Saturday, February 25, 2012

Update on Tandi

Well, we've survived the first post-op week for Miss Tandi. Thanks to scheduled offdays and a couple of unplanned offdays initiated by a flu-like illness, I've been able to be with her full-time for the past 8 days.

The first few days were really tough. We've learned to keep a leash on her at all times, (except when she's securely in her crate) because she doesn't understand why she can't hop onto or off of the sofa, and why Mommy has to carry her up and down steps. She's learning the routine, though, and most of the time goes willingly into her crate as long as we're around.  (If you enlarge the picture, you can see her shaved right hind leg.)

So at night, I tie her to the leg of a chair while I carry the crate into the bedroom, then lead her to the crate; and then in the morning, Jack holds her in his lap while I bring the crate back into the living room. She grumbles occasionally, and squirms when I pick her up, but seems to understand that the leash must be on before she can walk around in the house.

I really thought I'd get more done this week than I have, but sometimes the only way to keep her from licking her leg and bandage was to put her in my lap or beside me on the sofa and constantly stroke her or scratch her ears or rub her belly. In shaving her leg, they caused a couple of razor burns, and although the staff told me to put some aloe vera on it, Tandi liked the taste too well and would increase the licking.

This is the top of the knee where one of the razor burns is and if you look closely, you can see the faint beige of the bandage on the inside of the leg just a bit lower down. We've managed to keep the bandage on, though the staff says not to try to rewrap it if it comes off. We also bought her a Cone of Shame, but she was so terrified by it she would hardly move--just sit and quiver--and it was too large to allow her to turn around in the crate, which is really the only time she would need it. I had every intention of making her a soft cervical collar to keep her from getting to it, but then I came down with some flu-like cold and spent the greater part of 3 days lying on the couch sleeping or watching mindless sitcoms on TV.

Before the surgery I did manage to score a couple of doggy steps, but then found out she's not allowed to go up or down steps for as long as 6 weeks, so they've been put aside until later. One of the ladies at the groomer's advised me to buy Tandi a "sling" to help her get up and down the front steps, but the local pet store only carried one size--50-70 lbs--and as my girl only weighs 26 lbs, I think it would just allow her to slide on through the other end. I'm planning on taking that back to the store and taking a store credit or something.

 At the vet's office, they had some slings made by some local gal, and I bought one of those, but it's too narrow for Tandi, and I don't find it any more secure than the one from the store. She sells them for $12.00 each, but I'm thinking I could make a better one with velcro to secure it, and in different sizes besides.

I'd put the webbing farther back, as in the store-bought sling, with velcro at different places to customize the fit, and make them much wider. All this gal has done is put a little batting inside a rectangular sleeve of two coordinating fabrics and put one line of stitching straight up the middle.  I wonder if I could make some of these for MY vet's office to sell? It'd be a great way to use up some of the fabrics I'm tired of, and really, they wouldn't have to be cotton, so scoring some poly/cotton blend fabrics would work as well. Bet you could do the same.

Today I felt human again, and the weather was so balmy at 71 degrees (!), Tandi and I spent some time sitting on the front porch.
We had a visit from Cody, the red cocker spaniel one street over, and his daddy-man; saw lots of birds and squirrels; and barked loudly at the garbage truck. I was glad I had a firm grip on her leash because the little knucklehead was all primed to chase alongside the truck, despite the certainty of pain. I love my little Tandi-tot to death, but I'm under no delusions about her intelligence.

Tomorrow night, well, actually tonight, I have to go back to work. This means taking her out for a last potty before I leave, then dashing home after work--no errands--to take her out as soon as I get home in the mornings, because there's a 14-hr gap there. Then I'll probably have to get up about noon to take her out again, before tumbling back into bed to sleep another 4 hours until time to get up for work.

It's going to be a long 5 weeks.

But she's worth it.



AnnieO said...

Poor girl! Hope she mends fast so she can regain her freedom from pain and you from worrying about her!

Finn said...

Soooooo happy to hear the surgery went well and that you've been able to be with her during the most difficult part. The end of the recovery will be difficult too, as she feels better and wants to do more and more.
My thought and prayers are with you both. Love the improv on your part with the stitching, LOL...way too go! Hugs, Finn

Libby said...

Oh Tandi - I hope your recovery is easy. Love the sling. For Harper we also had a ramp because her size made it difficult to lift her all the time.
Puppy treats and hugs from Daisy and Me *s*