Wednesday, July 22, 2015

These Boots Are Made For Walking and Chasing Squirrels

As you saw in his little video yesterday, Fudge is doing great. He can do almost everything he wants except scratch that left ear. His foot has feeling and he can support his weight on it.  This morning he accompanied Sebastian to the vet's office to show Dr B how well he can walk and he even stood up on his back legs to greet the doctor. Dr B says he'll improve even more over the next four weeks and he may even get to scratch his ear.
When Fudge first had the stroke, he dragged his left leg and it had no feeling. We needed to protect the foot from abrasions so I grabbed a pair of boots that I had for Samba. These were designed for protecting a wound, she'd had surgery to remove her dewclaws. They were really nice little boots that worked to keep her incisions safe and clean. I was worried about her walking out of them but they fasten so well that it was never a problem. They have a zipper plus a band with velcro strips to keep them secure.
These worked for Fudge long enough for me to order him a pair of boots designed especially for dogs that drag their feet from injury or stroke. These are nice strong boots. They are long to fasten high on the leg and keep them secure. They also have double sided leather foot pads to protect the skin on top of the foot when it's dragged across pavement.
 Both of these specialty boots came from a company called Pro-Active Paws. They make all sorts of specialty boots for dogs. They have boots for pets who don't want to get salt or ice between their pads, boots for sled dogs, boots for wound protection and more. They also have leg protectors for athletic dogs who slide and injure their legs or dew claws. They will even make custom boots for whatever your dog needs. They are wonderful to work with and answer any questions, make helpful suggestions and try to make your experience a good one. I can't recommend them enough.

Fudge is able to go without his boot most of the time now. If he's tired, he may drag his foot a little so we keep his fancy boots nearby. We're just so relieved that he has improved so much in such a short time. It was a scary experience for him and us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm Back

Hi Everybody,
Did you miss me? I'm back and almost as good as new.  I don't have to wear my boot unless Mom sees me dragging my foot and I try not to do that. Tomorrow Mom is going to show you my fancy boots and tell you all about them. They're really comfy and stylish too.

I just wanted to tell you that tomorrow it'll be two weeks since my awful ouchie in my back. It really hurt, then I couldn't walk. But now I can do almost everything I could do before. I can walk and run and chase squirrels. I can jump a little, not too high yet and best of all I can spin again.

Want to see? Here's a really short little video showing my first spin since my stroke.

It's so good to be back.
Your pal, Fudge

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day Ten

It's been ten days since Fudge's spinal stroke. At that time Dr B and I discussed possible improvement and I was warned that it could be slow and only partial. Fudge had other ideas.

Within two days he was getting around though he was dragging his left foot. He progressed from that to walking on the top of his foot. He had to wear a boot to prevent injury to the top of the foot.

After just a couple days he was able, with some difficulty, to climb onto the couch by himself. He also was attempting stairs though he couldn't lift the left leg up, so I lifted it for him.

Now at day ten, Fudge is walking almost normally. He steps on the pads instead of the top. He can do stairs by himself and he only has to wear his boot outside. His left leg is still weak and occasionally he still drags it, hence the boot. He wants to scratch his ear with his left leg, but so far hasn't been able to do that. He's tried to spin a couple times and falls over.

I can see that the leg is weak and that his gait isn't normal, but a casual observer wouldn't notice anything wrong. After speaking with his vet, we think he may have nearly complete recovery with time.

This is something I don't want to experience again. Thank you to all who had great advice and support, Carol and Tom especially. Bloggers are the best.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Oops, There's A Leak

I meant to post this last week when it happened, but so much was going on at once that it got pushed aside. Still, I was so impressed in a horrified sort of way, that I wanted to post about it.

I grew up in a farmhouse about two miles outside a small village in Central New York.  The place was surrounded by acres of woods and there was a little creek running thru the property. When I was little it was a dirt road but it was later paved and well maintained by the town. Later my Aunt and her family moved there and she still lives in the farmhouse. Rob and I were married in the living room.

Central New York has been getting lots of rain lately. and last week this happened.
 It seems that an old, very large, active beaver dam sprung a leak from the heavy rains and the sweet little creek turned into this nightmare.
It doesn't seem possible that water can do so much damage so quickly, but there it is.
 The town got there quickly and did a temporary fix. They were to return in a few days to repave and get things back to normal
 Get to work Mr Beaver and repair that dam.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Chewy Review by Fudge

Hi everybody,
Did I have you all worried? Boy, I even had me worried this time. That was one really bad day. Mom tells me I'm doing great and that I'm a good boy but my back foot doesn't work. I wear this boot all the time but I can't feel it. Mom says I'm getting better and I trust her but it's pretty strange when you can't feel your own foot.

Mom and Dad are happy because I can lift either leg to pee. That makes me pretty happy too. I can also climb up on the couch and I can go up the stairs with only a little help. So I just don't know why she won't let me chase the squirrels. Today I tried to stand on my back feet to greet her and she freaked out. I'll never understand peeps.
Anyway, being disabled does have a couple of perks. I get lots more attention and that's a really good thing. I also get to eat some special food and that's what I want to tell you about.

Chewy sent us some cans of this stuff. It's called Evanger's and we chose duck and sweet potato. The kibble I eat is also duck and sweet potato so these should go together nicely and not disturb my tummy.
This is what it looks like. It's all ground up and Mom says the smell is kind of strong, but  that's partly why it's so good. 
She mixes it with my kibble like this.
Then she showed me.
I tried it and it was really tasty.
Please excuse me while I finish this.
As you can see this food really hits the spot and I think I'd like some more soon.
Chewy sent us some cans of Evanger's duck and sweet potato for our honest opinion. Dad didn't have to pay any dollars which makes him happy and I got to eat some really good food which makes me happy. Tell you peeps to try it. Evanger's makes lots of flavors for you to choose from.
Your pal, Fudge

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mr Determination or Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It

Last night I had a long conversation with Dr B. We discussed Fudge's condition, his possible recovery and how to help him thru it. He told me not to expect too much for about 21 days, to protect the dragging foot and basically just wait and see. He said we could hope for an 80 - 90 % recovery.

We both underestimated Fudge's determination and strong personality.
Soon after the talk with his vet I took Fudge outside. When we got down the steps he started doing a strange little walk. It was step, step, drag, drag, step step, drag, etc. He was trying to walk on the bad foot and partially succeeding. When I brought him inside again, I went to get him a cookie and with no help he had climbed onto the couch. He slept there all evening.

This morning when we went out he did the same funny walk around the front yard, then he looked up at me and balancing on his bad leg, he lifted the other leg to pee.  He was so very pleased with himself that he tried a silly little one legged kick back of the grass while balancing on his bad leg. When we got to the five front steps, he was able to lift the damaged leg up by himself and needed no help.

This boy wants to rejoin the activities of the pack and he's absolutely determined to overcome his disability. He's a bright light at the end of a couple very dark weeks. I now feel that he will manage to overcome this and we'll have our doofus back sooner than any of us thought.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Progress Report

Wow, Fudge and I want to thank you. We've received so many comments and emails and phone calls about the boy. I've been trying to answer them all but I have been pretty tied up with disabled dogs for the last few days. It seems that no sooner do I take care of one than another needs something. We'll get into a routine eventually but for now it's controlled chaos.

So here's where we stand. Sebastian is doing much better. He's eating normally now and the vomiting seems to have stopped, at least for the time being. We're keeping him close to us as soon as the sun goes down and the booming starts. He's still taking Prilosec and Dr B prescribed valium twice a day till we get thru the noisy season.

Morgan just goes on as if nothing has changed. She has her own routines and I try to keep up with them. Her favorite time of day is 9PM when she gets her milkshake, and I'd better not be late.

Then we have Mr Fudge. He was walking across the room on Wednesday when he collapsed and started shrieking. He couldn't stand up and once I got him calmed down a little it was obvious that he couldn't move his back legs. By the time we got to the clinic, he was able to use his right leg enough to stagger, but he was dragging the left leg.

He had an injection for pain and an IV of steroids and xrays. It seems that a bit of cartilage broke off and entered the bloodstream.It injured the spine giving him a spinal stroke. Dr B says we may see some improvement over the next six weeks, but he'll never be back to normal. This is a big blow to a boy who loves to run, jump and spin.

Yesterday was not a good day for him. He was having trouble walking. He did have his appetite back but I knew how unhappy he was because as he rested on his blanket, he kept making little grumbling noises, half growl and half moan. He's very unhappy about this whole situation.
He doesn't want me out of his sight. We're keeping him leashed so that he won't try to follow me up or downstairs. One of us is always close by in case he needs us. Trips outside were a problem. At first we tried the towel under the hips thing but that didn't work too well. I remembered a special harness I had for Morgan when she tore her knees so we're using that. It has two padded loops that go around his legs and a strap that attaches to his collar. I can hold the strap to help him on steps and to balance him as he walks.

Since he's dragging the leg, I was afraid he'd injure the top of the foot. I found Samba's boots that she wore when she had a foot injury. They're tall thick boots designed for disable dogs. They zip on and then have velcro straps that wrap around the leg. I had no trouble putting one on him because he has no feeling in the foot or leg. I put it on while he was sleeping and he didn't even know I was doing it.

Today, day 2, is a little better. He can walk unsteadily, though he falls a lot. Learning to walk again is hard work and he can only take a few steps before he has to sit and rest. You can all imagine how heart wrenching it is to watch him struggling. He was such a very active dog.

I'm hoping he's starting to accept the way things are and that some of his happy personality comes back. I'll be talking to his vet this afternoon and may have some more ideas on how to help him. For now we're just taking things one wobbly step at a time.

We're all trying to smile and go on.