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Rio had her first swim therapy this morning.  It went great.  The therapists were really amazed at how well Rio took to the hydrotherapy pool.  They kept saying how impressed they were that she did this well on her first session.  I wasn’t surprised, because she is a very smart and adaptive dog.  I think she was just relieved that nobody was trying to stick her with needles, so she just went with it.  They had an orange and blue Chuck-it ball — her favorite — and she swam to get it and played with it for about 20 minutes of the half hour session.  The ladies massaged her and stretched her and guided her around as she swam, and aside from being a bit nervous and resistant when they were backing her into the pool, she seemed to enjoy it.  So we signed her up for another session next week.

Rio's an excellent patient!

And now she’s completely shot and snoozing on the couch with her sisters.

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Poopy day….

Today, the weather is vile and Rio isn’t feeling very well.  Her CBC came back with good numbers, but she’s developed a bad case of diarrhea.  She’s pooped so many times I’ve lost count, and she seems completely lethargic.  Temp is normal, though.  A call to the vet hooked us up with some metronidazole, so hopefully that won’t take too long to kick in.  I also picked up some unflavored Pedialyte and mixed it with low sodium beef broth, and she’s been drinking that down when I offer it to her.  I don’t want her to get dehydrated, and she has no interest in just plain water.

On the upside, when the vet checked her leg yesterday, she said she didn’t feel any signs of “laxity” or “crepitus” which sounds promising.  However, she’s still having some difficulty getting around.  The clinic where she is going for her oncology treatments is all specialists, so I’m going to see if I can get the ortho specialist to look at it when we’re in next week.

Happy birthday to me…

Yesterday was my birthday, and the best present of all was a happy Woo.  Her dad sent her in to do a little post-breakfast snuggle wearing a festive ribbon on her harness.  My present was a book of Rio.  Her dad had collected all the great Rio pictures from the day I brought her home to post-surgery, and compiled them into an iPhoto book.  We had made a couple of these books before — one of all of our Halloween party guests, and one for the in-laws 25 wedding anniversary.  Apple really does a nice job, and they’re a great memento without the headache of trying to put together a photo album.  They are hardbound and the pages are glossy, and you can easily add captions and text to the pages as well.  And so the legendary Story of Woo will live on now in print.

Rio has a vet appointment this afternoon.  We’re going to check white blood count and have the doctor take a look at her knee.  She’s been having a bit of difficulty with it — it’s been swollen and at times it simply collapses under her.  Hoping, hoping that it’s just tired from carrying all the load and not something like a torn ligament.

Crazy Woo

Rio is definitely starting to get her old “rock head” back.  We had been limiting the climbs to the second floor to when she was wearing her harness and could be assisted up the steps, but yesterday she decided she was tired of not going upstairs when she felt like it.  Not only did she climb the stairs unassisted and without any permission at all, she did it twice.  I think she thought maybe her dad had food up there that he wanted to share with her.  She also went walkabout in the yard and ran up the driveway a couple of times (our driveway is about 300 feet long) to “greet” the neighbors.  Today, we played a little ball outside with Tosca and Zephyr…  I have to remember to throw low for Rio, because she is used to leaping up for the ball, and she’s fallen a couple of times trying to jump since the surgery.  We’re both learning what she’s capable of, but she seems to want to go at a little faster pace than me!  She is definitely a tough old bird!

One week and counting…

It’s a week ago today that Rio had her surgery.  She’s making excellent progress, and is adjusting very quickly to being a tripawd.  Most of the bruising around the surgical area is gone or has turned a hazy yellow-brown color.  She does still have some purple spots on her chest and belly, but they too are fading and are nowhere near as angry-looking as the first few days.  Yesterday, she managed to sneak off into the other room and licked a spot raw along her staples.  She’s got these weird little blister-like areas along the sutures, and I think one of them must have ruptured.  She had some rejection issues with the material they used to stitch up the inside layers of muscle and such with her last surgery, too, so I’m thinking that’s probably what’s behind the problem. Continue reading

Day 5

Rio has been on a roll today.  She’s getting used to the leg being gone, although occasionally it looks like she starts to put her weight on it, and then remembers it’s not there.  We went for a tiny walkie up the driveway this afternoon.  It was only about 100 feet up the drive, but she practically raced back to the house.  I was running along behind her telling her to slow down (mostly so I wouldn’t trip and fall).  She followed me around the house and jumped off the couch a few times.  I can’t believe how agile she is.  And she’s definitely gaining confidence with every trip between rooms. Continue reading

Four days later….

It’s been four days since the big surgery.  Rio’s aready-massive bruising has spread and covers her entire undercarriage, from between her front legs, down over her belly and up around above her tail.  Side to side, it covers the outside of the left hip, across her amputation site, down to her knee on the other side.  I’ve been doing lots of hot and cold packs, and the swelling and fluid build up has subsided quite a bit, but it’s still quite a sight.  She doesn’t seem to be bothered by it though, so I’m taking my cues from her. Continue reading

She’s home

Rio was released from the hospital yesterday.  They ended up keeping her an extra day because she hadn’t urinated on her own.  Initially, they thought it could be residual numbness from the epidural, but she was just being a stinker: “I’m only going potty for my momma.”  The doctor finally called us and said that we could come get her, that she probably was just being nervous, and maybe she’d go on her own if she was at home or with me.  We arrived at the hospital, and I took her outside for one last try before they released her, and she made a LAKE! Continue reading