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Sunny's Journey

Becoming a Tripawd at 13

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One Week!

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We made it!  We are now one week post surgery.  Today was a busy day for Sunny.  Last night he did not sleep all that well.  Sunny was up on and off all night and a result so was I.  I’m honestly not sure why this is at this point since I don’t think it is related to pain.  During the day he is able to sleep and doesn’t seem bothered so it only seems to be at the ideal times of between midnight and 4 am. Lucky us!

Today we had our first appointment at Georgia Veterinary Rehabilitation and Pain Management (GVR) with Dr. Bailey.  We really like that place.  One of our other dogs, Sweeney, went there following back surgery and it was amazing the difference it made in terms of his recovery.  Dr. Bailey said overall he looks like he is doing well on just three legs.  She gave us a list of exercises we can start at home now.  Starting in June he will go weekly to do some swimming.  The main goal there is to build up his core strength.  We may also try some acupuncture on his hips once he starts sleeping on both sides.  Currently he is not sleeping on the side where his leg was amputated.  At this point we mostly need to wait for his incision to continue healing  and the sutures to come out.  We are also starting him on two new homeopathic pain medications, one related to soft tissue pain and the other related to nerve pain, to see if that helps him in terms of sleeping at night.  Dr. Bailey suggested what we are seeing at night may be related to the tramadol.  We also discussed putting him on Gabapentin, however I’m personally not sure if we need to go that far.  Dr. Bailey told us she has seen dogs with similar behavior and Gabapentin has not helped where the homeopathic options have.  Thus, we will try them first.  Overall though, today’s visit was helpful in terms of gauging where Sunny is in his overall recovery and fitness.

Sunny relaxing at GVR.

Sunny relaxing at GVR while Dr. Bailey examines him.

Sunny also received mail today!  He will be sporting his new bandanna very soon. Currently he is sleeping since today was the most active day he has had since his surgery.  Thanks again to everyone at Tripawds!  You have been an invaluable resource.  Dr. Bailey also made sure to mention how awesome you guys are today and wanted to make sure I was aware of your site.

Sunny's mail.

Sunny’s mail.

Later tonight after dinner we will celebrate Sunny’s one week ampuversary with peanut butter Kong’s.  🙂


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Day Six

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Last night was definitely an improvement over the night before.  Sunny slept through most of the night and only got up once around 3 am.  I sat up with Sunny for about 30 minutes before he went back to sleep.  I mostly just spent that time petting Sunny and getting him to relax again.  His appetite has not been as good today, but I think we may be spoiling him a little too much with the variety of wet food that is not apart of his normal diet.  Sunny could be picky about his food prior to surgery so I’m sure all this great food afterwards has not helped in terms of his willingness to eat.  However, this may just be a new reality going forward.  He continues to drink water and his stool is once again formed, so for now I don’t think it is anything too concerning.  Sunny also seems to be doing better on his pain medications with minimal discomfort.

Sunny spent most of today in bed again resting which is what we want.  My personal schedule has become a little hectic as I’ve now started matching my work and sleep schedule to his.  Tomorrow will be his first day out since the surgery.

Sunny resting.

Sunny resting.

One Hop Forward, Two Hops Backwards

Last night was rough.  No way around it.  Sunny first got up around 1:30 am howling for some reason.  Thankfully a few pets later Sunny got comfortable again and went back sleep.  Unfortunately, he was up again at 3:30 am howling.  We tried going outside, having a drink a water, but nothing seemed to work.  Sunny couldn’t seem to get get comfortable and was panting so around 4:15 am I decided to give him his tramadol an hour early since the previous day we had been stretching it to 9 hours from 8.  About 15 minutes after getting his tramadol Sunny seemed to settle back down and slept a little.  When Pete got up for work just before 6 am Sunny went out, had some breakfast and got his second set of medication.  After this though he again seemed to find it difficult to get comfortable and was up and down/howling, etc. until around 9 am.  Since then thankfully he has been able to get comfortable and sleep.

With the exception of his panting/howling at 4:15 am I’m not sure any of this is necessarily related to pain.  Sunny tends to suffer from separation anxiety from us from time to time.  Sunny was the first dog we adopted after college.  We ended up with a second dog because Sunny would howl all day while we were at work and he was alone.  Once we got a second dog to keep him company that seemed to stop.  From time to time we still see it, but Sunny usually will stop howling once we come to where he is.  So I’m not sure what is now leading him to howl more even when we are right beside him.  Some of what I saw this morning may have been because Pete left to go to work.  I also think it is probably a combination of the surgery, recovery and his medications contributing to the increase we are seeing currently.

Sunny has spent most of the day in bed resting.  He has even showed very little interest in going outside.  Yesterday we noticed an increase in his activity so I think he may have over done it a little.  This may also explain the pain early this morning.  However, I’m happy to report he seems to be doing much better now.  He also seems to be getting better at navigating life on three legs.  I know we will probably continue to see this back and forth as he gets his strength back.  This afternoon for the first time he also ate from his food bowl on his own.  Previously we were bringing it to him or holding it up.  When he gets his e-collar off we will introduce his raised food bowls.  Right now they just prove too challenging.  In the photo below you can also see the bath mats we put down for him.

Can I please eat in peace dad?

Can I please eat in peace dad?

His incision and bruising continue to heal.  I think all and all this is probably as good as it can be doing right now.  He has been doing so well since coming home I have to remind myself that today is only day 5 since his surgery.  Sunny has been such a trooper I think we easily forge that.

Sunny incision as it continues to heal.

Sunny’s incision as it continues to heal.


Lazy Sunday

Last night was a good one for Sunny and for us.  He slept through the night and didn’t get up until 4 am when we woke him up to give him his tramadol.  Since he doesn’t seem to be in as much pain now we have extended the time in between doses to 9 hours just until tomorrow so we could get him on a schedule that would work with our work schedules.  Every time I thought for certain at the 8 hour mark he would show some sign that he needed it, but he was almost always asleep and or didn’t appear to be in any pain or discomfort.  Either way though, tomorrow we will go back to every 8 hours just to be safe.  He is also trying to walk a bit more, but it is obvious that between the new gait and the cone he still struggles from time to time.  I’m sure the long periods of inactivity, say 6 hours laying in bed, don’t help.  We have also started him back on his joint supplements (Wellactin and cosequin) in the hopes of helping him along.

At this point we are basically still catering to Sunny based on what he wants.  Tonight he didn’t seem as interested in eating as the past few days, however today I also tried giving him his full amount of food, so I guess it isn’t too surprising he didn’t want to eat it all.  We will just try again later when it is time for his carprofen which has to be taken with some food.  We probably also need to readjust the amount of food we give him based on his new weight/activity level just to make sure he doesn’t get overweight.

His surgical incision continues to look good.  His bruising is becoming darker and beginning to disappear in certain areas so I think he is well on his way to recovery.  That said, that also means he is a little more active than he has been the past few days.  Today we learned not to sit quickly so you don’t sit on your incision.  Normally he is very careful about sitting to make sure he sits on the side with his leg, but I think his sister trying to get onto the bed caused him to try and claim his spot faster than normal.  Honey is treating Sunny the same as she always did which is both good and bad since she is the alpha dog and always has to be in charge.  Sunny also learned you can’t just get up in run or you back leg may give out on you.  However, most of the day has been spent in bed laying on our Rumpl blanket.  For anyone who has dogs who like to sleep on your bed or for anyone who’s dog just went through surgery Sunny really seems to love it.  I think it has to do with the silky smooth feel against his body.  We love it because it is water/stain proof!  Sunny also decided it would be ok to sit halfway on his new dog bed today.  Baby steps…

Sunny relaxing.

Sunny relaxing.



Day Three

We are now on day 3 post amputation and Sunny continues to improve!  Last night he slept through most of the night.  He woke up around 3 am and was a little restless, but after a trip outside he settled down and went back to sleep again.  I actually think we are the ones who woke him up.  My husband got up because he didn’t hear me get up at 2 am to give Sunny his tramadol.

Sunny now has a predictable routine on his tramadol.  He is active the first hour after his pill and the last two hours before it is time for his next pill.  Otherwise, he tends to just lay in bed or sleep which is what we want right now.  We are going to start adjusting his tramadol schedule now so we can move his 2 am pill to 6 am.  Then we can give him his pills at 6 am when we get up, at 2 pm and then again at 10 pm before we go to bed.  We are hoping this will work better for us and him.  However, after last night I am optimistic that he will continue to sleep better with each passing night.

Today has been uneventful for the most part and I guess that is what we want.  Sunny has spent most of the day just laying in bed.  His incision also continues to improve.  For the most part he also seems to be moving faster and faster on three legs.  At one point today I asked Pete, “if he was that fast on four legs?”

Sunny resting in bed.

Sunny resting in bed.

I would also highly recommend the comfy cone for anyone who’s dog can’t be trusted to not wear an e-collar post-surgery.  It is easy to get on and off thanks to the velcro and Sunny seems to tolerate it much better than the traditional plastic ones.  You can also remove the three plastic rods and fold it back for when your dog needs to eat, etc. which makes it easier for them.  I also like that it can be cleaned and we can reuse it in the future since we have gone through several of the plastic ones over the years.

Here is to hoping the rest of today is uneventful…

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