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What a Difference a Week Makes!

April 5, 2010

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Last week at this time Mary and I were sitting with Nikki in Dr. Pyne’s office and had just finished a discussion asking the question, “Are we doing the right thing”. The question was of course related to the fact that Nikki seemed to be having more bad days than good since the surgery, and basically we were wondering if we were doing all of this for us as opposed to her.

We had already determined that Nikki had some sort of infection, and Antibiotics weren’t working very well (High fever, obvious pain and discomfort) so we weren’t sure what to do.

Dr. Pyne convinced us to let her treat the infection more aggressively, and by Wednesday of last week Nikki was showing signs of improvement, so Mary and I took a trip to Tucson, leaving the dogs in the care of our Son, with very specific instructions on what to do and how to care for them….

Well, all of the reports that we got while we were out of town was that Nikki was doing fine. When we arrived home last night, the proof was in the fact that this 3 legged 90 pound dog decided that she needed to tackle us when we came in the door. She was definitely the old Nikki, and that fact was proven to me once again today when I walked in after work and Nikki basically demanded that I get down on the floor and play with her. I have not seen her this happy and playful since well before the surgery!

Dr. Pyne had sent out a sample of the infected area (basically the lymph nodes near the surgery site were swollen badly) to the lab to try and culture some bacteria so she could determine exactly what she was fighting, but had prescribed a very high dose of Cipro antibiotics. (Tip for the unaware: If you ever need to obtain Cipro or other high-dose antibiotics, have your vet write a prescription and take that to YOUR pharmacist. What would have cost us almost $200 through the vet cost us less than $25 through our Safeway pharmacist, and no funny-business either. The script was clearly labeled for canine use) The results came back as Streptococcus, which is a very nasty bug, that just happens to respond well to high doses of Cipro…

One of Nikki’s pre-surgery habits was what we call the “Chicken Scratch”. After doing her business on the lawn she’d take a few steps forward and then cover the area by scratching up some grass. Obviously this is a bit harder when you only have 1 rear leg, but I do believe she’s gotten it figured out now, as you can see right at the start of this video (The video itself is rather boring, but I cannot even begin to describe how happy this makes me to be able to watch at this point)

In other news, Mary and I had the opportunity to meet some of our fellow Tripawd parents (Including the famous Wyatt and his parents!) at the get together in Phoenix on Saturday. Thank you all for making us feel welcome, and we really do hope to get together with anyone here in Colorado!


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You Learn Something New Each Day

January 31, 2010

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Here’s a tip that might help some people as they go through this process with their new TriPawd…

If you read some of the earlier status reports that I’ve put up, you’ll note that I mention that Nikki is restless a lot. For the first couple of days post surgery, the restlessness was attributed to the dysphoria brought on by the high doses of pain medication, and that certainly seems to have been the case, as when we started reducing the pain meds, the restlessness seemed to dissipate. However over the last few days Nikki had become increasingly restless, and you could tell that it was related to the wound itself.. We had applied the anti-itch cream which definitely helped, but it didn’t really remove it altogether.

As yesterday wore on, Nikki seemed to get more and more restless and irritated with her stitch area.. Mary and I discussed it, and remembered something that the Banfield Emergency vet had said (I’m sorry that I don’t remember her name); “Put some triple-antibiotic on the area”. The idea here is to help address the possible infection that could get in because of the drainage of the seroma. Well, Mary went to the store last night and bought some Neosporin with pain relief, and literally the moment that she applied that to the wound, Nikki’s restlessness and irritation with the wound went away. She applied it a couple of times through the night, but it is very obvious that it works..

Today Nikki has been perfectly fine. She’s moving around a bit better than she was yesterday, but more importantly her urge to scoot along the carpet and pick at her wound is gone! She’s very happy, and very peaceful today. (As I write this, she’s laying down at my feet here in the office, after having come in from sunning herself on the back deck)

So, tip of the day, apply Neosporin (or some other triple antibiotic with pain relief) to the stitches area starting around day 5 after surgery. You’ll likely find that it keeps your new tripawd from going nuts as the stitches heal!

Here’s a photo of Nikki sunning herself on the deck:


And I would be remiss if I didn’t share this photo without so much zoom so you can see the rest of the story….