Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 16, Day 4: Look Ma, I'M FREE!

We spent this past weekend letting Maeby run around and hike like crazy for the first time in a LONG TIME. Gosh it's so great to see her so happy!

at the park

hiking at runyon canyon


Maeby's on top of the world! (or at least, Los Angeles)

I guess this is the end of our blog. So it might be appropriate to end with a big fat


Best wishes to all those with recovering doggies. Time flies by faster than you think!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

16 Weeks: WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my sweet baby Maeby, YOU DID IT!!!!!
Thank you sweet Maeby, for all your patience these last 16 weeks. Thank you for letting me shove antibiotics down your throat (not just one round, but two!), for letting me lift up your naked chicken leg for daily incision photos, for tolerating that stupid plastic lampshade, for waiting so patiently in your ex-pen for weeks on end, for even stopping your running when I yelled "STOOOOOOP RUNNNNNINGGGGG!!!!"

Thank you for looking at me with your warm wet eyes every day, letting me know that everything was going to be okay. Thank you for understanding that this surgery was for your own good. And thank you, my dear girl, for healing so fast and healing completely!

And lastly, I want to thank those reading for following along with us on this incredible journey. I never imagined I'd go through surgery like this for my dog. And I certainly NEVER IMAGINED that I'd be keeping such a detailed experience of it! I hope you've found this information helpful, entertaining, and a source of hope for you if you're about to undergo surgery too.

Before Maeby's surgery back in March, I spent a lot of time reading up on TPLO stories. There are some GREAT websites out there. But I wanted to do something a little different by keeping our story pretty detailed, with lots of consistent updates, pictures, and videos. I know seeing lots of photos and videos would have been helpful for me, so I hope this blog has helped you!

I took a video of Maeby walking every week (except Week 8) and have compiled them all here. Stay tuned for one last blog entry with some TPLO tips!



















Monday, July 2, 2007


The countdown is officially ON!!! We only have 3 more days left until Maeby is free and clear with her "romping papers!!" Since week 13, we've been steadily introducing her to jogging and running. I've been taking her on short runs in the morning and she's been doing fantastic. No signs of limping at all.

So this past weekend, we took Maeby to Dog Beach in San Diego for what'll probably be the last time for awhile. She spent a good hour or two just running around the beach and having a good time splashing around in the ocean. She was just having too much fun and I couldn't bring myself to stop her, even though it might cause her to limp later from all the playing.

WELL SHE NEVER LIMPED AT ALL. Not even her weight bearing changed. I think she'll be ready for a leash free weekend by the end of the week -- I'M ECSTATIC!

After running, this is Maeby's next favorite activity

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Week 14: Video Update

I had an incredible stroke of luck in my professional life: I resigned at my last job and gave 2 weeks notice, only to have my (now former) employer tell me to take a 2 week paid vacation.

I don't know when the last time I had a paid vacation was! (Maybe never??) And this coincided PERFECTLY with Maeby's recovery process. I've been taking her hiking every other day, on slow jogs through the neighborhood, to dog beaches in LA. Maeby's leg is getting so much stronger, and I've been getting a nice tan!

You can see how well Maeby's walking now in our latest video -- she's just zipping down the sidewalk. And if you could see my face, you'd see a very happy and well-rested me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Week 13, Day 4: These paws were made for hiking

Finally took Maeby to Runyon Canyon for her first hike ever!!

She stayed on leash the entire time, per vet's instructions. And we really didn't hike that much, maybe just 20 minutes. But she had such a good time!! I think the last time I saw her so happy was when we went to the beach and she dug to China.

I was worried that she'd be limping later in the day, but she never did. I think her 2 hours of walking everyday has helped tremendously. Again, I can't stress how important it is to increase walks GRADUALLY, and CONTINUOUSLY!

Can you find Maeby in the sea of doggies?

Running on leash!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Week 13, Day 1: OUR LAST CHECKUP!!!!!

So the end is FINALLY near!

The vet told me to bring Maeby back 6-8 weeks after her 7 week x-rays. I was going to bring her back next week at 14 weeks but because she was 100% healed at her 7 week check up, I was able to get an appointment today.

The great news is that Dr. Owen was EXTREMELY pleased with Maeby's progress. She didn't tell me this before, but she was a little worried at how the surgery would turn out because of all the orthopedic problems Maeby has in her hips and pelvis. (We think she may have been run over by a car in Mexico, where she was rescued from). So Dr. Owen thought that she might still walk a little funny. But she doesn't! Maeby looks great!

So Maeby is now freeeeeeeeee! Well, not ENTIRELY free. Dr. Owen said we shouldn't introduce her to high energy acvitivity immediately, but gradually introduce her to it. She's allowed to run on her leash, go hiking, and do all those kinds of things, as long as they're on leash. Over the next 3 weeks, I'm to keep increasing high energy activity and then she can be off leash and REALLY be free!

Wow. I can't believe it's almost over. I'm really really happy this all went by so fast. Back in March, June seemed light years away. Gosh, it's already mid June!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Week 12, Day 3: SAY CHEESE

I didn't take Maeby to Runyon Canyon with me this weekend. I just didn't want to push her too far. But the good news is that, we're back up to 55 minute walks now because her limping went away. WHEEEEEEEEW.

We did take her to Third Street Promenade though, and she had fun weaving in and out of the crowd of shoppers and tourists. And if we had any questions as to whether Maeby really is a Whippet mix, I think we got our answer today. We came across the sweetest Whippet named Moose, and when they played it was like Maeby was looking in a mirror. The same crazy play bowing, the same frenetic moves, the same circus dog twirling.. Actually, he was a lot better at the twirling than Maeby!

So I took Maeby to the pet store with me Mother's Day weekend last month, and there happened to be a photographer there doing pet portraits. I FINALLY just got the photos this weekend and I really liked some of them. The photographer referred to Maeby as being "soulful." Ain't she puuuuuuuuuurdy? :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Week 12

Hello hello, we've reached Week 12! 2 more weeks and I can take Maeby in for her FINAL CHECK UP!!!!

I think Maeby's limp is nearly gone. I decreased her walks and have been helping her get on the couch/bed, so I think she's doing better. We did a lot of walking on Sunday -- I took her to the Dog beach at Long beach so maybe that's why this happened? She didn't do any running around but maybe it was just too much walkign for her. I was planning on taking Maeby for a slow walk at Runyon Canyon this weekend, but maybe not...

I have a Week 11 video I still need to post. Man keeping up with this blog is getting HARD!



Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Week 11, Day 5: Limping

Maeby's walking has been looking really great these past few weeks. That weird rotating in her knee I kept blogging about since april was like 99% gone. Her slow trot was looking awesome. And she's up to 50 minute walks as of last Thursday.

This morning, I noticed her limping. It was very slight, and I thought it was because her leg was stiff from sleeping. But on our evening walk, I definitely noticed the slight limp so I cut our walk in half.

Now I'm starting to worry. I nearly forgot how sick to my stomach I get when I see any limping or change in Maeby's gait. I haven't had this feeling for WEEKS! I'm hoping it was a case of too much walking or something, but I haven't increased any walking since Thursday.

Of course, my mind jumps to worst case scenarios. I think about Guzzy on the orthodogs list, who was healing great until he started limping and was diagnosed with tendonitis at week 12. Or Nixie who had to get her plate and screws removed 4 months post-TPLO.

I need to stop driving myself crazy and get some sleep.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Week 10, Day 6

As promised, here are some photos of my Photogenic Pup from our trip to San Diego a few weekends ago:

Thinking really hard about digging...

AFTER said digging

I love the colored stone ground at Balboa Park...

...and Maeby likes them too!

So I've decided... if this whole advertising thing doesn't work out, I'm going to be a full time dog photographer. That would be fun.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Week 10, Day 5: Corn Dog, Redefined

*WARNING: Don't read this post if you love corn dogs. You may never look at them the same way again.*

I always use a bag of frozen corn to ice Maeby's knees after our walks. One night this week, I forgot to take it away from her and put it back in the freezer. Major woops. I stepped out for a minute to pick up a friend from the airport, and when I came home I was welcomed by the faint scent of sweet corn.

Inside her ex-pen, I found the bag. Torn open. With only half the corn remaining.

And then Maeby pooped corn for the next 3 days straight.

So now, not only is she a circus dog. She's a corn dog. My sweet, yellow corn-pooping corn dog.

On another non-poop related note, we had a BBQ this past weekend to celebrate Memorial Day. Maeby loves company and had a blast being an attention whore. The cool thing was, nobody could tell which leg she had surgery on!

Okay so here's our Week 10 video:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Week 9, Day 6: Beach fun

Took Maeby to visit the boyfriend in San Diego this past weekend. SHE HAD A BLAST! Since she's up to 40 minute walks now, we took her everywhere -- Lounged in the sun at Balboa Park, ate at a bakery in Hillcrest, and even took her to the dog beach.

This was maybe her second or third time going, and she had such a great time. She wanted to run and jump around in the sand with the other dogs, but as we all know that's a major no-no. So I found a patch of sand away from most other doggies and Maeby had fun people (doggie?) watching. She also had a lot of fun doing this:

I think she may have been trying to dig back to Mexico. I took some great photos of her over the weekend too, so stay tuned!

Oh, and here's her Week 9 video. Lookin good Maeby, lookin good!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Week 9

Happy Week 9 to you,
Happy Week 9 to you,
Happy Week 9 dear Maaaaaaaaaeeeeby,
Happy Week 9 to you!

In case you didn't realize, we've reached 9 weeks. =)

I'm so bummed -- I got so busy this past week that I didn't take a Week 8 video!! Darn it. There goes my TPLO video collection.

Maeby is doing well! Her hair has almost completely grown back. Her walking is looking great -- we're doing two 40 minute walks a day now. And that weird knee-rotating thing is like 90% gone! She's still sort of sticking her leg out a bit when she walks, but it's waaaay better than before. I think if you saw her on the street, you'd have no idea she had major surgery. Most people sure are surprised when I tell them!

Thank you God for getting us this far. We're almost there Maeby-meister!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Week 8, Day 5: The Return of the Mall Dog

Alas, I've gone from daily updates to barely doing weekly updates on this blog. You know when you're scrutinizing the TPLO leg less and less that your doggie is starting to do better!!

Los Angeles is a really wacky, but dog friendly place. You can actually bring your dogs to the malls here. And I'm not talking about just outdoor malls. I'm talking about bringing your dog into Bloomies and trying on lipstick while your dog is laying next to your feet at the makeup counter.

So we used to bring Maeby EVERYWHERE with us on the weekends when we first got her. And it's been pretty rotten that we've had to leave her behind on the weekends when we go to the mall, coffee shops, or beach. But this past weekend marked Maeby's triumphant return to the mall! She loves all the attention she gets (and frankly, as a proud mommy so do i!!) so needless to say, she had a great time prancing around, showing of her new bionic leg. Heeeheee, I LOVE HER!!!

Week 8 video to come!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Week 7, Day 4: 100% BONE HEALING!

Maeby had her X-rays taken on Saturday, and we received great news:


Yipppppeeeeeee! The vet said her knee is tight, and that she's healing faster than average. I'd been worrying about these x-rays all week long, so needless to say I was SUPER EXCITED to hear this news. We are to keep doing what we're doing, and continue to increase walks by 5 minutes each week. Then in 6-8 weeks, we go in our for final checkup.

Good girl Maeby :) Thank you for keeping mommy's gray hairs to a minimum.

Here's her weekly video. She's walking much much better here than she was last week!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Week 6, Day 6: We've come a long way, baby

Maeby finished up her antibiotics for that weird inflammation in her scar this past Monday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't swell up again. The bump is actually pretty solid now. Why would her scar tissue be so solid? Yet another question to ask the vet this weekend.

The GREAT NEWS is that Maeby's walking is getting so good.
Her limp is pretty much gone now, but I've been wondering when the knee turning out/rotating would start to get better. I saw today that it's starting to go away!!!!!! She's actually moving her leg BACK AND FORTH more -- yes, her leg is still sticking out from her body a bit, but the weird rotating is definitely going away!

When I saw the improvement in her gait today, I wanted to jump in the air and pump my fists like a lunatic. Man, I love this crazy dog:

at Venice Beach a few months pre-TPLO
when she's not smiling, she's thinking really really hard

Monday, April 30, 2007

Week 6, Day 4: Video Monday

This video is actually from this past saturday but I got lazy about posting. Per vet's instructions of increasing by 5 minutes each week, we're at 25 minute walks now. And now I'm keeping an eye on how much her knee turns out when she walks. Hoping that will go away soon.

I study these videos like a nut! I watch each week's and compare it to the last one to see if there's any improvement. It definitely gets harder to see improvement from week to week now. I feel like I'm a sports coach, studying plays and old games or something.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Week 6, Day 3: My Circus Dog

So the good news: Maeby's limp is really starting to go away.
The bad news: She's getting REALLY HARD TO CONTROL!!

She's going in for her 7 week x-rays this Saturday (and I'm crossing my fingers for 100% bone healing) but then my mind goes back to all the "woops" moments we've had the last 6 weeks and I get so nervous.

We haven't had any major accidents -- no slipping or falling on the leg -- but she sure has been trying to jump, spin, and flip a lot.

Today was no exception. I stood there in complete and utter shock as Maeby proceeded to jump and spin around in a circle no less than 4 times. Had she been in a dog circus, it would have been really cute. But as a post-TPLO-only-6-weeks Dog, it was horrendous! "How did you allow her to spin like a top FOUR TIMES!!" you ask? Let me tell you, Maeby is light on her toes. She's part dog, part rabbit. It all happened so fast, and I stood there frozen with half of me going "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW" and the other half going "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"

I've always secretly refered to Maeby as "Maeby the Wonder Dog". It actually sounds like a pretty good stage name, doesn't it? Maeby the Wonder Dog, coming to a circus tent near you!

All jokes aside, I've really been making a concerted effort to keep her from jumping and being the spastic self she wants to be. So I HOPE EVERYTHING GOES WELL THIS WEEKEND!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Week 6, Day 1

Dear Maeby's Left Hind Leg,

It's me. Just checking in to say congratulations, we've reached the 6 week mark. How's it going in there? Are all those natural foods, supplements, and vitamins I'm practically pouring down Maeby's throat doing anything for you? I really hope you're doing okay, and not bothered by the crazy dog's attemps at jumping. I'm trying to keep her controlled, I really am. But I swear since this surgery, little Maeby has transformed from a dog into a rabbit. She just wants to bounce, bounce, bounce!

I promise to keep her still, if you promise to keep healing.

Thanks bunches,


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Week 5, Day 2: Video Saturday

Our weekly video update. Her walking is looking pretty good. Nice weight bearing when she walks, pees, and poos.

She semi-weight bears when she stands. But the weirdest thing though, is the way Maeby moves her knee. Her left leg doesn't just go straight front and back. She rotates the knee around when she walks. This is really hard to explain, but trust me, it's sort of weird. I'm hoping this will subside as her leg gets stronger?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Week 5, Day 1: On Increasing Walks

So last week, I had the biggest scare when Maeby suddenly started holding up her leg. She was walking GREAT before, and then this scary set back happened.

I realize now my mistake was increasing her walk time WAY TOO MUCH AT ONE TIME.
So I hope you read this and don't make the same mistake as me! This may seem like common sense, but as this blog may have revealed: I don't really use common sense too much, especially when it comes to Maeby.

The vet said to increase her walks 5 minutes each week. So as soon as Week 4 hit, I jumped us up from 10 minutes to a 15 minute walk in the morning. By that evening, she was 100% gimpy.

I spent the last week slooooooowly increasing her walk times. Minute by minute, each day. And each walk consists of 4 steps:

1) Start each walk by walking very. very. sloooow
2) Speed up a teeny bit in the middle
3) End by walking very. very. slooooooow again
4) Ice for 10 minutes inside, while Maeby chomps on a bully stick

Maeby is now up to slooooooooooooooooow 20 minute walks. Let me tell you, I was very very very scared to increase her walk time. My biggest fear was that once we started going on longer walks, she'd start hobbling again, and we'd end up at the vet.

Actually, the longer, slower walks, have forced her to use her TPLO leg a lot more. She's putting down a lot more weight when she walks, and she's weight bearing a little bit when she stands now.

I have no idea what the "correct protocal" for increasing walks is. And nobody really went into detail explaining this to me. So this is just what I've done and it's been working.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Week 5

Wowee, we have successfully endured a week without a single visit to the vet!

Maeby is now on her 3rd day of antibiotics, and the puffiness in her scar is soooo much better. It's still sticking out a little bit, but it's firmed up and no longer that angry shade of red it was on Sunday.

As far as her walking is going, we've increased back up to 16 minutes and she's doing great. She's still not bearing 100% weight on her leg, but I know we'll get there.

Yay Maeby!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Week 4, Day 3: UH-OH.

The lower part of the incision that was just slightly puffy before, is now really, really puffy and red. It looks like there's a lot of fluid in there, and seems on the brink of oozing. I called the vet ASAP to put her on the antibiotics she recommended if this were to happen. In the meanwhile, I'll keep smearing Vitamin E oil on it.

I did ask if they thought Maeby's sudden lameness and this sudden inflammation were related. They seemed to think they weren't, since her walking has gone back to normal. Then I asked if they thought I should bring her in to get a bacteria culture so she could be put on the appropriate antibiotics. They said she's getting the AB. they usually prescribe for internal suture reactions. If it doesn't start clearing up though, I'll be concerned!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Week 4, Day 2: Video Saturday

Fantastic news:

Maeby didn't have to go to the vet today!

Her walking was much better by morning, so the vet told me to gradually bring her back up to 15 minutes and if she becomes lame again, then she needs to come in.

I'm so glad she recovered so fast. I guess it was just a sore muscle/leg after all. THANK GOD! She's still limping a little bit, but man this is sooo much better than a few days ago.

Earlier, I thought it was just a coincidence that she started walking better and bearing more weight when I started feeding her raw beef cubes.

After this whole scare, I'm CONVINCED that the raw beef is helping her heal and walk better. Around the time she stopped using her leg (WED?), I had run out of beef so I just fed her ground turkey. By Friday, I was giving it to her again, and by Saturday morning she was walking great. I really do think all those enzymes and proteins that aren't degraded by cooking are really helping her along.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Week 4, Day 1

Maeby is a daddy's girl

Well, the good news is she's slightly toe touching this morning as she's eating her breakfast. And I gave her 4 Arnical balls last night, so the swelling is down some too.

The bad hews is, she's still limping and holding up her leg a lot when she's walking. I'm so worried about this, I'm considering calling out sick!

Maeby is putting a little more weight on her leg now, but is still limping a lot. Her walk is definitely no where near the walk she was doing on Saturday (See Week 3, Day 3 video below). I left a message with the vet to see if we should bring her in. Now it's just the waiting game...

Vet called back later in the afternoon and told me to bring her in tomorrow before noon so Maeby can get looked at by her surgeon and possibly get x-rays. However Maeby started walking pretty well by her last walk of the night. There's still a slight limp, but there's DEFINITE improvement.

It seems like maybe it was just a case of "too much too soon" and maybe she pulled a muscle or something. I guess those extra 5 minutes were just too much. People on the OD list mentioned that I should do a "warm up" and "cool down" before longer walks too.

If she's doing even better tomorrow morning, maybe I won't have to take her to the vet at all!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Week 4: Progress is a battlefield

Oh boy.

As usual, Maeby's progress is a roller coaster ride.

Today is the third day she's been on Yucca Intensive instead of Rimadyl. She's been doing great the last few days. And this morning was her first 15 minute walk, which I thought went well.

Well I came home this evening to find her completely holding up her leg/limping around. I have no idea what happened. Here are some likely scenarios:

(A) The walk this morning was too long for her
(B) The Yucca Intensive isn't strong enough for her
(C) She was jumping around and playing in the ex-pen
(D) Something happened when she was attacked and it's just manifesting itself now
(E) There are problems going on inside??

Another possibility is that she was jumping around because there were severe windstorms going on in town today, and I left the sliding doors open. Maaaaybe she got freaked out from all the commotion? *sigh* I don't know. It's another wait and see situation I guess.

I hate worrying. It makes me feel so sad and sick. I know there are others out there in far more worrisome situations. Others whose dogs are battling deadly infections, and oozing sores and other sad things. And here I am worrying because Maeby suddenly started limping. BUT I CAN'T HELP IT!

I checked her scar, and the bottom is still pretty puffy. When is it going to go away?


9PM: She's still limping and holding up her leg pretty bad. I have a bad feeling in my stomach about this. I hope it's not a fracture or something...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Week 3, Day 6: Maeby's Story


We are on the eve of 1 month post-TPLO. I can say as of right now, I have zero regrets. Maeby has had a partially torn ACL since the day we adopted her in January, so until her TPLO, I had never seen her walk normally. Instead of bending her knee, she would swing her leg out to avoid bending it at all. Eventually, when she completely tore her ACL, she hobbled around on 3 legs.

To watch her actually bend her knee when she walks now is so amazing. I am so glad we did this for her.

I really have to dedicate this blog entry to all those who helped this happen for Maeby. You see, I couldn't afford her TPLO, so many kind and generous people donated money to help her have the life she deserves!

Here's her story:

happy gal pre-TPLO

Only 2 days after I adopted Maeby, I took her to the vet for what I thought would be a routine physical exam. I actually found out that she has major ortho problems in her hips and pelvis (due to possibly getting hit by a car when she was young) in addition to a torn ACL that required a TPLO. The shelter I adopted her from said they had no idea there was anything wrong with her, and refused to give me back my donation money. There was no way I was going to return her to that shelter, but I couldn't afford a $3500 surgery. You see, by the time we decided to proceed with the TPLO, I had already spent nearly $800 on her medical bills. As I had only had Maeby for 2 days, most people told me and my boyfriend to just give her back! But we decided to fundraise for her surgery instead.

Through my personal blog and a website I set up for Maeby, our incredibly generous friends donated $1700. Her vet also gave us a huge courtesy discount and lowered her estimate from around $3500 to around $2500. United Animal Nations donated $300 in grant money, and Orthodogs' Silver Lining contributed another incredible $500.

Her surgery was estimated somewhere between $2300-2800. We had fundraised $2417. Guess what her final surgery bill came to?


I truly believe in God's good work, and in the power of prayer and miracles. I will not call the final surgery amount a coincidence -- I know it was truly a miracle!

So thank you to all my friends for helping me do this for Maeby. Thank you to United Animal Nations for the grant money. Thank you OSL for accepting Maeby as a "Pet in Need." Thank you Brenda, for being so supportive and responsive through everything. And thank you to all my Orthodog friends for being there for me and Maeby as we go through the healing process.

Hugs and belly rubs to everyone and their dogs.

Week 3, Day 5: A dose of calm and assertive

I forgot to mention that Maeby got attacked by a dog on Saturday.

When we first got Maeby in January, she was afraid of EVERYTHING -- especially big dogs. I read Cesar Milan's "Dog Whisperer" book and really worked on changing my attitude from one of fear when bigger dogs approached, to one of confidence. Maeby turned into a complete social butterfly and in the 2 months we had her pre-TPLO, she grew to love all dogs, big and small.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. We were on our afternoon walk, when a man and friendly looking dog approached. I allowed Maeby to approach the other dog and said to the owner, "She just had surgery on her leg."

Unfortunately the dog went straight for Maeby's leg, trying to sniff it. Maeby let out a little growl. And then the dog attacked. The next thing I knew, Maeby was on her back letting out little yelps while the dog was on top of her.

It all happened so fast. The man pulled his dog off and kept apologizing, while also mentioning to me that I should be more careful because dogs post surgery can be pretty sensitive and protective.

Thankfully nobody got hurt. But Maeby held up her leg for a few minutes after the attack and of course, in those minutes I thought THE WORST. But she started using it again normally and it's looked fine since.

So what's the moral of this story?
I know my thoughts have a great impact on Maeby. I've been fretting so much over it for the last month, and I know that she can pick up on my nervousness. My nervous energy + her natural instinct to protect her leg = one semi-agressive Maeby. Prior to the surgery, I've NEVER seen Maeby act agressively. She's barely even BARKED or let out a GROWL. Since then, in a matter of just a few days, I've heard her bark AND growl at a person, (another story for another time) and she's been attacked.

I have to remember this: She's doing well. She's healing nicely. So I should stop freaking out and be confident so she can feel confident too. Maeby needs a calm assertive pack leader right now, not a worry wart that's falling apart at the seams.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Week 3, Day 4

Now Maeby's leg doesn't look like a naked turkey leg.

It looks like a hairy turkey leg.

Her scar looks so much better than a week ago, doesn't it?

The top part is no longer lumpy OR red. The bump has traveled down to the bottom part of her scar, but I'm hoping that will go away in a few days time.

I should do a time lapse video with all these freakin scar pictures I have.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Week 3, Day 3: Back on her Throne

Like I mentioned in earlier posts, Maeby LOVES the couch.

So since her leg seems to be stronger these days, we decided to lift her onto the couch when we're home in the evenings watching TV.

I don't think I've ever seen Maeby happier. She immediately stretched out and fell fast asleep, with half open eyes, drooping mouth, and snoring included.

The Queen is back!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Week 3, Day 2: Video Saturday

Maeby's latest video update, 3 weeks and 3 days post TPLO. She has less of a limp than last week, but her legs still look sort of stiff. She's always walked a little funny, due to her extensive ortho problems in her pelvic area. Her doctors suspect that she got hit by a car when she was very young, and it never got fixed. So she's healed pretty abnormally on her own.

Her doctors say she has pain in her lower spine due to said injuries, so she's been in Rimadyl for that as well as her TPLO for the last 3 months! I'm hoping to get her on some all natural anti-flamatories like Dog Gone Pain or Yucca Intensive soon.

And since we always see her back, here's a video of my sweet girl from the front:

Friday, April 6, 2007

Week 3, Day 1: Good Friday Indeed!

Maeby always hobbles and holds up her leg about 85% of the time on her morning walks. Probably because she doesn't have any Rimadyl in her system after a good night's sleep.

This morning she started using her leg immediately, and kept using it throughout her entire walk -- zero Rimadyl and all! She is also weight bearing slightly on her stifle when she's getting up from the sit position. HUZZAH!

She was also unusually frisky this morning. She kept trying to run, flip, and spin in the house after her walk. I've been adding some rare stew beef to her food -- she had her 3rd meal with that today. I wonder if that's helping in her healing process??

The top part of her scar is now completely flat and un-red. (Yes I make up words as I see fit!). The bottom part, the part that was getting slightly puffy, is going down too. I hope it stays that way. There are no pictures, because Maeby has grown to HATE me taking pictures of her scar. I don't want to make her completely camera phobic, because after blogging about Maeby, my next favorite activity is taking pictures of her.

Below are some of my favorite pre-surgery pictures of Maeby and her best friend Bailey. I call the series "Help me, he's taken all my toys."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Week 3: Only 11 more to go

Walking: Good
Scar: Same

My little Maeby meister is a shedding machine. She gets brushed with a shedding blade everyday, yet I still need to vaccum every other day. We recently bathed her with a Furminator Deshedding Solution, and this morning I still had enough fur come off to make a small dog.

Now she's getting a Deshedding tablet from 1800petmeds. And if THAT still doesn't work... I'll have to learn to knit so i can make a Maeby hair sweater like this lady.

There's nothing new to report on Maeby's leg. Hence, this post about hair. Did I ever in a million years think I would be blogging about dog hair, bull penises, and homeopathic remedies? NOPE!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Week 2, Day 6

Took Maeby to the vet for the 3rd time in 3 weeks!!

Surgeon says Maeby is most likely reacting to her internal sutures. Considering she reacted to her staples, that doesn't surprise me. If the redness and puffiness continues to get worse in the next 2 days, I am to pick up an antibiotic prescription to keep any infection from breaking to the surface. The redness/puffiness was looking the worst on Sunday, so I'm hoping that we've passed the worst and that we won't need to put her on any more meds.

The great news is that she says Maeby has great range of motion! She still feels a little pain in her stifle, but otherwise is doing great. Last week, a vet tech had told me to start her on 5 minute walks, increasing by 5 minutes each week. That sounded INSANE to me. But Surgeon said that is correct, and that I'm to start her on 10 minute walks, 2 times a day. By the time I see her again in 3-5 weeks, she should be up to 30 minutes. WOW!

By the way, taking photos of her incision has been so helpful. Sometimes the changes are so freakin subtle, if I didn't have pictures I would think my eyes were playingt tricks on me. I showed Surgeon Maeby's photo from Sunday (the bad, puffy photo) and she could see how much she's improved since then. So if your dog will let you (Maeby is starting to get REALLY SICK AND TIRED OF IT!) I highly recommend taking photos.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Week 2, Day 5

So the good news is, Maeby's incision looks slightly less red and puffy today.

The bad news is, it's still puffy, and I think the redness and puffiness is spreading.

I spoke with a vet tech this morning, and she said if things continue to get worse, I should bring her in tomorrow. She could either be having a reaction to the internal sutures (didn't know she had any!) or *gasp* the plate.

The part that upsets me the most is that I've tried SO HARD to avoid any of these complications. All the raw fruits and veggies, fresh meat, vitamins, supplements, homeopathic remedies, flower remedies... If something is really wrong, I just won't know what else to do.

The thing is, she's still walking fine on her leg. She doesn't have a fever. And her scar isn't hot to the touch. I have caught her trying to nibble and lick it though, so it makes me wonder if it's really bothering her. Maybe there IS something going on inside??

God, I feel sort of sick right now.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Week 2, Day 4: Whyyyyyyyyy? (Pt 2)

Ok, I most definitely am NOT jumping to conlusions. Her scar is definitely puffier and redder today. I gave her some more arnica this morning, and popped a Vitamin E pill and put some of the oil on that. I'm hoping this will help with some of the swelling by lunchtime, but if not... it will be yet another visit to the vet for Maeby.

Sheesh. EVERYTIME I feel like we're making progress, something weird happens. First her shaking (due to f-patch), then weird rash after nice healing on incision (due to reaction to staples), and now this!!

Perhaps a beautiful snail crossing your path isn't a sign of good luck after all.


I've been feeling uneasy all day long. When I went home for lunch, the puffy scar was not quite as red. And it didn't get puffier. But I'm still wondering why it's doing this. I'm worried to see what it will look like when I get home tonight. I'll have to give the Vet Tech a call tomorrow and see what she thinks.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Week 2, Day 3: Am I jumping to conclusions?

The top of Maeby's incision is looking weird. It looks SLIGHTLY puffy and darker than I remember it. The BF says it looks the same as yesterday, and I have to admit that I haven't looked too closely at it for a few days. He seems to think darkness is part of the normal healing process, and maybe he's right. I just can't help thinking that it's something else.

I gave her some Arnica (4 balls tonight) so hopefully tomorrow it will look normal again. Her walking and weight bearing is still pretty good though, so whatever it is, it's not preventing her from walking.

Seriously, how do people have kids? How do you not worry incessantly about EVERY WEIRD THING that happens to their little bodies?? I think the worry would kill me.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Week 2, Day 2: Snail Saturday

Look what I saw this morning on my walk with Maeby:

Considering how many countries and customs there are in the universe, there has to be a place SOMEWHERE that says snails are a sign of good luck.

So I decided to take this as a good sign of good things to come.

And then Maeby started walking so well on her leg! So thanks Mister Good Luck Snail. I'm glad I moved you off the sidewalk so nobody would step on you.

Her left leg is still a little "bow legged." But it looks a little less so than usual. Also, her knee looked really "wobbly" for awhile when she walked on it. And today it looked less so than usual too. So yaaaaaaay Maeby! Here's to seeing more snails on our walks.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Week 2, Day 1

Maeby wasn't using her leg this morning. At all.

What a way to celebrate 2 weeks.

And it's all my fault! I got a little over zealous yesterday and didn't carry as much of her weight with the sling as I usually do, so she could start putting a little more weight on her leg when she goes up our steps.

I guess it was just too much for her. Now it's like we've gone backwards 3 days.



2:30PM: Still no leg usage. WAHHHHHHHHH. I MESSED UP MAEBY.


7 PM: HALLELUJAH WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS. She started putting her leg down a little when I got home from work, and used it about 90% of the time when we were outside on her walk. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew. Lesson learned: PATIENCE, YOUNG GRASSHOPPER.

I think we're due for a video update soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Week 2

We've officially reached 2 weeks, post-TPLO. HUZZAH!

Time has really flown by. It will soon be 3 months since the boyfriend and I found our sweet Maeby at that Petco adoption fair. And it will be just another short 3.5 months when Maeby can run free like the crazy Whippet girl she is!

Her incision looks SO GOOD TODAY. I'd say, 100% healed. The difference between Monday's photo and today's photo -- just 3 days -- is AMAZING! Those holistic vets weren't kidding when they said a combo of vitamins C + E promotes "speed healing."

Her walking is looking good. I know she's feeling better because she keeps trying to spin and jump around. This is when her ugly ass harness is really coming in handy.

today's photo is brought to you by the letters C and E

in case you forgot how horrible her poor leg looked just 3 days ago

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Week 1, Day 6: Hey Good Lookin'

Smearing antibiotic cream every moment I got since the staples came out has done us some good! Maeby had no scabbing this morning, but just to be completely safe I put some more cream on and left her with the lampshade. But come afternoon, Maeby will be freeeeeeeeeeeee and tonight we shall have a e-collar burning party. Yipeeeeeee!

last morning with the lampshade Maeby, I promise!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Week 1, Day 5: The coast is clear

Brought Maeby to the vet today and got really good news:

It wasn't an infection!! It was just a reaction to the staples. And we're post-op 12 days, so they removed the staples and that was it! Now that they're out, I can see how they were really irritating her leg. It looks almost like she got hives at that bubbly red area to the left.

I've been putting lots of antibiotic cream on it all day today, and keeping the lampshade on her. I guess we'll be using it for a few more days until her incision is completely head.

The other great bit of news we got today is that we got the okay for her to start 5 minute controlled leash walks, twice a day! I was really surprised that we're starting so soon. It's only been 12 days! It's also amazing considering how concerned I was about her not putting weight on her leg 4 days ago. Since Friday, she's been using her leg more and more once I started walking slooooow and making her use it. I also started her on Symphytum 30C, 2 times a day. Today is day 3 of that, and I'm seeing a DRASTIC improvement. You can totally tell the difference when you compare the video below, to the video I posted on Saturday. See, homeopathic remedies are amazing!

Maeby DID have an "oops moment" tonight -- she got up on the couch! She looked so pleased with herself and just didn't want to move. I don't blame her -- before this surgery, she was permanently glued to the thing. Now she stares at me so forlornly from her ex-pen while I sit on it and type away on her blog. Alas, she was exiled back to her pen very quickly, and I don't think any damage was done.

can i pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase go back on the couch???

she's still limping though

Monday, March 26, 2007

Week 1, Day 4: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

"The top part closest to her knee is nearly healed. A staple has already popped out on its own."

That's what I wrote yesterday.

Maeby, why are you making me eat my words???

I woke up this morning to see the top of the incision all nasty and red and inflamed. She had her ecollar on all night, and I swear she didn't do any licking yesterday. So what's going on?

Is she getting an infection on the inside? Is this an early warning sign? Is it just possible that she DID lick yesterday when I wasn't looking? Am I going to be a paranoid freak like this for the next 14.5 weeks? GAHHHHHHHH!

She ended her antibiotics on Friday -- so is it possible that she got an infection now that she's not on them?

I gave her some Arnica this morning. I hope that helps.


Saw it at lunch. Looks the same. Maaaaaybe a little less red?

We're going to go see the surgeon tomorrow morning for a looksie. I HOPE TO GOD ITS NOTHING SERIOUS.

By the end of all this, I hope Maeby has a wonderfully healed leg. And I hope I don't have a headful of grey hair.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Week 1, Day 3: My saving graces

always use an e-collar!

Look at the gunky scabby stuff in her incision. And compare this to the staple shot a few entries below. :( The good news is, its still healing nicely. The top part closest to her knee is nearly healed. A staple has already popped out on its own.

I try not to use the e-collar as much as possible when I'm home. But I can't babysit Maeby all day -- I have dishes to wash! Carpets to vaccuum! Blogs to update! So I dedicate this entry to the things that have made my life and Maeby's bearable, while she still has these darn staples in her leg.

I don't want her to become a fatty lumpkins by the end of this, so I've been trying to feed her digestible, healthy, and low fat snacks. Here are some of the things I've found to be particularly useful and succesful at keeping Maeby preoccupied for a few hours.

A: BULLY STICKS Yeah yeah yeah, they're bull penises. But dogs LOVE THEM. They are 100% digestible, unlike rawhide, and they can chew for hours and hours. The downside is they're pretty expensive -- I've been getting them for $3.99 on sale. Someone on the orthodogs list told me they're cheaper on ebay.

B: BEEF TENDON Again, another 100% digestible treat. The only problem I found with this one, is that it gets soft REALLY fast. You really have to keep an eye on your dog with this one, because the soft bits can hang all the way down their throat while they try to get to the dry end. I saw Maeby do this and my jaw fell to the ground! The other problem with this is that it stays soggy for a long, long time. I ended up finally throwing one in the oven until it dried up again. It's cheaper than Bully Sticks though.

C: BUSY BUDDY TWIST N TREAT: I just bought this for her today, and it's the best $10 I've spent on her so far!!! I originally went to the pet store to buy her a Buster Cube, but I read they're really hard to use. I literally sat on the floor with the instructions trying to figure out how to get out the cylinder in the middle for cleaning. And I couldn't do it!! The Twist N Treat screws open and closed, and you can control how big the hole for the treats to fall out is. I filled it with Maeby's kibble and she had such a blast with it. (See video below) This is SOOOO MUCH BETTER than the Buster Cube, and CHEAPER.

D: CHARLEE BEAR TREATS: These are all natural, and very inexpensive doggie treats. The best part is, they're smaller than kibble bits. So they're great for training (Maeby has learned a few new tricks in her ex-pen with these!) and you can alo use them in the Twist N Treat. And each bit is only 3 calories so you don't have to worry about your dog getting too many calories.

E: KONG If you don't own a Kong toy by now, I highly recommend you leave your house right now and get one. I LOVE THESE THINGS. I've been filling mine lately with a GOOD QUALITY, plain, nonfat yogurt mixed with a tad of peanut butter (3:1 ratio of yogurt: peanut butter, because PB is very fattening) and also squishing in half a dog biscuit inside. It takes her forever to eat through one of these. But I've also added frozen can food, frozen 100% pumpkin, etc. The great thing about Charlee Bears is you can use just one to cover the hole at the bottom of the Kong, so you don't have to worry about melting stuff getting everywhere.

I forgot to include marrow bones in the photo. But they're great too. Keeps Maeby occupied for hours, and gets all the tartar off her teeth. I give them frozen, just one a week because the marrow inside has a ton of fat and calories. Just make sure you get them in a size that's appropriate for your pup.

maeby the pig

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Week 1, Day 2

I think the lampshade is bothering Maeby's ears.

As soon as I take it off, she rubs her ears with her paws. That's not a good sign! I think her ears touching the plastic, and the moisture of her breath getting trapped in the cone might be giving her an ear infection. This seems to be a problem with other dogs on the orthodogs list too.

I mixed a couple drops of tea tree oil with water and cleaned her ears out with a cotton pad. Hope that keeps her from getting a full blown ear infection.

Her TPLO leg seems to be doing really well. She loves stretching it out, and she's even scratched her head with the leg. She also lay down with the leg behind her, "frog style" today.

As far as her walking, she's putting more weight on it. The sloooooooow, slooooow walking is really making her use the leg. I wouldn't do this if it seemed like her leg hurt her, but based on her comfort with stretching it out and laying on it, I think she's not putting weight on the leg because she just doesn't really try to.

It's not 100% down, but it's not just her toes tapping the ground either. About half of her paw is touching the ground and bearing weight. This is a HUUUUUUUGE IMPROVEMENT from even just a few days ago!! (See video below!)

it doesn't bother her to extend her leg backwards.

By the way, her toes on her TPLO leg were starting to curl in. Someone on the orthodogs list mentioned massaging the foot and extending the toes, as it would help the dog walk better. I've been doing that for the last 2 days, and it's really made a difference.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Post-op Week 1, Day 1: Finally some progress!

Maeby started putting a little more weight on her leg last night during our final walk, but this morning she was holding it up again.

I know this is probably normal, but I was hoping Maeby would be one of those dogs that made crazy amazing progress. I guess I'm just a little disappointed.


I spoke with Maeby's vet tech TM around lunch time and told her that Maeby was only slightly touching her toe to the ground when she was standing still. TM said that she should be toe touching by now, and suggested that I walk really. really. slooooooooow with her to make her actually walk with her toe touching the ground. If you walk fast, she says, they'll just walk with 3 legs because that's the easier thing to do.

So I did it. AND HUZZAH! Maeby actually was walking and putting some weight on her toe! I am so excited!! I imagine this is how it must feel to witness your baby's first step. WEEEEEE!

I normally let her wander around her recovery room after our walks, but now that she's putting some weight on her knee, she'll be going right back into her ex-pen. YAY MAEBY!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Post-op Day 7: I'm too soft

I thought I'd give Maeby a break from the lampshade last night while we were sleeping. She wears the darn thing all day when I'm at work! How cruel to leave it on another 8 hours through the night, right?


I did put her leg through a piece of fishnet stocking. Silly me thought it would stay on all night. We woke up this morning to stocking off and 2 places on her incision looking pretty inflamed. Her leg is definitely bothering her more today. She's holding it up a little more and there's less toe touching going on.

(5 minutes later)

I just checked it again. It looks pretty bad right now. There's actually a little bit of bleeding going on. I can't even take a picture of it. She won't let me. I dabbed it with a warm paper towel, dabbed on a teeny bit of antibiotic cream, and gave her 4 arnica balls.

How did we end up HERE, TODAY, after yesterday's beautiful photo?


So let that be a lesson to you, dear TPLO friend: DON'T BE A SOFTIE. LEAVE THE E-COLLAR ON. ITS ONLY FOR 10 DAYS!!


Went home for lunch. The incision looks SO MUCH BETTER. Thank heavens for homeopathic remedies.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Post-op Day 6

looking good. they say puckering in the middle is normal.

Maeby's starting to put her toe slightly to the ground when she stands. There's zero weight bearing when she's walking though.

Tried taking a video of her walking today. It pretty much sucks. But you can see how she's still hopping around.

The above video isn't TPLO related, but its AMAZING! Watch it!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Post-op Day 5: e-collar HELL

By 11PM last night, I was wiped out from Maeby's shaking scare and ready to go to bed.

Maeby had on her lampshade style e-collar and slept for a few minutes... but the second the lights went off, she started thrashing all over her x-pen. I put the lights back on, and made the pen smaller, but she was all bug eyed and wouldn't relax. I gave her Rescue Remedy, but she still stayed anxious. She started to shake and breathe very erratically. I thought maybe it was an effect of the F-patch still wearing off, but the minute I took the collar off, she stopped.

I tried putting on her pro-collar (even though it doesn't do a darn thing bc her neck and nose are so long!) and the same thing happened. Crazy breathing, bugged out eyes. I eventually got one of those "baseball tshirts," the ones with the 3/4 sleeves and stuck her leg in one sleeve, and cut the end of a pair of old fishnet stockings I have and covered the tshirt with that. I slept DIRECTLY next to her crate with the door open and lights on, so I could monitor if she started licking, or if my t-shirt concoction came off.

I pretty much woke up EVERY HOUR until about 5am. It kept coming off, or she'd start licking. I was so tired, I tried the lampshade again, and yes, she flipped out again in her quiet, scary way. So finally I put EACH LEG in a sleeve, pushed her tail through the head hole,pulled the rest of the shirt up around her bottom, and tied the excess up with a rubber band.

We slept peacefully until around 7:30. And when we woke up, it was still on! Hallelujah!

Too bad the minute she stood up to eat, it slipped right off. It was my first day back at work today, so I HAD to leave her at home with something.

I decided to play tough mommy and left her home with the lampshade. She wasn't as panicky about it when I left for work this morning, but I was still worried. I wasn't sure how I'd find her when I came home for lunch. Shredded doggie bed? Ex-pen on the other side of the room? Or, God forbid, Maeby laying motionless??

SHE WAS FINE! That little drama queen. She just really really hates the darned lampshade, but will survive. There are a lot of other collars that seem better, like the soft-collar (looks like a big disk) or flexible e-collar (like the lampshade, but made out of fabric) but by the time I get a new one, her staples will be out.

I bought some Impatiens over my lunch break, and am giving that along with the Rescue Remedy now. (of course, with lots of love and treats too!)

I also have to add that the people on the orthodogs list are WONDERFUL. I left a frantic post this morning about my horrible experience last night, and people were so incredibly thoughtful and supportive, offering funny stories and alternative ideas. Apparently, panicking is QUITE NORMAL. And though it may seem impossible, the dog will grow accustomed to the e-collar and will stop acting crazy after a few days. Someone on the list now is experiencing what can happen if you give in: Her dog kept licking the incision, it wouldn't heal properly, stiches kept popping open, and now the dog has a horrible infection that needs to be treated with additional antibiotics. THANKFULLY, it's a relatively benign strain of bacteria! Moral of this story: DON'T GIVE INTO YOUR PANICKING DOG! Try Rescue Remedy, Benedryl, lots of treats, ANYTHING. But that incision really needs to heal properly otherwise you're in for so much more trouble later.

my (not so brilliant) idea

Monday, March 19, 2007

Post-op Day 4

Maeby isn't acting as happy as she normally is today. It's worrying me a little. Is she already getting depressed from the confinement??

She's putting a little weight on the Pink Stump today, but alternates between bearing weight and slightly holding it up.

The leg with the morphine patch on it has also been shaking/quivering a little bit when she's sleeping, everytime she inhales. It's off and on. I called the hospital about it, and they said her leg is probably just annoyed by it but to still leave it on. I can't wait to get that thing off her tomorrow. Good riddance to that and the Pink Stump!


Ok, so this afternoon around 4:30, the leg shake/quiver evolved into a WHOLE BODY shake/quiver every time she inhaled. It kept getting worse and I couldn't get a hold of her surgeon, so I rushed her over to the hospital ASAP. She kept shaking during the whole car ride too, which freaked me out even more. Her surgeon was in surgery, so another random vet took a look at Maeby and said that it was probably due to the fentanyl (?) patch. Eventually he took her in the back, and he and Maeby's surgeon removed that along with her bandage.

When they brought her back to me, I was really surprised at how good her leg looked!! The Robert Jones bandage + arnica must have really worked, because her swelling is nearly non-existent. The bottom of the leg looks a little red from probably razor burn. She is holding the leg up A LOT, but started toe touching ever so slightly today.

I'm really glad I rushed her to the vet, because the gals on the orthodogs group did some research while I was gone. It turns out that fentanyl patches can cause respiratory problems, which is perhaps why Maeby was shaking while she inhaled. THANK GOD I GOT THAT THING REMOVED TONIGHT. I should have just gone with my gut and taken it off yesterday!

swelling so far is little to non-exsistent

she's so mad at me, she looks like a little devil dog

The incision area is crazy. It looks really good -- no fluids or puss or blood -- but wow, she literally has staples in her leg holding the incision together. It's my first time seeing that.

I knew keeping her from licking it would be tough (she's a major nibbler!) so on went the dreaded lampshade. We tried the pro-collar thing (the soft inflatable kind) and her shnoz is just too long for it to work. That's too bad, because SHE HATES the cone. She sulked for a bit until I took it off and kept her mouth busy with a bully stick. And we have to do this for 10 more days!!! MEHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Post-op Day 3

It's only been 3 days and she's already sick of me playing paparazzi

I've only had Maeby for about 2 and 1/2 months now, but in that time I've heard her bark maaaaaaybe.... 4 times? 5? She's just a really quiet gal. She really doesn't whine either. We think she may be part Whippet, and that breed is generally a very quiet, un-vocal dog.

Well, I think that's going to start changing pretty soon. We started Day 3 with her whining this morning because she wanted me to wake up. Which I'm actually happy about, because now she can at least tell me she needs something!

She's putting weight on The Pink Stump now, and is actually walking on it. It's a little akward, because with all the stuffing and bandaging, it's longer than her leg should be. But she still tries walking on it nonetheless. And weight bearing is good, right?

I found out the bandage is called a Robert Jones bandage, and is used to reduce swelling. I'm so curious to see what her leg is like underneath. All that Arnica she's getting is supposed to reduce pain, inflammation, bruising, and swelling. Will her leg look like a mess when they take the bandage off? I HOPE the Arnica is doing something!!!

She is definitely feeling really great today. She wants to spend more time on her feet, exploring the living room and following me and the BF around. She also wants to spend more time outside. I'm not sure what I should be doing with her right now on her walks. She has a really short attention span and gets distracted by EVERYTHING. She will be on the verge of pooping, and if something catches her attention, she'll focus on that and forget she has to poop! This naturally results in more time spent outdoors than I feel she should be. She's not running or even walking fast, just spending a lot of time sniffing around. Is this bad?? Because Maeby ALWAYS has needed time to sniff around before she does her business.

I felt a little guilty pre-surgery because some ladies on the orthodogs list seem to take weeks off to be with their furry babies after surgery. Maeby's surgery was on Thursday, and I only took off Friday and Monday. But at the rate she's going... I wonder if I could go into work on Monday. I probably won't, just so I can stay home and be with her. But I don't think it would be the end of the world if I went in.


So I posted on orthodogs regarding how much walking on carpet Maeby is allowed to do and I got a wonderful response: (thank you deej_612!)

Grace, I'm thrilled that Maeby is doing so well! My dog Blue had a
TPLO, and I don't remember how heavy Maeby is, but for the next 8
weeks it's standard that she is on best rest and is not to walk even
in the x-pen. If she is pacing in the xpen then it is too big for
her and she might fair better in a crate. When Blue refused to lay
down in his xpen, I threw a sheet over the top so that it covered the
sides except for the bottom 6-8 inches and so he had to lay down to
see out, and that really helped. In two days he learned to lay and I
didn't need the sheet anymore.

Maeby really needs to be laying down to let her bones knit back
together, and up and around the implant to support it, especially if
she is over 63 pounds and I'm sorry I don't recall her weight. But
too much walking will slow down the healing and risk shattering the
leg, esp. if she combines that walking with bouncing, climbing,
running or steps.

Also as she has a pressure bandage, be sure to check the paw to make
sure it is as warm as the paw on her good leg, as the swelling can
cut off circulation and that is dire if left unchecked. Standing too
much affords gravity to worsen the swelling. Ideally Maeby should be
laying on her side and when she does with the surgical leg on top,
then slip a folded towel or pillow or something under it to elevate
it so that it is parallel to the floor, to lessen swelling and so
ease pain.

JMHO; best wishes!!! Oh, almost forgot your specific question: Blue
was prescribed 3 walks a day for 2 minutes each for the first 8
weeks. Because Blue is in the habit of going out to pee at will
several times a day, and because Blue seemed anxious with the
schedule, I got the ortho's okay to raise that to 5 potty breaks a
day, 2-5 min each depending just on if he had to pooh.

The ortho was very strict about 8 weeks bed rest (crate rest), the
crate could not be large enough for him to walk around (no bigger
than 4x4 for a 96 pound dog with an ecollar), etc. The xpen ended up
being 4x4 and Blue couldn't fit in the crate with the ecollar, so I
had to go with the xpen, but with the 6 inch thick ortho bed, it was
too squishy for him to pace as all he could do was curl up in the
central dent of the nest of his bed anyway, or stand (which was not
allowed, and he got to where he only stood when he had to pee so that
became his signal to go outside), but not walk around.

Take care.

So I tried draping a sheet over her ex-pen, and she's already laying down more. WHEW!


Okay, so I talked to a surgeon at the hospital, and she said it's okay if Maeby walks around the house on carpet, as long as she's not running/jumping/playing, and not in a situation where she can slip. I'm sure with heavier dogs, they would need more bed rest, but Maeby is only 40 pounds. So the instructions above are probably more applicable to bigger, heavier dogs.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Under house arrest...

...and freaking myself out because I don't have anything else to do besides stare at Maeby sleeping peacefully and read about TPLO's gone horribly wrong.

God, I hope Maeby comes out of this okay. And I hope she'll stay healthy in the long run...

She's still doing really well. The BF and I think maybe she's pretty tolerant to discomfort and pain, due to her pelvic/hip injuries. I suppose a surgery (albiet very invasive one!) treated with opiates and painkillers is nothing compared to running around Mexico after being hit by a car (so we think). My poor Maeby. She's such a trooper. Her happy happy spirit, despite everything she's currently going through (and been through!) really touches my heart. I hope she understands how deeply Vin and I love her.


Post-op Day 2

The Pink Stump in all it's glory

We made it through our first night post-op.

The BF and I kept waking up every few hours, because everytime Maeby shifted positions in her ex-pen she would groan. I gave her some flower remedies and belly rubs throughout the night and eventually took her out for her walk at 6AM.

Her appetite definitely has NOT gone away! She's been gobbling up her food like a madwoman. Ground turkey, brown rice, grated carrots, fresh apple bits, some yogurt... sounds so gourmet!

She's doing much better going up and down the 15 steps to my apartment. THOSE DAMN 15 steps! Maeby's life (and mine) would be so much easier right now if we didn't have any stairs. It's just so unfortunate. We got her one of those fleece lined belly slings to support her weight. Yesterday, she cried out anytime excess weight was put on The Pink Stump. This morning, she's definitely gotten the hang of things. I know things are only going to keep getting better.

Thankfully, she's doing really well and I have the support of the orthodogs Yahoo group. Because NOBODY CAME TO TALK TO ME OR GIVE ME INSTRUCTIONS when they released Maeby yesterday. The receptionist said TM (Maeby's vet tech) was in a procedure and would call me later to see how she was doing. Now, nearly 24 hours later, i have yet to receive a phone call. I can't help but feel so incredibly disappointed in this. It's like they just don't care or something. Which is so weird, because prior to the surgery TM was SO helpful and good at answering any of my questions or calling me back. It surprises me so much that she would be so negligent at this point.

Like I said, thank God Maeby is doing fine. I truly believe all the flower and homeopathic remedies are helping her along.

Friday, March 16, 2007

She's baaaaaack.

Maeby hiiiiiiigh as a kite!

My wonderful boyfriend drove to LA from San Diego this morning to pick Maeby up with me.

We went around 10:30am to get her and wow, was she was a sorry sight to see! Bright pink bandage wrapped all around her leg, a huge e-collar, and gauze criss-crossing all around her upper body to keep the e-collar in place. People kept looking at her and clucking their tongues. I reassured them that it really looked a lot worse than it was. And it was SO GOOD TO SEE HER!!!

Despite it all, she's still her happy old self. The tail has ceased to stop wagging, and she's been giving us kisses. She panted like crazy in the car ride home, and I got really worried that she was starting to feel a lot of pain. But she peed a river once we let her out of the car so all is well (so far!) Now I know she pants when she needs to pee.

I immediately gave her some Arnica and RR when we got home. She ate some ground tukey, brown rice, and yogurt. Is gnawing on a carrot stick now. And is generally just being really good in her x-pen. The Pink Stump, as I'll refer to her stifle from now on, is making it difficult for her to change positions. She's started to groan a little bit when she does so. She's also started to nibble a little on the Pink Stump. We bought her a pro-collar, those inflatable things you put around the dog's neck to keep from biting. IT DOES NOT DO A THING. Maybe it's because she has such a long snout, I don't know? But she can still reach the Pink Stump and now I'll have to think of something else to use before I go to work on Tuesday.

Just gave her some flower remedies dropped onto small pieces of dog biscuit, and she gobbled those babies up. Little does she know that they're helping to make her feel better.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Parting is such sweet sorrow

one of my most favorite pictures of Maeby!

I dropped Maeby off this morning at 8AM.

I gave her a dose of RR and Arnica dissolved in water before we left. Also gave her a few drops of RR again before the Vet Tech came to take her away. I keep imagining her in a kennel, feeling very alone and terrified. I hope to God that RR is keeping her less anxious. They also let me leave her with my T-shirt and her favorite toy. I hope that's calming her a little too.

Maeby is such a happy-go-lucky gal. She doesn't act any different when we go to the vet -- still has a bounce in her walk, still wags her tail like it's a metronome. She got a little freaked out when the Vet Tech came to put on a name collar and hospital leash, but got happy again when she saw that I was following them. It wasn't until she realized that I wasn't walking behind her as the VT lead Maeby to the kennel area. Poor girl kept looking at me with a very confused, bewildered look on her face.

And that's when the waterworks started.

I guess when you're crying and sniffling back snot, Maeby sounds like Baby. Because that's the chart the receptionist kept looking for when I went to pay my down payment.

God bless Starbucks and Cinnamon Dolce Latte. I nursed on a venti all morning.

I'm just waiting now for that phone call -- the call that says everything went great, that nothing weird was going on inside her joint. I must keep thinking positive thoughts.

Tonight will be my first night in 2 months without that goober. Dear God, please keep my little Maeby safe and healthy.



I just got a call from Dr. Owen. She said Maeby's surgery went great. Gosh, I feel like 1,000 pounds have been lifted from my shoulders. I don't know why I was worried about so many things. Like, the anesthesia. Or that maybe her injury was worse than we originally thought. Thankfully, Maeby is doing well!!! I can go pick her up tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see her.

I asked about the potential of her other knee rupturing. Dr. Owen said her guess is that this first injury was linked more to her other injuries, and not due to the way her leg bones are. THANK GOD. How the heck would I raise enough money to get a second TPLO?

And now, our journey is just beginning.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Supplements, Vitamins, and Pills, Oh My

Things Maeby has been receiving since Sunday 3/11:

• 2 Milk Thistle caplets a day (1 morning, 1 night)
• 1 Super Joint Enhancer cap (1/2 morning, 1/2 night)
• Fresh carrots, apples
• 1T yogurt

Things to give night before surgery 3/15 AM:
• 4 pellets Arnica
• 4 drops Rescue Remedy

Things to give Friday 3/16 AM (POST SURGERY):

• Vitamin E, 100 IU 1x a day
• Vitamin C, 250mg, 2x a day
• 1 Milk Thistle caplet, 2x a day (Days 1-3 Post Surgery)

• 1/2 Super Joint Enhancer cap, 1x a day

• 4 pellets Arnica (Days 1-4 post Surgery), 4x a day
• 4 drops Rescue Remedy, Skeletal Support, Physical Recovery, and Pain Relief, given 2 minutes apart, AT LEAST 4x a day

I need a calender or something to keep track of all this stuff!!!

tomorrow is maeby's big day.

Maeby loves the park

i'm scared out of my mind. this is a pretty crazy surgery -- bone sawing, metal plates, screws.

so please keep maeby, vin and i in your thoughts tomorrow. i really hope everything is textbook and goes smoothly.

i know some people think i'm completely crazy for doing all this. others tell me they don't think they'd be able to go through it. but you know what? i believe in my heart you would or could if in my situation.

since the moment vin and i found maeby, she instantly bonded with us and trusted us. the weekend we adopted her, people we ran into at the park marveled at how happy and comfortable she was with us, and were surprised to learn that we only had Maeby for 1 day. she came into our lives so that we could take care of her, not so that we could abandon her because she needs medical attention.

maeby is the dog i've wanted my entire life, but never had. she's so smart, obedient, and sweet. her personality can light up a room. she deserves such a good life, and i hope this surgery can allow her to have one.

anyways, thank you everyone for being so incredibly supportive. the most amazing thing is that many of those who have been so empathetic arent even animal lovers!!! it just goes to show that we are surrounded by really good people.

I've become my worst nightmare

I've turned into that crazy dog owner, the one who makes vet hospital staff cringe everytime she calls or comes into the office.

OK, maybe it's not so bad. But I keep calling my surgeon's assistant with a million questions. She's extremely quick to call me back, and patient when giving answers. But honestly, sometimes I question her answers. She told me to give a hot compress for the first few days of an injury, and cold compress afterwards. Isn't that completely backwards??

And yesterday, when answering a question, she called me honey.

"Should I stop my glucosamine supplements before surgery?" I asked.

"HONEY, Maeby will be on those supplements for the rest of her life with the condition she's in."

That's not the question I asked! I asked if I should stop those supplements because some may have an adverse affect on the system during surgery. Honey in the context of her answer sounded so... so... PATRONIZING.

Thus, my feeling that she must think I'm THAT crazy dog owner.

So like I said, I've become my worst nightmare.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maeby's Surgery is in 2 days

Maeby's surgery is on Thursday, so I spent Sunday running errands to get ready.

Treats, bones, carpet runners, yogurt, pumpkin filling, marrow bones, a harness. I've been looking into herbs and homeopathic remedies to help her recovery process along as well. I've been giving her Milk Thistle with each meal, along with fresh ingredients in her food like apples, carrots, and ground turkey meat. She's been going #2 very regularly, and it's been a good consistency! I thought it would be soft due to the new food and M.T but nope!

I swear, she's got a stomach of steel. I guess when you're trying to make it on the mean streets of Mexico, you gotta learn to eat anything.

She's been keeping quiet in her x-pen since her full tear last Monday, and she's been so good about it. She's used to sitting next to me on the couch, and now she lays quietly on her bed and stares at me, but quietly. I usually end up going into the x-pen and sitting with her head in my lap. She's such a good, good girl.

I'm going to give her Rescue Remedy before her surgery and after. I've been taking some, and I really do think it's calming my nerves. If I think too much about the surgery, it really starts to freak me out. I tried some during one of said freakouts, and it actually helped. I think I'll be using this a lot this week.

Well, off to work. Only 2 more days of spending time with my Maeby until all the craziness begins.



Bought some more floral essences for Maeby today, after speaking to a woman named Polly who makes the Pet Essence line of floral essences for pets. So far I have Physical Recovery, Pain Relief, and Skeletal Support. I'll give her these along with Rescue Remedy, Arnica 30C, and another homeopathic herb that's good for skeletal support as well. SO MUCH FREAKIN STUFF. I just hope it makes her comfortable and helps her healing.

She's chewing on her first marrow bone and she LOVES IT! Hope it cleans the tartar off her teeth too.