Friday, January 29, 2010

Follow-Up Appointment Update

Amos' follow-up appointment with Dr. Gilson went really well. Dr. Gilson said that Amos is progressing very well and that he looks really good. He took out his staples, which Amos did not like very much because a couple were embedded in the scabbing of the incision, but there were no casualties. He gets pretty vocal when he is experiencing pain, and we're not sure if it is because he has been in a lot of pain because of his hips that he is now expressing that pain or not. We are working with the behaviorists at Best Friends to help us with some of these anomalies in his personality to determine if they are a direct result from the surgery or if they may be longer term issues we will have to deal with. We'll see. He still has one more surgery to go through, so hopefully these are only short term issues.

Now that he has had his staples removed he no longer needs to wear the dreaded gigantic e-collar. So that is making him very happy at night. We no longer get woken up in the middle of the night with him clanging the e-collar against the x-pen as he tries to reposition himself in his sleep. So that is good for us too. Per Dr. Gilson, we are also allowing him more space in the evenings when we are home and can supervise him by taking him out of his pen and confining him to our living room. He likes this a lot better than being confined to the smaller space. The only problem is that he really likes to be wherever Rick and I are, so if we are on the couch he wants to be up there too. We are going to have a heck of a time keeping him off of the couch while he is recuperating. We have been able to keep him down so far, but we can tell that the urge to get up there is definitely there. We are keeping him down by getting on the floor with him so he isn't tempted to try to jump up.

We can tell that his right hip is actually feeling a lot better, as he is starting to put more and more weight on it and is actually shifting his weight more and more to the right leg because it feels better than the left leg. This morning he even tried hiking his left leg (bearing even more weight on the right leg) when he went outside to go to the bathroom. That is a good sign it is feeling better for him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Post-Surgery Follow-Up

I know it has been a couple of days since I have updated all of you, but it has been pretty much status quo at our house. Amos is doing great and is starting to get a little stir crazy being couped up but he is getting into the routine and fitting in at our house with ease.

We did have a slight mishap on Sunday night though. He is still unsure of Casey and snarls at him whenever he gets close. Well, Sunday night he got a little closer than Amos had liked and Amos lashed out at him. Amos caught Casey in the right eye and his eye was a little banged up. He is doing fine now, but he now gives Amos a wide berth whenever he walks by him. We'll see if this behavior is due to Amos' insecurity of recovering from the surgery or if it will be a bigger problem as he recuperates. Only time will tell if Amos will get along with Casey.

Today is Amos' first post-operative follow-up appointment with the surgeon here in Phoenix. His doctor here in Phoenix, Dr. Gilson, at Sonoran Veterinary Specialists is working with Amos' surgeon in Las Vegas, Dr. Geels, on his post-operative care. Today Dr. Gilson will remove the staples from the incision site. We're hoping that Dr. Gilson will give us the green light to eliminate the need for the e-collar now that his incision is healed and the staples are removed. Amos hates the gigantic e-collar that he has to wear. If we are home and directly supervising him we do not have it on him and he has not even licked the incision once. We only put it on him when we leave for work and at night to sleep. So he is getting pretty difficult to let us put it on when those times come. We'll see what Dr. Gilson has to say. I'll fill you all in on everything from his appointment later this evening...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Same Stuff Different Day

Today was a good day. Amos keeps getting stronger and is adapting well to our routine and us. The separation anxiety issue is not really an issue today. Who knows what tomorrow may bring, so we'll see. We will take it a day at a time.
I think he and Rick have definitely bonded, what do you think?

A Boy and "His" Dog

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We Have a Routine...

We have settled into a great new routine with Amos and he is getting the hang of it nicely. We start the day off with getting him up, take off the H U G E e-collar (we have to keep him in the e-collar so he leaves the incision alone), we feed him then give him his meds and then take him outside to go potty. Once he is done pottying, we bring him back in to give him some love (short love session so we can get to work) in the pen then put the e-collar back on and secure him in the pen. Once we are ready to leave we make sure he is secure and give him a sedative to keep him safe while we are gone to work.

Rick and I have adjusted our work schedules so we can try (traffic is the deciding factor as I have an hour commute each way to work on a non-traffic accident day) to get home from work about the same time so we can get Amos out to potty. He is a B I G boy so it takes two of us to take him outside so that one of us can take the leash and one of us can sling his back end to support it so he doesn't slip and hurt himself. So once he goes potty, Rick sits with him while I move his pen and bed from the bedroom to the living room so he can be with us through the evening until it is time for us to go to bed for the night. We feed him and give him his meds and then I usually sit in the pen with him for a while so he can get some major 'lovin' and a break from the e-collar. As long as he is being scratched and brushed and loved on he leaves the incision site alone, so I usually hang out in his pen with him for about 30-45 minutes so he gets accustomed to us. Rick hangs out with him sometimes too, but it is mostly me at night.

Tonight he fell asleep while I was brushing him.

Isn't he the most adorable thing you've seen?

Once we are done giving him some lovin' we put the e-collar back on and secure him in his pen to resume our evening activities. I usually hang out in the living room with him and take care of emails, blog updates, etc. while he sleeps. Rick works on the computer in the office and usually washes blankets or beds, depending on what needs to be washed. We think he inherited a bad habit at the vets office and has a tendency to urinate in his crate, so we are working on that.

When it is time for us to go to bed we take his e-collar off and take him outside one more time to go potty and give him his sedative for the night. Again, Rick sits with him while I move his pen and bed into the bedroom so he is close to us at night. We place the e-collar back on him and walk him into his bed. We secure him for the night and we all crash to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Day...

So it was a pretty rough first night with Amos in his new home. Getting him out of the back of our SUV and into the house when we got home from Vegas was an ordeal as he was still pretty loopy from the sedatives they gave him at LVVRC before we left. He was pretty restless in the car so I'm sure he didn't sleep much on the way home so when he got out of the car he didn't really want to walk at all. We had an x-pen set up for him in our living room with a soft bed and blanket and tried to get him to walk to it, but he wasn't having it, so we ended up carrying him to it and laying him down (boy is he a B I G boy). We fed him and gave him his meds and some water and then he crashed to sleep. Dr. Geels at LVVRC instructed us to give him an Acepromazine (sedative) for the first few nights to help him sleep and to keep him less restless while we sleep and can't keep an eye on him. I made the mistake of giving it to him at around 7:30pm last night instead of right before we went to bed (they work pretty quickly). When it came time to go to bed, we tried to get him to move to go outside and go potty but he was completely out of it. Partly from the drugs and partly because I'm sure he was exhausted from the trip. We got him as far as the kitchen when he couldn't hold his bladder anymore and let it go. Poor boy. After we got him cleaned up we got him situated in the pen in our bedroom (so he could be closer to us) and settled in for the night. Because I gave him the sedative so early that meant he was up rather earlier too. I woke up to him whining in his pen about 3:30am this morning. After some consoling that we were still there he finally went back to sleep. When we finally got up for the morning he was ready to walk himself outside (with our help of course) and go potty. We got him fed and cleaned up and back in his pen for the day. Whew. He was full, happy and ready for some more rest to help his hip get better... Not too bad for the first night.

He fared better during the day today, but he has a bit of diarrhea today. We are keeping his fluids up since we think it might be the cocktail of medicines that he is on, or the nerves of being in a strange house with people he doesn't really know yet. His stool was a bit more firm this evening so that is good. He is starting to get the light back in his eyes this evening and I think he is settling in to a routine. He is having a bit of a separation anxiety issue whenever Rick or I leave the area where his pen is. Hopefully this will not be a long term problem, as we don't want him hurting himself while we are at work. We'll have to wait and see. More tomorrow...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Home at Last

As I told you yesterday, we left Phoenix and drove to Las Vegas so we could pick Amos up today at the Las Vegas Veterinary Referral Center. We got into Las Vegas yesterday about 5:30pm and crashed at our hotel until around 7pm then went down to the strip for dinner. After getting a little lost we finally found the parking garage at the Venetian (the only FREE self-park lot I knew of on the strip) and parked to go to dinner. We had dinner at the Wynn hotel at a nice restaurant then headed back to our hotel because we were both spent after the drive into Vegas. After a brief detour (I refuse to say we got lost again) we got back to our hotel from the strip around 9pm. Rick and I both had a pretty restless night because we were anticipating picking up Amos in the morning. None the less, LVVRC called us this morning at our hotel and told us we could pick Amos up today at 11am We were finally going to be reunited with him after three months of longing and waiting.
We got to LVVRC at around 10:45am and got to meet Dr. Geels and discuss Amos' recovery and future surgery. He is a very nice Doctor and Amos is definitely in good hands with him in charge of his care. We also got to put several faces with the names of people we have been in contact with at LVVRC since we found out Amos was having his surgery there and we were picking him up there. After a brief consult with Mindy, Surgery Tech at LVVRC, we were given Amos' drugs and sent on our way.

Amos ready to head home to Phoenix in the back of the car

Amos home in Phoenix exhausted from a long trip

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And We're Off

So, I got a call from Dr. Geels today to let me know Amos is doing great! He has been completely taken off of his pain medicine and is walking with limited assistance. He will be ready to go home tomorrow. Yeah!!

We are heading out to Las Vegas this afternoon after we drop Casey off at Aunt Nancy's and Uncle Jon's. So here we go.....