Monday, May 20, 2013

Angel's surgery went well, a little bump in the recovery

Angel's surgery went well.  I brought her home Friday morning and have been hovering over her ever since, trying to make sure she doesn't undo the surgery. 

This particular surgery splits the lower leg bone and screws it back together with a small gap.  The gap fills back up with bone tissue.  The new knee "cup" is wider and not dependent on the ligaments for support. 

Her left leg, done in 2011, healed quite well, although I should have done more physical therapy on the muscles surrounding the knee.  Once I got Bogie, Angel exercised enough to rebuild the muscles.   So I have high hopes for this, the right leg.

She came home Friday with 4 kinds of pills.  Antibiotics once a day for a week.  Pain killers up to 4 pills per day as needed.  Anti-inflammatories twice a day as needed.  And a mild sedative to use if she gets too active or agitated. 

By late afternoon Friday, she was getting restless.  I don't have a crate and didn't want to crate her.  Bogie would have taunted her and Angel would have felt punished.  Ditto for locking her in a room by herself. 

I tried leashing her with a cloth leash, with one end around my toe.  But she kept struggling to get up.  So I gave her a sedative.  The instructions said 1/2 to 1 pill.  I gave her the half.  

She settled down and went back to sleep.  An hour later I looked at her and she didn't seem to be breathing.  I admit, I panicked.  I went to her and shook her.  Several times. She didn't move.  But she finally blinked.  I lifted her head and it was limp.  I picked up a leg and it just fell with no resistance when I let go. 

I was freaking out, wondering how I would get her to the emergency vet.  That's the downside of large dogs.  I can't pick them up by myself. 

I finally roused her enough to stumble outside, while I supported her with the sling the vet sent home.  I let her collapse in the grass while I sat on the patio.  I went inside to the kitchen where I could still see her.  But I decided I would rather have her inside.  

I went back outside to get her.  She was nudging her leg with her nose and I saw tiny ants crawling on the bare flesh.   I wiped them away, then tried to pick her up.  I couldn't, even with the sling.  She was too limp, all dead weight.

Finally, I got a bath towel, laid in on the ground, used the sling to lift her onto the towel, and dragged her across the grass and patio concrete.  Once we got to the door, she managed to stumble over the sill.  

I guided her to the living room where she laid down in a heap on the throw rug. I sat down beside her.  I petted her and watched TV for probably an hour before she started acting more alert.   

The past couple days, when she got too antsy, I've given her 1/4 sedative.  That calms her down just enough to stay off her leg, without totally terrifying me. 

I have a couple more weeks where I have to keep her from using the leg too much.  It's going to be a long two weeks. 

No comments :

Post a Comment