Tag Archive | pet

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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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 himΒ 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 πŸ™‚

Wanna go for a roll??

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

Β© Ilex ~Midwestern Plant Girl

I’m Hiding! Peek-a-boo With Your Dog

Breck doesn’t beg while I eat, however when he wants a snack, he’ll start the ‘Staring Game’. Clearly, it starts with a stare. He then moans.. and again. Then cries a bit. He might move right into a full bark or a Grrr. At this point, I usually try to move, put a foot in the way or blanket over my head. He’s smarter than a 3 year old. Here is just another stupid attempt at the hoo-man to fool the dog. πŸ˜‰ Riiiiight.

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Western Painted Turtle – Chrysemys bellii

I’ve written about the Eastern Painted Turtle, however the photo for that post was lacking. And, admittingly, I think it actually was a Western Painted Turtle, as the Eastern are not supposed to be in my area. Although the painted turtle is found in most of the United States and some parts of Canada, there are four different species, and a lot of inter species mingling. As you can see, Illinois has either Western or Midland or a combo of both. Miss-identification can happen sometimes.. I’m a horticulturist, Jim! Not a herpetologist πŸ˜‰

One of the more interesting things I learned about these turtles is that their sex is decided by what temperature the eggs are exposed to while in the clutch. These temperature-dependent turtles lack sex chromosomes, thus relying on the temperature to decide. Low temperatures during incubation produce males and high temperatures produce females. Think Jurassic Park!!
Since Painted turtles are cold-blooded, they need to bring their temperatures up when they want to be active. Basking in the sun is the best way to achieve this. Turtles of all varieties bask in large groups on logs, fallen trees, and any object that’s just above the water. Sunning also helps rid them of parasitic leeches. Ick.
Painted turtles feed mainly on plants, small fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and carrion. Young painted turtles are mainly carnivorous, possibly because they need the extra protein to grow, acquiring a taste for plants later in life. Turtles have no teeth, although they have tough, sharp plates for gripping food. Painted turtles like to eat in the water since their tongue does not move freely.

The painted turtle was designated the official Illinois state reptile in 2005 after winning the vote of the citizens of Illinois in 2004.

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Treat Time!

imageDog spelled backwards is god.

I did not get my first dog until I was 17.

I was first trusted with the guppies I found in the nearby pond. Then, goldfish. Next, I had hamsters and a lone guinea pig, but had missed out on the companionship of a canine. My parents loved dogs. My mother grew-up with a train of chihuahuas, all named Pepe. My dad didn’t have a pet directly, but his aunt’s chow-chow was next door most of his childhood.

When I was a child, my dad worked for United Airlines and we did have lots of opportunity to travel. He didn’t want to have to kennel a dog and my mom really didn’t want to get stuck taking care of it either.

imageNow after having Breck & Oreo in my life, I seriously cannot live without them. They are so fulfilling to be around. Oreo isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but he sure is full of gumption. Breck is a very smart boy. However, he only learns things for his own benefit.

He has my Monday through Friday routine down pat. He learned it by learning each step, backwards, from the time I gave him the treat. He knows I open the curtains directly before going to the treat door. Previous to that, I’ve put my coffee cup in the dishwasher, after brushing my teeth. While I’m brushing my teeth, he’s dancing with his tail swinging wide. Fwap, fwap, fwap! (Any other activity at the sink is ignored). Before that I was fixing my hair and dressing. Preceding that I showered. Breck loves the fact I use coconut oil before I dry off. He loves it. I have to wipe it on his paws so he doesn’t lick me. He’s usually wandered off to lick off the coconut and leaves me alone to dry off and dress.

Weekends are a whole nother schedule. He still gets confused, however knows how to work the system pretty well and still get what he wants.

 

Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Why My Dogs Can’t Come to the Playdate…

Um, which is which?
imagehedgehog

They are a match and sound the same! Milo “My-My” to his closest friends, is a neighbor. He has a bit of a breathing condition that causes him to sound just like the toy’s grunting. Milo doesn’t really like other dogs, but loves scratches from long nails. I’m not sure what my boys would think, considering this guy is a dead-ringer for a favorite toy of theirs. I’m sure the would just shake their doggy heads!

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

My Dogs as Cartoons

Sometimes I am bored and start cruising the Web aimlessly. ..
Most of the time, I do find something interesting. I do generally seek out educational type things.. However, sometimes I find something that is totally fun!
Cartoonizemypet.com is a fun site to play on when the boss is away! There are many pets to choose from dogs to rabbits to cats. They have many breeds also. All colors are available for coat, eyes, nose. .. There are themes like holidays and backgrounds. You can even buy merchandise with the photo on it.
Please share a cartoon version of your pet or create your own imaginary pet!

image

Breck

image

Oreo

Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plants