Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Our visit last night was not the success I wanted it to be. Seems her temp is still up and when I mentioned she fell on it Sunday, the decision to sedate her and do an xray was suggested, at the same time the vet would be able to look at the metal plating to see if any infection had set in. He was totally amazed at her walking and the amount of weight she was putting on the leg without much of a limp.  Xrays showed everything was perfect, no damage was done in her fall, no infection, so whats causing the elevated temp? It could possibly be just her nerves because of where we are. Dr. Tropea handed me his thermometer and asked me to take her temp the next few days to see if that could be the problem, poor Brina, now moms about to violate her *S*. So here's crossing the fingers and hoping it stays under 39 degree.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Staples removed

so on day 8 we brought her back to have her staples removed, a very painless process, always count along with the vet to make sure all are removed.

We weighed Brina and were amazed that there was no weight loss or gain, we have to watch her diet to make sure during her inactivity that she doesn't gain too much and damage her other knee's.  One staple was turned around and took a bit longer to remove. Her dr was impressed with her walking but she had a slight fever which he's treating with a 10 day round of antibiotics , Zeniquin, once a day with food, they really seem to make her stomach upset and would bring up bile each morning.  We can now start rotating her leg for 5 rotations each time, increasing it as we go along, we use a warm pack before the exercise to warm up her muscles and a cool pack afterwards to ward off pain and cool the muscles down to avoid spasms. We can also now do a 5-8 minutes walk on a flat surface, so we use our driveway and do two laps, when we come in we give her leg a good massage, she seems to appreciate it. Her appetite is now back to normal and we're still giving her the yogurt. And best of all, she's now allowed up on her beloved couch again...which means I've lost it *L*.

(why does it look like she's waiting for the remote and a beer?)

    Sunday Jan 30th, she slid off her ramp and fell onto her leg, the yelp that came from her was sickening and she refused to walk on it for a wee bit and continues to have a slight limp, we go today, Feb 1 for a recheck of the fever and I'll have him check it out then, hopefully no damage was done, but we've stopped her walks outside until we get the go ahead again.  I'll check back in with you all tomorrow and let you know how she's doing.


so we finally got the xrays . This series was taken to determine the extent of the damage and to make sure it was torn and not just arthritis, all I can tell you is that the "fingernail" size deep white is arthritis and they were amazed at her point of injury that she had so little of it and said it was because of the glucosamine we give her.
we asked them to check her hips while she was out also , we were worried about hip dysplasia because of her limp when she was 6-9 months old. if you follow the line of the socket and it covers at least 50% of the ball joint then thats great! and there is no sign or hint of dysplasia, Brina's hips passed with flying colors.

the next xrays were taken just before/during surgery to determine the angle

then after surgery before they awoke her, note the staples.

catch up

ok, its about time I catch up on all thats been happening, Brina continued to improve daily from her surgery, we were amazed at her appetite, there seemed to be no filling her up, I added plain yogurt to her diet to help combat the antibiotics from killing off the good bacteria with the bad. I kept my bedside vigil for 5 nights, after that time she seemed quite able to move around when needed and to shift from side to side without hurting herself.

   No one mentioned how lonely she would be!! She'd do a pitiful bark and "pee pee" dance till one of us would get up, take her out and then lay down with her, thus giving her the company she wanted*L* so we'd be wide awake with her snuggled up and sleeping beside us. 
   She had some swelling around her ankle, fluids gathering, but not like we'd expected, mulitply daily massages helped with that and she really seemed to enjoy having us rub and massage her bad leg.

we started at this point to allow her a bit more freedom and she soon took over the living room as her kennel, she was kept gated from the rest of the house and had to stay only where we placed scatter mats.   

Saturday, January 15, 2011

alright, now I have time to update, mind you, I don't have the xrays from the vet and will add them later along with the correct angles .

   I called the vet at 3 pm to see how Brina was doing and was told she was in surgery at that moment and the vet would call me when it was all over. The call came at 5:15 pm.

   The surgery went better than expected, it appears her cruciate ligament was 100% torn and they were amazed she was still walking on it.  I can't go into the mechanics of the operation because to be honest, I wouldn't be able to do it justice, I know they changed the angle of her "knee" anything under 10 that they achieve is great, Brina's was 6 degree.  The vet spent quite a bit of time explaining to us what to expect, what to watch for and how to treat it. We have a vet tech who specializes in physical therapy and will make an appointment with us if we so desire.  we were given antibiotics, 3 times a day , her metacam was increased to 33ml once a day and to our amazement, human painkillers that Larry had to pick up at our pharmacy 100mg tramadol twice a day or if needed 3 a day for 14 days. Thank god they also make her drowsy, for some reason, dogs don't understand "no activity" and "ouchie". Ok, armed with some knowledge, some xray viewing we waited for them to bring us our poor, drugged, sick , "I'll be so sore, and limp you'll have to carry me out to the bed you made in the car for me".
  silly us

   Our first clue that we were in for some fun was hearing her trademark "screaming" coming at us from down the hall. She flew at us, we had to  hold her tight to calm her down, slipped off  the vets leash and put ours on and our new best friend, the outward hound up and out sling was put into place.

   It was a struggle to slow her down to lift her into the car. She panted, whined and just wouldn't settle down . we had her "room" all ready and waiting for her.
Puppy pen filled with comforters, a roll of carpet leading to it, non slip scatter mats all around it and leading to the sunroom where she exits to go do her duty.

   She cried and seemed to be in a lot of discomfort from the ride home and I had to climb in the pen to sit with her holding onto her leash. A  short leash should be left on them for the first 4 weeks and man, does it come in handy.
Larry went to fill her perscription and we gave her a pain pill as soon as he got back, within 20 minutes she got drowsy and finally laid down to rest.

within 5 minutes she popped back up and started the whining again, we took her outside and low and behold the poor pupper had to pee, once back inside I gave her a frozen marrow bone which she set to work on.  One thing we did not expect was her great appetite!! I've added yogurt to her meal to help counteract the effects of the antibiotic on the good bacteria in her stomach. So far there is no runs or no vomiting which we were told to expect. Another surprise to us was that we were told she would have a hard time going poo, that because of the pain when squatting that we may have to give her something if she doesn't go after 3 days, well, along about 10 pm she started whining and hubs again put on her sling and took her out, she went!! thank god *L*.
     We have to watch her ankle/hock for swelling, some is normal and fluid build up there is also normal, to an extent, we massage the place a few times a day. They enjoy having the shaved area rubbed and the whole leg gently massaged, if you're squeamish then I'd advise not looking at the next picture of her incesion

The red is normal bruising on a dog, I've counted roughly 15 staples which will be removed fri Jan 21. 

    Night came and we debated whether to put her cone on or trust her not to lick the area, we left it off, Brina is pretty good at the command "leave it" and so far she's listened to us. My blow up bed was in place , she was given her second pain pill, oh and you know when they need it, Brina would switch positions trying to get comfortable, thats when you knew. So off I go to get into my pj's, Brina was sleeping on her comforters...................."was"....this is what I came out to see.

she was on my bed *L*, she shifted over to her comforters and we settled down to sleep, if she tried to leave her area I'd know because she would have to climb over me, she shifted positions many times through the night but stayed on the comforters, so our first night camping out together in the living room was a success. Until I got up to make a coffee *L* she always did steal warm spots.

 Day two began, I've divided her meal into 3 parts so that with each one she can receive an antibiotic, plus it breaks up her day.  Once she has her pain pill , 1 at 8 am and 1 at 8 pm, she thinks she's all better and gets energized for about 30 minutes so my suggestion to anyone going through this is buy some kongs! I have 3 that I'm rotating and I also freeze them. They keep her busy for a good half hour, I fill hers with some of her kibble, crumbled bacon, shredded cheese (but not if your dog is constipated), mix a teaspoon of yogurt in it and then stuff the kong sealing it up with peanut butter. We let her follow her carpet and lay in the kitchen for a bit, gives her a change of scenery and allows me to do a bit of work out there. Plan on being house bound for a couple weeks at least. I don't mind this part at all, her recover is first and foremost to us, I also plan on spending as many nights as needed sleeping beside her.  I'll try to update as much as possible and will add the x-rays, before and after surgery when I receive them. If you have any questions please feel free to email me and I'll do my best to answer them in layman's terms.
  oh , and on a side note? (why I love and trust our vet) we were given a high a low estimate on the operation and were surprised when it turned out to be 200. cheaper than the low estimate.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


  I brought Brina to the animal hospital   for 8 am today. She was excited to see the girls but knew something was up, she was panting and pacing.  A young tech came in to explain about the shaving, the pre blood test, time etc.  Still didn't put my mind at ease much.  I explained to her that I'd like the two vets to make extra extra sure that it needed to be done.  She smiled at me and told me that her 8 yr old mixed breed had it done 4 weeks ago and what all to expect, how soon she can put weight on it and that no walks of any kind for 4 weeks. The dr. will call me as soon as she's done, she is the second case today so it will probably be around 10:30 that she's taken in. So now I wait, had my "self pity" cry on the way home. At least my house will be nice and clean!!! Oh did I mention my considerate sister? She offered me her house keys in case I run out of stuff to clean in my own, such a supportive family *L*. Hopefully by noon tomorrow I'll have my Brina back home with me. stay tuned

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

  So its the night before the operation, she seems to sense something is up, sticking to my side, whining to go out, coming right back in....wandering the house and avoiding the pen set up that is ready for her home coming.  Brina could be sensing my nervousness, I run my hand down her back leg while we're watching tv and her head in on my leg and I wonder "what am I doing to  her"??? I know its for her own good, I know in 4 months she'll be a new dog, better than head says "you know you have no choice" and my soft compassionate heart says "My poor baby, I'm so sorry you have to go through this"......8 am will be here soon and we'll be off. Send up a few prayers for Brina and perhaps a little one for me.
  night all.