4 days after amputation: first walk!

Oh guys.

Toller had her first walk today, and it was amazing.

Every action, you could just see the joy. She sniffed EVERYTHING!! She was so intrigued and happy to be out in the world again and walking, it was amazing. She was sniffing, springing, playing, pulling up flowers…it was so darn cute.

She was SO HAPPY. It was truly wonderful to see πŸ™‚

Can you imagine if the first vets had agreed to amputation immediately? She would have been walking less than a week after the accident, as oppose toΒ eleven weeks after 😦 Still, at least it got done, and she’s LOVING IT!!

We were saying today, we’ve not seen her trip once since tripawd life haha!

She got to see our friend today who was over visiting Mojo, and he was *amazed* at how skilled she is walking. Next time he’s over, in about a week, we’ll do a 5 minute walk with her πŸ™‚

Anyway, this is what you’ve all been waiting for – a video of her entire walk!

Tolly the tripawd!

Hey guys we’re absolutely exhausted here so I’m gonna keep it as quick as possible.

Long time no post!

So I don’t remember where we were with Tolly when I last posted, but here’s a recap.

She hurt her paw about 10 weeks ago, when an off lead Labrador sprinted all the way across a field and ran into her, bowling her over (she was a tiny 3.2kg at the time – 3.5kg now, little fatty πŸ˜‰ ).

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We got her to the vet who said she suspected a broken toe at worst and wasn’t even going to x-ray, but we said we might as well to be on the safe side. After the x-ray it turned out Tolly had broken FOUR bones in her front left paw, all the bones connecting her toes to her foot.

We were immediately pushed towards an option of an invasive surgery to rewire her bones. When I researched this (reading articles, others’ experience, and posting on a forum for amputated pets as I immediately wanted to amputate) I found there were HUGE flaws with this option, including an extremely high likelihood of further procedures (I’m talking 98%+!), complications to do with recovery, and the fact it was a very invasive procedure.

A few days after her accident we saw a second vet, who was much more positive. Amputation, which we still wanted to consider, was poo-poo’ed as a full recovery was so certain, even though a full recovery from amputation is only 4 weeks. This vet advised us not to put Toller through the surgery, and said her foot would recover perfectly fine on it’s own, and we most likely wouldn’t even be able to tell she had been injured. So we signed ourselves up for 6-8 weeks crate rest.

Toller had two splints put on in the first week or so; one fell off after four hours, one fell off after a few days, and after that the vets advised we leave her as is.

For eight weeks Toller was confined to her crate or held in our arms, the only activity she got was from there or trips to the garden strictly to go to the toilet. With each vet visit the vet complimented her recovery, saying she was doing so much better than they expected.

Toller was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE, and nothing held her attention (not even knuckle bones), and whilst we were very concerned about the after-effects of such extended crate rest on a very young puppy, we pushed ahead because it wasn’t long to the finish line.

Around the 6 week mark we began to notice that that front left foot was very bent out of place and odd looking, but pushed it aside as the vet was so certain she was making a miraculous recovery. At 7 weeks we were advised it was ligament damage and posed no concern.

At around 8 weeks we were told Toller was fully recovered, and we were horrified.

The story had now changed to she would have hugely restricted exercise for the rest of her life, she couldn’t run, go on walks, and her foot was scarily deformed. It stuck out at a literal right angle.

KIND OF GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF DEFORMED FOOT Β below

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Over the next week we followed the vet’s instructions, letting her walk in the house for 30 seconds at a time, just a time or two a day. We were horrified to see that foot getting worse.

At this point we thought we were going to get a wheelchair; that way Toller could go on walks in the chair, with the injured leg strapped out the way, and walk chair-free in the house as per the vet’s instructions. We bought a cheap Β£70 front wheeled cart whilst we saved the Β£580 for a custom one.

It soon became clear that wasn’t an option; Toller’s foot was so badly injured (and not at all recovered!!) that even small amounts of exercise were making it much worse.

We began looking for a second opinion and madly scrabbling for money for an amputation, which we had wanted to do right at the bloody start.

Unfortunately a lot of vets were less than helpful, with one surgery refusing to see her and telling us to use the first surgery (that had been totally wrong about her prognosis!), and another saying they would have to “ask permission” from the previous vet.

We finally found a branch that would happily give us a second opinion; they sent off for her info and we took Tolly to an appt with them. They agreed in an instant that an amputation was the way to go.

Today was her operation day. Photos from this morning just before she headed out.

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Eeesh, that poor foot!!

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We dropped her off, and phoned at lunch time for an update – oh, before I carry on, the vets wrote down THE WRONG LEG TO AMPUTATE!! Can you believe it?!?! Luckily the nurse checked with my partner first, although she did say they’d have questioned it anyway given how deformed her left leg was hahaha!

Lunchtime update ~ we were told she’d been a star up until time for her op, and enjoyed lots of cuddles! She’d been in theatre for 60 minutes and was just coming around now and doing really well. They wanted to keep her overnight, and would call before they closed that evening to update us again.

We were SO relieved πŸ™‚

We didn’t hear from them when they closed, so we called them on the dot, and unfortunately the first person who spoke with us was useless – she said “Yes, Toller’s fine, she’s just staying overnight with us” and then hung up the phone!!!!

But we called straight back and managed to speak with somebody else and they were brilliant πŸ™‚ They said Toller has had cuddles off every nurse that works at the surgery, and when they go into her room she gets excited and wags at them!

She’s eaten a meal and even had some test walks to start getting her used to life on three legs – she’s doing great, the only thing she struggles with is doorways and they have to carry her through those haha!

They’ve carried out a pain score on her (where they tally up how much pain a dog is in based on behaviour, body language etc to judge if they need more pain meds) and they basically couldn’t tell she was in any pain at all as she was just trying to love on them so hard!! This so typically Toller hahaha, completely loving and adorable, and such a tough little cookie πŸ™‚ ❀

So she’s staying overnight, will be checked on every 3 hours, have further test walks and pain scores, and we go pick her up in the morning. We can phone as soon as they open and see what time they’d like for her to go home at.

To say I was relieved with how the day has gone is obviously a huge understatement, and the last nurse we spoke with described my little spitfire so perfectly I was crying listening to what my Spud had been up to!!

Obviously I’m really nervous about bringing her home (Will I be okay at the sight of her stump, because it won’t be bandaged at all? Will I feel suddenly sad about it? Will she be in pain? Will she try do too much now that broken leg has gone? Will she be especially vocal or miserable? What if it gets infected? etc etc etc) but mostly I just really can’t wait to see her and want to cuddle her forever.

It’s been absolute hell since she got injured…from being terrified she was badly injured, to struggling to keep a 5-8 month old puppy in anyway happy with strict crate rest, to freaking about amputation (risk, lack of knowledge, price, finding a willing vet etc), to getting it done and now the road to actual recovery…

I’m hugely excited for her, because she’s FINALLY gonna have her life back, but I’m understandably scared too. For the physical side and the mental side – she’s missed so much socialisation and was miserable for so long there’s no saying what kind of adult dog she will be, and this is a major concern and NOT something to be brushed off lightly.

I’m concerned about fears (from other dogs and animals to cars going past, loud noises etc) and anxious behaviours, and of course the physical side too – being a tripawd obvious puts more strain on the other limbs, although thankfully her small size should mean this isn’t as big an issue.

But the main thing is her life will be so much better. We just have to take the journey one literal step at a time!

And that’s my update. Now, bed awaits…

Tolly update, crate rest is over!

Keeping it short because I’ve been horribly ill from the moment I got up today.

Toller finally had her vet appt this afternoon and we got the best news ever, crate rest is over!

The vet said that Toller has recovered faster than any of them could have anticipated, and even from her vet appt a few weeks ago Toller has made more progress than expected. The vet said that Toller can now be put on the ground in the house for several minute bursts, then held for a while, and put down again.

Obviously she’s not to run madly or jump on and off furniture, but this will be huge for her πŸ™‚

It goes without saying we are very happy. Can’t wait until I’m well enough to play and interact with her on the floor.

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Oh and here is a cute video from yesterday, I think…we discovered she loves the spray bottle!!

Alert on cam & adorable photos

Sasha has done an alert on a walk every day for the last three days, and yesterday she did at least two! (too foggy to remember any more)

Her alerting out the house is super rare, normally we only get one outdoor alert a week or two, so she’s rocking it!! I wondered if it’s because my seizures are so damn bad that they’re more obvious to her, but some of her alerts have been bloody perfectly timed – one, she alerted, I sat down, and within 30 seconds I was having a seizure.

Yesterday we managed to catch her doing an alert on cam! We were trying to take photos, and she alerted, so my partner kept snapping!!

Step 1: nose nudge

I did teach her to paw as a seizure alert (as I wanted it to be more obvious when I was walking) but because she’s such a big oaf, and she pawed when I was sitting too, it was too damn dangerous and I got tired of her claws raking my face πŸ˜„

Step 2: Serious face until I acknowledge the alert

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Step 3: Praise and treats

Step 4: Get to somewhere safe and out the way, or if I’m stuck somewhere busy like town just drop to the floor and look weird!! Wait for seizure, then wait until better recovered after seizure.

Really cool to have photos of the process, I’m super proud of Sasha…what an awesome dog she is, and a great helper πŸ™‚

Next – Toller walked in the house for the first time yesterday!! It was only about 10 steps before we picked her up, but what a landmark in her recovery!

Can you stand the cuteness? πŸ™‚

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Here she is wearing Pixie’s jacket…Pix was so damn small, and yet the jacket still swamps Toller πŸ˜„

Big dope!

It’s his birthday next month so I’ve been searching for the perfect edible gifts for him and a new police style lead too (multiple D clips). I think I’ve found ‘the one’, can’t wait to share photos once it arrives πŸ™‚

Oh god look at his expression ❀ ❀ ❀

I’ve been browsing amazing collars, harnesses and leads on etsy (because it’s one of the few tasks I can do without having to feel bad for not remembering it, eg. reading!!) and my partner felt so sorry for me with how crappy I’ve been doing he said I could buy a nice collar for Sasha πŸ™‚

So in my more lucid moments I browsed hundreds and hundreds of collars, and chose an amazing one for Sasha! We chose a 2 inch wide one, so you’ll even be able to see it with all her Poodle fluff!!

And yesterday we had 1kg of beef chews arrive! These were Β£8 off ebay, and if we’d bought them from an online pet shop, it would have been Β£6 for 300g!!!

SO MUCH LIVER!!!

The dogs absolutely love it. It doesn’t last the bigger three too long, but they go crazy for it, AND you can snap it into smaller pieces as training rewards too!

*splutter laughs* Sasha’s face!!

The smallest of poultry!

I think?!

Let me introduce to you two new family members, Bates and Eleonor!

Bates on the left is a male (you can tell as he has a bib and red feathers near his bottom), and Eleonor is a female. Interestingly females aren’t always ‘dull’ colours, and can be just as beautiful as the males.

These two are Button / Chinese Painted Quail, which are the smallest variety of quail. They are so small that a pair can easily be kept in a 60cm hamster cage!!

Their previous owner could no longer keep them due to allergies, so we jumped at adopting them because…QUAIL!! We put them in a Critter’s Choice cage overnight…

(Do you see Eleonor bottom right?! πŸ˜€ What we love about Ellie is that she looks just like a mini version of a Japanese quail!!)

…and then today we shuffled lots of pets about so that the quail could have the biggest cage possible. This involved moving Satsu, our cornsnake, into the 80cm RUB our four female mice were in, moving the quail into the vivarium, and the mice into the Critter’s Choice!

Satsu’s new home:

Sia, Nia, Boomer and Carmella’s new home:

Then it was time to remove a pane of glass from the vivarium, and cut apart on old Kios hamster cage. We used the wire from the cage roof to cover the gap left in the vivarium, and now we have a perfect little quail cage with good air flow πŸ˜€

They love it so far and it’s so much fun watching them!

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I made them a little wooden shack-thing out of popsicle sticks and apple tree branches…much to my delight they both love it!

Welcome to the family little ones, thank you for making my heart happy πŸ™‚

We’re there!!

At this point I would say Kasper has successfully integrated with the girls πŸ™‚

He still needs management, but that’s Kasper all over, he needs management with everything hahaha! Β But now all he needs is reminding to calm down when playing with Tolly, as he does easily get over-excited, and preventing humping.

As ever, let me add that his humping is NOTHING TO DO WITH DOMINANCE, and actually lies in insecurity and not being able to contain his excitement.

He has gotten so much better with his humping, and if you’re able to catch him just as he’s about to and calmly tell him to calm down, he will sit and try wind himself in ❀

I absolutely adore this photo. They’ve all got their serious faces on, they’re all focusing beautifully, Sasha’s enjoying a cuddle, Tolly’s ears are hilarious, and Kasper’s eing so patient!

And there’s his happy face πŸ™‚ ❀

We’ll have had that big lummox for 6 years in 2 months. That’s INSANE!

Yesterday the biggest breakthrough was everybody settling together πŸ™‚

Really lovely to see ^__^

We’d been getting close to this stage for about a week, but everytime two settled, the third would get up and try initiate play, thus waking everybody Β else…it was usually Sasha going to bother Kasper, or Tolly trying to bother everyone!

But yesterday everyone settled, and we had a contented sleepy dog pile for two hours πŸ˜€

Adventures adventures

We’ve been having a rough time lately, so yesterday we decided to try for a day trip and hopefully have a nice time.

We took a 15 minute bus ride to a village me and my partner had never been to before. Sasha did so well on the bus, despite a stoopid old woman staring at her and reading aloud her patches (“in training…stop…ignore me” – REALLY?!?) and a mum excitedly exclaiming over Sasha to her very young toddler. Ugh!

Look who’s progressed to sitting on the floor or the seat, but no longer needs lap cuddles πŸ™‚

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We spotted the public footpath immediately after getting off the bus, it was only about a minute away from the stop! We had to climb a steep slippery stone staircase and weave through a kissing gate into a field of sheep – hey, Sasha’s first sheep experience!

She stayed on lead through the sheep field, because duh, and my partner had to carry her through a hugely muddy area in the next field…I didn’t want her getting on the bus back filthy haha, we really do need to remember to take our bag of tricks with us as the towel would really come in handy πŸ˜„

It was a long steep climb to the forest, but the views definitely made it worthwhile!

You can see the sea to the left, and there were mountains in all directions, half of them coated in beautiful snow.

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The forest was beautiful, a really really nice walk.

This was Sasha’s first walk through an actual wood, and to the right of the path there’s a quarry…the fencing was very impressive and there were easily over 50 signs on the trail warning people of the danger!

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My new ski goggles are INCREDIBLE btw, lighter lenses, ventilation so no fogging and v.comfy!

It was an incredibly beautiful walk and so exciting to be hiking again and exploring somewhere new. Honestly my happiest day out in a long time πŸ™‚

Oh the derp face πŸ˜„

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Following the path back we’d turned a little early, so sat at the top of the hill soaking up the spectacular views – much better than just waiting at the bus stop πŸ™‚

I actually had a seizure up there and my partner was incredulous when I started climbing back up – “No! What are you doing?! Get down!” Me, “Nooo! I’m not letting my seizures ruin my fun..” Him, “Oh for god’s sake, GET DOWN! You really are the worst person to have seizures!” Me, *hysterical laughter* πŸ˜„

Sasha was unimpressed and kept trying to tell me I was off through the fence too, bless her!!

Look at this creepy skull tree! It was a totally natural formation, and I walked past it once without spotting it πŸ™‚

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The fields heading to the sheep had a very polite message asking owners to keep dogs on leads.

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So…that was our walk!

I must have been very annoying on it, as I just kept telling my partner how lovely and special this day was. We had such a lovely time though, squidgey cuddles at the top of the hill and lots of laughing. Just what we needed after this week ^__^