adventures of beck

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Update, 5 Days Post Op

Sonar is feeling much better. I ripped off her Fentanyl patches yesterday, per the Vet's orders. The drug's effects could be seen wearing off the night before I ripped it off, but there was an even more dramatic change in Sonar once I removed the patches. First off, she ate a whole meal, which was somehow a huge relief. Funny how you're wired to really worry about someone not eating. Very entrenched in your psyche. Second, she started bouncing around like her old rubber ball self. Yikes, dog! You're supposed to stay still! We're keeping her crated of course, but later that day when we came home, she had her old propeller tail going, which we hadn't seen in a good few days.
Her whole leg is incredibly less swollen, but it's still got a ways to go. She's lost a lot of weight, too. Her leather collar, which I meticulously fitted to the point that I could guarantee that she couldn't back out of it, only two of my fingers fit under it, and I used a leather punch to make a hole that made the collar fit just-so........ yeah, I can fit my whole arm between her neck and the collar now.
Sonar is also becoming interested in her incision. We've caught her nosing and licking it a couple times now. That's why you see the picture of her in a cone.
The promised cone explanation: I think her second or first night, she nosed her knee (or maybe it wasn't even her knee, just looked like it in the dark) in the middle of the night. I freaked out, remembering all the stories I'd read on the internet of dogs chewing their whole knee open, laying back all 22 or so staples, and costing their owners more than the original surgery in repairs. So I put the plastic cone that she'd come home from the vet wearing back on her. What followed was pathetic and horrifying.
After laying quietly for about an hour in her crate with the plastic cone on, Sonar decided she wasn't comfortable. She proceeded to try to get up and change positions. The stupid plastic cone got caught at every step, seriously frustrating my 3-legged dog. It jammed into the sides of the crate, throwing her off balance, and the bottom lip got caught on the ground when she tried to lay down. She stared at me with drugged, depressed eyes, and whined, begging me to do something. I waited, hoping it was a learning-curve type situation. It wasn't. The situation remained frustrated for 20 minutes. I spent 15 of those minutes frantically googling for a better solution. I found many. The Comfy Cone, the Bite-Not, several face masks and muzzles, the Pet Sleeve Rx (made from human-grade surgical drapes), bitter apple spray, and tens of thousands of frustrated, upset pet owners who'd gone through the same scenario. Half-days at work, "I turned my back for a minute" stories, etc. It was a nightmare, but it wasn't a new one.
I read a lot about the Comfy Cone, including the reviews where people said that their dog found a way around the cone and tore out all his stitches anyways. We have a dog like that. He's not interested in stitches, but he defies the laws of physics. Kayak jumps off 10 foot railings, clears 4 foot fences, jumps the baby-gate, and is generally fearless. But he can't catch anything and he's hopelessly uncoordinated. He knocks the baby-gate over as many times as he clears it. He crashes back first into creeks while attempting to cross logs.
Sonar, on the other hand, is a sensitive puppy. She fears the crashing baby gate, and wouldn't jump it if you dangled T-Bones on the other side. She can run like the wind but startles at sliding towels. She is the strongest dog I've ever personally handled, but she's frightened of small dogs. So when my sensitive-but-lacking-in-determination dog needed to stay away from her stitches, I banked on her personality and tried out the Comfy Cone.
SO FAR, we have not been disappointed. She's fine with wearing it, and she can maneuver inside her crate. It acts as a nice headrest. She's wearing it at night, and whenever we're not home/in the same room. We've seen her attempt to get at the stitches and not be able to reach them. True to form, she then immediately gives up. I'd recommend it. (Of course, if we tied a Kong to her leg, she'd eat a hole through the thing.
Sunset: caught on the way home from dropping fam off at the boat.


Blogger DCGirl said...

The comfy cone looks awesome. We had a cat once named Mittens who kept tearing her stitches out of her tail and eventually had to be sent to the "farm."

2:07 PM CDT


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