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Metrowest, MA
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Wow! It is so amazing what they can do these days! What a huge improvement!!!
 

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OMG! What an phenomenal job she did inserting the plate and the screws in his tiny leg. I am so happy everything is moving in a positive direction for Perry. It's been a long road for you both. He's a special little guy who found an amazing family to give him the love and care he deserves. 💓
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
Last week I was helping my sister close down one of their daycare locations so spent the week (and very long days) at work with her. So, Perry went to "work" with me all week.

He was, as always, super patient in his crate. But he got to spend more time out of it - in my lap during the day and exploring at night. Since it's all one floor and there really wasn't anything to jump on I could let him drag his leash and wander around, playing with cousin Zadie's toys which he had a blast doing AND was completely exhausted (12 weeks plus the 2 weeks from the spine biopsy all of crate rest/ low activity has meant that he's really out of shape :) ).

During the day was funny though. I've always said he wouldn't be able to go to daycare like Zadie and Finley do because he's so afraid of people - but apparently that does not apply to little people (or doesn't now that he's more confident). The first time i put him down when the kids were in the room (after they'd been instructed that he was on the floor and had to stay calm and be careful of where they walked - they're used to 2 dogs being around because Zadie and Angus both are there almost every day, though they're both much bigger than Perry) he was trotting around exploring, totally unfazed by there being 2 other adults and 10-12 kids there, put his legs up on one kid, and then JUMPED on the lap of another kid (where he then promptly fell down between his legs because said kid was NOT expecting it!) Luckily little kid chairs are very short so no damage from the jump or the fall, but I totally was not expecting him to like it.

The rest of the time I couldn't supervise him on the ground (because I was doing things) so he stayed in my lap - and pretty much every kid came over at various times throughout the day to pet him - sometimes for longer periods and sometimes just a quick pet down his back as they walked by. I did let 2 of the girls sit on the ground and hold him in their lap and while it may not have been his absolute favorite thing (honestly right now I think he only tolerates sitting in my lap because he knows the alternative is the crate :) ) - he wasn't scared or very concerned, just looked at me occasionally to make sure it was all ok :).

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by his lack of fear or at least tolerance for the little people.

Tomorrow we have our week 12 vet appointment (which will be a joy given that the day is at 100% chance of rain - and the general area is meant to get anywhere from 2-6 inches of rain for the day!) so we will see if we're still in a bandage when we head home :) or if we will be starting physical therapy next week.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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We will have all fingers paws and toes crossed for you!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Sorry for the delay in the update - we decided to go to DC for a few days following his appointment last Wednesday.

Wednesday was a bad weather day here in PA (and between here and DC) though it wasn't raining too badly when we were at the vet - so the consultation with the vet was with her standing outside the car under an umbrella showing me the new xrays on a tablet :).

Good news - the cast/ splint is off. Bad news, the bones haven't regrown much more and definitely not as much as she would have liked to see. So we've made the next check in a month, hopefully with using it it will stimulate bone growth. In the meantime, he's still on jumping/ stairs restriction which means still a lot of crate rest (which he is currently protesting by sitting in his crate and not eating his breakfast).

His leg is, as expected, a bit withered as you can see in the picture. He's still not really using it much - he prefers to hop around on 3 legs though he does think he can manage on two - he insisted on balancing (or trying to) on one front and one back leg in order to lift his other back leg to mark when we were in DC!
Dog Dog breed Orange Carnivore Sleeve


We've got a PT appointment scheduled for Sunday - will see how that goes because he should be using the leg more right now. He is using it somewhat but not like he should.

I'm also going to have to deal with re-acclimatizing him to grooming of the foot. I don't know if it's sensitivity from being in the cast or if the nurses were a little rough with combing him out when they changed the bandages - in addition to him always having some issues with touching his front feet - but just trying to touch his foot (not the leg, but the foot which was not part of the surgery) with a comb has led to biting the comb (never ever done that before) and the high pitched "you're killing me" whines! Just touching it with the teeth of the comb, not even moving the comb! It's a little bit of a struggle because I can't just hold his leg still like I would have before given that the plate and pin are in it... so we're back to doing it slowly and hoping I can run a comb through it before/ by the time it starts getting a little tangled (not even going to wonder how cutting the hair between his pads will go!)

After his appointment we drove to DC (through horrendous weather and having to figure out routes around flooded/ closed roads) and had a nice few days there. Still trying to figure out the right formula to prevent barking in hotel rooms given that his separation issues have escalated in the last year. We were successful one day with a full dose of trazadone and the TV on, but would love NOT to have to do that, so will keep working on ideas to figure it out.

He was allowed to walk for a few minutes at a time, so he did do some walking around DC, but mostly was in his sling (and man 11 pounds is heavy!!)

We also visited my sister in law and family where my niece (who previously had decided Perry should be called Chuck) this trip decided that his name should be Oreo and called him that all day. Perry was also a real trooper in sitting on her lap even though we know he's not a real lap dog :).

So, overall a mixed bag - glad the cast is off but would be happier if the bone had regrown better AND if he could be off overall restrictions soon.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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When I worked on the horse farm, we had a Border Collie who broke her leg, and after she got out of her cast, refused to walk on that leg. We ended up having to bandage the good leg part of the time (just wrapped it up in vet wrap) just to make it uncomfortable enough to put the "bad" leg down on the ground and discovered that she COULD walk on that one. Maybe ask the vet about trying something like that?
 
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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
When I worked on the horse farm, we had a Border Collie who broke her leg, and after she got out of her cast, refused to walk on that leg. We ended up having to bandage the good leg part of the time (just wrapped it up in vet wrap) just to make it uncomfortable enough to put the "bad" leg down on the ground and discovered that she COULD walk on that one. Maybe ask the vet about trying something like that?
Will definitely discuss something like that with the PT doctor - I want to see how PT goes. I think it's just being uncomfortable with the idea - when he's thinking about something else (like wanting to run across the yard) he puts it down. I'm hoping that a few weeks of PT will not only help strengthen it but also will help him "forget" that he doesn't want to use it.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Will definitely discuss something like that with the PT doctor - I want to see how PT goes. I think it's just being uncomfortable with the idea - when he's thinking about something else (like wanting to run across the yard) he puts it down. I'm hoping that a few weeks of PT will not only help strengthen it but also will help him "forget" that he doesn't want to use it.
Yes, with Megan, she had simply gotten used to getting around quite efficiently on 3 legs by then, and just needed a reminder that the 4th one was a useful appendage too! LOL! (She had a plate and screws too, though, of course nothing nearly as extensive as Perry's... hers was "merely" patching things back together again! ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
Yes, with Megan, she had simply gotten used to getting around quite efficiently on 3 legs by then, and just needed a reminder that the 4th one was a useful appendage too! LOL! (She had a plate and screws too, though, of course nothing nearly as extensive as Perry's... hers was "merely" patching things back together again! ;) )
the vet did say that PT might be useful because some dogs just get used to using 3 and are perfectly happy continuing that way :) She laughed and said "almost all of them start using the leg again immediately so it's not usual for them to continue on 3, but we know Perry is not usual"
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
I realized I hadn't posted an update - then thought "I'll take some pics at PT this week" and post them - only to completely forget to take my phone into the session and take pictures! So, you'll all have to wait until I hopefully! remember to take pictures in 2 weeks (his PT vet is at a conference next week) to see how cute he looks in a life jacket in the water tank :)

As I mentioned on another post, Perry is being very stubborn about using his front leg post-surgery. We've had 3 PT sessions (2 weeks - 1st week we did 2 sessions) and the PT vet says that there is no reason for him not to use it, and he will use it when he's not paying attention (like when he's playing) but 2 1/2 weeks post cast-removal and he's still completely happy to run around on 3 legs rather than use the 4th consistently.

I can get him to use it when he's moving at a fast pace on a walk and when he's not thinking about it. After two weeks I've taught him a "foot" command (to put his foot down) that he understands when there is potentially a treat involved :) He'll consistently put it down when he's sitting so now we're working on using it when he's at a slow walk (not that it's easy to put him into a slow walk at any time).

The fun parts have been trying to figure out exercises that force him to use it. The first was where he was supposed to balance on a fit disc forcing him to use it by picking up his other front leg. He decided that he could just lean on me and be fine. So then we were supposed to "wheel barrow" him so his back legs were up and he had to use the front - at first he decided he was fine balancing on one leg that way but eventually decided he could use both :). So that's one of his daily exercises.

The second exercise was a cavaletti or (in our case) a ladder that he was supposed to walk through forcing him to use all 4 legs. First was working on not being afraid of the ladder. After that we could try the exercise ,but no matter how fast or slow we went through he was able to do it with 3 legs (since we all know Havs prefer to hop than walk anyway). So, that one is off the rotation.

We, of course, have to do range of motion exercises as well as 15 minute walks a few times a day, trying to do as many inclines as possible. The PT vet has also suggested walking him through tall grass because that "usually" forces them to use all 4 legs as well. We've also added in chasing his ball since that's one thing that he will completely forget to pay attention and will use the leg (all vet approved :) ).

PT sessions are focused on the water treadmill. She's been making him walk fairly quickly to make him use the leg. Yesterday we did part of it slowed down to see if he would still use the leg and he did for the most part - though he was very happy to just walk forward and then float back to the end of the tether and then walk forward again over and over :). He actually was much better in the water/ with the treadmill than I expected. In fact, the "scariest" part about it was the PT Dr. standing behind him - so for the subsequent sessions she's stayed out of the water (she is not his favorite person :) ). Other than that he's been handling it really well. first day he tried to jump and splashed himself which scared him, but otherwise he just gets in there and walks.

His 4 week checkup at his ortho is next week, fingers crossed that there will be more bone growth!!
 
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