Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Long Time, No Post

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted – over 2 ½ months! Quite a bit has happened the past few months.

In April, I thought I would slowly start introducing the dogs to each other loose in the house again – but only in the mornings. The third day (Monday the 13th), Cleo got chewed up again. By Stewie, I’m pretty sure. Took her straight to the vet, she got some more antibiotics. At the end of her antibiotics, she got hives for four days. I thought it was the clover (?) that I put down, because that was the only thing that was new (that and ICE). HA Poor girl – bumps all along her back and legs. Just when I think they are gone, they were back the next day. Of course, as soon as I call the vet, they didn’t come back. Since I had left over prednisone from Nikita, my vet said to give her one, then ½ a pill until the hives were gone (probably a couple days).

On May 4, I came home at lunch to see my gate to the back yard open. I was so worried Cleo had opened the gate (I usually keep an unlockable padlock in there so dogs can’t open it – but I’d left it hanging in the fence). Anyway, I was so worried – heart dropped to my stomach. When I got up on my porch, Cougar, my cool, awesome kitty, lay there killed by the dog(s) that got into the yard. So, I went looking for Cleo. She was in on my bed, with a huge gash in her neck, along with puncture wounds on her back legs. I tried cleaning her up a bit, but decided she needed to go right then to the vet (and Cougar to the crematory…) Cleo had to have five stitches and a drain tube put in.

I talked to my neighbor behind me, and she said there were two big dogs. The Sheriff’s animal control said they had another complaint that day of loose dogs, with one being dog aggressive. I thank God that Cleo wasn’t killed too. Of course, I keep thinking if Stewie weren’t such an ass, that it wouldn’t have happened that way. Because it would have been three against two, and they wouldn’t have been in the yard anyway, since Mack still jumps the fence.

Cleo broke out in hives one week after she started her antibiotics. Looks like her body doesn’t like Cephalexin anymore. I gave her one prednisone, so this time it was only one day of hives, not four.

I’ve got to do training with Stewie, I just don’t know what. And Cleo doesn’t help a whole lot. She is definitely the crabby older sister and Stewie is the antagonist!!

Well, I think that’s enough for today. And that’s enough of excitement for a long time for Miss Cleo!! She’s probably wondering why she ever came to live with me. Hopefully her days will be better from now on.

Here’s a little video of just how Stewie teases her and how she reacts (and a little shot of my big mouth Mack).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quick update

Cleo is doing well. I had to take her to the vet on Monday - she was squinting her right eye, and limping (left front). She was put on antibiotics, both oral and eye drops. Cleo is NOT crazy about the eye drops!

I have to say, she probably wasn't completely innocent in the incident. She took Mack one evening - for what I don't know - maybe putting his nose on her when she was trying to sleep. And while I think she might want to play - she will wag her tail and growl at the same time. She will then take Stewie! And, at least when I am home, he runs or cowers from her. So, who knows what really happened that day. I do know I need to do more training - for the dogs AND me. I keep saying that, I need to get up off my duff and do it.

Cleo is bearing more weight on her surgery leg. And she uses it the majority of the time. When she is running, she will pick it up and 'bunny hop' about every 3rd to 4th step. All in all, I think the surgery and the supplements have really helped. I couldn't be happier that it wasn't the ACL.

Here's the latest 'chicken leg' photo...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

It was a test...only a test

Thursday was Cleo's last loading Adequan shot. We will go back in about a month to get another, then re-evaluate. Dr. Smith gave her the 'all clear'. Cleo is doing SO well, we are both really pleased with her progress. When she stands, she puts some pressure on her leg. She does three-leg it when running, but full out 'galloping' she does use all four legs! So fun to watch.

The picture on the right is hard to see, but Cougar is laying across Cleo's front legs. The sun was just so bright, and her white feet, just didn't come through very well. She was just sleeping away...
When helping my parents move, I've been taking Cleo with me, and leaving the boys loose in the house - with access to the porch and outside kennel, but not the yard. My lovely Mack is a fence jumper... UGH. Anyway, I decided that both Thursday and Friday were tests...leaving the boys out with Cleo. If these tests worked, I wouldn't have to come home at lunch everyday, since it takes 30 minutes round trip, and is so not fun when it's icy out. Anyway, Thursday afternoon went well. Friday, I didn't make it home for lunch, but am off at 3:00 so was home by 3:30 - so no problem, or so I thought. Stewie met me at the porch door acting quite...submissive is possibly the word I'm looking for. Mack was happy to see me. And it took a minute for Cleo to come around the corner once I got in the house. Poor little Cleo was roughed/beat up. Dried blood in her fur, limping (front and back leg), and looked so pitiful. I gave her a bath to assess the damage (I couldn't find any open wounds or anything). She did have some puncture wounds on her front left leg, and she was squinting her right eye. I did find a couple puncture wounds under her chin later in the evening. I gave her a Tramadol at 4:00, then again at 8:00 (and again this morning). She felt MUCH better this morning, but really avoided Stewie. I believe that Mack (who had what looked like blood on his neck) tried to protect her as she has NO problems with him being by her. So, actually everyone got a bath to get rid of the bloody slobbery stuff on everyone's necks.

So, it looks like I will be taking lunches from now until - who knows when. I don't want to 'test' it with Cleo again. I just don't know. I feel like the world's worst mother... My mom thinks Stewie has ADD or ADHD. I think possibly some form of OCD (he picks, picks, picks - even when my brother was hitting him with his ball cap, if you push him away, etc).

Well, this blog is for Cleo, not Stewie. She got to spend today at my folks old house with their two dogs and was a very good girl - as usual.

Here is another picture that makes me laugh...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still here...just too much to report

I'm still here, just not a whole lot to report. Cleo had an Adequan shot on Saturday, and again on Tuesday. I haven't been walking her like I should though, as we should be up to 30 minutes a day. I tried walking her on the street Tuesday night, and since we don't have sidewalks and people here drive like it's a raceway, we are sticking to the backyard until it's nice in the mornings.

One other reason I didn't walk Cleo alot was because Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Nikita wasn't doing so good. Couldn't get herself up (back end) and her front seemed painful. I took her to the vet on Tuesday as well. My mom went with me...#1 because I had her and Dad come out on Monday night to let the dogs out since I had a board meeting, #2 because I couldn't get her in the car by myself, and #3 because we were both pretty sure it was 'time' for Nikita. We were at the vets for at least an hour. We all three decided it would probably be best for Nikita to go to the Rainbow Bridge that day. She had a good, long life. I'd had her for almost exactly 15 years - I got her when she was 6 weeks old. After she stopped jumping the fence and running away, she was a pretty good girl. Nikita lost most of her hearing some years back, and a couple of my dogs scared her and she left them with scars on the tops of their heads. Cheyenne needed stitches, Edgar just needed antibiotics. Her last 'hoorah' was helping Cleo (but I'm pretty sure initiating) eating my brother's velvet elk antlers that I accidently left out of my freezer....oops. Doesn't show real clear, but yes, that's the blood from the ONE antler they chewed off the skull cap. So, he's left with one velvetless antler and one that is one inch long. Sorry bro....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Staples are out!

Well the staples are out and I'm back at work. Bummer... But, we are back to sleeping on the actual BED, Cleo gets to sleep on the couch and Stewie gets to sleep in her ex-pen!!
Cleo got her first Adequan shot Tuesday. She'll have to have two per week for three weeks. Dr. Smith wants to re-evaluate at the end of the third week. She'll probably have a shot per month from now on, I would assume. Cleo and I will start walking 15 minutes per day for one week, then 15 minutes twice per day the following two weeks.

So, the day that she had her staples out...Cleo got more freedom and I went back to work that afternoon. I put the cover on the dog door and locked the boys up. Came home at 5:30 and there was little Miss Cleo racing the fence with the neighbor dogs!!!! And she was Oh So Happy to See Me! (that means she was bouncing, running, twirling...) Guess she didn't need to have her exercise the FIRST day. She was limping a bit, but was better this morning and tonight. The dog door cover thankfully stayed on all day today.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Two month anniversary

Sunday, Feb 1, was Cleo's two month anniversary here. But you know, it's like she's been here forever. She has just fit in so well. I know I say that quite often, but it's true!
Yesterday was a strange day. Cleo had this weird 'thing' about 10:30 in the morning, almost like seizures (I suspected petit mal) lots of foaming at the mouth, smacking, some head bobs/jerking motions, looked at her legs like something was crawling on her. I gave her two antacids. Whatever it was, it lasted about 5-10 minutes. Of course, as soon as I got the camera out to record her - she didn't do anything. maybe a side effect of the Rimadyl or antibiotic? I would have thought I would have seen more if so. Anyway, just weird. Keep your fingers crossed this was an isolated incident. It's on my list to talk to the vet about on Tuesday. Later in the day she seemed fine, but a bit of diarrhea this morning. She got some canned pumpkin with breakfast.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 5 – and Oops Moments…

Well, days three and four went pretty well. Cleo started walking a bit more on the surgery leg Friday (day four) when going out to pee/poop (or when she made me think she needed too)! The vet’s office called to see how she was doing and they said it was probably a good thing that she is still packing the leg somewhat. And she’s right, it’s not like we are in some kind of race here.

So, today, day five after surgery, Saturday… Cleo was walking really well, as we are walking quite slow. My dad was coming out and we were going to haul garbage. So I decided to scoop a little poop, since it hasn’t been done in some time and it’s getting hard to miss the land mines when we are out there. I figured Cleo would be fine for 15-20 minutes (not enough time to scoop it all, but to make a dent). NOPE! I heard the dog door – hoping it was one of the cats. There stood little Miss Cleo – all proud of herself. She busted out of her ex-pen – it looks like she (hopefully) pushed underneath and escaped that way! UGH! So, I got her harness and leash – she helped me scoop for about 10 minutes until Dad showed up.

I decided to lock her in the ‘Recovery Room’ so I could help load the garbage. I put the guard…thing that I had in my van (to contain dogs to the back) on the floor and my old kid gate on top of that. Granted the one is only about 18” tall. But, she got out AGAIN!! But this time – I KNOW she jumped over the one part and she had to get the kid gate from on top of the guard.

So, since I was going to haul garbage with Dad – she got to ride along, since I can’t trust her in the house. So what does she do – JUMPS into the Blazer!!! And not just on the floor board - no into the back seat. I was just getting ready to help her in and she didn’t want to wait for me I guess! I honestly don’t know if she used her bad leg or not, but I would assume so.

So three (3) oops in ONE day!!! If this would have been a traditional, she (and I) would have ruined her surgery. Hopefully she didn’t do any damage today… So much for the Benadryl helping to knock her out! This also shows me that she can’t be left alone – at all – until she is free and clear. I sure hope that she has the free and clear when she gets her staples out!!!
The first pic is her surgery area day three (I think it looks really good). Second pic is her enjoying her Kong that I filled for her before I went out to scoop the poop - that helped didn't it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 2

Last night was interesting. Just like camping, only different! As in, comforts of home and a lot more room to spread out, but same sore back... thank goodness, I think there's only a little over two weeks of that.

Cleo peed and pooped right away, and is eating good. I think she's scared I'm going to starve her again! This morning, Cleo was a bit restless. Because she was, I gave her another Benadryl, finally at 9:00 she was able to sleep pretty good. Granddad stopped by, so she had her first visitor. I've rearranged my sitting arrangement, when she really wants me next to her. I open up the ex-pen and sit in front of the opening. Doesn't help my butt any, but it sure gives me elbow room! And the boys are happier when they can 'touch' me. I thought for sure Mack was going to come into the pen (over the top from the recliner) last night. So, elbow room is good...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 1 After Surgery

Day 1 - Cleo got to come home today at 12:30pm. She was happy to see me and get it the car to get the heck out of the vets! I think they were impressed with her new harness. Also - NO CONE! wahoo!

Dr. Smith showed me her X-rays, where she has hip dysplasia on her right side and spurs on her left patella area (knee cap). That is where he removed the spurs that he think was causing her pain. I asked him all sorts of questions and took him a print out of the Vaxamine K-9 information. I wanted to show it to him in case we want to put Cleo on it later (and maybe try to get Nikita off the prednisone). She'll have her 21 staples out on Tues, Feb 10. I think we are going to start her Adequan shots that day as well.
Cleo is on the same type of restrictions, of course, as she would have been if she actually had the traditional surgery - at least for the next two weeks. I'm to ice her surgery site, if she'll let me, for the next two days (twice per day). She'll start her supplements tonight with supper. Stopped at Walmart and spent $60 on Gluc/Chon/MSM, L-Glutamine, L-Carnitine, and Hyaluronic Acid. I'm going shopping online now to get it cheaper!! Just needed to get me by for awhile.

She was quite clingy when I first got home. And my pillow on the floor is NOT comfortable at all!! HA I gave her a Benadryl at 2:00 and she's been pretty calm and sleeping since then. Plus I covered her up. The wind is blowing 40 MPH and it blows right through my windows.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great News!!

Cleo got to go to work with me this morning. I think that kind of made up for not feeding her (she wasn't too thrilled with THAT). Everyone loved her up, she's such a good girl. A couple people said that she walks so well! I told them that they should see her run, because she lifts it up then. I dropped Cleo off at the vets at about 8:15. She did NOT want to go back with the tech. I didn’t want her to either, but I told myself that it was for the best, just like I told her last night, when I was having second thoughts - that she wouldn't be in pain anymore, well after the initial pain!!

Well, I got the call from Dr. Smith around 4:15 pm. He said that she was just coming out of the anesthesia with some good stuff to help with the pain. He then said that her ACL wasn’t torn!!! Nor was her meniscus! He did say he thought she was walking a whole lot better than when he first saw her. He did the drawer test thing on her and her leg even popped there on the table that first day. Dr. Smith said that there might have been a small, very small tear, but nothing to worry about, and not enough to put her through the traditional surgery. He took X-rays, saw hip dysplasia (on her right I think he said) and bone spurs on her patella on the left. He got rid of those and sewed her up. At least, that is what I remember - it's all a blur. I did actually ask him if he did the left – he paused and said yes (and that I worried him there for a second)!
Dr. Smith said she won’t have to go through the strict 6 weeks confinement, but I will learn more tomorrow when I pick her up. He also mentioned getting her started on Adequan shots. I spent over four years giving BJ his insulin shots twice a day, so hopefully, these will be just as easy!

I can’t tell you how relieved I am about this. Maybe it was just the bone spurs and the HD causing her pain and the toe-tapping/3-legging it? One thing – I started her on Glucosamine/Chondrotin, Fish Oil, and some other supplements as soon as I got her. Maybe those were helping more than I thought! So, I need to stop and get more G/C, and more L-Glutamine, and Hyaluronic Acid before I pick her up. I may need to leave work a bit earlier than planned (oh darn).

And Cleo was tagged in an online game by her friend Parker. To play you open a file folder, click on the fifth folder and then on the fifth photo. Post the photo and describe it. Then tag 5 other bloggers. (But I don't know five other'm a spoilsport when it comes to tagging...) BUT - here is mine...
This is BJ - my black lab mix who was diabetic since he was 1 1/2 years old. He passed in August from complications from his diabetes. I got him when he was about 8 weeks old - he followed the Schwan Man to the house and no one claimed him. He always was a weird sleeper - and this must have been a hard day protecting those chewies!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Recovery Room

I've finally finished rearranging (NOT cleaning - that would take FAR too long HA) Cleo's recovery room. Now I'm wondering if I will be too large of an area for her. I was planning on using it only when I'm not home and at night. The size is about 8 feet by 7 1/2 feet and has stuff stacked all around so she can't get on anything (I hope). I will probably re-evaluate where she stays once she gets back home and acts during the next two weeks.

Here are some pictures. Don't mind all the stuff - items for garage sale(s), books to read, crafts to do, etc. I call this my 'crap room'. HA And of course, the boys have to help with everything.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cleo's new harness

Just in time! And whew - it looks like I got the right size.

Cleo with Mack and Stewie. Doesn't she look so little next to them?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

That's what I'm talkin' about

She probably thought 'finally, she makes it comfortable!' HA - she had to fight a cat, and Stewie, to get to her nice new spot! Actually, I had to move the cat. Two of the three cats LOVE her bed.
You can see in the upper corner of the ex-pen my new 'chair'. Walmart didn't have any gaming chairs under $80! and I wasn't driving all over town. They had a stadium seat for about $17.00. All I want is a back to lean up against and it has arms, so I'm all set (after I get a cushion or pillow to sit on)!
Today was BEAUTIFUL weather 50*, just a breeze. Of course the dogs got all muddy from the melting, but they are tired this afternoon. I've decided I might sleep with Cleo in the spare room for at least the first two weeks, so I took advantage of the nice weather and brought in the cushions/'mattress' from the RV. I have a waterbed, so there's no moving my mattress to the floor!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Harness is on it's way

I ordered a Ruffwear WebMaster Harness for Cleo. I found one at for $37.99 plus $6.99 shipping. I just hope I ordered the right size!! She was 29" around the biggest part of her rib cage, and the Small goes to 30" - and the Ruffwear website said to choose the smaller size if in-between for a better fit. I should get it about 4 days before her surgery. I would like to put it on her a couple times before the 26th.

I hope our weather holds throughout her surgery. At least no ice or below zero temps. HA - what am I thinking? I live in Montana! And this is my luck I'm talking about - so I just sealed the fate for ice and frigid temps. I am going to move some wood around today or tomorrow when it's 50 degrees so we can have a fire the two weeks I'm home. I have the x-pen set up right next to the woodstove, so she can be nice and toasty with her naked leg.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Ex-Pen

Cleo is wondering just what I am doing to her. She is NOT impressed with me. I'm thinking a gaming chair, or something similar, would be nice to have when she is in 'recovery', so my back and bottom don't ache. Will need to research those as well. Maybe give it to the nieces and nephew once Cleo is all better.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nikita's Birthday

Today is Nikita's birthday - Cleo's 'older sister'. She turns 15 today. She's a husky mix and was born in Alaska - on Adak Island. Nikita was the only one in the litter that had 2 blue eyes, and we (ex-dh and I) picked her out before her eyes were open. She spent about a month with my folks when she was 4-5 months old, and one ear dropped in that time. Nikita is just a unique dog. Her muzzle used to be nice and black. She's seen quite a few dogs come through the house and on to the Bridge. Now she has to put up with Stewie, Mack and Cleo. Cleo and Nikita get along well, it's just those darn boys that tend to irritate her!

Here's the birthday girl (she hates the camera).

I got Cleo an x-pen yesterday. They had one at Big R (local farm 'everything' store) for $70 so I decided to go ahead and get it. It's 36" tall and we tested it a bit yesterday and I think it will work well!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cleo has a date...

A date for surgery that is! January 26th. I'm excited and scared at the same time. I've decided to do the traditional surgery and I don't think that Dr. Smith is real excited about it. I realize that if she (or I) mess up, it will probably be surgery again, but I am going into this that it will work the first time. We just have to take the first six weeks very easy.

I’ll be home the first two weeks with her. I’ve got to get her x-pen ordered. I guess there is a place here in town that might have them for a little more than online, so I want to check that out before I order. The one online is 36” tall with 8-24” sections.,2006,3014&pid=12000M I also need to convince my dad to take their kid gate off, and put it on my craft room here.

I’d really like to get a Web Master Ruff Wear Harness, but WOW they are $50!! I read about them on OrthoDogs where the dogs are called “Suitcase Dogs”. If you want to see them - My mom thinks I can make one, I would have NO idea where to even start. I don’t want to try something and have it fail – that would make me nervous! I’ll watch eBay and maybe get lucky!

And here's a picture for you to enjoy. You may be wondering where I get to sleep - somewhere in the middle... HA

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Today is Cleo's one month anniversary at her new forever home (mine)! She is such a good girl. I can’t believe how well she is fitting in to our routine and with the boys. The boys can be so naughty and I think (no, I KNOW) we need to do some serious training! I’m thinking clicker training/positive reinforcement is the way to go with these two, and with Cleo as well.

Yesterday, I changed my mind on which type of surgery I want to do for Cleo. I’ve decided to have the Traditional surgery instead of the TPLO. Of course, my vet doesn’t know this yet, although I did leave a message for him to call me Monday. I just think financially, this is the way to go right now. It’s half the cost, but probably twice as fragile as the TPLO, so I (and the boys) will have to very, very careful with her. I belong to a Yahoo Group (Orthodogs) and I’ve been reading about both.

I will order the X-pen soon. My folks have a kid gate that my mom said we can use (it bolts on the wall), so that will save me $32. I was going to go to Biolife and sell my plasma for the next couple months, but I can’t for at least 1-2 weeks, so that blew my budget that I had planned out. That was another reason. I know they said I could make payments, but I’ve decided I’d rather just pay it and be done with it. I was going to sell my wedding and engagement ring (why I’ve held on to them for 10 years, I’ll never know!!) but gold isn’t worth anything right now – at least not what I’ve got anyway. My clothes don’t seem to be selling, even though I’ve had a couple bites.

I sure hope I’m making the right decision for both of us.