Happy 7th Birthday Boo!

Today has been Kasper and my partner’s birthdays.

I’ve had a really shit day. My worst day for seizures in this seizure-heavy week. Loads of guilt about being ill and ruining the day (for my partner especially) and to top it off we did a walk with my partner’s parents, our first time seeing them in a year, and one of the first things they said was “I thought she was supposed to be well trained?” about Sasha.

This was because she was running about off lead having fun. Like, seriously? Way to make me feel like utter shit, I definitely haven’t been working my arse off for the past 6 months trying to give her any semblance of confidence and show her training is fun. I really wish I hadn’t been so out of it with seizures, I would’ve loved to have ‘responded’ 😛

I was really fucking proud of her on this walk too! She was confident around new people, did THREE seizure alerts on the walk, and held focus and did good whilst we stood about, my partner opened presents etc. For a teenage gobshite and a dog who is nervous with strangers, she rocked!

So, his comment crushed me. Really upset, and really ill at the time too. Bleh. Oh look, so badly trained -_-

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That’s his parents stood right behind Sasha here – look at her happy face!

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Opening presents

Anyway. Kasper had a good day at least.

The day started with his gifts arriving!! They weren’t due until the end of this week, so that was cool.

We got some treats going in the food dehydrator asap, but as we weren’t expecting it we hadn’t bought meat in, so apple slices, sweet potato chews, and potato ‘crisps’ will have to do!

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Alongside a food dehydrator, he got a new Sumo puzzle feeder (topped with a frozen treat to act as a ‘plug’!)

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And his final birthday gift, a new collar 🙂

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I wrote out a message to him 😉

Happy birthday, Boo!

And his final birthday good-ness was an off lead walk. Lots of tearing about like a crazy thing, chasing smells, some training, and even a paddle in his favourite pond. He LOVED it! Yeah, Boo had a good birthday alright 🙂

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Very quick Tolly update!

For her walk today she went to the football field. She was sprinting about like a loon, and the cutest thing? SHE AUTO SAT WHEN SHE CAME TO ME!!

One of the earliest things I teach puppies is an auto sit – get called to me, sit. Come to me unasked, sit. Unsure of something, sit. Toller hasn’t done any training or had chance to do an auto sit in 11 long weeks, so the fact she offered this was just so darn sweet. This dog guys, this dog ❤

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 🙂

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 to 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

Spud’s gonna be meeting my parents tomorrow. That will be nice for her 🙂

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 🙂

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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!

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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 😉 ).

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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  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 £70 front wheeled cart whilst we saved the £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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 ❤

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’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 🙂

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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!!