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!

2 days after amputation

Toller is still doing great πŸ™‚

Her pain meds make her very sleepy, so we have to adjust how long she is out her crate. Usually it’s 20-40 minutes. Our vets seem to be really strict about crate rest after amputation (some places are much more lenient) so for now at least we’re following their advice.

This means Tolly’s still on crate rest at least until her check up on Monday. Eventually she’ll be spending time in the 42 inch crate we’ve set up as her play pen, and the next step is spending more time free in the house. At some point we’ll begin special exercises to strengthen her core muscles, and building her up to walks πŸ™‚

Spud’s gonna be meeting my parents tomorrow. That will be nice for her πŸ™‚

It’s Boo’s birthday in a few days, he’s going to be seven! Unfortunately his main birthday gift won’t arrive until a few days after (we forgot to order it with all the Tolly stuff, ooops!). He’s getting a food dehydrator so we can make all sorts of treats and chews for him, he’ll LOVE that!

We did order some new puzzle feeders which will arrive on his birthday though, so at least he has something.

Kasper’s had less walk as we prepped for Toller’s surgery. Once her amputation was done we got back into the swing of it, and he was SO HAPPY to have his walks!!

He might be seven, but he can still go as far as Sasha, and he SPRINTS everywhere vs her leisurely pace. He has crazy stamina and walking him is always such a joy.

Smiles all round πŸ™‚

happyboo4

happyboo2

And I’m going to do a training post/update for Sasha at some point. For now here are some photos from a very wet walk today!

longlegs3

longlegs2

And whilst we’re talking about wet dogs…check out Miss Sashie splashing through the sea on a hike the other day!!

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˜‰ ).

poorlytolly4

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

wheelchair4

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.

preop

Eeesh, that poor foot!!

preop1

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…

Please share Spud’s Go Fund Me!

If you can splatter this link anywhere and everywhere that would be really helpful:

https://www.gofundme.com/rescue-puppy-needs-leg-amputated

In a couple hours we have a vet appt to have Toller re-splinted, but we will not be discussing amputation then as we don’t know which vet it will be. The whole treatment from the vet has been just awful; we found out on the receipt they charged a Β£38 consultation fee for when we went to collect Tolly –Β the vet gave us no aftercare advice, didn’t tell us what to do next, and simply said “the other vet explained everything to you, didn’t she?”

We were totally unaware that counted as a consultation, and the fact they charged us Β£38 for it is beyond disgusting.Β 

My partner is going to discuss this with them later, and we will be asking to talk to our vet via phone to bring up the possibility of amputation.

We are also going to be calling other vets in our area, along with rescues in case they can help set up an emergency fund that more people will see, and we’re going to try find a teaching hospital as sometimes they apparently charge less for operations.

I’ve done a lot of research on amputation and have found an amazing resource of a ‘tripod’ (3 legged) pet forum.

There are several owners whose dogs suffered a similar injury and, like Tolly, their vets tried to repair the limb.

One person’s dog was fine for two years but then developed severe end-stage arthritis. This meant they needed an elbow replacement (she brought up amputation then and the vet refused), the elbow replacement led to a chronic infection, and then finally the leg was amputated. The dog is pain free now.

And another person’s dog had a similar break to Tolly which was allowed to heal, and again the dog needed amputation a few years later and had been living with pain for suspected all that time.

I’ve written out loads of info and questions for the vet (they are so gonna hate us…) asking all sorts. One thing we *need* to know is a) what is the prognosis with the surgery where they wire her bones, and b)Β what are the chances of repeat procedures.

The vets haven’t mentioned that to us AT ALL, we had no idea that there was even a possibility of a repeat procedure. Every person I have spoken to who has experience with this (including a vet nurse) has warned me that complications and repeat procedures run extremely high with an injury like this.Β The vets told us nothing.

I find this absolutely shameful.

The only thing they have said about this procedure, and that was done over the phone, was that “hopefully” it will help Tolly heal better than a splint would. Hopefully. And that she would still be lame afterwards, but ‘probably’ not as much as if we just used splints.

That is not good enough. For a surgery that would cost Β£1200-1600 and that is extremely invasive with a long recovery time, that is not good enough.

There are many reasons why amputation would be a better choice, but vets seem to be against this because it seems so drastic. My reasons are:

  • Amputation completely gets rid of the need for further repairing surgeries for the leg
  • Unlike either of the other two options, Tolly would be able to walk (without pain) and would be able to go on walks, interact with calm and similarly sized dogs, etc. She would get to be a dog much more than having a fourth lame, painful leg.
  • Although amputation is a huge procedure obviously, recovery tends to be faster and easier and the dog tends to bounce back and adjust very well

Please please continue to share Tolly’s fund and I will keep you as updated as possible.

Please share Toller’s go fund me

Hey all.

Well, Toller’s splint JUST FELL OFF. I kid you not, she was lying in my partner’s arms, still other than her jaws chewing a nylabone, and the splint plopped off into my lap.

I am beyond fuming. One of the treatment options the vets gave us was splinting, and it’s fallen off less than six hours after being put on. Toller hasn’t even touched it, we have paid such close attention to that.

Now we’re in the awful predicament of choosing whether to go to the emergency vet (different surgery, Β£100 not including treatment, splint etc – our vets charged Β£40 for the splint!!) or wait until tomorrow and take her back to our vets.

Toller is much happier with it off, and is cuddled in my partner’s arms asleep god bless her.

We are going back to our vets tomorrow morning, hoping they will not charge to re-splint her (we have her old splint to prove she did no damage) and to also bring up amputation with them.

Amputation is incredibly expensive so we have set up a go fund me campaign.

We feel that, with two treatment options that will leave Toller with lameness, pain and risk arthritis, amputation would eradicate that risk and mean Toller could enjoy walks. She’s a young dog, and should adapt very well to life on three legs.

If you could all share Toller’s go fund me everywhere you can, that would be incredibly helpful.

FUND TOLLER

I am absolutely exhausted. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, I don’t know if I’m thinking straight…I’m so mentally frazzled. And I can’t believe we will have to take my baby back to the vets again tomorrow. I only hope the good vet is working…