Saturday, October 12, 2019

Small Victories

I'm a pessimist by nature.  I've always thought if I prepared for the worst and  it didn't happen, it would be great, but if it did, I'd be ready. It's not the most joyful way to live, but it's gotten me this far.

Now I'm trying to stay optimistic about Tess and her situation. It isn't easy. Tess is not progressing the way we had hoped. Everything I've read about her condition says she should be moving around on her own by now and getting back to normal. Tess is nowhere near normal.

When I checked in with Dr B, he asked if she'd made any progress and I had to admit there was some minor improvement each day. He reminded me that  Tess has a severe case and to take my victories where I can find them.

So here we are.  Victory one, Tess is eating great all by herself. We don't need to hold the bowl or hand feed to get her started. I set the bowl between her front legs and she cleans up every last piece of kibble.

Victory two, for the last two days she tells us when she needs to go out. We load her onto her sled, drag her out and she pees and poops outside. It's great not to have to cleanup several times a day.

Victory three, when we get her outside, she manages to get to her feet and take a few steps. One day I was even able to walk her all the way back into the garage with several rests along the way.

Now for the not so good parts. Tess refuses to try to stand up inside. If she wants to move, she crawls. I'm hoping it's because the floor seems slippery to her but even with support, she won't try.

Yesterday she took a  couple steps and fell. After that she wouldn't try again. This morning she walked with support but not by herself. It's as if the front of the dog is working but not the rear.

I'm starting to worry that the back legs won't come back but the vet says she needs more time. It's been less than two weeks and she may need as much as five or six weeks to recuperate.

Maybe I need some POTP as much as Tess does.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Slow Progress

Today we had two outings with her sisters. While the others run up and down the hill barking, Tess is using all her energy to stand up. She took a few steps and had the pleasure of peeing in the grass, but she needs a long rest after this.
 Still, it's enormous progress.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Starting Week Two

It was a week ago today that Tess collapsed. This has been a very difficult week for her and for us.

Yesterday she ate pretty well with some help. We have to hold the bowl for her.  After her breakfast we changed her bedding and I cleaned her up, shampooing her legs and rubbing her dry with a towel. Then Rob massaged her back and  back legs.

In the afternoon I massaged her back legs again and tried gently stretching them. She pulled back with the right leg and began moving it a little. The left didn't show any improvement. At bedtime she wanted yogurt with her sisters.

This morning I fed her while the others ate, then she slept for a couple hours. I went back, changed her bedding and cleaned her legs. It felt like the left leg moved a little.

It's a beautiful fall day today, so we put Tess on a little plastic sled,  pulled her into the back yard and parked her in the sunshine. She got very agitated and seemed to want to get off the sled.

We placed her in the grass and I went inside to get her some water. When I came back out she was sitting up. Then she struggled to her feet. As soon as she tried to walk, she fell over, but she got right up again and leaned against me.

After resting for a couple minutes she took a few steps all by herself. She drifts to the left but she was able to take several steps. Then we put a sling under her and with our help she walked into the garage. She's sleeping soundly on her bed now.

I called Dr B and he's thrilled with her progress. He wasn't expecting her to stand up for several more days.

Tess and I thank you for all the POTP. It's making all the difference.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Cautiously Optimistic

Last night we settled Tess on her bed in the garage, held the bowl for her to have a drink and left her lying on her side, sleeping.

I had some trouble sleeping but waited till morning to check on her. I was afraid of what I might find.

What I found was Tess lying in the same spot but with her head up looking around. I gave her some water and offered the special food Dr B had sent home with us. She drank but refused to eat. When I put some food in her mouth, she spit it out.

She had wet herself so I changed her bedding, cleaned her with some foaming waterless shampoo and changed her position. It's important that we switch her from one side to the other regularly so she doesn't get sores.

We have checked on her frequently during the day, but except for drinking some water, she wants to sleep. I was starting to think she may not come out of this.

At feeding time the other dogs raced downstairs to the garage. When I opened the door, I found a puddle of pee and Tess was on her bed but facing the opposite direction from where we'd left her. Somehow she managed to pee on the floor, not her bed and get back onto the bed all by herself.

I offered her some of the special food but she refused it. So I filled the bowls for the others and set them down. The girls started eating and Tess shot me a look. I put some kibble and tuna in her regular bowl, set it in front of her and she ate almost all of it. Then she had a drink and Rob offered her a cookie. She took it and seemed to really enjoy it, so she got a second.

Now she's sleeping. She ate well, with her sisters, moved herself around somehow and is responding when we talk to her. Her vet says to just give her time, that it could be a week before she's able to walk, so I'm feeling better than I did last night.

That POTP is truly amazing.



Friday, October 4, 2019

Quick Update

Tess is home. She's still very sick and can't stand up but she's more alert than she has been.

Dr B took her outside this afternoon and sat in the grass beside her. He said she watched the cars going by and seemed happy to be outdoors.

When we got to the hospital she was sleeping soundly. I walked into her run and spoke to her. She put her head up and looked at me. When I walked out, she put her head back and howled. We all knew she wanted to go home.

She's resting on a big soft bed in the garage to avoid any stairs. When her sisters came to the garage to eat, Tess seemed pleased to see them. She even ate a little as long as I held the dish.

Dr B says she has a very severe case of vestibular disease and it could take several more days before she tries to stand up. We'll take it a day at a time.

Keep that healing POTP coming. She isn't out of danger yet.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

POTP needed

Our Tess is in the hospital and needs your good doggie thoughts. On Tuesday morning Tess collapsed. I went to help her and saw that her eyes were rapidly darting back and forth and she was holding her head at a strange angle. I immediately called the vet and reported that I suspected vestibular disease. Dr B was in surgery all day so we set an appointment for Wednesday.
At first Tess could get to her feet by herself and with our help could walk to the door. Most of the time she laid in one position and tried not to move.

Rob and I both slept in the living room with her so we could help her if she needed anything. I didn't sleep, but watched her all night. During the night she vomited and got much worse. She couldn't stand up and when we tried to move her, she was dead weight and rolled onto her back.

We managed to get her into the car and Dr B confirmed my diagnosis. He took blood to see if there was some underlying cause. Then he gave her some medicine to help the dizziness.  He suggested she spend the night so they could observe her and start IV fluids if necessary.

Dr B just called. The labwork was good, nothing like kidney or liver disease and no obvious signs of cancer. He says she just seems to have a really bad case of vestibular disease.

Just as he was getting ready to start an IV, one of the techs got Tess to drink and even eat a little. If she can keep it down, she should start improving. She still can't move without flipping over and her eyes are still jumping around, so the dizziness hasn't calmed down yet.

If  she's improving, she should be able to come home tomorrow afternoon but she'll need intensive nursing care.

Please keep Tess in your thoughts. She needs all the help she can get.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Autumn, Where Are You?

Hi Bloggers,
The calendar says it's Fall but you sure can't tell from the weather. It been in the nineties all of September and most of the trees are still green. We thought we'd be enjoying some cool temperatures and snuggling in our blankets at night, but instead we're sleeping on the air vents and slurping cold water.

Anyway, Mom is still playing with her sticks and strings every day. That woman is obsessed. She has made some pretty cute stuffies but I'm not allowed to touch them. One day some were sitting on the kitchen table and I just wanted a closer look and maybe a lick or two. Mom caught me and impressed on me that they are her toys, not mine.

She'll show them to you soon but I can tell you about the mini dogs. She showed you last time the ones that were already made. Since then some more have joined the pack.

First is a Golden Retriever.
Next came a Dachshund.

Then came a huge Border Collie. The sizes are weird. Mom uses the same size yarn and needles but some dogs are small and some are much bigger.

Now I want to answer our friend Matilda. Yes, there is a Boxer pattern in the book and Mom decided to make it. She went to the room upstairs where she keeps her yarn behind a gate so we can't play with it.

She started looking for Boxer color yarn. She found some that was too brown and some that was too yellow but no good Boxer color.

So Mom told Dad that they needed to go to a couple of stores where she buys yarn. He just loves shopping for yarn, so off they went. She found some yarn that was too brown and some that was too yellow but no good Boxer color.

So Mom came home and got on the internets to look in her favorite yarn sites. She found two places that had yarn that looked right. One place called it Honey and the other called it Caramel. She chose Caramel because well,  it's caramel.
Then we waited and waited until finally one day the mail lady handed Mom a package with the Boxer color yarn inside.

Mom started knitting and made all the little pieces. One night last week she sat down to put the pieces together to make a dog and suddenly the lights went out. About two miles away from our house, a tree fell down and took the power lines with it. We were in the dark for hours.

The next day Mom had to see her foot doctor for a checkup on her surgery. She was hoping he'd say it looked good and she could have a steroid injection for the pain in the bone. But instead he poked at the incision and said it looked infected. She has to take antibiotics and wait another three weeks for her injection. She's not happy.

Then the next day Dad had to have a procedure in the hospital. She sat for hours in his room waiting, plenty of time to sew up the Boxer dog, but she didn't take it with her.

After that day Norma Jean had a little problem that kept Mom busy and the whole week was like that. She never got a chance to pick up her knitting.

Finally Monday night Mom picked up her dog parts and started sewing them together. Everything went fine except the face. The book doesn't give very good directions and just says to pull the last stitches of the nose to row 21 and attach. Mom had no idea which row was 21 or how to make the face look right so she just did her best. She's not really happy with it but it is what it is.
 After all that here he is.

So that's what we're doing while we're waiting for cooler weather to get here. We don't like 90 degrees in July, let alone in October.

Keep wagging, Mackey