Saturday, December 27, 2008

Still waiting...

We're still waiting for Cleo's surgery date. Again, not sure when it will be. I just posted clothes that no longer fit on Craigslist. After I listed them all, I couldn't believe how many clothes I had! Hopefully, I will be able to sell some (ALOT would be nice) to put towards Cleo's surgery fund. I also put some test strips on eBay (one of my dogs that passed away this fall had diabetes). My first time selling on both! Just look at me go - first blogging, then selling on Craiglsist and eBay. I'm hoping that with selling some stuff, along with cutting back on groceries (eating beans & rice and Ramen noodles...) that I can have a good chunk to put down by the time her surgery rolls around. Keep your fingers crossed that everything gets sold!

Here's a picture of Cleo teasing Mack with the tennis ball. I had to make the two boys wait while I let her chase it a little.

Friday, December 26, 2008

End of the 4th Week Home

This weekend will mark the end of the 4th week Cleo has been at my house. She is really starting to fit in well. I think she was feeling everyone out at first (as she should have). But now, Stewie is being an idiot around her (doing his silly boxer pounce) and that really ticks her off! When the boys are playing, if they get too close to her spot on the couch that kind of ticks her off too! And they both back down from her, even if she is 25 pounds less and about 3 inches shorter. They are so funny to watch. I can’t wait until she has her surgery and is better so she can really run and play with them without worrying for her. They do all run the fence together with the boxer behind us, and the lab and chihuahua next door; even if she does it three legged! I’ve noticed that she does NOT like any slick surface whatsoever. I think I might need to get a couple more rugs for the kitchen and maybe the bathroom. What’s one more thing?? HA

With the money I got for Christmas, I think I’m going to buy the ex-pen and possibly a child safety gate. I found an inexpensive bolt-on gate at, so I should be able to get both for under $100 with shipping! Then I’ll have to get my dad out here to help me take the door off and put the gate on.

Since it was rather nice yesterday, the dogs were in and out of the house a lot more (they and the cats really had cabin fever). I noticed last night that Cleo was really packing her leg a lot and this morning, she really isn’t putting a lot of pressure on it. I sure hope the surgery is towards the beginning of the month, but the 19th would sure make it easier on me. Although, if the surgery is sooner, I might be able to bribe my mom to come sit with the dogs for the evening of the board meeting. It’s a good thing she loves me!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quick update

I got to visit with Dr. Smith for a short time yesterday evening while I was picking up meds for my old girl, Nikita. He hasn't had a chance to talk with Dr. Sherr (the Ortho vet) yet. Probably due to Christmas, then New Year's. Darn holidays! HA Anyway, he said he would be getting back to me. I told him I anticipated the middle of January (for the surgery, not talking to him about it - hopefully)!! Actually, it would be rather nice to have it on the 19th of January, because I have a board meeting that night. Cleo could spend the night at the vets, then I could potentially have the rest of that week and the following week off, or work from home for those two weeks.

I still need to get the craft room cleaned out. I think that is going to be my best option when I am not here. I think an ex-pen would be nice when I am home because the boys just don't pay attention. They step all over her, and when I try to stop them, then they SIT on her! UGH. What was I thinking getting two boys so close in age?!?

Cleo fund update: I have received $45 more dollars! Thanks to those that donated!! I appreciate it very much. Cleo might like it NOW, but come the middle of January - she will not be happy with you. HA

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No New News

Nothing new to report. Cleo's surgery hasn't been scheduled yet. With the holidays, I would expect it to be the first part to middle of January. Since it's been winter here the last week (and it's not even winter yet) it should be a very interesting time of the year to have surgery done. At least that will give me more time to save more money for the surgery. The less I have to make payments on, the better!

Today I started preparing Cleo for 'dressing up' to go outside. She was not impressed! And she would not be impressed with me posting pictures of that embarrassing moment for everyone to see. Ah well, the joys of having four-legged kids.

Here she is with just 'shoes'. Luckily, I had some for Cheyenne. Cleo is a bit bigger than Cheyenne was, but they seem to fit. And she didn't walk tooo funny except at the very beginning.
And these were Dakota's 'jammies'. Why I've kept them, I don't know, but I think with the legs, these will actually work pretty well for after surgery!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Good News! (I think...)

Cleo had her appointment today with Dr. Scherr. He was very optimistic and told me all my options.

I asked what the difference was between Traditional, TTA, TPLO and Tightrope - he explained each one to me. (If you want to know what I remember, let me know!) Dr. Scherr said that he does about 90% TPLO's (I think that was the number anyway) and averages about 1 1/2 TPLO's every day which equals about 400 a year.

I asked if the supplements I was giving was sufficient, and he said it was. Dr. Scherr also does acupuncture, so I asked if it would be beneficial now, or after surgery. He said he doesn't recommend it, because it doesn't really help with recovery - only physical therapy will help with that, and walking will be her best PT.

I forgot to ask about a stifle brace, and I even wrote it down! I asked about payments tho, and he said absolutely. Because the sooner she can have her surgery done, the better. So, the two vets will have to get together to figure out a day for the surgery and will let me know. He did say she would most likely come home the same day.

I asked about the need for a ramp, as I have stairs out both the front and back doors. I had to help Cheyenne when she had back surgery with a towel sling, so I know what to do there. He said that I would only need to do that for a little bit, that she should be able to do stairs on her own after a couple weeks. Of course she would be on a leash for any potty breaks.

I have Cheyenne's coat(s), so she has those. I'm going to look into anti-slip booties (maybe some like sled dogs use) for protection from the weather. I also need to look at getting the ex-pen ordered, or a kid gate for the spare room. I just need to decide which would be best for her and keep her safe from the boys!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vet appt tomorrow

Cleo has a 'second opinion' appointment with Dr. Scherr tomorrow. She will either spend the afternoon with my dad (at my folk's house) or my mom at work. The reason - the weather here is terrible and driving tomorrow won't be much fun! I think we just hit the high today which was -17*. That doesn't include the wind chill. I come home for lunch every day to check on her and the boys.

Questions I'm going to ask the vet about:
1. Payments.
2. Different options - traditional, TPLO, or possible amputation.
3. Supplements.
4. Accupuncture.

I'll probably think of more questions before then, and I'll let you all know what I learn!'s COLD outside!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cleo and her brothers

Stewie and Cleo: The bookends...

Peas in a pod!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Conversation with my vet

Yesterday I took Stewie in for his annual vet appointment. I asked Dr. Smith a couple quick questions regarding Cleo. I asked if there was any way I could make payments, if I make a down payment, so we could schedule the surgery sooner rather than later. He said that we could IF I were doing the traditional, but since we are opting for the TPLO, the orthopedic surgeon (OS) would want his money up front. But the OS (Dr. Scheer) did Cheyenne’s back surgeries, so we do have some sort of relationship. I will be donating Cheyenne’s cart to the OS’s practice for either a needy family, or to use for rehabilitation after surgeries, so I will ask them at that time. IF they say yes, Cleo might get her surgery sooner than I thought, and the recovery/rehabilitation could be done by camping season!

I also asked about pain meds pre-surgery. He said he is inclined not to at this point. She hasn’t had any blood work, so I am comfortable with his decision to wait. Cleo is currently on 500 mg L-Glutamine and 500 mg L-Carnitine (to help with the loss of muscle tone in her left leg), Glucosamine/Chondroitin 750 mg/600 mg, 2000 mg Fish Oil – twice daily, and 400 iu Vitamin E once per day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What is TPLO Surgery?

TPLO stands for tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. TPLO is knee surgery to repair the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The bone of the tibia is cut and then rotated to an angle that prevents the bones of the knee joint from slipping. Bone plates are screwed in place to hold the bone while it heals. During surgery, the knee joint is inspected, and damaged meniscus and bone spurs are removed via a small incision into the joint. As far as I can tell, TPLO joins bones together, eliminating the need for the ligament.

I’m wondering if I should plan on starting acupuncture sometime after her surgery. The orthopedic vet is the same vet that does the acupuncture, so he would know if she even needs it! I think she might due to the way she currently twists her good leg around to support herself. She looks quite pigeon-toed when she does that.

Update: Cleo’s fund has $12 more for a total of $22! Slowly but surely we’re getting there!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Start of Week 2

I have started to research about the TPLO surgery and what I need to do to prepare. I do know Cleo will need at least 6 if not 8 weeks of strict confinement, then about 4-6 months of moderate confinement. UGH! This will not be fun for Cleo OR me! Her first day at home, I had to take Nikita to the vet for her annual visit. I left Stewie out of his kennel, and put Cleo in his, since I had no idea what she might do to the house, in case she decided to dig or get out of the yard, etc. I was gone for not quite two hours, and both Stewie and Cleo were in the back yard. She busted through the gate of the kennel, parts were everywhere! Thank goodness was able to fix it so Stewie could be locked in again. Of course, Cleo got her way and is loose in the house!

Since she does NOT like a kennel, and she MUST be confined after surgery, I’m thinking either an x-pen (inexpensive, since I won’t need it long) or an attached kid gate on my spare room. Either way, I’ll need to clean! I would like to get the x-pen now, so I can see if it will work for her before the surgery. I also would like to get a No-Bite collar, or Neck’s Best Thing. I hate those Elizabethan collars, and I’m sure she wouldn’t either. I guess I’m lucky that I already have rugs throughout the kitchen since I got them when Cheyenne had her surgery. I will need a couple more, since Mack has destroyed a couple! I also am looking at getting a couple more kongs and something called an Everlast ball. Just something to keep her mind off not being able to go be free without me here.

If anyone knows where to find a used x-pen, or one I could borrow, that would be really nice. I think it should be at least 36” tall, if not taller, so she doesn’t try to jump out.

Update on 'Cleo’s Fund' – she currently has $10 from one of my co-workers! Another co-worker suggested a bake sale, but not sure when at this point in time. I’ve opened a separate savings account at First Liberty CU just for her.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cleo's First Week

This is my first attempt at blogging, and it figures it will be about my dogs...

I adopted (rescued, inherited?) Cleo on December 1, 2008. She is a 6 year old, Boxer. I think I'm her third or fourth family, but I will be her last! She seems to love her new 'brothers', Stewie - 18 month old Boxer and Mack - almost 2 year old? AmStaff mix, and her 'sister' Nikita - almost 15 year old Husky mix.

When Cleo came to me, her former owner said she would probably need surgery, as her ACL on her left leg was torn. I took her to my vet on Thursday, December 4th, and was told that it was most likely ruptured from the time it was first seen and now. He also suspects a torn(?) meniscus in the same leg. This means that the previous owners 'quote' of $1000 just doubled! Eek! The reason it doubled? Instead of just the traditional ACL surgery, which my vet would be able to do, Cleo has to have TPLO surgery, which has to be done by an orthopedic surgeon along with my vet.

Unfortunately, I don't have the $2000. The sooner I can have her surgery done, the sooner her rehab and pain free life can begin! If you could spare a couple dollars (any amount would help) both Cleo and I would appreciate it. If you can't, that's ok, but be sure to stick around and follow Cleo's journey.

Isn't she just the sweetest thing?