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.