Before & after amputation: week 1

Before amputation, we considered many things to try help Toller, from a wheelchair to the vets’ suggestions.

The vets refused to consider amputation for Tolly’s injury (every connective bone in her paw broken), as they wanted to keep her “whole”.

We were given two options, pushed by two different vets.

  1. Re-wiring surgery

This is an invasive surgery where wires are used to attach her bones back together.

This was pushed by the head vet at the surgery when we went to collect Tolly after her first x-ray. The head vet brought Tolly in, passed her over saying “So you know what she’s done, yes? Broken every bone connecting her toes, silly little girl!” (uhuh, because being run into by a much larger dog running full speed makes HER silly?!?!), “You really must do the rewiring surgery, you’ll need to sort that out as soon as possible.”

That was all the advice given to us when we collected Tolly after her x-ray. We were with this awful for woman for less than two minutes, and later found out they’d charged us a consultation fee (£38 I think) for that!!

I spent quite some time researching this surgery, and everything I read was extremely negative. There was no way of knowing how effective it would be, recovery was a long arduous process, and there was a high chance of complications and further surgeries needed.

Just no.

2. Splints and crate rest

Toller has 6-8 weeks strict crate rest, and her paw is splinted to allow it to heal in the correct position.

This was pushed by the second vet we saw, who told us not to opt for the surgery because she thought Tolly would make a full recovery with crate rest, to the point where she could go on walks, be active, and you ‘wouldn’t even be able to tell’ that paw had ever been injured.

With both vets refusing to even consider amputation, we went with the second vets’ opinion. Unfortunately none of the vets could put a splint on properly; the first fell off in less than 4 hours, the second after a few days, and so the vet said to leave her bare and she would heal just as well.

Fast forward 11 weeks and Toller was absolutely miserable; she’d missed out on almost three months socialisation, training and exercise (5 months – 8 months old), she had been on very strict crate rest (the only time she walked was to go to the toilet), and she was so broken that we honestly wondered whether we should have her put to sleep.

When our vet declared Toller ‘fully recovered’, and where she basically still had to live a life of crate rest AND we could see the foot visibly getting worse, we started looking into other options.

Toller’s leg 5 weeks ago

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Toller’s leg 1.5 weeks ago

When we finally found a vet that would agree to amputate, Toller had the surgery in less than a week, and 24 hours after surgery she was walking. She is far more mobile now than she has been for the last 11 weeks 🙂

And, pictures speak a 1000 words, so here are some before photos.

When you look at her eyes and you see the misery, THAT is why we were considering having her PTS. That is no life for a 5-8 month old puppy to live, and it was *breaking* her.

And the difference. Look at her eyes, look at her smile!

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beforeandafter2

To anybody who is in a similar situation, here is my advice to you – DON’T GIVE UP.

You may need to see several different vets before you find one that listens. You will find vets that tell you to listen to the first vet, that say they need to ask “permission”…keep trucking, you will find your vet.

Make sure you do your research, so you can spot when a vet is lying or doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Research your pup’s injury, the treatment the vet is recommending, and know your shit when it comes to amputation. The tripawds forum is amazing.

The more you push, the sooner your pup can be on the road to recovery!

Recovery from amputation is insanely speedy (Tolly is off pain meds, her amputation was 8 days ago) and your pup will be so much happier for it 🙂

Picking ourselves back up!

Admittedly we’ve had an AWFUL week (two weeks?) so yes, I broke when we found out Toller’s leg wasn’t as healed as we had hoped for.

BUT, I’m picking myself back up, my partner has been wodnerfully supportive, we have a plan and I think we can make it work 🙂

Things are improving. I’m tired and in physical pain, and mentally still a little fragile, but I haven’t cried today…which is a huge frickin’ achievement hahaha!!

So yes. We’re waiting on the basic £70 wheelchair to arrive (2-5th May) and I’m honestly so excited! Some of the reviews said the chest straps dug into their dog, so we will be padding those, and that it’s very cheaply made and won’t last long…but we’re aware of that. It’s hopefully just a temporary measure whilst we save and raise money for a custom chair, which we could get months down the line 🙂

Her fund jar!!

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Please check out her go fund me here!

We spoke with the head nurse of another surgery today, who agreed a wheelchair was a good way to go and that amputation should have been offered from the start. She was really lovely and reassuring, and we chatted to her for a good 20 minutes ^_^

Anywho. Pics of everyone 🙂

Kasper played PROPERLY with Sasha for the first time yesterday. As in fluid movements, play bows and chase. It was lovely!

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Puppy dog eyes!

Unfortunately in less than two minutes he’d gotten overly excited, which resulted in over-aggressive play and attempted humping. Immediate time out for Boo with a frozen apple puzzle feeder!

This apple was stuffed with peanut butter, wet dog food, and coconut oil 🙂

Speaking of frozen treats, ice cube treats are SO EASY to do!! And our three go barmy for them, I actually don’t know who loves them more…and they’re a perfect crate treat for Toller too! They come highly recommended from our pups and are so easy to make.

There are three varieties here: coconut oil, salmon oil and peanut butter, & salmon oil and wet dog food.

Sasha walk

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Tired pupper 🙂 You can see a little of my dog gear wall behind her too haha!

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Spudder playing with loo roll 🙂

Happy-ish days!

Tolly’s getting a wheelchair

So I’ve been crying non-stop these past few days. I’m hugely pissed at the vets, my heart is broken for Toller, and I knew that after the costs of her treatment thus far, we couldn’t afford £1500-2500 to amputate her leg.

So it was time to think up an alternative to improve her life.

And we discovered doggy wheelchairs!

For now we have ordered an extremely basic, standard (eg. not custom fit) front-wheeled cart that cost £70, and looks like this:

We’ll be trying that out whilst we wait to sort something for a custom cart. It’s due to arrive early next month.

Custom wheelchairs are incredibly expensive. We’re looking at £300-400 once we factor in custom builds and postage, especially as the one I keep getting directed to is based in America! If anyone wants to share or donate to Toller’s Go Fund Me, please do 🙂

Help get Tolly walking and wheeling

Why a wheelchair?

So basically where the vet has left us now, according to them, Tolly is fully healed. They don’t even want to see her again unless “we’re concerned”…uh yeah, after seeing her walk yesterday I’m fucking concerned!!!!!

What happened to her making a full recovery and the injury not even being visible?! What happened to her being able to go on walks like a normal dog?? Now you’re saying that’s not going to happen?!

At this point Spud has endured eight weeks of crate rest, and guys that is just bullshit 😦

She’s a completely different dog to before the accident; she’s miserable, she gets enjoyment from so little, and she’s anxious. It’s BULLSHIT. I’m so annoyed because I wanted to amputate that leg, but the vets persuaded me not to, they said it’d be fine…and it’s not.

With a wheelchair, she will be able to BE A DOG. She can run and explore immediately, no rehab, no worries about making her leg worse…the misery of crate rest will be over, and it’ll be SUCH an improvement on the vets proposed life of carrying and such limited walking.

I know she could have been happy as a tripawd, but with a wheelchair she can be a dog RIGHT NOW. No more rest, no more procedures. So that’s the way we’re going.

I’m exhausted and so stressed by all this, but I feel like we might have found a way to make my baby girl happy. Fingers crossed…

A day of tears

Yesterday was…fun -_-

It was the hardest day of this year so far, easy. Shitty things have been happening anyway and my mh has taken a dive this past week, but more than that was seeing Tolly walk for the first time.

I hadn’t seen her walk since before the accident, and all I’d been told was she was doing ‘great’. I saw her walk inside yesterday and her foot just looks AWFUL.

It’s twisted facing completely the wrong direction, the leg’s at a weird angle…it’s just heartbreaking and I immediately burst into tears. I was crying pretty much non-stop for the rest of the day, I’m talking huge floods of tears and just feeling hopeless.

I literally can’t be around Toller when she’s walking, I get hugely upset and then she gets upset. I need a few days to recover just being with her, because when I see her atm it makes me teary because I remember her foot and think of how she was before and I just cry and cry and cry.

The guilt is tearing me up and then I feel like shit because when I start getting sad she just looks so confused, poor little love.

I have a lovely little ‘feel like shit’ list atm.

  • Toller’s foot
  • Overwhelming guilt for my bf (this started due to the things I say when I’m seizurey, but spred to pretty much everything – it’s at the point now where when we’re cuddling and happy together, I get tearful, guilty and sad)
  • Feeling like / stressing that I don’t want to be with my bf and our relationship has run it’s course (due to overwhelming guilt and seizure rage)
  • Seizures and everything they bring; stress, tiredness, feeling physically ill etc
  • HUGE health fears that reduce me to tears on a daily basis
  • Depressive episode (thus making above points feel even worse) – thanks for choosing now to raise your ugly head, bipolar

This week has been rough in general, but yesterday took the cake.

-sigh- Oh well, here are some photos of little Puddy one enjoying seconds of her dinner yesterday.

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 🙂

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!!

Toller update – 2.5 weeks crate rest

I come bearing fantastic news…Spudder is doing GREAT 😀

She has done 2.5 weeks of crate rest (so this counts as week 3) and she has barely a limp!!!!

This is obviously more than we could EVER have hoped for, as the first two vets we saw said that even once fully recovered she would be lame, walking would hurt her etc.

The rewiring surgery that they pushed (hell, they were still pushing it as being crucial and trying to get us to put Tolly through it TWO DAYS AGO!) was only supposed to result in a little less lameness, and Tolly was still supposed to have a hugely significant limp.

Well guys, LOOK AT HER! 🙂

The only time she walks at all is to go to the toilet, as shown. Other than that she is crated (you may notice she is wearing her cone despite no splint, that is so she can’t turn around and move much in her crate!) or being held. And that’s it.

I’m so, SO, *so* pleased she is doing so well 😀 😀 😀

The saga of the vets continues…

Oh vets!

The vet cancelled on us twice (well sort of, they did cancel once, and we thought they’d cancelled another time as they phoned us ahead of our appt. When we answered the phone nobody was talking and when we tried ringing back over the next hour their phone wasn’t working – hence we thought the system was down and they were trying to cancel again), we cancelled the first appt and then had to cancel yesterday’s thanks to me. It wasn’t safe to leave me and I wasn’t well enough to go out.

The vets have taken to calling us daily. When my bf answered today, they started with “we’re just really worried about Tolly and that she’s in pain!” My partner was confused.

“What…? She’s not in pain. If she were in pain, we’d have brought her in. She’s fine.”

The vet then goes on to ask if the splint is off, and say they’d want to take it off by now (well this was NEVER explained by you, you made it out she’d need the splint on a minimum of 6 weeks!!!), and asked if we’d checked her leg for sores.

Partner: “I phoned up about five days ago to say the splint was off, and of course there’s no sores, we’d know.”

The vet says again they’re just worried for her…and then it all came out.

THEY’VE BEEN SO DESPERATELY PHONING BECAUSE THEY JUST WANTED TO PUSH THE RE-WIRING SURGERY!!!

They then started talking about where we could do it, when we could do it etc…how it needed doing asap, Toller *needed* it doing to have any chance at recovery, blah blah blah. My partner was flabbergasted!

He calmly explained that we had no plans to put Toller through the re-wiring surgery, and that our research has shown not only is it a risky procedure, but it has a low rate of success and the chances of further procedures is extremely high. He finished by saying “we also had a second opinion from a different vet at your surgery who advised against the procedure for the same reasons as we’d found ourselves.”

Ugh. Not needed.

We’re going to call next week when the good vet is back from holiday, and will most likely go in to see her.