Tag Archive | family

Doggy CCL Knee Surgery and Recovery Time Activities

One Sunday, a few weeks ago, we noticed Breck was limping. The first thing we thought was that he had gotten stung in the foot by a drunk wasp that had been dining on the fallen apples near my back door. Nope, no sting locations. We felt if he had any broken bones, nope. No dog squeaks after pulling it out and bending. We figured we’d get him into the veterinarian that next Monday.

Our appointment was at 10 AM, and in less than 3 minutes, he was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament tear in his right, rear knee. A CCL is the same as an ACL in humans. In a nutshell, its the tendon that holds the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (calf bone) and prevents the femur from sliding forward off the tibia. Clearly, dogs are made a bit different. All the vet needed to do was to push his femur back from his tibia and note the amount of ‘shift’ it made. Too much shift for it to still be attached.

Breck in the doughnut-of-shame

She offered up three options, do nothing, or two types of surgery. The first type was called the ‘Fishing Line’ or ‘Old School’ technique. The vet would basically recreate the tendon with fishing line between the two bones. Vets have been doing this surgery for years and it has worked well for dogs Brecks size for decades. The other surgery sounded a bit more intense, as the tibia would be cut and reattached backwards, to create a ledge. (Read the link for more details on the surgeries).

After the vet briefly described the surgeries, she then asked me to sit for the prices… The fishing line surgery was about $3,500 and the tibia cut surgery, would be about $4,500. Good thing she had smelling salts handy ๐Ÿ˜‰ I clearly had to go home and discuss this with my hubby.

There was no doubt we were going to have to go with one of the surgeries. Unless we wanted him in a brace for the rest of his life… Nope!! He’s only 10 years old. We started getting educated about the surgery and reached out to my Mother-in-Law, as her dog just had CCL surgery done at 15 years old and recovered fabulously. Her vet only charged her $1,400! Say what?!? That is more than half the dough my vet wanted! Gimmie his number!

I wasn’t that happy with my current vet anyway.. I wondered if she even liked animals. She wouldn’t get on the floor and pet them, or give them treats before the business time of the appointment. Just the facts, ma’am.

Breck at work with me.

We got an appointment two hours after I called M-I-L’s vet. The first thing he did was to pay attention to Breck and make both of us feel comfortable. He examined his leg (on the floor) and quickly agreed with the other vet. His CCL was torn. Dr. H told me that Breck looked healthy, not overweight and the fishing line surgery would be a great surgery for him. He showed me models of dog knees and how the surgery/recovery process would go. We scheduled surgery for the next Monday.

Breck in his onsie… Hey, don’t knock it until you try it ๐Ÿ˜‰

His surgery went well and according to his x-rays, it was a freak accident. He had no predisposition for this injury, nor did he have any arthritis anywhere. In my opinion, his injury was from his little, evil brother, Oreo. He likes to ‘check’ other dogs and hoomans. ‘Checking’ is a hockey term for running into another player really hard. Surely, this is what happened.

Since I knew the 8 week recovery time was going to be hell on everyone in this house, I started perusing Amazon for any products I could find to make Breck as comfortable as possible, keep him safe and help keep the hoomans sane.

Yes, we do have a real cage, however, this is not the route we wanted to take. With a cone or ‘doughnut’ on, he would not be able to turn very well in the cage. We bought a large cage enclosure to keep him in while we’re home. I am also able to take him to work with me, so he’ll basically be under surveillance 24/7. Well, except for when we slept.

We soon learned cones-of-shame were Breck’s most hated thing in the world. After cone attachment, he’d pant, shake, squirm, cry and paw at it, trying to achieve removal. We tried to be patient, however he was not having it. We next tried the doughnut. He is accepting of it while I am around him, however the minute I turn my back, its off. We tied it as tight as we thought reasonable. His neck to head ratio is nonexistent, along with his silky fur, allows for easy removal of anything around his neck. The hoomans needed to be smarter… Bandages wouldn’t help. We even tried to put a pair of daddy’s boxer underwear on him… Placing his tail through the hole. (heehee…) I won’t humiliate either of them with a photo. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I finally happened upon these doggy-after-surgery onsies. I ordered a large, however I feel it was too small and now ordered an XL. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime!! Now I’ve only had it on him for a day (and it’s a bit small), but so far, I am sold! He doesn’t mind having it on and he can still lick some places, just not where his stitches are. I will have to report if this works, as he has already got one stitch out. (Overnight and into the second day, the stitches have been un-licked!)

So, now that we’ve been able to keep him from bothering his stitches, keeping his brain entertained was the next step. If you believe Cesar Millan, dogs don’t have emotions, thus do not get depressed. Really? I used to respect that man….Sigh.. Anyway. Since I believe dogs do have basic emotions, including depression, I felt I needed to figure out some activities for himย to pass the time. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Long-lasting chew toys. I found these Himalayan Cheese blocks! I did not follow the directions on the package, but gave one to him right out of the package. He loves them and they take about a day or two to get through.
  • He likes to be brushed, so he’s gotten brushed daily. He also loves his face and nose rubbed with something fuzzy. He really likes massages, also.
  • Gentle tug of war. Very gentle!
  • Which cup is the treat under game. He’s too good, we’ve had to go to 4 cups.
  • Breck loves being talked to. I’m not sure how much he understands, however he is absorbed in every word I speak.
  • I normally don’t let him ‘defuzz’ a tennis ball, however he really likes doing it and it takes an hour or two to do the job.
  • He loves just sitting outside. Since we’ve been having some beautiful days lately, I’ve been enjoying the weather with him, sitting in the cool grass and relaxing.
  • He loves coconut oil. I put it on his front feet to lick off.
  • We had gotten him a few ‘Brain Games’. Basically, hide the treat type games. He’s too darn smart for these, though. Once he’s figured it out, it takes less than a minute to do it again.
  • I’ve read about others buying dog buggies to take their pooches on walks rides in. Well, I’m not going to blow a bunch of bucks on a specialized one, however I remembered the gardening cart I used when I had my own biz. He loves it!! I wheeled him through the neighborhood and he just sniffed the air. I take him out occasionally to write P-Mails on posts and mailboxes ๐Ÿ™‚

Wanna go for a roll??

There is very little I’ll not do for my fur kids.

ยฉ Ilex ~Midwestern Plant Girl

Mom! Mom! Mom!

It’s BABY BIRD time again! Nothing screams Spring like seeing all the little critters coming out. The first chicks I’ve seen this year are these three Common Starlings. They sure were a squawky bunch of kids. I heard them before I looked out the window to see them.ย  They are sitting on the yew that is right below the suet cage. These guys weren’t hip to landing on the swinging cage. I can’t imagine they have many hours on their pilots licenses yet, as their landings were a bit rough, especially when the branch bounces as each one lands.

ยฉ Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

My Mom’s Favorite Thing…

imageI’ve been doing a lot of de-cluttering. I have had some stuff since I don’t know when. Time to cut some ties. If I ever intend on becoming a full-time RV-er, the load must be lightened.

I did come across some things I totally forgot I had. Yup. The problems of a hoarder ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did find one of my Mothers favorite things.

This it a ‘Round Tuit’. These are worth their weight in gold, and then some. These can move mountains, end wars or make a child clean their room…

Just in case it was only your first cup of coffee this morning, ‘Round Tuit’ is a play on words, re-interpreting the idiom to get around to it as get a round tuit. First used at the 1964 World’s Fair which was held in Queens (Flushing).

I bet you’ll put it on your Christmas list now, huh?!?

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Fried Turkey, Cranberries, Stuffin’ et all!

This is a reblog of my recipes for my cranberries and stuffing =-)

We’ve been frying our turkey for years now. I’m not going to get into all the rules for frying here, although there are some funny EPIC FAILS on this topic!

I will share my recipe for stuffing though. Many who have come over to my house for Turkey Fry Friday in the past have asked me for it.

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I am horrible about placing ‘amounts’ on ingredients, as I add more of what I like and less of what I don’t. With this recipe, there really is no wrong answer. However, have these thing for the base and add things you like including: pork sausage, celery, carrots, use cornbread instead of plain bread, cranberries, raisins, water chestnuts (nice crunch!) or even nuts.

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Melt a stick of butter in a large pot. Cut up and combine everything except the chicken broth and stuffing. Here you see: Onion, Mushrooms, Celery andย Apples.

I’m not really cooking it, just getting it started. I then add my seasonings like: Onion powder, salt/pepper, garlic, rosemary and of course some thyme. After this, I add my chicken broth.

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I then put my stuffing into a large bowl.

**As my family celebrated Thanksgiving November 2nd this year, ironically, I could not find stuffing (dried bread quarters) to save my life. I used fresh bread this time and the stuffing turned out like a bread pudding. Actually, everyone liked it more than normal!

Back to the directions…

Pour the pot mix over the stuffing and mix. Depending on how you like your stuffing (dry or moist) add more chicken broth or more stuffing to compensate. At this pointย I take a taste to see what I came up with. I tend to make mine moist, however you will loose some moisture cooking, be aware.

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Smash either into your turkey or into a oven safe dish if you are frying. Remember, you CANNOT fry the turkey stuffed. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.

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Although you really don’t need to inject anything into the bird for moisture, we like to add some garlic butter for some zing.

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Although my family loves the jelly-type cranberry sauce, I find it quite disgusting. This year I made fresh cranberry sauce, something I never thought of doing. It was a big smack to the head as to how easy it is and why I’ve not been doing it over the years.

  • 12oz of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Other additions (after cooking): orange slices, raisins, cinnamon..

Boil all 3 ingredients while stirring until the berries ‘pop’. You will hear it. Then remove from heat, let cool and add other enhancements if wanted.

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Turkey Time!!

Most of the fails happen upon entry. Be sure your turkey is defrosted, dry (water will make it splatter) and you use the ‘2 person + pole’ย method of dunking for safety.

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Almost down!

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It only takes 3 1/2 minutes per pound @ 350F. Pretty quick, IMO.

Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

Copyright – Ilex Farrell

Hummingbird Nest

While we were camping at Illinois State Beach, we noticed a hummingbirdย  coming and going into the tree above our camper. After a lot of searching, we finally noticed the nest above our camper, with one baby in it. The nest was well hidden and mom was smart and used two cones of the Scots pine for the base.

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Male hummingbirds don’t help the female build the nest (or helps at all, really) and she will spend several hours a day for week collecting materials to build her nest. The most common nesting materials found in hummingbird nests include:

  • Cotton fibers
  • Moss and lichen
  • Plant down from thistles, dandelions or cattails
  • Small bits of bark or leaves
  • Feathers
  • Fuzz, fur or hairs from leaves
  • Spider silk

These materials are intertwined into a dense cup that is decorated with moss, lichen and other local materials for camouflage. The edge of the cup is curved inward to protect the eggs and the spider silk gives the nest it elasticity to enlarge as the babies grow.

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Help hummers build heir nests by planting clematis, honeysuckle, milkweed (Asclepia) and blanket flower (Gaillardia). Pasque flowers offer both soft foliage with silken hairs and mid-spring flowers followed by fuzzy seedpods.

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Hummingbird eggs are no bigger than navy beans. Most females lay two eggs, which they will incubate for about 15 โ€“ 18 days. Juvenile hummingbirds will leave the nest about 18 to 27 days after hatching.

A neighbor of the hummingbird was a chipping sparrow, with one egg.

 


ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Garden of the Gods – Shawnee National Forest

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The Shawnee landscape took millions of years to form the Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois. Long ago most of Illinois, western Indiana and western Kentucky were covered by a giant inland sea.ย Millions of years ago, great rivers carried sand and mud to this inland sea where it settled along the shoreline. Over time, the enormous weight of the sediments turned them into layers of rock, thousands of feet thick. At the Garden of the Gods, the sediment layers averaged over 20,000 feet thick or about 4 miles deep.

Ultimately, a great uplift occurred raising the inland sea above sea level causing it to fill in with sand and mud. The uplift also fissured the bedrock uncovering it to erosion including windblown sand, rain, freezing-thaw actions, which wore down the layers of sediment creating the stunning rock formations at Garden of the Gods.

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This place was so beautiful with its large boulders that looked like rock stacked art. You can also learn about what happens when an unstoppable object meets an unmovable object..

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They call the tall stack to the left ‘Devil’s Smokestack’. To help with scale, there is a human on the top of the ridge to the top right.

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The colors are magnificent! So many minerals, so much mixing. Looks like nail art to me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I love these steps.

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Yodel-Lay-Hee-Hoo!!!

 

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl