October 22, 2006

Left Knee - Day 1

October 21st , 2006

On Friday Murphy's x-ray on his right knee came back good. The Dr. said that some bone graphing had already started to occur, which is a very good sign. He told us not to worry about Murphy leg looking bowed. He said the healing of the bone was straight and that Murphy was just standing on it that way for compensation, and said that it is normal for dogs to that for a while. With the all clear on his right knee, Murphy was number one in line for surgery and by noon on Friday he was already in recovery.

We picked him up Saturday at 9:00 am. Things went well this time with the oozing and Murphy was able to walk out without sporting a bandage like he did the last time. We again had Shawna as our discharge nurse, and we were told that Murphy had a bit more trouble through the night this time. He didn't want to go outside to potty, and had an accident around 11 o'clock pm, and were told that he ate less this last time. Dr. Brehm warned us that Murphy may need some help standing up, and stated that it is normal for dogs that have had a dual TPLO. Boy was he right!

The last time when Shawna went to get Murphy for us, I heard him coming down the hallway because he was semi-pulling her. This time, I barely heard them coming and when the door opened I could see why. Murphy had a really hard time walking, and standing didn't seem to be comfortable either. Shawna asked us if we wanted a sling to help move him around, and we said it might be a good idea. She left the room for a few minutes and when she did, Murphy finally couldn't take standing anymore, and decided to try and sit. He's always sat funny, Rob calls him "Kick Stand", but this time he sat so funny it looked like he as going to lose it and fall straight over on his back. Rob and I quickly grabbed him because his eyes got huge as if to say he was thinking the same thing. Shawna came back in to see us holding him, she agreed that he wasn't comfortable and helped adjust him so that she could finish going over our discharge instructions. Shawna was once again sweet enough to help us get him into the truck again.

The ride home was much quieter than last time. Murphy seemed to know that neither of his legs was good enough for him to stand on, and trying to look out the windows wasn't of any interest. It also took us much longer to get him out of the truck this time. We had to wait until he was ready to try and stand up. Once he started to try, Rob quickly grabbed him from underneath and helped him. We tried to make him stop and potty in the front lawn, but he wasn't interested. He knew where he was and wanted nothing more than to head straight to his kennel. Rob quickly followed and helped him get situated so that he was comfortable.

Within the first few minutes, we both came to the conclusion that this recovery is going to be much different than the first. Murphy is so much weaker this time because both legs are healing, and he is physically going to need a lot of help.

I have to say that my husband is wonderful and he has been doing the majority of the work ever since we got Murphy home. I have a bad back and I can't physically crawl into Murphy's kennel to help him get up because he is too heavy for me. Rob's strength and patience is going to be crucial over the next few days until Murphy builds up enough confidence to try and stand on his own. Poor Rob has bathroom duty because he has the strength to help support Murphy stand, and the quickness to catch him before he falls.

Murphy barely slept yesterday afternoon. We knew that it was probably because he had to go to the bathroom. We can always tell when his bladder is full because he drips like a faucet. He has barely even sat up, all he pretty much does is pick his head up. Rob tried to help him get up several times so that he could go outside, he would seem interested until the leash went on his collar, and then it was like he said "No... Not yet" and groggily put his head back down.

We were finally able to get him to stand up for the first time around 9 or 10 pm with the help of some treats. All seemed to be going well until he kinda leaned too far to one side, causing him to accidentally hit his water bowl that is attached to the side of his kennel. When he hit it the bowl and its fasteners went flying making a bunch of racket. All the commotion seemed to scare Murphy, and he pretty much said "Nope, I'm not doing it." No matter what we did he wasn't budging. We finally let him lay back down, which he did at the furthest end of his kennel so we couldn't mess with him anymore. We think that the incident crushed his confidence, and we knew that we would have to work to help him get it back.

By midnight we were pleading with him to get up. Rob finally just crawled into his kennel and made him get up. They went outside, which had an unsuccessful outcome. Murphy couldn't find a spot that he liked, and when he did, he wasn’t comfortable enough to support his puppy squat. Our back yard is saturated from the rain a few days ago, even on a good day though Murphy doesn't particularly like going to the bathroom in our yard. He would prefer to go out in the court yard that is directly behind our fence.

Rob and I finally came to the conclusion that when Murphy can't take holding it anymore, he'll let us know, so we decided to go to bed. Rob spent the night with him in the laundry room, since his body is much more receptive to the hard floors than mine. At 3:30 in the morning Murphy woke Rob up with his whimpering, and it was finally time for Murphy to try and go outside. This time Rob had the gate open, and they went out into the court yard. After walking the perimeter of the courtyard, Murphy finally did the deed. Rob thought he was done, but it turned out that Murphy just couldn't take the position any longer. Murphy made them continue walking until he was able to find another spot and support himself.

Rob said that the success of the tour outside has built his confidence because since then, he has stood up twice in his kennel to re-position himself. Each small success is one step closer to Murphy getting stronger and stronger. The next few days have "Hard" written all over them, we can only imagine what is going to happen with the first bowl movement. Murphy won't have to go back to the vet for two weeks, which is when he will get his stitches out. We are also supposed to make and appointment with a Physical Therapist that is on staff at Southpaws. This is something new for us this time around.

Here is another great link from Southpaws website that describes the TPLO surgery, the link on page one of this blog describes the injury.



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