Saturday 21 November 2015

Dusty's Progress

A week ago today we picked Dusty up from Newmarket.

This is how his leg looked on day 3.

Day 3

On Day 4, he went to our vet for a check-up. She was a little concerned about his temperature being high, but said it might be because he was stressed. And he was very stressed. He shook and shivered the whole way out there – and was as calm as anything coming home.

So to save us going back and forth, she gave me a thermometer and asked me to check his temperature later that day. It had gone down by the afternoon. By the next morning (Wednesday – day 5) it had dropped further.

I have to keep taking his temp twice a day in case it spikes again.

I have also been massaging arnica into his leg – keeping away from the wound – to help with the bruising.

Carrying him up and down stairs and in and out of the back door, I pulled something in my back so I stopped being a stubborn control freak and let the males in the house do some of the carrying up and down. Pleased to say my back is now feeling much better.

First big step was that the fluid around his ankle had gone by day 4 and he is now putting some weight on his leg, not a lot, but it’s a start. He walks best if he walks slowly and as Dusty has never done anything slowly in his life that is a big challenge.

We’re keeping visitors to a minimum, but he’s had a few this week. The kidlets have all been very good, keeping low so he won’t jump up and putting up with being bashed with the e-collar.


Sleeping downstairs on the floor was what I expected to be the hardest part and it turns out to be the easiest and best. He settles down in his cave which he loves, kicks his duvet out and goes to sleep. I haven’t closed him in there yet. At the moment I’m letting him come and go as he likes to move to his bed, or my bed (on the floor) or up by my head next to the gate.

I couldn’t get a very good photo of him in his cave as I have the lights low when we settle down for the night.

In his cave

At night he wears a soft neck cushion as well as the e-collar as a couple of times I have caught him just about to lick at his leg. He is something of a contortionist.

The worst part of this so far is when he decides there is something up on the side which he absolutely must see and tries to jump up. Even picking him up and showing him there is nothing interesting to see doesn’t help. He needs constant supervision and that is stressful. You wouldn't believe how long it's taken me just to write this post!

Monday he has his 10 day check-up. I think the next step will be dispensing with the e-collar which should be sometime next week. I'm looking forward to that as much as he is! No more bruised shins!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Dusty's op!

This week Dusty will mostly be wearing an e-collar

Well things have moved along a bit after a worrying time since last I posted. Tom checked out Dusty’s leg and was concerned about the swelling round his stifle joint. Mainly he wanted to rule out that his jaw and knee problems could be related (must admit that had crossed my mind too) and might be indicative of an auto-immune disease.

So off we went back to Newmarket on Thursday where they did scans and x rays. The phone call when it came said he needed TPLO (tibial-plateau-levelling osteotomy) surgery for a cruciate ligament rupture on his right hind leg and that they had a slot for the next day (Friday) if we wanted it. You can read more about the procedure here. There is an x ray picture of the plate and screws which looks just like Dusty’s.

It was a relief that there was no auto-immune disease though – a bright side at least.

His op on Friday lasted for almost four hours. For the next few weeks we have to make sure he doesn’t run, jump or climb on anything.

At the moment he has to wear an e-collar until the wound has healed which should be in about 10 days.

We were shown his scans and x rays when we picked him up on Saturday. They also found the top of the tibia on his left leg is an odd shape and his kneecap is slightly in the wrong place. As well as that, there is a fragment of bone floating round in there. Not causing any problems at the moment. I asked if it was the result of some injury and he said no, just a mystery thing he was born with.

Finally falling asleep on the journey home

Anyway, he was over the moon to see us and happy to be coming home – it’s a 90 minute journey and yesterday it seemed endless. Tried him in the metal crate when we’d been home for a while and he said no thanks to that – he went so crazy I was afraid he’d hurt himself. We’d never used it so little wonder he doesn't like it. I’ve ordered him a soft one like Harley’s – only much bigger and hoping he finds that more comfortable.

Hopefully he will love his soft crate as much as Harley loves hers

In the end we made the smaller end of the living room into a pen and I slept down there on a chair bed with him so he could move about in a small space but had nothing to climb on.

Today he is in my office with me upstairs which is more comfortable for him. I carried him up and have a gate at the top of the stairs to stop him escaping down. It’s more comfortable for me too than sitting on the floor downstairs with him to stop him jumping up on the sofas.

This week we’ll take him to see our vet for a check-up, then hopefully once the wound has healed he’ll be able to start short lead walks.

Oh and I am having to do exercises with him, but the minute I start he sits down. He likes the leg massages though!