Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ain't a vet in town that can keep this dog down

Louise is out of the hospital and on the path to recovery. I have to say, this is the most decorative cast I have ever seen, for humans or animals. Also note, the bandana is something the vet thought they would put on her. I'm not sold on the colour, but Louise doesn't seem to mind it.

Right now the paw is still frozen, so Louise is in very good spirits. We have a special plastic bag to cover the cast when she goes for a walk, so that we can keep it dry. It has to stay on for at least three days, at which point the vet is going to want to do a re-exam. But as for tonight, the plan is to get her drugged up quickly and just give her the time to heal.

The basic idea was that they operated on the paw and removed the unidentified mass. This involved putting in a couple stitches which will dissolve and also sending the mass off to 'the lab' for further analysis. If all goes well, we will get those results at about the same time they remove the cast.

Also, thanks to Greg for taking these photos of Louise. I misplaced my camera in a friend's car and have yet to retrieve it. Luckily, Greg likes to photograph 'news' as it happens.

So yeah, earlier I was griping. I'm much happier now that I can see she is doing better.

Back at the Vet

Louise is not in the office today. Instead she is at the vet, this time getting her paw operated on. We had to make sure she had no food this morning (she was searching her stroller for stray bits of kibble on the way in).

As can be expected, it is an expensive procedure to remove something from an animal's paw and normally I would be okay with this - if I wasn't already charged a few hundred bucks a couple weeks ago for them to put Louise under AND ONLY POKE AROUND. I mean come on - this feels like double dipping. Even if at the end of the day Louise is running around with no limp (something I am still hopeful we will get to once this operation heals over) we are still going to have a bad taste in our mouth from the excessive vet bills. We had a cat break a thigh bone that required surgery, a pin inserted in the bone, followup surgery to remove the pin, etc. and that bill came to about the same amount of money. Even counting for inflation, something is not adding up.

For the record, I do understand that they were 'being cautious' and trying to avoid surgery if it was possible to reduce the bump with antibiotics. I bought that right up to the point where they put my dog under and didn't just remove the bump the first time. Who anesthetizes an animal, cuts into a mass and decides to leave it there? That seems like a job half done to me, and it's really the basis of my discontent.

Ok, I'm done ranting. I just want my dog back without the limp. Not having to spend my entire life savings to achieve this would be a big plus.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recovery Report

Sleeping Louise
Originally uploaded by iTripped
Today was an interesting day in the office - TWO dogs, thanks to a mis-communication. Neither dog was Louise though - she was home getting her paw soaked in salt water and not too happy about it.

In this photo you can see the shaved spot on her foreleg where they put the IV in to sedate her. She has hardly noticed, to be honest, which is a complete reversal to how our cats react to the shaving. Anyway, Louise is in good spirits despite the limp and I find that we have to settle her down at times because she wants to run and jump when really she shouldn't. Hopefully a few more days of the soaking of the paw should soften things up enough to get her back to rights.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Adventures on a day off

We were out late last night, so that meant sleeping in a bit this morning. This has never been a problem for Louise, who is usually game for staying in bed as long as possible. Once we got rolling, we discovered a nice, sunny day.

While on our walk we decided to stop in to the Doggy Style Cafe. This is one of those stores that Louise can smell a mile away and when we got to the entrance, she started pawing at the door for us to let her in.

We picked up a few treats for her, and some more for the cats. Of course, while there she was able to sample a few as well, thanks to the generosity of the staff. In this photo you can see Louise trying to get a better look at the counter, just in case someone was planning on giving her yet another mouthful.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sore paws don't keep good dogs down

Sore paw. Antibiotic pills. Antibiotic cream. Anti-inflammatory medicine (honey flavoured to encourage consumption).

This dog is still limping a lot. But the anti-inflammatories do help her with the pain, and the antibiotic cream helps keep things clean when we go for walks.

She is in the office with me today as we do a little overtime (again.) It's a perfect day for it with only a few of us working. We have all been watching her pretty close to make sure she is ok - and for the most part she has been. That's Greg in the kitchen behind her.
As usual we took the skytrain to get here and I figured I would take a photo or two of that since I have noticed that so many of Louise's readers are not from the Vancouver area. Only one or two actually turned out (moving trains cause for blurry photos) but here they are just the same.

Lastly, I thought I would include a shot of Louise running in the park by Science World just to show that she is still able to move quickly, despite the lame paw.

I'm just glad that we took her in to the vet when we did. Clearly she was in a lot of pain at the time and while we aren't out of the woods yet, at least we have a sense that once her paw heals she should be back to normal. Which is exactly how we like her to be.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Paw Surgery!

As mentioned, Louise was limping and that meant I would be taking her into a new vet. As we approached, neither Louise or I knew quite what to expect. I took it as a good sign that there were fancy cars parked on the street in front of the place.
So what was supposed to be a simple trip to the vet for them to clean up Louise's paw turned into much, much more. They ended up having to sedate her so that they could go in and excavate what they thought was an abscess at the time. As it turned out, there really wasn't a lot of infection on her paw, but there was and still is a growth of some kind.

They did an x-ray to scan for any metal bits and concluded there were none. After that, they cleaned the paw some more (both inside and out) and then sent her home with lots of antibiotics and the like. When I arrived to pick her up she was in great spirits and very happy to see me. It was a longer walk home than usual, but she was thrilled to discover that she could run without the same pain as before, which was encouraging. The limp was still there, but then again she still has a cut on her foot, which the doctor assures us will heal quickly.

It was pretty stressful for the rest of us as we learned about mysterious 'growths' and other scary things going on with Louise's paw. The vet said they will call to follow up with us in a couple days and overall they have been pretty much what I would expect from a quality animal doctoring house. The staff there were friendly and when I picked up Louise one even commented that they discovered Louise does not like hats (she doesn't, it's true.) Turns out they were playing with her for a bit while they waited for me to arrive. I can only imagine the shenanigans that went on - maybe it's best to leave it that way.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pre-working blog post

Originally uploaded by iTripped
Ha! I'm ahead of the game this week, posting early. Tomorrow is Louise's day in the office and I suspect that I will see her up on my desk like in this picture.

She has been limping lately so we will have to get her looked at. When we looked at her paws we could not see anything wrong and her bones are not broken. Also, when we walk I notice that once she gets warmed up she stops limping for a while. It's like she is stiff after relaxing. Well, she has been a little trooper so far and tomorrow we will have to visit that vet.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Chasing big dogs

We met quite a few dogs at the park this weekend and as usual, Louise was running around acting like a traffic cop, chasing after the noisy or fast dogs. Usually the ones that were a lot larger than her. Most of the dog owners there found it entertaining to watch her run after the other dogs, barking as she goes. Louise certainly had a good time - more than once I had to call her away just to let her catch her breath before resuming the chase. Those larger dogs can run far longer than she can.

One of the other dogs that was there was a boxer named Chilco. He was fascinated with a ball and was more interested in hanging on to it and not letting the other dogs play with it than with actually playing fetch (for fear of losing the ball to another dog). So he played his version of 'keepaway', and would tend to run away from the other dogs, or park himself between the legs of a person to better defend his ball. He was a very friendly dog though, and reminded me of another similar looking one named Sam. It took me a few minutes to actually get a good photo of Chilco since he wasn't really in the mood for taking pictures and was busy fending off other dogs.