Friday, February 12, 2010

A long overdue update

So it's been a while, but, in our case, no news has been good news.

It is officially 1 year and 1 week after Heisman's first TPLO surgery. I have been on the road and had to rush home this morning because it was SNOWING in Atlanta.

Now, Heisman is quite a princess and thus not a fan of "doing her business" outside when it is raining. Princesses HATE wet, muddy paws. She's been in the snow once before, but it was between her surgeries, so we were in "careful" mode. I wasn't sure how she'd react. Well, she loved it!! Check out some pictures and video below:

As you can see, we're doing great!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day Three - Second time around is no easier

Well, last time, Heisman had a really smooth first few days and then a hellacious (see staph infection entry) middle period of recovery. I can only hope that these first few days mean that we are going to "flip flop" that history.

Heisman is in a good bit of pain. She's whimpering and moaning, despite being willing to do some toe touching/weight bearing when she goes outside. When she is sitting still/laying down, she can't seem to get her leg into a comfortable position, so she just moans and whimpers. So sad.

Also, there is a good bit of swelling that we did not seem to encounter last time. There is even a gathering of fluid down by her ankle - all supposedly "normal," but nothing like last time.

I just want to be on the other side of this. Can't it be July soon? That "8 week" appointment can't get here soon enough.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We got tagged! The Honest Scrap Award

We got tagged by Heisman's buddy Parker who had a TPLO in November of 2008. Since his surgery was before Heisman's, we followed his journey a lot to see what was to come. Heisman has quite the crush on this pretty fella!

So, I am supposed to tell you 10 things about Heisman and then tag 3 of her friends to do the same. Heisman decided that she would take control of writing this article:

1) Well, since you are blog readers, you know that I am a genetic mutant. Sorry, a precious genetic mutant. I, obviously have the genetic predisposition for bad knees, but I also have horrible allergies and get some nasty skin infections - I actually have one right now! You will see my red polka dot tummy in some of my recovery pics!

2) I only missed 2 Georgia Tech home games last year. Mommy and Daddy take me to tailgate with Mommy's family and at Daddy's old fraternity house and then take me to daycare down the street right before the game starts. I love the Yellow Jackets, and am excited that both of my knees should be well in time for football this fall!

3) Mommy and Daddy got me exactly one year after they got my sister Hamilton - we were both birthday gifts to Daddy from our Grandaddy Massengale.

4) One of my very favorite snacks is tortilla chips! Yummy! Taqueria del Sol is my favorite.

5) Before my knee surgeries, my favorite way to walk was backwards. If I want to go back to where I came from, rather than turning around, I will walk backwards the whole way!

6) I have a newfound fear of the air vent in the hallway of our house. I just decided one day that I am terrified of that thing!

7) Frosty Paws are delicious treats, but I love tearing up the container even more than eating the ice cream. Mommy knows that I am not feeling well if she gives me a Frosty Paws and I don't tear up the container when I'm done.

8) Boxers are my favorite breed of dogs (other than labs of course). I have been drawn to them from day one!

9) When my knee surgery is healed, I want to volunteer for Reading Paws and hear stories from lots of children! Mommy says I will get a super snazzy vest, too!

10) My sister Hamilton is my best friend - but sometimes I have to growl at her anyway. She has to know who's boss!

And now...who to tag...

1) Koda - Koda had a TPLO on the same day as me in February and her second TPLO yesterday - the day after me!
2) Ivy - Ivy also had TPLOs, but she is all better now. She is such an inspiration - already going for hikes and playing on the beach!
3) Mesa - Mesa had a tightrope procedure (another way of fixing a torn CCL) just after Heisman's TPLO.

Surgery 2, Day 2

Of course, Heisman is already making our second recovery day interesting. Check out the progression of this bruise...

Yesterday, see the small area that is a little bit darker than the rest of the redness:
This morning, the area is darker and larger:
And now, tonight, nastiness:
It is so hard to see this on my sweet girl!! I have posted pictures on the OrthoDogs group hoping that someone with a similar situation will see it and have some advice. I called the vet when it looked like pic #2 above. They said it was probably a bleeding bruise and were happy to hear that it was going away from her heart - likely a result of gravity. However, I don't like the fact that it is getting so progressively worse. Heisman is definitely taking after her Granny Massengale with her bruising!

Other than the gnarly picture above, recovery for Heisman is going well. She's a big eater, has been drinking a lot, slept 14 hours last night (this is typical for my lazy girl), and has been toe touching and even bearing some weight on the leg.

She has POOPED twice - once yesterday on our first trip outside after surgery and then once again today. I can't believe it - usually the wait for poop is a timid time for mommies. I know, TMI.

How about some more fun pictures?!? Here are a few of Heisman and her nurse Hamilton cuddling today on Heisman's new orthopedic dog bed... I am so thankful for my two girls.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

So, not exactly what we planned...

...but, we're on the road to recovery again!

Hi loyal blog readers - It's been a while. Well, yesterday, Heisman went in for her second TPLO - this time on the left knee. Thank GOODNESS we only have 2 knees on this dog (apparently, the front legs have elbows!).

So, yes, not exactly what we planned. As we have rehabilitated Heisman's right leg from TPLO #1 (on 2/5/09), her left leg has continued to deteriorate. This past weekend, if she had any activity, she wouldn't even use the leg leg for the following 24 hours. So, back to Dr. Greenwood we went. We had been trying to hold off the second surgery until early/Mid June to give her right leg a full 16 weeks to heal, but her left leg was just not willing. We saw Dr. Greenwood on Monday, she went in to surgery on Wednesday, and she is back home today. What a whirlwind!

Long story short, Heisman's left knee was even "slopier" (they measure the slope of the bone) than the right, despite the fact that the right required surgery first. Not to worry, Dr. Greenwood corrected that - from a 33 degree slope to 6-7 degrees! Hooray!

I cannot quite believe that we are "right back to where we started." Completely confined (both of us), in pain, going to the bathroom on a leash, no walks, etc. I know it is the best for Heisman, and there is a big piece of me that is excited about doing the surgery earlier, as I know that only means we will be done with recovery earlier, but there is a (selfish) piece of me that really wanted some more "normal" time with Heisman - hanging out, taking walks, going out to eat, etc.

Our last weekend before surgery was nothing short of meant to be. Though we had no idea that the surgery would be happening so soon, we spent the whole afternoon with Heisman on Saturday. First, her daddy and I took her to City Dog Market to pick out some new treats. We just discovered City Dog after her last surgery, so she had not been "recovered" enough to visit on her own yet. She loved it after that, the 3 of us went to our favorite Atlanta barbeque place - the Old Brick Pit - to eat. We sat outside (obviously) and all 3 had some delicious GRUB. Once we came home, we spent the rest of the afternoon outside enjoying the Georgia Summer. It was amazing. Here are some pictures from our first "recovery period." Heisman wanted me to show all of her readers what she has been up to - and that she really knows how to have a good time!

Go Jackets! Heisman went to the Georgia Tech Spring Game to cheer on the Jackets at their last open practice of the Spring!

That's right - Heisman has her own GT jersey. She shares a number with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

Heisman and Daddy played some guitar in the backyard.

Mommy and I watched for stuff to bark at!

Now for the graphic Day One of surgery photos - these are a bit grizzly...

Swollen, bruised, and frankensteined....

Incision and skin infection (per usual)

And the obligatory "Hi" from Hamilton...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Swim Therapy with Eva

Heisman just got home from swim therapy with Eva. She had a BLAST. The water was a very warm 96 degrees and salty, which will help her skin! For a dog who has not had any activity since at least October, Heisman didn't want to stop. Eva said that she will be VERY sore for the next few days and recommended that we bring her back within 72 hours to continue to build the muscle mass. Heisman wants to thank her Great Aunt Myra for contributing to her therapy fund - she is SO lucky to have such a supportive family!

There's not much to report beyond the fun that she had, and she really did well with the swimming - got right in the pool without any coaxing! I have put together a video with some swimming clips and the best pictures from today. I am not looking forward to seeing Heisman sore, but I am so happy that she had a fun day of just being a dog!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Week 8 - Check Up and WALK!!!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...just check out the picture to the left!

What a wonderful day we have had!! Heisman had her 8 week appointment this morning with Dr. Greenwood - my fellow TPLO moms can attest to what a milestone this is! Dr. Greenwood x-rayed Heisman's leg, and determined that her bone is healing - and may even be ahead of schedule! While this may seem like the best news of the day, I am sure that Heisman would disagree. Due to Dr. Greenwood's clearance today, Heisman is now able to go on 10 minute walks every day - increasing the distance by 5 minutes every week! She has not been able to go on a walk since October!! The picture to the left is of Heisman right before we left for the walk. SHE WAS SO EXCITED!!! I am just thrilled to finally have a happy dog on our hands. Below is a quick video of her walk:

Hooray! Tomorrow, she is going to the canine water therapy center Wag n Swim so that she can have VERY SUPERVISED swimming with Eva - highly recommended by our great friends over at CityDog Market. It is dangerous to "free swim" a TPLO dog, but Eva has a lot of experience with Ortho-Dogs, and swimming is one of Heisman's favorite things to do. The swim center at Wag n Swim has a salt water pool that is heated to 96 degrees, which will also be wonderful for Heisman's skin. I will be sure to take a lot of pictures and video and post back tomorrow. I am SO EXCITED!