Friday, March 20, 2009

6 weeks post-surgery: Infection Update

Hello blog readers!  I know, I know.  It's been a really long time AGAIN since my last post, but this hopefully I can make this update interesting enough to be worth it!

Honestly, I haven't updated because I have been so down about Heisman's recovery.  Dr. Greenwood called us last Saturday telling us that Heisman's blood culture had come back, revealing that she has MRSI, or methicillin resistant staphylococcus intermedius.  Yes, a staph infection - the most resistant to antibiotics.  This strain of infection is only in animals, so Harding and I cannot get it, but Hamilton (the cat) could.  We have desperately been trying to keep their shared water bowls separate!

Dr. Greenwood changed Heisman's antibiotic to Cipro - a human strength antibiotic.  I went to Wal-Mart to pick it up and had to sign away her medical rights as her guardian.  It was pretty hilarious to pick up a prescription for Heisman "K-9" Brannon at a normal pharmacy.

Anyway, I was very disheartened to learn about Heisman's prognosis, and even more upset as she did not improve over the next 4-5 days.  However, I can officially say this morning that I think she is responding.  Over the past week, I have communicated with the wonderful people at the Bella Moss Foundation who are dedicated to research about staph in dogs.  Though they are based overseas, they were able to put me in touch with an expert at UGA who does a lot of staph research - Dr. Steve Budsberg.  Dr. Budsberg was nice enough to call Dr. Greenwood and review Heisman's case, reporting back that, from everything he can tell, we are on the right track.  Today, Heisman's demeanor is better, her lameness is slightly improved, and the swelling is reducing!!  HOORAY!!!

On another note, I was talking to my husband last night and told him that I really wished I could "remember" Heisman's limp in January before surgery so that I could at least feel like I had done something if improve her quality of life.  It has been so awful to watch her in pain with the infection and know that I put her in this position!  Well, talk about answered prayers, I was packing my Flip Video camera for a trip this weekend and found a 3 second video of Heisman walking away from me from 1/1/09.  I think that this clip must have been a fluke, but it was amazing to see!  Check it out!

I also took a quick video today so that you can see the surgery leg.  Then, thankfully, she heard something at the door and got up to walk towards it.  Even with the staph, the improvement is remarkable.  I really needed this - an answered prayer indeed!

Well, that was JUST what this mother needed to see!  This weekend, I am headed to the North Georgia mountains, for a girls' weekend in a cabin for my best pal Jen Crews' bachelorette party!  I am nervous to leave Heisman, but her daddy will do a GREAT job keeping her on track with her pill regimen (back to 16 per day) and loving on her.  I will try to keep updates coming more regularly, but please know that the thoughts and prayers are most certainly working!  Keep them coming!


  1. I loved seeing the videos. Looks like she has improved a great deal, regardless of the setback. Keep up the good work and have a GREAT time this weekend, you well deserve it. I know what it's like to have to leave them at this point, but rest assured at least your huby is there with her. They will do fine together. go ENJOY yourself!

  2. Gwen, she really looks good, despite the infection; very alert, eyes big and bright. Hope you enjoyed your weekend away. Go Heisman!

  3. Just visiting your site for the first time. We are hoping that there is continued improvement!
    Cheers, Honey (13 yo golden) and her mom and dad