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Friday, March 30, 2012

Nathan walking video 3-30-12

My miracle dog.  He'll come into view on the video at about 18 secs in.


Free at last!  Nathan had a great check up with Dr. Chauvet!  He's out of crate rest and allowed to walk....which amazingly, he can do already.    I'm amazed that he can walk.  He's very wobbly but he can do it.  13 days after surgery.   It's crazy.

Let the road to recovery begin...again....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Only a few more days of confinement to go

Can't wait to see the surgeon on Friday morning!  Just 2 more days.  Nathan can definitely stand up on his own and support his own weight already.  He's walking OK with the sling (just for potty runs).  He is somewhat unsteady and his left leg is noticeably weaker than his right.   This is ironic because up to this point, his right leg had been the weaker one.   We are all anxious to be able to get him walking again, but these 2 weeks are going faster than I thought they would.   The surgeon used the dissolving sutures rather than staples, so the surgery site already looks really good.  There is one small spot that is not fully healed, but the rest of the surgery site is already healed up. 

He had an acupuncture session yesterday as that acupunture doctor felt it was important to do a treatment right away.   We'll be back on our every 2-3 week rotation with that for a bit now.

Look for news on Friday afternoon...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One week down, one to go

Made it thru the first week of crate rest.  One more week to go. Nathan is ready to go.  When we go outsite for potty runs, he practically wants to run.  If I didn't have the sling on him, I think he'd take off.   It's really as if he did not have any surgery last week.    I can't wait till this next week is over to see where we stand in his recovery.  

It's truly amazing the difference that a skilled surgeon can make.  Nathan could not even lift his head up after the first surgery.  This time, I don't think he even knows he had surgery.   I can't help but wonder how the last year would have gone if we had the right surgeon.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day Four comes to a close

I'm amazed how well Nathan seems after this surgery compared to the last.  Although he is on crate rest, he is allowed to walk with a sling to try to go potty.  His back legs are moving pretty darn well.  He can't fully support himself, but he definitely can move those back legs.  He appears to be full of energy so the next 10 more days of rest are going to be tough.   It's as if he did not have surgery at all. 

One thing on this surgery that I wanted to mention.   In addition to fixing the disks, the surgeon also did the fenestration procedure.  This reduces the chance of another disk rupturing from up to 20% down to 1%.  So, she assured me there is little chance of further incidents. 

I'm feeling really positive about what the outcome of this will be.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day Two begins

It was a relief to bring Nathan home yesterday.  I can't believe his hair is all shaved off again.   He is definitely no worse than he was before this surgery, which is a huge relief.  I'm really hopeful now that he will actually be able to improve more than he had. 

He is on a 14-day crate rest though.  14 days is not too bad.  Also, he is allowed to stay in a playpen size area, rather than a confined crate, so its really not too bad.  We made a furniture fort so he can stay in the family room with his normal bed, so he's not too freaked out.  I am able to work from home this week, so I've got my PC and phone right in the area where he is confined. 

The doctor has given us a long list of to-dos for the next 14 days.  Range of motion exercises, massage, ice, etc.  He is allowed to walk with a sling on the front lawn to go potty.  That's how I was able to see he can still walk.   For me, that's amazing since after his first surgery, he literally could not even move his body the slightest bit.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day One, all over again

I spoke with the doctor this morning and she was very positive about Nathan's recovery.  She told me the disk that ruptured this time had been damaged for quite some time.  So, its no wonder Nathan's recovery was stalled.  Also, she said the previously operated disk had a lot of scar tissue that needed to be cleaned up. 

Lesson:  Do not let anyone other than a neurosurgeon perform this procedure on your dog, even if it means driving a distance to have it done properly. 

I just checked in with the hospital.  Nathan is already standing again.  Hard to believe just a few hours after surgery he is better than he was yesterday.  I'm already feeling hopeful that he will be even better than he had been over the last months.

The worst day, the unimagineable

The unthinkable happened yesterday.  Nathan ruptured another disk.   He started acting a bit off on Friday, but really seemed like he just needed a day of rest.  Saturday morning, he seemed a bit worse, but still not serious.  By the afternoon, he was clearly worse.   What's crazy is we are only 9 days away from the 1-year mark of the first surgery.

Luckily, we had already researched where the best neurosurgeon for this is and she is about 90 mins from where we live.  So, we called the hospital and got in the car and drove down.   The doctor was actually at a fund raiser and could not be reached.  They told us to wait because she would definitely call in.  We got there at 6:30pm and by 9:30pm, the doctor had arrived (dressed in a gown) to the hospital. 

She immediately assessed him and assured us that since we had come in early, she was confident he would be back to where he was within 2 weeks.   Since it was now after 10pm, we drove home and the doctor began the MRI and surgery.  By the time we got home, the MRI was done and the disk was identified as the one just behind the prior injured disk.  So, now we waited.   12:15am, the doctor called.  The surgery was completed.  She felt good about it, but will know more today.  She also said she had to "clean up" the prior surgery site.  All of this could of course account for Nathan's slow and tough recovery.  

I'm obviously completely freaked out and can't believe this happened again.  I'm dreading the next few weeks recalling what it was like the first time.   Hopefully, when we speak with the doctor today, she will have some good news.  I also want to know more about the surgery as I did not want to grill her at midnight!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Searching for Doggie Day Care

So, we are once again looking for someone to care for the boys if we go out of town.  We've not been successful with the first 3.   A friend recommended a lady who takes dogs into her condo and we went to see her today.  She was a nice lady who was actually born in Brooklyn and grew up in Staten Island just like me, which wouldn't be so weird if we weren't in Tampa Bay, FL.   Anyway, she has 2 cats and a 15 yr old dog.   But, everyone seemed to get along alright.  Nathan tried to play with one of the cats, but she'd have no part of it.    The lady is willing to be trained on how to empty Nathan's bladder, so I am going to schedule a series of visits to show her. 

I keep hoping Nathan will begin fully pee'ing on his own, but we are coming up on a year, so the odds are getting pretty small.  I've tried to find another vet tech who does in-home sitting but others I spoken with charge $100 a day, which is just crazy.

Anyone have any suggestions?