Made it through the first night

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While I was out last evening, my husband reported hearing some licking sounds from Darby.  Oops!  Removing the cone was premature!  She was grooming the bottom part of her incision.  So lesson learned for us:  the cone went back on.  🙁

Our bedroom is upstairs, and Darby usually sleeps either on her bed or on a couch downstairs.  (Fortunately, she’s tall enough to just kind of slide onto the couch — no jumping required.  We noticed last night that she’d already crossed that bridge on her own!)  For her first night home, I elected to sleep on a different couch downstairs — if she needed anything, I’d be nearby and could hear better.  This is where humans and dogs are different.  Humans actually SLEEP at night, and dogs sleep a lot during the day.  I think Darby was pretty excited to have company, and visited me quite a lot last night.  Cone in my face.  Lots of petting.  “You’re a good dog, Darby!”  So the quality of my sleep was pretty bad, but Darby seemed be fine during the night, in spite of all the interrupted sleep.  At least I didn’t have to get up and inject more of the bupivacaine.  She got that first thing this morning, and seems to be in good shape.  She’ll get the catheter for the bupivacaine removed tomorrow morning.

By the way, she’s sleeping now.

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I spent the day laying down a room-sized rug we had in the attic, gripper carpet pads, and a yoga mat to give Darby traction when she came home. Picked her up at 3 pm. Doc says she’s doing well: getting up and down from sitting/lying down by herself. Actually walking quite well! Her incision is not covered — the vet said it heals better/faster when exposed to air. She also has a catheter for local pain medication. We got a tutorial on how to administer that.

I learned that dogs have lymph nodes! The vet said both her limb and the lymph nodes were sent to the lab for analysis. This will help determine her care from here on. I was a little scared about how we’d get her in and out of our Camry’s back seat. The vet helped at the hospital, and between the two of us, I think we can handle this. It’s awkward, but doable.

Darby was sent home with a hard, transparent cone. She doesn’t have it on now — the vet said it’s to prevent her from messing with her incision. If she’s not tempted to do that, no need for the cone. We’ll get an inflatable one from our local vet tomorrow. I think Darby’s local pain medication still has the incision site pretty numb, so I suspect she might be more tempted to try to scratch in days to come.

We anchored her dishes on a box to make the height a little easier for her. I don’t have the entire kitchen lined with gripper pads, and what do you know: Darby was walking fine on the bare floor. Oh well! If it works for her, I’m happy!

Surgery day

This is Darby, our 11-year-old Deutsch Drahthaar, the morning of her surgery.  We found out 31 days ago that she has osteosarcoma in her left front leg.  It took us that long to lose our abhorrence at the idea of amputating her bad leg.  I drove her to the vet hospital at 8:00 this morning.  Didn’t sleep well last night at all.  The vet called just before beginning surgery to report that he is concerned by what looks like arthritis in one or both of her back legs.  He said that, when they amputate, they really want the remaining three legs to be “good.”  But she is clearly in pain from the bad front leg, so we agreed to proceed with the surgery.  Whew.  Wondering what the future has in store for us.

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