Olive update – part two

Happy Monday! It’s a dreary day here in Virginia. Yesterday was 62º, and it was glorious! I think Mother Nature is perpetually confused. I’m just glad it isn’t snow! I could really do without that for the rest of my life. I like to admire it from afar, but that’s really about it.

Olive girl is doing great! She’s recovering nicely, and doesn’t seem to be too bothered by her stitches. She’s actually been really good about leaving them alone, but every once in a great while she tries to lick them. Thankfully those times are few and far between. As I write this, she’s fast asleep in her bed in the kitchen. Nick made a little makeshift area for her where she can get up and move around, but not enough where she can jump onto any furniture. She got away from us the other day and jumped on the bed, and then tried to jump on the couch yesterday. Luckily, those were the only two times, and she managed not to hurt herself. I can tell she’s starting to get bored with all the rest she has to do. I can’t say I blame her much, but it’s really hard to reason with a dog!

Enjoying the sun!

She’s still not a fan of the e-collar, but she’s gotten the hang of it. She can now go in and out of her kennel much easier, and she’s found a way to sleep more comfortably. When she’s with us she doesn’t have wear it, so that’s her favorite. We just have to pull out the inflatable doughnut collar for her to wear if she can’t control her tongue. The 50% American Staffordshire Terrier really comes out sometimes in the form of her tongue!

We take her back to the surgery center on Friday for her follow-up, and to have her stitches removed. She’s gonna have quite the battle scar to show all of her friends! I’d say besides trying to keep her restful when she really wants to play, is having to carry her up and down the stairs, and use her sling when walking outside. She’s total dead weight when you pick her up, and while the sling is super helpful in making sure she doesn’t fall, it’s sometimes hard to maneuver. 

We hope that you had a great Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family! We were pretty low key, but enjoyed a delicious meal of Thanksgiving inspired nachos. They were a hit! We made quesadillas the next day which is one of our favorite ways to repurpose the leftovers. We started our Thanksgiving Day with friends at a local Turkey Trot. Nick ran the 10k (where he scored his PR!), I walked the 5k with a friend and her kids, and her husband ran the 5k. It was a COLD morning – the coldest on record in 20 years! – but it was fun to get outside and get moving. 

Look how red Nick’s knees are! I also lost all feeling in my right toes. A hot shower when we got home was just the ticket!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on Olive! Nick is out of town this week so I’m on dog duty alone. Usually it’s not a big deal at all, but whew! He’s helpful with the heavy lifting! 😉

Missed part one? Read it here!

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Olive update – part one

Olive is doing so well! Nick and I are so impressed at how well she’s healing.  I told Nick yesterday that her being on a vegan diet is probably helping with her recovery. 😉 She’s been great at walking on all four legs (she’s supposed to start using her leg right away – that’s why we have the sling to catch her if it gives out, or it’s too painful), and is even back to all of her usual outdoor habits which is also great. Means that everything inside is working as it should.

I would say that hardest part right now would be carrying her up and down the stairs for every outdoor trip, and trying to keep her from getting too excited. I apparently hurt my left knee sometime this last week, and so it’s pretty tender and it doesn’t feel great lugging 37 lbs up an down 3-4 flights of stairs! It’s like I have sympathy knee issues or something, ha! She’s also feeling better, and so she wants to walk around the house, and get back to some of her usual routine. She has this really fun bed in our kitchen that she’s itching to get back into, but it’s elevated, and so it’s a little risky for her right now to maneuver getting in and out of it, and if she were to move too quickly out of it on her own, she could injure herself even more.

We have her suture removal and check up scheduled for next week, and I think that will also help a lot as I imagine that stitches are uncomfortable and tight. She’ll also be able to be in her kennel at night, and when we have to be out of the house, without the e-collar, which we’ll all be happy about! Not only will she be able to be more comfortable, but that hard plastic is LOUD in her kennel when she’s moving around!

As I mentioned in my last post, having Nick here, and going through this whole process with me, is invaluable. We make a really great team, if I do say so myself, and we both love our girl, and only want to see her back to her usual playful self!

I just can’t get enough of these two! All the heart eyes!!

She’s home!

Our girl is home! We called to check in on her last night around 6:00PM, and we were told she had to have an extra IV of sedation as she was a little anxious, and needed help to relax. Thankfully, she was eating, so we were happy to hear that. She’s very food motivated, and it was great to hear she was still enjoying a bit of her v-dog!

Our pick up time this morning was 9:30AM, and when we got there we met with the vet tech – who was AMAZING! – who explained her recovery treatment, and what to expect. She didn’t act like any of our questions were dumb, and made us feel like we could handle it, even though it’s going to be a long, and difficult process. Basically, if Olive doesn’t recovery correctly, or in the proper time, it’s on us. She will be on strict restriction and/or crate time for the next 8-12 weeks. She has to wear an e-collar when we can’t keep an eye on her, and at night, so she doesn’t get to her stitches. She’ll wear that for 2 weeks, until we go back to have her stitches checked and removed. Right now she gets to go outside 4-6 times a day to go the bathroom, and to get some fresh air. We have a special sling that helps us hold her up under her belly so in case she loses her footing, and so she doesn’t fall and hurt herself any further. We have to use that for 8 weeks. 

She’s holding up surprisingly well, and I know she’s happy to be home. She doesn’t love the cone/kennel combo – which we had to use today when we were preparing, and having, our dinner. As I type this, she’s completely asleep in her comfy bed we have downstairs. She’s on two kinds of pain medication, which I think is finally kicking in, and helping her sleep. Sleep is definitely what she needs right now.

We’re hanging in there – Nick is amazing, and has been doing all of the heavy lifting (so to speak) today by carrying her in and out of the house. (remember that 3rd floor walkup!) He’ll be on travel in about a week, and so then everything will fall on me. Thankfully, Nick is off this week for the holiday, and so we’ll try and get into a routine that I’ll more easily be able to do my own. It hurts my heart to see her in pain, and not be able to talk to her and tell her it’s going to be okay. But she’s a trooper, and has been doing great. I ran out to Target this afternoon and got a few rugs for the main floor (we only have tile and hardwood on the first floor) so she won’t slip as easily when walking to eat, or get a drink.

Left: when we first got home, and she got settled in her bed. Her shaved leg looks so funny! She also gets colder much easier now that she has less fur. Middle: those stitches! YIKES! She’s our little Frankenstein. Right: finally resting, and asleep.

We’ve survived day two. Here’s to 11 weeks and 6 days to go!

A worried dog mama’s heart

Today our sweet Olive undergoes TPLO surgery on her back left leg. She’s been limping for about several now, and we were hoping that anti-inflammatory meds and rest would help. Alas, it did not. This is pretty much the most common surgery done on dogs (according to our vet), and I trust the vet completely to do the job well, but I’m just a Nervous Nellie over here!

We dropped her off at the surgical center this morning about 7:30 after filling out all kinds of depressing paperwork: things like “please resuscitate my dog” (or not), or “use CPR if necessary”, and “I won’t sue you if my dog never wakes up from her anesthesia”. You know, all the happy things! She’s such a good girl, and went back with the vet tech easily, but something about seeing her walk away made me so sad. I know she’s just a dog, and I trust she’s going to be fine, but suddenly she looked so little! She had no idea what was about to happen, and I couldn’t be there to comfort her.

We don’t know when exactly the surgery will happen today, but I will receive a call when surgery is about to start (after she’s prepped and asleep), and then the vet will call when it’s all over to let us know how everything went. We are scheduled to pick her up at 9:30 tomorrow morning, and then the real craziness begins. She’ll be on quite the cocktail of drugs, have to wear an e-collar (her fave – NOT), and be crated – except for 5 minute bathroom breaks – for the next 8-12 weeks. The first two weeks are the most restrictive, with a little more movement and exercise, as the weeks progress. But it’s going to be a long, hard road. This is the only time I’m regretting that 3rd floor walk-up as we’ll have to carry her up and down the stairs for at least a month!

I know this is going to better her life in the long run, and get her back to her playful self. And as Nick and I were talking this morning, there wasn’t really a good time to do this, so it made sense to do it when it’s cold and gross outside, and she won’t have to miss out playing with her friends as much.

I’m planning to blog throughout this process so I have a reminder of what happened, and how we felt throughout, as I’m sure with anything stressful, the details would begin to blur in our minds a bit.

Can’t wait to see my drugged up girl tomorrow morning!