Rehab – part two

This morning was Olive’s second visit to rehab. Like I had mentioned in my previous post, we were going to try hydrotherapy to see how she did before committing to it 100%. The doctor and the tech gave her a good check, and did another ultrasound on her hip flexor to try and loosen it up just like before. After that, it was time for the pool! Olive was a little apprehensive about getting inside, but she did great once she did! They start out with just a little bit of water in the bottom, and once the dog is inside, they fill it up more. (I wasn’t sure how it all worked until today) It took her a second or two, but she got the hang of it pretty quickly! She would occasionally just ride the treadmill backwards, and then have to work even harder to get back to the front. The peanut butter smear on the glass certainly helped. The tech was really impressed with how well she did for her first time, and was happy with how everything went. After drying her off, we learned a few new exercises to try at home, as well as practicing a couple that we had already been working on. They also used a laser on her again – but this time we tried a different laser. This one wasn’t as strong, and didn’t involve those cool goggles like before. 😉

We decided to go with the hydrotherapy package. She did really well with it, and the tech told us it was a great way to help her burn off any extra energy she may have – and boy does she have a lot right now! – so that was definitely a HUGE selling point! We have about a week and a half until her next appointment, so we’ll continue to work with her at home, and hopefully she’ll be back to her old self in no time!

Working hard for that peanut butter!

This exercise is great for making her put more pressure onto her back leg – you could see her little muscles quivering!
Getting sleepy on the ride home.

Thanks for following along!


Rehab – part one

Yesterday was Olive’s first rehabilitation appointment. The first one was included in the cost of her surgery, and was 90 minutes long. The doctor came in to do some measurements, and to check her range of motion. While she’s doing quite well, she has lost about 4cm of muscle on her bum leg, so we have some work to do to get it up to match the other leg. They also noticed that her hip flexors were quite tight, so they did a little bit of ultrasound to help warm, and loosen, them up a bit.

We were taught several exercises that we’re supposed to do with her everyday to help her start using her leg again. While she walks on it just fine most of the time, she’s still really compensating by putting most of her weight on her other three legs. And believe me, we want to do everything we can from having her harm the other back leg! The tech also showed us some massage exercises that will help her muscles from being quite so tight. She’s just like me with those tight hamstrings!

One of the last things they did was laser therapy. Apparently the day of her surgery, they went over to the hospital and did the same procedure as they did last night. We had to wear special glasses to save our eyes from the laser beams, and Olive had to wear goggles. It was my favorite part of the whole day! She looked so hilarious. 

The laser apparently helps her muscles, and cells, to repair more easily. She was such a good girl the whole time we were there, and while we know that we have work to do with her, they were also very impressed with her, too. 

We’re going to try and keep up weekly appointments until her 8-week check where they take x-rays to see if the bone has healed correctly. We take her back on Monday to try hydrotherapy – I can’t wait to see that! -and she how she does. We want to be able to see how she takes to the water as opposed to “land” exercises similar to the ones we were taught last night, and then choose the direction of therapy. 

She was pretty jazzed up last night afterwards, and had a hard time settling down. They did say that she’d be quite sore for about 12-24 hours, so hopefully during the day today she’ll get some good rest so Nick and I can work with her tonight. Most of the exercises seem to work best with two people as it’s helpful to have someone ready to go with the treat, and the other making sure she’s doing the movement correctly. 

I’ll check in next week after her first hydrotherapy appointment!

Olive update – part 3

I made it through the week without Nick! But man, oh man, was it good to have him home last night! Not just for dog duties, obviously, but it was good to “share the load” so to speak again! Olive was very happy to see him, and he’d even gotten an earlier flight home, so everyone was excited!

We took Olive back to the surgical center today for her re-check, and to have her stitches removed – no more e-collar, yay! We talked to the doctor (not the one who did the surgery, she was unavailable today), and she seemed amazed at how well Olive was doing. She said that if she didn’t know, she would have guessed Olive to be 4-6 weeks post op, instead of just the 2 weeks that she is! She doesn’t get x-rays until 8 weeks post-op – that’s when they check to make sure the bone has healed correctly – so we still have to carry her up and down the stairs, and use the sling when she walks on slippery surfaces. But after hearing what the doctor had to say, I’m REALLY praying that at 8 weeks, everything will be super awesome so she can start resuming more of her usual activities. Thankfully, we were told today that she could start walking outside a little more if we feel like she’s getting a little too squirrely inside, so that was good. Until today she was limited to 2-3 five minute walks in addition to 2-3 bathroom breaks. It will be nice to get her moving a little bit more. We have a physical therapy/rehab appointment on Wednesday, so I’m anxious to hear what they have to say, and how we can best get her up and “running” again!

I’m so thankful that she’s doing so well! We’ve been REALLY diligent about making sure she doesn’t jump, get too excited, or run around the house – even though she really wants to! And honestly, I really think that her v-dog, and turmeric and coconut supplement, are really helping her heal faster. The body recovers a lot easier when you put the right things into it!

So tired after going to the vet this morning! We’ve been calling her shaved leg her “tofurky leg”, haha!

In case you missed it, you can catch up on part one, and part two!

Vegan Musings

Nick and I have been vegan for almost 6 1/2 years now. We first went vegan due to watching “Forks Over Knives”. I remember the day like it was yesterday. We had gotten the documentary from the library after I heard some clients talking about it at work (I was a receptionist at a hair salon at the time). We were already living a healthier lifestyle than most, but we were still eating a lot of organic dairy and meat. “Food, Inc.” had previously made a really strong impression on us, and we were doing our best to eat local, organic, and the least amount of GMO’s as possible. 

I remember when the documentary ended and Nick turned to me and said, “We have to do this.” (side note: Nick has a family history of high blood pressure and cholesterol. I have both of those in my family as well, but hadn’t yet exhibited any signs of them like he had.) He continued, “If I can change the way I eat, and not have to take pills my whole life, and lower my cancer rate crazy low, then I’m all in! You with me?”  I was. We immediately went upstairs and cleaned our our refrigerator and pantry. We threw out everything that wasn’t vegan – we did donate what we could – and we soon realized we weren’t left with much. For the first several weeks, we didn’t really know how, or what, to eat! We ate a lot of stir fry, veggie burgers, and pizza without cheese. But after a trip to the library for some vegan cookbooks, and lots of Google searches, we soon had so many more options at our fingertips. 

I wouldn’t change our decision for anything. Not only do we feel great, but Nick’s numbers are well below normal, and he’s now running half marathons! I’m not so much the runner like he is, but I’ve recently discovered that Pilates are my jam! You just have to find something you like, and that you’ll stick with. 

While we originally went vegan for health reasons, we’ve definitely educated ourselves, and are now in it for the animals, and environment as well. The meat industry is horrendous, and just the thought of the amount of animal cruelty that exists makes my heart hurt. No living creature should have to endure what they do on a daily basis. When I look at Olive, and see her personality, I truly don’t understand how we can love some animals, but torture, and eat, others. I lived most of my life with that disconnect myself, and I’m so glad that I finally made the connection! 

Caring for Olive throughout this whole process has made me think about how happy I am to be vegan, and how lucky and Nick and I are to have the opportunity to love and care for her. And most importantly, my desire to care for my body, the animals, and the earth, is the perfect marriage with my faith. I believe God gave us this earth to care for, and that He doesn’t desire for any of His creation to be mistreated. I’m proud to be doing my part.