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A New Look for Nikki

February 1, 2010

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We weren’t supposed to see Dr. Pyne until tomorrow, but she had read the report from the emergency room and decided that she wanted to see Nikki today instead.

Dr. Pyne was concerned with the seroma that had developed, and also concerned that when the emergency clinic drained it they were only able to get 5cc of fluid out. She took Nikki into the back room, and proceeded to drain the seroma as much as she could. Turns out she was able to extract over 300cc of fluid! That’s a LOT of fluid, and more than a pound of extra weight on the wound area. No wonder Nikki had been uncomfortable!

Now that the seroma is drained, Dr. Pyne wants to keep a pressure bandage in place to help the healing. (Apparently the body will continue to produce the fluids as long as there’s a place for them all to go) Unfortunately with Nikki’s anatomy, there was no real way to keep the bandage on, so we worked out a plan that means we need to keep Nikki’s harness on for the next couple of days so that we have some hope of the bandage staying attached.

Here’s Nikki’s new look:

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We’ll need to make daily trips to see Dr. Pyne over the next few days for bandage changes until the seroma dries up. Hopefully this won’t take too long..

In other news, I forgot to post a couple of pictures from yesterday showing that Nikki has found out how to get up on the couch and rest in one of her favorite spots:

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So, as you can see, we’re progressing on a somewhat “normal” track for these things.. Hopefully the seroma will heal quickly and Nikki can get back to learning to walk without all the extra “baggage”.


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A Trip to the ER

January 28, 2010

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Don’t panic, it’s OK!

Today was one of those truly epic days for Nikki. It started out just fine (by the way, Nikki has been sleeping perfectly soundly the last few nights, and by extension so have I… Makes for a much better outlook for the day if you ask me) with the normal morning routine, then a conference call, then heading into the office, where the only way I get info on Nikki is through the occasional IM from Mary..

Today I received several IM messages that started with, “Guess What Nikki did…”, so you can imagine that she was definitely very active today.. The most impressive feat of all was that she decided to go up the stairs on her own to prove that she could do it. (I’ve not been wanting to let her try UP on her own yet, but I guess she wanted to prove that she could do it). As you might imagine though, that wore her out a bit..

When I got home, Nikki was there to greet me and then she decided to hang out with me for most of the evening. I can’t really explain the bond that Nikki and I have with respect to this, but there’s something very calming about looking down and seeing her laying on the floor beside my chair while I’m working.

I had a bit of work to do tonight, so was concentrating on some stuff when I heard Mary yell. Apparently Nikki had decided to get up and play around a bit with the other dogs and got a little ahead of herself. She slipped on the wood floor (she had to work to find an area not covered by a temporary rug, but of course she found it) and came down hard on her wound. Well, we’re now 9 days post-surgery, so of course there’s a bit of fluid and everything else up there (Seroma I believe is what it’s called) and a fair amount of it decided to make an exit when Nikki hit the ground.. Mary of course did what I can only describe as a “Freak Out”, so the only option was to get Nikki loaded up and head to the emergency room. Nikki was a bit puzzled by the frantic actions, but she was happy that she got to go for a ride…

Once the vet saw Nikki, she described the natural healing process and the fact that seromas will develop, and that it was really nothing to worry about. She did take the time to drain it a bit more, but overall she said to let it drain on it’s own, and don’t worry… (Kind of hard to do when you see a puddle of blood and other fluids on your floor under your babydog after a fall…)

So, now we’re back home, and Nikki is back in her position behind my chair, and all is well with the world……


A Good Day!

January 22, 2010

It’s only been 3 days since the surgery… Hard to believe actually when you look at Nikki and see just how far she’s come since Tuesday night.

I took this photo after coming home from work today. As I was putting my stuff in the office here, I heard a dog coming my way, assumed it was Sasha, and then was surprised to see Nikki! She had hopped in from the family room, then turned around and went back to the dining room to lay down…

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Last night was  a good night. Mary and I decided that we’d try the “normal routine” and let Nikki sleep in her own bed in our room. So, when it came time to go to bed, I helped Nikki up the stairs, and she went to her normal spot and laid down.. She was a bit restless (She’s on a lower dose of Tramadol now) but that settled down fairly quickly..

She woke up once around 3:20am, whined for a minute, but then went right back to sleep. When my alarm went off at 5 this morning, she was still sleeping soundly..

After the normal shower/shave/etc. routine, I took the dogs outside (helped Nikki down the stairs, which she was a bit unsure of, but it didn’t take her long to realize that I literally had her back) and decided to remove the sling and let Nikki try to go to the bathroom on her own. She took off and “ran” (not sure you can call it that, but we’ll pretend) around the lawn, then did her business. She then came back towards me and sat down. I put the sling on her, got her back up the stairs to the deck, and then back in the house. She drank, then waited patiently for me to bring her treats. (The morning ritual is that all the dogs get a few treats once they come in from their business)

While at work, Mary let me know that Nikki was having a very normal day, was playful, and managed to spend some time outside in the sun as well. She also has a healthy appetite!

When I got home, Nikki was very playful and happy. Very much like her normal self..

You can see in the photos that we have wood floors throughout the main level of our house. Mary has distributed throw rugs over much of the wood, but for whatever reason, Nikki enjoys laying on the wood. She can’t get enough traction to stand when she’s laying on the wood like that, but she’s so smart that she’s figured out if she crawls to a rug, she can get the traction that she needs. It’s all about adjustment, and I am just completely and totally amazed at how quickly Nikki is adjusting to all of this..

Tomorrow is Saturday, so I’ll get to spend more of the day here at home with Nikki and see for myself how she’s healing.

We see Dr. Pyne again on Monday afternoon, and then I’m sure I’m going to start worrying about the next phase of the treatment (We don’t yet know the results of the pathology testing on the removed leg).


Post-Surgery, Day 2

January 21, 2010

Wow.

As I write this, I can barely keep my eyes open. Last night definitely qualifies as being in the top 10 of worst nights ever. Starting from about 9:30pm, Nikki just could not stop whimpering and whining. I tried everything I could think of; I took her outside, both front yard and back, I walked her around the house, and I laid down with her on the bed. Gave her as much water as she would drink as well. Nothing worked…. It didn’t seem like “Pain” whimpering, and according to Dr. Pyne it was likely Dysphoria,  brought on by the Tramadol. All I know was that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, so we both suffered. Finally at about 4am, she went to sleep. Of course my alarm went off at 0415, so the night was pretty much shot. Couple no sleep with stress and worry, and well, it isn’t fun at all…

Instead of driving in to the office for the early morning meeting (Which is normally 0630 on Tues/Thurs) I decided to do the call at the house and then head to the office. It was very interesting to me that Nikki was happy to see Sasha and Buddy when they came down the stairs. She also seemed to really perk up once Mary was up and about. 

While I was on my call, Mary fed the other dogs and sat with Nikki, feeding her whatever she’d take. She started to whine less at that point, and by the time I was done with my call and headed out the door, Nikki had that “old spark” in her eyes, and kissed me when I bent down to her to leave…

She slept most of the day, with occasional ups to go outside.. Mary said she was quite happy just sitting on a blanket in the living room with the other dogs and the TV.. So all in all it was a great day for Nikki..

The fun begins though when I walk in the door after work. The normal ritual here is that I open the garage door, and then have a gauntlet of dogs to walk through as I put my stuff in the office, with all of them letting me know that they missed me. (To be fair, they treat anyone who comes into the house as their long-lost best friend) Today was no different, and sure enough Nikki was there on her blanket wagging and bouncing (as much as you can bounce while laying on your stomach I suppose). I walked over to her, and she just positively lit up. She crawled to meet me, then ROLLED OVER to let me rub her tummy. Then she laid on her side, arched her back and did the normal thing she does to get me to scratch her back.. As I did that and got down on the floor with her, she licked and licked and you could just tell she was SO happy…

After a bit of this playing around, I got her up and took her outside, and she really did great, with very little help from me on the sling…

All in all, it looks like we’re turning a corner and getting better. It’s only day 2, and I imagine I’m in for another long night, but it sure is good to see her acting like she is now!

Now, for those that might be a bit squeamish, you might want to stop looking… One thing I wanted to do is show a picture of her wound, and the associated bruise. (I took this while she was upside down letting me rub her tummy) I show this because it is completely normal, and those that may go through this after me need to see this. Don’t freak out when your baby looks like this:

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Post-Surgery Day 1

January 20, 2010

This is going to be a short update as I need to get back in and relieve Mary. She’s been sitting with Nikki all day while I’ve been at work, and needs a break.

Nikki seems to be doing as expected. When I came home from work she perked up and actually kissed my face when I bent down to her. Her eyes also looked a lot better than when I left this morning, so I think the healing is continuing.

I put the makeshift sling on Nikki and took her out front for a walk around the yard. She did pretty good, and for awhile didn’t even really need my support on the sling. I don’t think it’s time to let her manage on her own yet though, so we’ll still use the sling for a little while.

Starting tomorrow we’re supposed to begin reducing the pain meds slightly. We’ll see how that works out.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments. They are very much appreciated!


The Morning After….

January 20, 2010

After we got Nikki settled in last night and my bed made, Mary headed upstairs with Sasha and Buddy, and I laid down next to Nikki to read. Nikki was pretty much passed out from the pain meds, but was starting to stir somewhat. When I turned out the light, Nikki started to whine a bit, then some more, and then it turned into a wailing session. She was also trying to get up and make her way to the makeshift door we put on the room to keep the other dogs out…. After about 20-30 minutes of this, with me trying to hold her back, she finally slipped out of my grasp and drug herself to the doorway, where she proceeded to scratch at it like she does when she wants out. The noise brought Mary down, and she took one look and said, “She has to go out to the bathroom”.. Here I am thinking all the whining is pain, and it’s really just the fact that she needs outside badly…

We took her outside, she did her business, we brought her back inside and she settled down nicely.. I felt like an idiot…..

I laid down, shut out the light and went to sleep as well. Nikki woke me 3 or 4 times throughout the night, but for the most part she slept comfortably until it was time for me to wake up and get ready for work (yeah, unfortunately I can’t miss any work time this week, we have big-doings in the office that require my presence). Mary came down to sit with Nikki while I went up and got ready. When I came back down, we took Nikki outside again in case she needed to go (she didn’t) and then brought her back in. She took her pills just fine, and Mary was able to feed her some breakfast as well…

So, all in all, the first night went OK…

Here’s a picture of our bed:

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Sasha is very upset over all of this, but hopefully as Nikki recovers a bit more today we can let them together for a bit. Buddy seems upset too (remember, he’s only been a member of our household for a couple months) but I don’t think for him it’s anything more than everyone else is upset so he should be too….

Will update more when I get home and learn all the goings-on for the day..