Friday, August 4, 2017

Trials and Tribulations of a Dog and His Humans

This, sadly to say, is what our 8 month old puppy dog looks like today. He is not a happy camper, needless to say, which in turn has made us not too happy either. We, as his owners, are trying our best to keep his spirits up and to let him know that he is loved deeply. 

As smart as he is (and Goldendoodles are known for their intelligence) he has no idea of why this is on him and for what purpose it serves. We knew that our puppy was not going to be used to breed other puppies and as responsible dog owners, we had him neutered. Both of us knew that he would be wearing the 'Elizabethan collar' for a while to keep him from licking and harming his stitches. I think that the wearing it for 10 days is what hit us big time.

Ten days is a very long time. For my previous dogs, it just seemed to be an uncomfortable process to go through. Nothing too complicated. However, this was not the case with our Davis. 

The day of the surgery we dropped him off to his very loving vet, Dr. Taylor. About an hour later, she called us to tell us that she was going to need to make an extra incision because Davis had a testicle that had grown upwards. She explained that it is very crucial to get to it because it is a known cancer cause later in life. Of course, we said please take care of what needs to be done.

After surgery she called to tell us that the good news is that when she made the incision, the testicle was laying right there on top of his tummy and that she did not have to go searching for it. So all was done. We could pick him up at closing time.

Dr. Taylor was there and so was Davis, a little bit drowsy and still coming out of the surgery mode. He was happy to see us. She gave us the instructions on how to care for him until the stitches came out. We were given a pain pill for later and one to give for the next night. She did explain that if he started to act rambunctious on Thursday, to come back over to pick up some 'downers' to sedate him some. 

OH MY GOODNESS! Our puppy did not make it till Thursday. The first day after surgery (Wednesday at 8 A.M.) this fiesty little devil had eaten through the gauze that held on the cone around his head. He had escaped from the cone. Luckily, we were in the same room with him when I saw the cone laying on his bed after he had gnawed through the gauze.

We tried to get it back together and had so much trouble that I had to call the clinic. We were told to bring him back over and they would take care of it. The two of us loaded Davis back in the car to get it taken care of by his technician. She brought in one of the other vets, since Dr. Taylor was out of town, and he thought we should go ahead and take the sedatives home with us to avoid another trip. He said to start with a half one and that we could add another half if necessary.

Once we were home, Davis was clearly a bit agitated and would not settle down. We gave him 1/2 pill. An hour later, he had gone from totally agitated and pawing at his cone to maybe 90%. We chose to give him the other 1/2 pill. It took an hour for him to finally be settled some. It did not knock him out, only made him walk a little wobbly. It did help him not paw at his cone and sleep on and off some.

At bedtime, we gave him another 1/2 tablet. The night before, I was up each hour from 1:00 A.M. onward to peek around the corner and check on him. He was fine. I was sleepless! Dozing between the hours. Finally, I heard him with his cone hitting the sides of his crate at 7 A.M. and just got up. Steve was close behind.

When we got him out of his crate, we noticed that he had been eating away at the tabs on the cone. There was a very sharp piece of plastic that could stick him anywhere on his head if the cone was in the right position. Steve held him still while I snipped the sharp edges down. I really can't tell you how worried that I became. My stomach was in knots. Do I call the vet again? Do we just monitor? Do we knock him out with a whole sedative? (And I am sure that Steve's choice was to not only knock him out but to knock me out too.)

Truly, I was a basket care. I could not concentrate on anything. I was replaying the vet's words that each day would be better and the stitches would stop bothering him. He is young and they will heal quickly. Then all he has to deal with is the cone. (as if that is nothing!)

It took two hours before Davis was sedated and even then he was not stone-cold out. Steve gave him a bully stick and he worked on that all afternoon between a few little short dozes. When I saw that he was settling some, Steve talked me into going out and having a manicure to help settle myself some. Finally, I took him up on it. As usual, he was right, in that it was exactly what I needed.

When I returned home the two of them were just fine. Davis had settled and the two of us knew that as long as we kept the right amount of sedative in him, that he would not destroy the cone and hurt himself. The big fear that I had was that he would get to the stitches, therefore making us start the clock all over again with the cone-head.

As you can see, he was napping and resting and not as stressed. When he is not stressed, then I am better, therefore Steve gets a break. 

lt still seems like it will be a long week. I know one dog and two humans who can hardly wait until next Friday morning at 9:30 to get these stitches removed. Meanwhile, Davis has learned how to look even more pitiful so that he can be hand fed some of his favorite treats, such as blueberries and watermelon. He is one smart puppy dog and one that is loved very much!

There is a rather comical picture of a large German Shepherd that I found. He had to wear the cone and his owner got a bit overly creative and turned him into a dogtini. Even though I will admit that I laughed, my empathy for dogs who have to go through wearing the cone would never allow me to do such a thing to Davis, not even for a photo shoot.

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