August 21, 2006

Right Knee - Day 3

Day 3 - Right Knee

August 21-
The weekend didn't go too bad. The first night Murphy was in some pain, and was a little restless. It took him some time to figure out how to maneuver around with his bulky blue bandage. I think the sight of watching him fumble around was harder for Rob and me than it was on him. We kept a close eye on him around the clock because there were times when it would kind of get stuck, and we wanted to make sure that he didn't actually sit or fall on it when it wasn't in the proper position. Rob and I winced a lot, but Murphy never made a sound.

On Saturday, when we picked him up, we were in such a hurry to get him in the truck that we forgot to schedule a formal appointment for this morning to have his bandage removed. By the time we got settled in at home, the office had closed. We weren't able to determine what time SouthPaws opened, so we crossed our fingers and shot for 8 am this morning, and we got lucky. The staff was friendly about the fact that we didn't have a set appointment, and we were seen rather quickly.

So far we have been totally satisfied with the service at SouthPaws. Yes, there have been a few minor bumps which are to be expected, but the surgery was a success and everyone there is compassionate to both the dog and the owner's.

The Wound
Murphy has two separate incisions. One just below his inner ankle about 2 inches long, and the other which follows his knee (on the inner side) is about 4 inches long. His skin is red and irritated where it was shaved for surgery and from the bandage. His leg from his hip to his toes doesn't look that great at the moment.

On the way home Murphy caused a stitch on his ankle to bleed. He doesn't sit like normal dogs; he kind of leans his butt/hip to one side and kicks the other leg out. His nail on the other foot kept scratching the stitches on his ankle when he sat. There is one particular spot where there is a larger space between stitches, and therefore is more vulnerable. So we put a small bandage on it when we got home to give it a few more days to heal.

Activity Level
Rob and I were expecting Murphy to still be slow at this period during recovery, however we were wrong. We think that the only thing that slowed him down was his bulky blue bandage, because as soon as it came off he hit the ground running. He was able to tug the nurse, and limp at the same time, all the way across the parking lot to the truck.

Today, he has decided to stand up on all fours in his kennel more than any day so far. I have had to keep the door closed almost all day because his movements are becoming more unpredictable. There was one time today when he deliberately put one paw outside his door and laid down. He did that because he was mad because I told him to stay in his kennel, as you can see he is starting to test our barriers. We are already wondering what next week will be like.

Bathroom Duty
Yeah, what a fun topic...not!!! But, for those of you who are looking at this site for information about having a TPLO done on your dog, I'm posting it.

All I can say is hopefully you have a 'normal' dog. We have a male dog that squats like a girl, and can't make a pile in one location, both of which caused us to be concerned because he has to use both of his hind legs for balance. He had a hard time squatting with the bandage on because it didn't allow him to bend his leg, but now that it is off it is easier for him. As for doing the deed, it is normal for it to take 3 or 4 days after a major surgery, and today was his day. Let me tell you, it was painful to watch. He didn't seem to be in pain, but his leg looked like a piece of spaghetti every time he scooted and took a step. The whole ordeal took a lot of energy out of him, and he has been sleeping since he came in.

We have to treat today like day one since the bandage just came off and we have to ice his knee a couple of times a day until tomorrow.

He also has at home therapy movements, which he was supposed to start tonight but we are going to wait until the morning since he is exhausted. There are a total of six simple knee movements that we have to help him do two times a day, and on Wednesday he will start his short daily therapy walks.

All seems to be going well at the moment, and we hope that it continues like this.