my right foot is way tastier than my left foot...
my right foot is way tastier than my left foot...
The Dog Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice on Lifetime Maintenance (links to AMAZON)
by Dr David Brunner and Sam Stall.
We took a little stroll in Boston's South End today, and saw this hysterical book at Motley. The illustrations are especially fun! Some of our friends have joked about Kaiju looking battery operated, so I just had to pick this up. While, the book doesn't appear to mention shibas... here's a great illustration of an akita:
The stitches in my knee are out! The cone is off! Wait... where are my balls?
Kaiju frightened us a little today. We woke up and carried him out to his regular potty break spot. He was lowered to the ground, did a little stretch that he always does in the morning, and then started roaming around to find a perfect spot to pee. I noticed, then, that he was not putting much weight on the right hind leg. Even when he paused from roaming, his toes were barely touching the ground. It reminded me of how he was right after the injury.
We called the hospital and left a message, because they had told us to get in touch if we saw anything other than a progress. Later, they called back and told us that they could see us at 7pm tonight.
And tonight, we met the surgeon who operated on Kaiju two weeks ago, for the first time. She asked us all sorts of questions about his progresses and the limping, while ignoring Kaiju almost completely. She did not go anywhere near him for well over 15 minutes. We almost started wondering if she was ever going to actually examine him. I guess it was her way of getting him used to the room and her presence. When she finally did touch him, she did not bring him up on the examination table. She actually went to where Kaiju was standing (right next to Paul and me) and just sat on the floor, together with her technician. When she started taking out the stitches from Kaiju's leg, Paul went ahead and sat next to them to give Kaiju a little neck rub. I joined, also. So, in the end, everybody was sitting around Kaiju on the floor in one corner of the room.
She told us that she did not feel anything unusual by feeling his knee. She asked us if we wanted to be conservative and take X-rays, just in case. Since we got burnt last time with the "wait and see" approach, we decided to go ahead with the Xrays. We wanted to be sure.
We were led to the radiology lab waiting room, and they whisked Kaiju away. After 15 minutes or so, the vet tech came in and told us that Kaiju was too scared and tense and that they needed to sedate him a little more heavily than originally expected. We said ok. Ten more minutes later, we heard some Shiba-like screams from the hallway. They were not prolonged screams that we knew, but short ones with good amount of pause in between.
"Is that Kaiju?"
"Sounds like him but he is sedated. It couldn't be him."
"It's a little different from his normal screams, too."
"Yeah. Besides, it's just X-ray. They are not doing anything painful to him."
"I bet many dogs scream here. It's probably another dog."
Twenty more minutes passed. We started to worry. It was taking a bit too long for just an X-ray shoot. When the doctor finally came in to the waiting room with Kaiju walking behind her, she smiled and said "Did you hear him??"
Apparently, he screamed his head off while laying on the table, every time she stepped away to proceed with X-rays. He stopped whenever she went back to him. She said that, in the end, she had to hold him and rub his neck for quite a while, after which he was calm and let her do whatever she needed to do.
Aw Kaiju and his screams...
And no, they did not find anything unusual from X-rays, except for a little Patella ligament inflammation. She said she was going to show the pictures to the radiologist next morning and discuss further, but for now, no pins or wires seemed to have been moved. He is to stay on his pain medication a little longer than originally planned, to keep the inflammation in check, but otherwise, we are to continue what we have been doing for the past two weeks.
And, yes, the cone is off!
i got some new toys! A monkey and a snake... I give them three days, then I tear them apart!
It's beautiful out. It's also so good to see Kaiju happy outside on the little lawn area, to and from which we carry him for potty breaks. After finishing his business, he wants to sniff everything and to go after little tree branches to chew on and carry around.
No matter how nice it is outside and no matter how good we feel or he seems to feel, we must restrict him to minimal activities in order for him to have the best chance for a happy life. So we pick him up right after, and go home, where there is no sun coming through (our apartment faces northeast, and surrounded by other buildings).
Both the trainer for the puppy kindergarten and the breeder have been so concerned for Kaiju and supportive for us. It is good to feel we have some support when we, the first time dog owners, feel helpless and frustrated and lost. They both repeatedly told us about keeping him restricted. Nothing I read on the Web ever says anything about encouraging the dog to move around, either.
So, we have to be strong.
Our breeder says:
Kaiju's healing and long term quality of life are directly proportionate to the supervision and restriction of activity through the next couple of months. Far better to delay gratification of allowing him to choose his course of recovery for a couple of months in order to give him the greatest opportunity for a good quality of life for a 15 + year of life. ...... This is an animal, not a human and it does not understand the necessary needs to fulfill the healing process. It is up to you to guide Kaiju through the road of recovery regardless of how good he may "appear" to feel.
Our trainer says:
It sucks when they are sick or injured, and it's not ideal for training, but you got to do the best you can, and I'd rather see him healthy and happy a bit later than re-injured and frustrated at new dogs that may last for the rest of his life.
Thank you for the reminders. We really appreciate it.