Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Monday, May 29, 2017

11 weeks after cruciate surgery and cataract surgery this week!

my last post was just before I visited Veterinary Vision in Penrith, to see what the options were in terms of his sight.  It was a hard day (for me).  After an ultrasound scan and some tests I felt a bit overwhelmed, particularly as he seemed more confused than ever whilst we were there. I guess it wasn't surprising really, an hour or so in the car, unfamiliar place and unfamiliar smells.  I think I'd prayed for a magic answer, that with  an operation he would have his sight restored and we'd live happily ever after!  Life isn't ever quite that simple.  The vet did think the cataracts were operable, but with some degenerative vision loss thrown in, he may or may not get some or good sight back, and maybe for a short while.  I got some good advice, to go home and think about it!

That afternoon I took the opportunity to visit a rather wet Pooley Bridge where we had a stroll by the lake. The dog was so excited to paddle in the water, but it was breaking my heart that he would happily have run over a cliff edge to reach it had he not been on a short lead.  It was good to see him happy and excited though.

Over the week he did start to cope better around the house, and can now find his way round downstairs without hitting things too hard. The collar with cable tie antennas was good for the first few weeks, but he doesn't need it now.  He does get fed up though, refusing to leave his bed this morning for example, until he is bribed with food or told to move rather sternly. The only time he really livens up is when we are on the park, he still loves it there, and happily he is fine on the flexi lead now, so has a bit of a trot round playing with his plastic bone.

So on Thursday we head back to Penrith for surgery.  He has 5 antiobiotic drops a day in each eye for the 5 days prior to surgery.  He doesn't seem to mind that too much.  Aftercare doesn't sound too bad when compared to his cruciate surgery, just quiet time, a cone and drops.  We'll see how that goes but I think he is due some good luck, so fingers cross he will be able to see something next weekend!

His leg is great. Another week or so and it should be completely healed.  Over the past week he has been better on the stairs (closely supervised/helped) and climbed (with help) on the sofa this week. Obviously he can't be left on the sofa and has to be helped down.  If we get his eyesight sorted he sound have a fun summer!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

8 weeks after cruciate surgery and coping better with a blind dog

We passed the 8 week milestone a few days ago.  His leg is still looking good. There is no limping and completely weight bearing.  Walks are no problem at all and most days over the past week or so we have had at least one half hour trip to the park, albeit on the lead.  As with last year he has a little more supervised access out of the pen but that's an entirely different issue in terms of his eyesight.  Similarly, stairs are hard work. I am still using the sling for extra support but also to help stop him from a fall should he miss a step.  Stair gates are a must!

Of course his vision hasn't miraculously come back so our main challenge, and his, has been learning to cope with that.  I made some cable tie whiskers to attach to his collar which have been really helpful round the house.  It just gives him a split second warning he is going to bump in to something! Outside on the lead is better, especially in a big field with nothing to bump in to!  He happily carries a rubber bone round the park and we play 'find it' using smell and touch rather than sight.  It is impressive how quickly he is adapting but still not the same as being able to run free and cope with uneven surfaces and steps. 

On Monday we go for a consultation at a specialist Opthalmic Vets in Penrith. Looking forward to seeing if we have any surgical options.

Monday, May 01, 2017

6 weeks after cruciate surgery and learning to cope with a blind dog

And it was all going so well.  Recovery from TTA surgery has been fantastic.  Our walks are now up to 25 minutes three times a day.  His leg looks really good, so good you'd be hard pressed to know he was operated on less than two months ago.  He has returned to his upstairs bed, although he is supported with a sling up and down stairs, and the descent is hard work and needs lots of support and care.  We have had three trips to the park this weekend, which is great.

On the down side he has clearly found it increasingly hard to see since his first surgery.  I had thought it general clumsiness from time to time but in the past two weeks his eyesight has declined rapidly, to the extent that he cannot see things right in from of him, not even the rubber stick he carries round or his food bowl.  It has been a shock to say the least. His eyesight hasn't been perfect in a while but the speed at which he has lost it completely took us by surprise.  We noticed he banged in to things a little a few weeks ago, and he bobbed his head around when in his pen as if trying to work out where we were.  By mid week last week he couldn't even find his bowl when I put it down in the kitchen, rather than in his pen.

It's possible of course that his eyesight has been far worse than we thought for a while.  From what I've read dogs adapt well, and it is not uncommon for owners to think it happened suddenly. Perhaps with being penned for around 8 weeks now he has lost his mental footprint of the downstairs of the house. Having said that, at the end of January he was happily playing with his ball on the beach and in February very much alert to his surroundings before he tore his cruciate.  He seems in reasonable spirits though, and very much enjoys his walks.

Will be considering whether cataract surgery is an option over the next few weeks.  Having just gained another new leg it seems so cruel that he has lost his sight.  Hopefully we will be able to get him seeing again, and if not then we will just all have to adjust.  Heartbreaking though.