February 3rd 2012 10:37 am
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Easiest way for me to explain is to show you what Mom wrote to her sibling:
Mostly good news.
I will start with the bad. $1400. Huge incision, over a foot long with many staples. I will have to keep him quiet for ten days. That will be tough but I guess I can sacrifice my basement for that and insist on having a long enough lunch break to go home and let him out half way through my days of work. And, of course, he has to wear the cone and take antibiotics.
Now the good news. Vet found numerous grass seeds festering inside his flank. That was most likely the cause of this, or so I'm told. It is very unusual if this has been going on for 3 years, but possible. Vet hopes that he got them all but cannot be sure without getting more invasive. When you see his incision, you will understand why he didn't want to go further. Lobo is completely well and moving around perfectly. How can he not even have a limp with that kind of a surgery? How can an old boy like him completely recover from being under anesthetic for so long? He isn't even on pain meds. It will be tough to keep him from running around. And my yard is a skating rink at the moment. So that will be a long ten days. It would almost be better if he was groggy and not energetic. Almost, but not really. It was very nice to see him full of piss and vinegar. The vet was very impressed with his condition at 11 years of age. The lady that brought him out to me almost had her arm taken off. I wish I had had the camera when he spotted me and dragged her over to me. She said, "Looks like he doesn't like you." (In jest.) She said, "I think he needs to pee as he has not been out for a while." Soon as we got out of there, did he ever pee! And then, he was desperately thirsty. Glad I had water ready for him. Got home, he peed some more, pooped, ate and drank, peed again, wanted to go out and carry on like normal, but he is not allowed to do that crazy fence chasing for ten days. Plus it is icy. Don't want to blow some of those expensive staples. He has 60 of them. Also good news that he won't have to go back on steroids. So it looks like a careful ten days of keeping him from blowing his stitches, antibiotics, cone, and he will be better than new!
Man that dog has caused me a lot of grief, expense and aged me before my time. But he is such a good boy. I sure wish I didn't have to leave him and go to work. And, I only get one day off this weekend due to Superbowl.
So that is what happened to me! I want to run and play but am not allowed to. Kitcat is still afraid of me because of the vet smells and the cone. But she hovers around me and stares at me. Squirrel came over and said hello. Both kitties checked out my staples. Kind of cool to have a zipper on your knee! Sure feels better than what I had there before. Mom did not take a picture of that as it was so horrible and she was so upset. Was very nice to get back in my truck and then come home.
Thank you to all of you for thinking of me, yet again, and the messages and POP's etc.
February 2nd 2012 9:09 pm
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Thank you everyone for your comments and well wishes. This is the latest that Mom sent to her family about me:
I called the vet clinic from work. Lobo came through the surgery/patching well. This was just a receptionist so I could not get more information. For some reason, despite my making it very clear that I could not pick him up today due to my work schedule, they still expected me to come by and get him around 4:30pm. You know me, I would have made it VERY CLEAR! that I would not be able to do that and he was to spend the night no matter how much I didn't like it. I hate having him have to spend the night there, but there was no alternative. And, the original vet thought that wasn't a bad idea anyway as he thought Lobo could use the down time and supervision as opposed to loose in my yard while I was at work. When I dropped him off, the plan was for me to pick him up tomorrow at 8:30am. Now, the plan became me picking him up late tomorrow morning and speaking to the vet at that time. Well, I have to work late tomorrow morning. I was of the understanding that this was to happen first thing tomorrow, as in 8:30am! I guess the vet is not available to talk to me at that time. I can understand that as they do have scheduled surgeries in the morning, but how about telling me that right up front? So ... the plan is now for me to pick him up first thing tomorrow, get some instructions on his after care, and then speak to the vet on the telephone later in the morning about what they think and/or what they discovered, if anything. So I won't know anything until then. And, I'm afraid, I won't know much even then. And then, I will have to head off to work.
This sounds so bitchy. I'm sorry. I'm taking out the fear I am feeling on people that don't deserve it. I am just so ... I just feel so helpless. I will report tomorrow after I pick him up. I'm already worrying about if he will be able to do stairs? Will he slip out of the cone when I have to head off to work? How will I pay the bill? I have no idea how much it will be, but I am suspecting over $1000.
Mom is stressing. I hope she gets some sleep tonight. I don't like it here, but I think I can get some shut eye. I have some pretty good drugs in me.
Sometimes life sucks. But I'm pretty sure I will have more good days.
February 2nd 2012 12:23 pm
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The vet called Mom. This is what Mom wrote to my auntie and uncles about me for now:
Finally got a call from the vet. This is yet another vet, Dr. Boist. (Though he was communicating with Dr. Nichol, so that is good. They need to be familiar with Lobo's history.) Lobo was under the anesthetic as we spoke. They ran a tube up the drainage tract of the wound and said it went over a foot up into him. I do recall Dr. Gummeson (almost 3 years ago when this first happened to me) talking about the drainage tract that he could feel by hand. He thought that would have led to a foreign body, like a splinter, but this would have taken a fairly major surgery to go looking for it and they still may not have found anything. Nothing showed up on xrays. So I chose to reject the surgery and just put him on antibiotics. Since this was almost 3 years ago now, the vets now on his case don't think it is a foreign body. Had it been, it would have resolved itself by now. The way he has had these mysterious wounds come and go, and other strange wounds come and go, they are leaning towards an autoimmune disease. Which one, they don't know. They are going to take a tissue sample and send it to the lab. They also mentioned that his skin didn't look good after they shaved the area on his knee. So not good news as it is still a mystery so far and looks like we will be facing this over and over again. And, looks like he will have to go back on steroids. They will know a bit more, hopefully, when I pick him up tomorrow. I asked them, while he was under, to take a closer look at that thing on his neck and trim his front claws. They had already done his claws but will check with Dr. Nichol about that thing on his neck. That is minor, but while he is out, may as well deal with it. And he will be going home with a new cone. I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks, while his knee heals up and he has to wear the cone. Thank God that cold snap has passed. I sure hope we don't get another one as he will have a bald knee and not able to easily go into his dog house with a cone on.
Since Lobo has seen at least 6 vets on this problem, and all are puzzled, I know I have done all that I can to help him. From now on, I will just try to continue to manage his symptoms as they appear and try and maintain some quality of life for him. Other than that horrible thing on his knee today, he was happy and alert and energetic. And oh boy, he sure didn't want me looking at his knee. He did all he could to try and hide it.
So that is the news for now! Right now I am completely oblivious to everything and on some good drugs. Moms says EXPENSIVE drugs.
February 2nd 2012 9:40 am
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Hi friends ... I have had a swollen and painful knee for a few days. The swelling went away and I was fine for the last 3 days. Then, Mom got home from work at midnight and saw me licking at a HUGE open wound on my knee. I was walking fine, but that sure didn't look fine. She rinsed it with saline solution and tried to put a dressing on it but I wouldn't let her. So, she stuck the dreaded cone on me and we both slept in the basement. Well I slept some and she didn't sleep much at all. Even with that cone on, I was still able to mess with that wound a bit.
So, of course, 8am and we were at the vet clinic. Looks like I will be there for the day and maybe overnight. Mom is waiting for a call from the vet to see what they think. Most likely I will need some patching up, but sure would be nice to know what caused this. I had something similar about 2 1/2 years ago, but not this bad. And, no doubt, Mom will have to make me wear the cone for a while. (She will need to buy a new one as this one is trashed.) I hate the cone. I can't even fit in my dog house when I wear that stupid thing. Doing stairs with it on is very tough. And Kitcat is frightened of me when I have that thing on. And I'm sure I will be on pills again.
January 21st 2012 12:58 pm
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We did get several inches of snow overnight and it did warm up -5C (23F). So Mom dug us out and we went for a walk. It was just perfect. We were the first dog and human to make tracks at our walking place. We saw vole tracks, deer tracks, coyote tracks. Mom saw a bald eagle fly over us. She threw my frisbee for me over and over again. She wasn't in a hurry as she didn't have to go to work and she wasn't cold. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, the sun came out! So it was a very fun walk.
Mom just finished reading a true story called:
Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson
by Eric A. Shelman and Stephen Lazoritz
She read it because she wanted to see how this little girl survived horrible abuse at the hands of terrible foster parents. What she didn't realize when she bought the book was that this little girl was rescued thanks to the man, Henry Burgh, who started the SPCA here in America! So the book follows his battle to give animals rights at the same time as the book follows what this little girl is going through. Also, the book follows, Etta Wheeler, a kind woman and a Methodist missionary who brings help to this girl. Help arrives in the form of this man.
It is an amazing story with a happy ending. And an ending that continues to help protect us animals and our children too.
Mom had never heard of any of these people before. Now they are our heros.
January 20th 2012 2:49 pm
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We were both feeling housebound, especially me because Mom was going off to work while I was staying home cooped up in my dog house. Then we heard that there was a heavy snowfall warning for our area. So, despite it being -12C (+10F), which felt warm after the last few days, we figured we better go out while we could. I was perfectly fine and had fun. I didn't even lift a paw once! Mom's face got a bit cold because it was windy, but she had fun just because I was having fun. It was nice to sniff animal tracks and mark territory again. I think Mom worried about me over these last few days much more than she needed to. Oh well, she has always been an overly cautious person. As a bonus, Mom was feeding me way extra and really yummy stuff to help give my body some energy to keep me warm. That was cool.
We are still going to go walking tomorrow no matter how much snow we get. And it is supposed to continue warming up.
January 19th 2012 9:02 pm
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Mom doesn't have to work tomorrow and we are supposed to warm up again. In fact, it is already 5 degrees warmer than it was at this time yesterday. I got through it very well in my dog house with heating pad. I was completely out of the wind too. It is just boring not to be able to go anywhere for so many days. And with the flaps Mom put on my door, I couldn't even see anything while in there. Boring. When I was younger, and had my winter coat, we would still go out on cold days like this. But not, with my age, and the false shedding of my winter fur, it wasn't a good idea. Come Saturday it is supposed to be plenty warm for us to go out for a walk. And this might be the last of the nasty part of winter. Hopefully.
January 16th 2012 9:34 pm
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We are getting a really cold snap. I have completely shedded my winter coat. We thought it might be due to my health problems, but we heard that many other dogs have had false sheddings due to our unusually warm winter.
But, it is now super cold and I am left almost naked. Mom bought me a heating pad and a new dog house a while back. She insulated the dog house as best as she could. Just in case this would happen. She decided to spend money on that instead of more vet visits. She also had to replace my heated water dish as my old one quit working. She only has so much money and chose to try and keep me comfortable over the winter instead of spending our money on more vet bills. Anyhow, today, she put a thermometer in my dog house before she went to work on the coldest day we have had this year so far. She rushed home after work, in the dark, and I was there to say hello. She went to my dog house and checked the thermometer. It showed 0 degrees C (32F). It is -15C (5F) outside. So, the dog house and heating pad is working pretty good. When I got in the human house she felt my ears and toes. All were warm. I ate my supper, asked to go out for my bathroom duties, and came back in. We are supposed to get even colder, but now Mom knows I will be okay in my dog house with my heating pad and new heated water dish. My house is for sure out of the wind which will be a major factor in how cold we get this week.
I'm still doing very well and a happy dog. We had a walk in fresh snow yesterday. We love that. We actually came across cougar tracks! I knew what they were, but, Mom figured it out only because she could "see" them in the fresh snow.
January 4th 2012 12:07 pm
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And I'm doing pretty good.
Thank you to all my pals who have sent me presents and well wishes and supported me through this tough year.
We just had a good walk and have a lot to be thankful for. For one thing, the super mild winter just when I needed it most. I have shed all of my winter coat and just have my summer one. Apparently, I am not alone in this as other dogs have had the same problem. We had a cold snap in November, and then it got warm. So our systems were fooled and we shedded our winter coat even before winter had started! At least that is one theory. A false shedding. But, it may be related to my health problems and the meds I was on. I have been on zero meds for about a month now.
I am for sure having a happy birthday. Thank you all.
December 31st 2011 11:59 am
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Hi all! Mom took this video just a few days before Christmas. We had a wonderful walk in the late afternoon sun on a warm December day. We wanted to show you how I'm doing. You have all been so nice to us and offered lots of love and support while I struggled with health issues that are, as of yet, still a mystery. This video shows that I am still having a good time and enjoying life.
My Christmas Walk 2011
Happy New Year to everyone - wherever you are in life! Just do your best and God will take care of the rest.
Lobo & family
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