Monday, July 10, 2017

Recovery: The First Month




It's been a month since Delilah's bilateral luxating patella surgery.  She's been recovering well.  In the past couple of weeks she's started using her hind legs.  When we first got home she'd only walk on her two front legs- this has resulted in a very muscular chest and forelegs.  She lost some muscle mass in her hind legs though so now we're trying to encourage her to use them again and increase her exercise.  Last week she was allowed to start going on short 10-15 long walks.  Something exciting about her walks is even though she's still a little stiff and sore, she's trotting along on all fours like a healthy dog, not hopping on three legs like she used to!  I also bought her a kiddie pool to play in.  It's rained so much that the pool filled to the top and actually became deep enough for her to swim in, so I think that was a good activity for her.  We have an appointment next week for a check up so I'll post an update after we find out how she's doing!


One day after surgery- not putting any weight on hind legs.
One month after surgery- front legs more muscular, hind legs less so.  Putting weight on all four now.

Someone got caught licking her stitches, so that someone got to wear a "cone of shame."

Trying to hunt a bird in her cone of shame.  The bird is utterly unconcerned.
First walk, two weeks after surgery.



Swimming in her kiddie pool. Yes, she is that small! XD


Monday, June 12, 2017

Post Surgery

Delilah's surgery for her luxating patellas went well.  We were able to take her home tonight.  She's exhausted and has been making these sad little whimpering noises.  Both of her legs are completely shaved and it looks like she has naked chicken legs.  I don't think she'll be getting off of her bed tonight.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer Fun

I've been pretty busy the past couple of weeks, but yesterday I finally got some time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather!  I went Stand Up Paddle Boarding for the first time with one of my friends, and didn't even fall off!  And then we had a fire at my house in my new fire pit and I got to spend some time with Delilah.

Last winter I had bought Delilah a sprinkler but didn't have a chance to use it.  We used it for the first time yesterday and she loved it!  At one point she picked it up and started running around the yard with it.




She was also very interested in the fire- she just kept staring at the smoke and chasing the ashes.  Considering her compulsive disorder, I think that might be something I should discourage, but I was able to call her away from the smoke and have her do other things like chew on a raw bone or do some tricks, so I let her chase the ash for a little bit while my friend was over.  And Delilah barked at my friend a little at first, but then settled down really quickly and went back to chewing on her bone and chasing the ashes.  She even came to sit by us at one point and didn't react!


Delilah's surgery for her luxating patellas is tomorrow.  It was supposed to be last week but there was a miscommunication from the clinic (they had called me to confirm the appointment, but never called to reschedule even though they thought that they had).  I'm really nervous but also very hopeful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Two Steps Closer

Yesterday I was approved for Care Credit and I made an appointment for a surgery consultation for Monday June 5th.  If all goes well at the consultation Delilah will be going straight into surgery that day.  I'm very nervous.  But we're now two steps closer to a more active and pain free life for Delilah.

For anyone not familiar with the blog, Delilah has bilateral Grade 3 Luxating Patellas.  That's a big reason why we stopped agility.  She sometimes has trouble with walks too.  She hops around a lot on three legs.  She's only about 2.5 years old, and if we don't do surgery her knees will probably get worse and she'll develop arthritis.  She will likely be having both knees done during surgery.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The AwkWalk

Through Meetup.com I discovered a support group for owners of fearful and reactive dogs.  They do group hikes that they call "AwkWalks" which are basically a structured group activity where you can practice training and counterconditioning your dog in a non judgmental environment.  Delilah and I went, and there was one other dog and owner, and then the organizer came without her dog.  Anyone's allowed with or without a dog, and the dogs wear color coded bandanas- blue if they're friendly and yellow if they need space.

Delilah did so well and the other dog was very lovely too (I actually know her from the daycare I work at).  It was really nice to be able to talk to other owners that face similar challenges with their dogs as me and Delilah.  We also talked about the different trainers we've worked with in the area and training classes we've done.  We're definitely looking forward to going on more of these hikes in the future!



Monday, May 8, 2017

Some Hiking Photos

Here are some photos I took of the hikes Delilah and I have been on over the past week.

Unfortunately this weekend looks like it's going to be too cold to hike (it's in the 40s right now!) but we were able to get a couple in at the beginning of the week.  We've seen plenty of signs of spring by now- lots of wild flowers are blooming.

I carry compressed air with me now to deter aggressive dogs, after Delilah almost got attacked a few weeks ago.  So far I have not had any more issues with off leash dogs.

Delilah's recall is going very well, a few times now I've called her off in the middle of chasing a bird or a leaf, which is pretty impressive considering how high her prey drive is.  I still don't trust her enough to be completely off leash, but she now has leash dragging privileges.









Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reactive Rover Graduate!

Last week Delilah graduated her Reactive Rover class!  I'm so proud of her, she tried so hard to focus and work during class, even when she got stressed or anxious.  She was such a good girl!  I'm really glad we took this class, it was so interesting and gave us a lot of ideas and exercises to work on.

I talked to the trainer after the last class and asked him if he thought she was ready to take "normal dog" classes.  I was specifically interested in his recall class.  He said she might not do well in the recall class because there are some points when the dogs are off leash in class and he wouldn't want her getting trampled by bigger dogs, but that he does drop in class that teach the same skills, just on leash, that he said she would do well in.  So we might end up doing those.  Or we might just go straight back to sports.


Obviously, before we do any more training, she going to need to get surgery for her knees.  She has grade 3 luxating patellas and they have been getting progressively worse.  So the next thing we're going to focus on with her is that. 

After, if surgery goes well, we may do private agility lessons with the goal of being able to take agility classes if she is able to handle that environment without getting too stressed or overwhelmed.  If surgery does not go as well as I hope, we may start taking some nose work classes instead.  There are a few classes in my area and I've heard it's a good, low key sport for anxious dogs.


So proud of Delilah!