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…

Pixie, Rey & I feel ill

Today has been an awful seizure day 😦

I’ve had a few days just having spacey seizures, where I don’t feel too bad afterwards and come around fairly quick…today I had a BIGGIE.

I was home alone too, ugh. My partner was out toileting Rey and I don’t remember what happened but I was just about coming around when he got back and I’d dropped my laptop or it fell or whatever and damaged it uuuuugh.

Seizure was over an hour ago, possibly two, and I feel really really spacey and nauseous still and I don’t know if I’m going to have another…bleh. I’m tired too *yawn*

Ah well.

I had a lovely time with Pixie and Rey earlier. I love Rey to bits, he is such a gorgeous dog, like he is just so adorable and never minds anything. He’s constantly happy and his kisses are the cutest 🙂

If you missed our announcement in the previous post check it out too, mucho excitement! And I’m not gonna type much more because bleh, but these photos are too cute ^__^

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Pixie forces her way under his toy to get his attention on her hahahaha

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Her face!!!

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We all snuggled and chilled together 🙂

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God I feel so sick. I don’t want to have another seizure because my partner’s gone to get food and I am alone again…bloody hell. Zonked out brain, wake up and stop being stoop[id!!!

Oh oh I dropped glue on Pixie the other day and assumed it would just flake off…it didn’t and her gluey fur felt gross, so I snipped it off and look hahhaa 😀

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Moving towards a year with Rey

On the 25th of this month we will have had Raiden for an entire year.

In preparation for this momentous occasion we first bought toys and treats in (because duh!) and then turned our attention to making Rey look presentable.

Rey is a scruffy little sod, so this involved a lot of stripping!!

He started off looking like this:

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For our first trim we focused on his face.

I’ve been putting this off for a long time as I’d never stripped or trimmed his face before and imagined he was going to protest and we’d have to put months of counter conditioning in…should have known that Raiden’s a super star and so it was all over and done with in less than two minutes 🙂

Can you see how the top of his beard and above & below his eyes have been de-haired??

Tidying up underneath the beard to happen at a later date 😉

Next I spent ten minutes stripping down his back, neck and sides using the Mars Coat King.

It’s always hard to show how hairy his back is irl, so here’s a hairy photo:

And here he is now!

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That left his tail, belly, legs and under-beard to do, with three days to the deadline!

Over the next two days I stripped and trimmed his front legs, belly, side, and back legs. Raiden was *immense* with this; he had zero issues with my doing anything with him, and even when I held and trimmed around his paws (he doesn’t like having his paws held) he was grinning away whilst wondering what the hell I was doing 😀

By the 24th, today, he was starting to look very dapper indeed!

It’s immensely difficult to get photos showing him off because him and Pixie are always just a whirlwind of giddiness, but hopefully you can see the difference!!

I got most hair off his front legs and belly 🙂

And a before:

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Here’s the hair heap from one session:

Ideally we’ll get chance to tidy up his tail and around his face today, but if we don’t, at least he looks presentable now bwahaha 🙂

And…

TOMORROW IS REY DAY!!!!!!

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“A year of me?! Does this mean presents??”

We will be celebrating one year with our fuzzy little scruff-mutt 🙂 ❤

I remember bringing him home as if it was yesterday. It’s been a very turbulent year for us as a family, but throughout it all there’s been Raiden, a lively, intelligent, and confident dog.

At 1 year old he is essentially bomb proof. And sure, maybe he does get too excited in some situations, but I’d rather he was as happy-with-anything as he is than impeccably behaved yet anxious 😉

I guess it’s time to get wrapping the presents huh??

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY REY!

My little man is all grown up! ❤

I got to go on a lovely walk with Raiden today, and I was SO glad to see him on his first birthday 🙂

I gave him so much love and fuss and it was *such* a relief to see that he still loves me, and knows me, and he remembers all the tricks we’ve worked on and I picked him up and cuddled him and he covered me in kisses…you cannot understand how nice it all was!

Of course it was raining (after all, it’s officially summer now!) but we all had a blast ^__^

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My little man had a whale of a time, he loooves bounding about in long wet grass and turns into a rabbit or a deer haha 😀

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I like this pic as well, my little sweetheart

And then on our way home, look who went wading now that he is a big brave adult pup! He was actually going so far in I thought he was gonna swim haha.

I need to wrap his gifts, but we probably won’t give him them today anyway – we’ll stretch out the festivities now that I’m going to be seeing him more, and spreading out his celebrations in little bits will be less stressful for Nyx.

Puppy training update!

I like to do sporadic posts about how Raiden’s progressing, so here it is.

Some days he’s fantastic and very responsive, and we often have those walks where instead of running about off lead he will just walk beside us and offer eye contact…Rey, GO HAVE FUN!!

With the onset of summer, smells and distractions have become more exciting to him though, and whereas him doing something ‘naughty’ used to be rare, it seems it’s a daily occurrence now.

He’s blown off recall once or twice for ‘incredible’ things, but the thing that’s getting to me at the moment is when we ask him to give us attention on lead; sometimes he completely blanks us and stares obstinately in the other direction, as if there’s something amazing over there.

He seems to think when we ask him to come to us on lead, it’s because there’s something really exciting up ahead – like how if we saw a dog we’d say “this way Rey!” so we don’t bump into them.

So now I’ll say “This way Rey!” in the usual upbeat manner, and if he’s being a jerk he’ll stop sniffing and stare ahead, desperately trying to see what we’re removing him from. Then I say “Rey, come on,” in a firmer tone, and after that I walk backwards, pulling the lead with me, until he turns and gives me attention.

The entire process is over in less than 5 seconds, and he gets a few seconds to make the choice of coming when asked…if he doesn’t, he gets left no choice 😛

It seems we’ve created this problem as now he thinks whenever we ask him to come to us / change direction on lead, it means there’s something up ahead…and it’s hard not to reinforce this thinking as in the daytime especially when we ask him to change direction, of course there’s going to be *something* he can look at, be it a person, bird, whatever.

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Testing out the camera on my new phone!

In amongst the crap moments there are some real gems though.

Just last night he was off lead in the pitch black on the beach, and a way behind us Raiden must have seen something and was doing his ‘I am so damn excited‘ yap-yap-yapping.

This has NEVER happened before on a walk other than when he has been playing with another dog. My guess is he saw a mouse or rabbit and lost his shit XD

Anyway, we let him yap for a while and then just as I was about to call him all went quiet, and we heard him panting his way towards us at top speed through the darkness – LOTS of treats for Rey!

He then went back to whatever it was and continued with his mad yapping. I was fine with that, he just did some bloody awesome engage-disengage!

I left it about a minute and then called him. I wasn’t really expecting him to come – when he’s so excited he’s doing non-stop yapping he’s completely over threshold – but our other option was to try locate him (shouldn’t be too hard haha) and then catch him!

Anyway I called him…and he came!

LOTS of treats, and then we released him to go back as a life reward too. Off he went.

This time the yapping was further away, so whatever it was was on the move. We left it a while longer then called, AND HE CAME AGAIN!

Lots and lots of treats, then I put him on lead and we walked on 🙂

We also had a crazy walk the other day where we happened to go to the field when there was a child’s football game on, the kids looked about 7 years old. The field was teeming with kids, coaches, parents and siblings – there was yelling, screaming, cheering, whistle blowing, everything.

Raiden did engage-disengage like a pro! I would loved to have filmed it, but didn’t want to seem like a weirdo 😉

As we were just past the field I whipped my camera out and filmed Rey remaining calm and doing some disengages.

We were just leaving the path right next to the football game, and then ahead of us there was also a handful of kids playing on a raised tarmacked area by the path. There was one adult and some kids, and two of the kids were riding a loud mini-quad bike. Raiden rocked it again 🙂

That video was from a few days ago.

Yesterday I tried something new for the first time, so I could have Raiden’s lead AND be able to dish out treats.

We’ve got the Hurtta training lead, we bought it after Bonnie’s owner posted a review and we got suckered in with how pretty it is and the fact that it has multiple D clips, which we love.

I’ve never used one of these leads as a hands-free belt before, so this was a first…I LOVED the experience though!!

I’ve walked Raiden on lead less than a dozen times in the 8 months we’ve had him. With rehoming Zoey it became my partner’s job to walk him as I was stuck in the house with Zoey, and then after that I didn’t have the knack and struggled to manage treats and lead.

Check this out 😉

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Since first trying this yesterday morning (I don’t know what made me think to do it, the idea just came to me) I’ve had three successful walks with Raiden now 😀

It’s incredibly easy to manage, although the fact he’s small and rarely pulls obviously helps.

I tend to have my right hand holding the lead at all times, loosely, just because otherwise I found the lead jerked Raiden a little with every step I took. It’s nice to know that I don’t *need* to hold the lead though, and that I can drop it at any point to deal with treats, pick Rey up etc.

I did have an issue with my treat bag preventing the rope from being able to turn and just generally getting in the way, but that was resolved when I moved the lead above the bag…problem sorted.

I really want my partner to try walking Rey like this, to see if he likes it too 😀

 

Yesterday’s nightmare walk

I was busy posting about adopting a very sick Flair the hedgehog yesterday, so I didn’t have time to tell you about another fun (!) walk with Rey.

First off, literally a few minutes out the door, we bumped into a stream of hikers on a narrow lane. They were 18-ish so being quite noisy.I snuck a photo of the group once they’d passed 😀

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Raiden was wonderful around them!

We had him tucked to the side but really let him make his own choices – he would alternate between offering eye contact with us, sitting, and walking close to the end of the lead (without pulling) and smiling and wagging as the hikers passed. He was so calm 🙂

We were off to a good start!

Now the reason I’ve had my camera with me on these walks is that the council has said that the horse I reported for charging & biting me several years ago (see photo below) is not a danger.

I’m not going to avoid several of our favourite walks any longer because of a bloody horse in a field.

If they’ve said it’s safe and won’t do anything, we’ll use the footpath taking my camera…if anything happens I’ll have evidence.

Yesterday there was just one horse in the field, and not the one that bit me. We walked through fine and explored some new fields with Rey; he did great!

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I filmed us walking past the horse on the way through, but on the way back my bloody camera ran out of battery!!

It takes great joy in going from full battery to none…and guess what?

The horse heard a truck driving a few fields over to feed some sheep. The horse got excited and began charging along the path to the gate, towards us, full speed.

We were about 10ft from the gate, my partner yelled “It’s heard that food truck, run for the gate!!” and we began running, with Rey.

I’m not exaggerating when I say we got through the kissing gate and closed it just as the horse got there, stamping and whineying.

It had its’ head stuck over the gate directly above Rey and was making noise. From all the panic / excitement Rey was over stimulated so he had a brief pull & yap, but I acted on auto-pilot and called him away for training He calmed down within seconds; I wish it was so easy for us!

I REALLY don’t like horses, it was extremely scary…and I am fuuuming I missed filming it >_<

It sucks after Rey was doing SO well around horses, I hope it doesn’t push us back…this was taken a few days ago 🙂

Anyway, video!

It’s short and not that exciting, because the battery ran out, but he’s very cute and calm for a new walk with new smells 🙂

After we left the horse field, within a minute we saw two dogs up ahead, and one we know is friendly but very excitable and reactive.

We called Raiden and picked him up to carry him past – we saw SIX dogs total walking separately within a few minutes!! And four of them we knew to be reactive / aggressive!

So we ended up carrying Rey for a little while, shoveling treats in his mouth (on his part he stayed almost totally calm), before putting him down and ending the walk.

Ah summer…and horses *rolls eyes*

Finally, quick vet update.

We phoned up & made an appt with the vet who has experience with exotic pets.

When I asked afterwards which vet it was, my partner said they hadn’t told him, so he rang back to ask…it was the head vet, who SUCKS with animals (he’s very rough & cold, he was the one who did Rey’s vaccinations).

We then phoned several other vets in the area to ask if they had any vets with exotic experience – although we’re fairly sure Flair just has a URI, we want a vet who knows their stuff!

A vet in the city who has really good reviews had a female vet in this afternoon who treats exotic pets (we were worried initially as the receptionist didn’t know what an African Pygmy hedgehog is!!).

So we booked an appt with her then phoned to cancel the one at our nearby surgery.

As he cancelled, the staff asked my partner where we were going, and then why we were using somewhere else. My partner replied “Well, we found out that the vet with exotic experience at this surgery is the head vet, and we’ve had quite a few poor experiences with him, where he’s handled our pets roughly.”

It was cool to give negative feedback though, and the receptionist left a shocked silence then said “thank you for your honesty” XD

Hopefully this vet we’re seeing will be good, and we can get Flair on the mend…it sucks we have to travel quite a ways with him (10 min train journey; 40 min walking both ways) but at least he’ll have a hot water bottle to keep warm!

 

 

 

Hellish walks

Had a serious walk from hell with Raiden today.

We had a really nice walk planned (mistake on a mild Saturday, right there) and almost immediately someone with a ESS started catching us. We were on a narrow lane with absolutely nowhere to get out the way, and we were so surprised we didn’t pick Raiden up.

This meant he stayed on the ground and got inordinately excited as the dog passed, something he hasn’t done in months – cue flailing, screaming and just overall ugh.

It was annoying and there was a dumb ass in a nearby garden being a douch, but once the dog was 3ft past us Raiden was walking away, doing sit, touch etc. He bounced back, but ugh.

We saw about half a dozen other dogs (all on lead so not a good idea to let Rey greet them) but we saw them all in advance (ish) and could at least pick him up in time. In our arms Raiden stayed calm and ate treats; we always put him down as soon as the dog has passed to do LAT stuffs.

Then, just as I’d run out of our high value treats because we’d bumped into so many damn dogs and children, a bloody stray dog comes running towards us down the main road!!

The dog was a Staffy and, concerned it was the aggressive one we know in the village, we quickly scooped Rey up…I shoved a babyfood-filled Blobber and cat kibble down his throat; he did well but it was a sucky situation.

And then as we got home our very elderly next door neighbour was just coming out the house – she likes to stand in the middle of the pavement, blocking everything & meaning we always have to walk on the busy road, and just stares at everyone.

So yes, fun it was not.

With all that in mind, here are some pics and trainingy videos from yesterday’s walk 😀

This video shows Raiden walking through a field of horses:

And here’s just general off lead fun time; he does a cool distracted recall and rocks around some very young kids at the end (I didn’t start filming until they’d already passed as I had my hands full!)

Photos:

And my favourites:

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