August 9th 2011 7:55 pm
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Yesterday, mom and I went to UC Davis Vet Hospital. I had my 1 month followup visit. There were 6 vets examining me. Then they gave me some sedation and took X-rays.
The findings are amazing!!! My jaw has new bone growth that has filled in the gap where the bones had separated. The fractured ends of the bone were able to move and rub against each other, causing pain. Mom saw the X-ray showing it is filled in. It will strengthen over the next few weeks so we still need to be careful. I can't chew on things, jump onto things or play with the other dogs. But we have our routines all worked out!
All the vets were oohing and aaahing over it. I have not had any bad reactions to the BMP or the plate. In previous studies, the dosage of BMP was unknown and some animals had severe inflammatory reactions. I have had minimal inflammation with maximum bone growth. The vets feel they have found a good dose for their purposes. I'm also finally off of all medications now. My next followup isn't for another 2 months!
Two other good things happened while we were there. My surgeon, Dr. Fiani, hasn't left yet and she stopped in to see me. Also, Dr. F, one of the emergency vets at my regular veterinary hospital has taken Dr. Fiani's place! He took care of my angel sisters Annie, Georgie & Molly. It was so nice to see him, mom was really happy.
Oh yeah, and one of the best things that happened is that we stopped at In N Out burger and I got to eat 1/2 of a patty!!!
It was a pretty good day!
So far, so good. No worries!
September 15th 2011 8:58 am
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This was a busy week for me. I went to my favorite groomer. There are actually chin hairs growing in, kinda like a goatee mom says, but at least I'm recognizable as a shih tzu now. Miss Kathy is so nice to me, and she let mom stay and watch as I get groomed. Mom does my baths though, she's afraid someone may let me bonk my jaw when I'm slippery.
I also went to UC Davis to see my dentistry vets. Everything is looking good. You can feel that the jaw is actually one piece now, and the canine tooth seems to be holding on. They couldn't get any X-rays because even with maximum sedation, I wouldn't fall asleep BOL!!! So next month, I'll get anesthesia and have a repeat CT scan to look at the quality of the bone growth. They're interested in seeing the fusion between the new bone and the existing jawbone.
One of the things they did notice is that my weight has gone down a little bit. Mom has been noticing that I'm not eating as much, sometimes even skipping meals. That makes me irritable and shaky. So of course she took me in to see Dr. Porte, my regular vet. He reviewed all of the blood tests that were done at UCD, and did a physical exam. He said I'm looking good, and we'll just watch for now. He did say it was ok to feed me whatever I can tolerate - oh boy! But you know how moms are - she wouldn't let me get off so easy. Since I'm due for my heart worm test in a couple of months, she asked if I could have it done now. So another poke with a needle! Oh well, what are you gonna do with moms!
I'm still on house arrest, having to be separated from the other dogs if mom leaves the house. But I'm able to sit on the couch as long as the other dogs are not wrestling or chasing each other where I could get knocked down. A couple of times I jumped in to play with them, but of course mom pulled me out quickly. Sheesh! Just another month. I have been sleeping in a crate next to mom's side of the bed. But last night I decided I had enough and wouldn't settle down. So mom let me sleep in her office on the little couch. There is a gate so I can't get out of the room and no one else can get in. That satisfied me last night, but I'm looking forward to sleeping on the bed again with mom and dad and the others.
The weather is changing so our back door is left open a lot now. I get to go in and out on my own more. Mom says I'm going to get my independence back very soon. Although us shih tzus love to snuggle, we sure like that independence.
So far so good. No worries!
October 14th 2011 1:25 am
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Today I had to go for my 3 month followup after surgery. First mom starved me this morning, took away my water and put me in the car when it was still dark out! Then we drove to the clinic and waited to see my doctors. After my physical exam, mom left me! I had to have anesthesia so that they could do a CT scan. A few hours later I woke up and mom came back to pick me up. Everyone was SO excited! I was still kinda dopey sleepy but I was glad to see mom. The doctors showed us my CT results, and the bone has completely grown in and the new bone has fused with the old bone. You could see the titanium plate and 4 screws. And NO fractures were seen. The best thing of all, is that I can go back to full normal activity! Dr. Arzi said that I'm now one of 3 dogs at UC Davis who has had this done and every one of us has had new bone growth due to the bone morphogenic protein. I am lucky to be one of those dogs and have parents who would go through this long process for just one little rescue pup.
I am so thankful for my wonderful team of doctors, and my parents and all my pup friends & their parents for their support. I'm one lucky little dog who is now loved, happy, pain free and slightly mischievous.
December 13th 2011 6:07 pm
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We added a photo of OUR Christmas tree with cards from our friends! We're allowed to sniff and play with it as much as we want since it's ours! We received 24 cards so far to our pawrents 3 BOL.
Finnegan insisted that at the top of the tree, we posted a photo of Uno and her brothers. You know Finnegan loves Uno! So I insisted that a pic of Dixie from Dallas and her sister get posted near the top too. Dixie and I came from the same place & were rescued the same day. Our moms met up near Dallas at Sheree's Dog Rescue. After a couple of days of visiting with Linda & Sabrina, we took off with our moms.
Then on the rest of the cards, we have a mix of shih tzu & schnauzer pals on our tree, other friends and a CAT. It's SO pretty!
We hope you're having a fun holiday too. Thank you to all of our friends for your beautiful cards & photos. We feel really lucky.
December 19th 2011 9:59 pm
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Happy Birthday sweet NeeNee!!! You've been with us for 2 years now and have lived through so many changes. I'm so glad you live with us, you are my special little girl. The moment we met we had a special connection. When you first joined us, you were so afraid of everything except the other dogs. I worked with a behaviorist who taught me how to gain your confidence. You're a quick study so you came around. Then we found out that there would be many other challenges in your training and health. We worked through each issue as it arose with the help of a trainer, and you continued to improve. You joined our family about the time I was going to retire, so we've travelled extensively. We've visited family, met lots of dogs new to you, stayed in hotels, and even went on 10 hr drives to Oregon. Although you were nervous you learned to cope and improved each time. Now you're a seasoned traveler and welcome everywhere you go.
Our biggest challenge was realizing that your jaw was fractured when we got you. It was not a new fracture, but you were in pain. Your jaw was so displaced you could not chew or shut your mouth on the lower left side. CT scans showed that a segment of your jaw was fractured and there was a free floating piece about the size of my little finger. After a year of working on your behavioral issues, this past year was about having that repaired. The first vet felt that he could place a plate with screws to hold your jaw together, but there was a 30% chance it would not work. Those didn't seem like high enough odds for us. So we went to the UC Davis Veterinary Clinic Dental Surgery specialists who were open to an idea that dad presented. He had experience with humans in the use of Bone Morphogenic Protein which generates bone growth. The University of Washington had been using it for your type of fracture. Dad offered to get some for you, but one of the research vets donated it for your use. You went through extensive surgery with a very long recovery. You were in so much pain, took so much medicine but you had no complications and you healed. You had to be isolated from the others and your activity monitored so that you wouldn't hurt yourself. We were inseparable for months during your recovery. We developed our own language. You learned to trust me and let me know your needs. Now you've recovered completely and your surgery was 100% successful (you've regrown the bone & your jaw is strong).
You have shown the resilience and strength of a wise old soul. You have become a happy playful dog. You still have a few issues, but based on where we started they are minor. You have taught me so much about love, patience, perseverance, trust and strength. Just a little 9 pound dog who went through all of this and came out so well. You and I have a special bond that is life changing for both of us. I will be here for you, sweetie!
We will celebrate your birth day with special joy! Almost as much as you bring me.
love you baby,
January 26th 2012 9:03 pm
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Today I went to the UCDavis veterinary clinic for my six month followup after surgery. They had set up an appointment to do anesthesia and radiographs. But when I got there, they decided against it. I've had NO problems. Several doctors examined me and said my jaw feels firm and there are no complications from the screws into the gum. They said it just didn't warrant putting me through the anesthesia!!! I said YAY, and mom said YAYAYAYAY! AND I don't have to go back for X-rays until the next time I get my teeth cleaned, in about 9-12 months. In other words, great outcomes all the way around. They're hoping I go back to UCD for that.
In the meantime, since we moved to Oregon it is really a Looooooong drive to UCD. So mom found a veterinary dentist in Eugene, Oregon about 3 hours from our house. She is one of only 3 in Oregon and is known to my vets. Mom talked to her, and she has agreed to follow me if needed or to do X-rays. Of course, if I have any surgery needs, I'll need to go back to UCD.
So the future is bright! In the meantime, I'm getting really spoiled by mom and loving it!
April 1st 2012 1:11 pm
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So far, mom hasn't played any tricks on us. Probably because it has been raining nonstop for 4 days. Every one has been asking dad if he's gonna build an ark. Is that a place for us to bark, with some kinda accent? Mom says, "no silly, when the water rises we have to get on a boat and paddle away". Doesn't she know that shih tzus don't swim??? Mom says, "no worries we're not in a flood area". Yeah, I said, "either were our pals, the Lafayette Little Rascals, and look what happened to them. They had to stand on their bed while the water was rising around them"!!! Mom says "we live way up on a hill and we'll see the water rising long before it gets here...I hope". I said "well let's hope the hill doesn't give away because I don't do mud skiing either!"
Actually, we're doing just fine except when we have to go potty the schnauzers don't want to go outside. Silly boys! Lily and I don't mind a little wet. And besides, we get to cozy up with mom in some warm blankets and get warm by the pellet stove. We're all snug as bugs in a rug, mom says. Silly mom. Oops, mom's not silly, she's the one with the treats!
Happy Spring everyone.
September 16th 2012 11:47 pm
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Here's a link about another dog who had the same surgery that I did!!!
(Sometimes dogster doesn't let you cut and paste links, but it's really worth reading so you might want to type it into your browser).
I'm doing great. In a couple of weeks, I'm going back to UC Davis to see Drs. Arzi and Verstraete. I'll be getting a dental cleaning and a CT scan. I'll be so glad to see my old doctors and show them how well I'm doing!
September 17th 2012 10:11 am
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Here's another link to a great article on the jaw surgery I had last year. Whiskey had a tumor and had to have a portion of his jaw removed. He then was able to regrow the jaw bone. I didn't have a tumor, but I had a gap in my jaw from a fracture that I got at a puppy mill. My jaw regrew & is back to normal now. Read this exciting news!
And here's a video of Whiskey after surgery! He's famous now & so are my vets.
Mom recently talked to Dr. Arzi about my upcoming visit. This is what he said about all of the media attention, "We are all very excited about this reconstructive work and especially that we can improve on the quality of life of our patients. You are all very inspiring to us." Isn't he the nicest vet? I'm so excited that I was dog #2 with this surgery, and now we're seeing success for so many others. Yippeeee!!!! And I get to go see them next week to get a CT scan to see how it's going. I'll be sure to report back.
September 28th 2012 12:46 am
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It's been an exciting week! Mom and I drove down to California for my follow-up appointment with my vets at UC Davis. First, we stopped along the way so she could see an orthopedic surgeon about getting her knee surgery in a couple of months. Then we checked into our hotel in California. I have stayed here a few times and the people are all so nice to me!
My first appointment was a spa day with my former groomer, Miss Kathy! She is always SO nice to me. She even already gave me my Christmas presents! Then yesterday mom took me to the clinic and left me!!! I was very brave while I went through my pre-op evaluations. Everything checked out ok. Everyone said I looked great - good weight, nice fur, jaw firm. My blood work looked good and anesthesia said I was good to go. I wish I could've gone!!! I was nervous being away from mom, but I was very brave too!
Then today I had anesthesia, X-rays & CT scan of my jaw, and a dental cleaning. They saw new bone growth since last time!!! And everything thing looked good, no complications have occurred. The whole team was there again, Drs. Verstrate, Arzi and Farkus, and my current vet student Francesca. They always treat me & mom like we're rock stars or something. Dr. Verstrate talked with mom about the 8 successful surgeries they have done using the same technique (I'm one of the eight). He said 4 of us dogs had jaws that were injured (like me), while 4 of them had portions removed due to tumors. All 8 of us are doing well with good results. It's nice to be a member of a group that has had 100% success!!!
Tonight, I'm back with mom at the hotel. Snoozing on & off. I'm drinking water ok, and even ate a little dinner. I cough sometimes but that's not unusual after having a breathing tube in your throat.
Tomorrow, I go back to the nutrition clinic at UCD vet hospital! We are meeting with a veterinary nutritionist who is going to advise mom on a home cooked diet. Let's hope they say I get to eat more treats!!!!
I'll give you the update on the nutrition consult!
Sweet dreams everyone.
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