on and punch me in the mouth.

We had brought his big bed from upstairs down so he could lay on that instead of just the carpet, tonight he has gone back to his trick of trying to drag it around the house and using it as a chew toy. So I am positive he is feeling better with each passing day. We removed the trans-dermal pain patch that the hospital put on after he came out of surgery, how he does now will be the true test. I was also giving him 3 of the Tramadol 2x a day, I have also backed that down to 2 pills 2x/day.

I spoke with our regular Vet's office yesterday and the countdown has begun to Feb 8th when the staples come out. Swelling is looking better, but there is still a fair amount of bruising.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Three Days Post Op- Rnd 2

Patton continues to improve. Swelling is still pretty bad in certain areas, thank goodness for the snow. He like to sit in it and eat snow balls, so parts of his body I can't reach are getting iced down naturally. One thing I have noticed this time around is that he is not "toe-touching" as much as he did last time. With his left leg he seemed reluctant to put weight on his leg. This time I have to keep reminding him to "SLOW DOWN" when I take him outside. The whining is starting to ease with each passing day. He does not like it when he is on one side of the gate in the living room and anyone else is on the other side in the kitchen. Slippery floors and hip surgery do not mix. He is also beginning to take more interest in his toys once again. Always a good sign that he is feeling better. We bought him a new chew toy while he was in the hospital, this evening he destroyed it. It lasted only 3 days....yep he is on the mend.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Two Days Post Op- Rnd 2

I am glad to report that Patton was quiet through the night. He is doing well today. He is still whiny but mostly after he comes in from outside. But that subsides after a bit. I am also noticing more bruising this time around around all the incisions. A bonus is that he also seems to be tolerating the ice more this time.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Patton comes home - round 2

Patton comes home - round 2
Originally uploaded by sufras.
This time the right leg. More staples this time. Both of the top incisions were closed with staples. Last time he had stitches on the smaller incision.

Patton Comes Home

Imagine my surprise when I was called this morning and heard that Patton could come home THIS morning. "Ummmmmmmmm.....ok" Not even 24 hours post op and he is ready to come home? They said that when they went in to take him out this morning he got himself up on his own and walked out of his cage. Unlike last time where he wanted no part of coming out of his cage less then 24 hours post op He is doing well but in some ways I wish they had kept him until tomorrow. He is very whinny (more so then usual) and even though he seems more steady on his feet...he actually isn't. Trying to walk him in the snow is proving to be somewhat of an adventure. And since he has lost some of the muscle mass on his left leg, he is having some difficulty when he goes to the bathroom. So even though I am glad to have him home, that extra day last time was kind of nice.

Tonight could be a long one.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Surgery is over!

Just heard from VMTH, Patton is out of surgery and doing well. He is still in recovery but the surgery went well. They will start waking him up slowly since he had some troubles last time. So at least the hardest part is over, now we wait to see how he does through the night. They will call me again later tonight to update his prognosis. I'll keep y'all posted.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oy! What a day!

Originally uploaded by sufras.
Patton went back to The UW Vet School today in Madison. He was happy to see everyone(and no throwing up in the car this time!!). We spoke with the vet on duty about his recovery and what was to be next for him. She wanted to X-ray Patton before we made any further plans. Not only to see how his left hip was healing but to see the condition of his right hip. She asked if we could come back in a few hours. (Weee shopping at the mall! Anyone who knows me knows I would rather be ANYWHERE else then something that involves retail)

Today's X-rays are what you see. He is fully healed in the left hip and there is no arthritis in the right hip. (You can see the two plates and some of the screws, he has 6 total) They examined him further after we left, since he was sedated it it was a little easier I guess. They found that he did have some soreness in his right hip but not nearly as bad as his left was 6 weeks ago. The vet felt that surgery was a 50/ decision. UGH! Yes, he had some soreness but was it enough to warrant the surgery? Would also doing the right hip benefit him? If we didn't do this ....what happens if in a year his right goes as bad as his left had? (Or anytime during the course of his life for that matter). Total hip replacement?

After some deliberation and a battle between heart and mind, I decided to leave him with them and let them do the right hip. There are no guarantees that this surgery is a total cure, but from what I have read, the results so far have been great. I also know from watching Patton these last few days run and romp, that it has helped him immensely. But I really hate to put him through it one more time.

So now we wait again. Unfortunately, the vet conducting the surgery is unable to do it tomorrow so his surgery won't be until 8-8:30 Friday morning. I decided to leave him today instead of bringing him back tomorrow due to the hour drive. I figured it would be easier on him. Many of the students were glad to see him back again(cause he is such a cool dog, and I do agree) The physical therapist has been in to see him already and she too is pleased with his progress. She is going to try and work with him a bit tomorrow.(Patton's first water experience?)

So, that's the news for now. If all goes well he could be home Saturday, the latest would be Sunday. Fingers crossed once again.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Things continue to improve

Haven't been posting due to just too much going on. Its hard to believe that we are fast approaching the 6 week post op for Patton. Patton is doing great! You'd never know he had surgery by the way he walks and goofs around. He is loving our recent snow fall. He is back to playing with sticks; throwing them in the air and then trying to find them in the snow again. He is putting full weight on his left leg and is beginning to "run" again.(as much as we will let him anyways) I have begun using our retractable leash on him when he is out in the back yard in order to give him a little more freedom and our walks have gotten to about 6 blocks(20 min at a fairly fast pace) before he begins to tire.

We are beginning to gear up for round two. He is doing so well I hate to put him through it again, but all I have to do is look at video of him walking 6 weeks ago in order to see how much he has benefited from the surgery. The knee is completely in line like it should be, very little turning out any more when he walks. No more bunny hopping when he walks, and best of all, when he gets up he doesn't move like a 9 year old dog. He moves like an almost 9 month old puppy.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Date is set?

I contacted the University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital today since we are coming up on the 4 week mark. Silly me, probably should have called a week ago. Anyway, we go back to Madison on Jan 24 were Patton will have his post-op check-up on his left leg and I assume to decide if we are to go ahead with his right hip. Looking at his PennHip numbers, he is a candidate for the right hip as well. If the VMTH feel the surgery is necessary, the primary deciding factor for doing the surgery now will be how steady he is and how much weight he is able to bear on the left hip. Currently, he still walks with a noticeable limp, but it is getting better each day. He still does not bear full weight on the leg when he turns or pivots. He will do just a little bit more than toe touch. If they feel that all is healing well and he is able to support himself with his left leg, they will operate on Jan 25. If the doctors feel that he doesn't need to have the right hip done at all, we make an appointment with the Physical Therapist and begin his rehab on his left hip. Otherwise, rehab will wait until the right hip is healed.