Friday, June 29, 2007

Update 2.

Still doing well. Dr. Sparling will be sedating her shortly in order to insert a drain in her chest, and to remove the existing fluids. Hopefully this will help get the edema under control and we will have a problem-free weekend.


Crystal here.

Jaida's still in the capable hands of Dr. Sparling and his team, and is doing well. She is apparently resting nicely (although is demanding attention in her typical Jaida-esque way...loudly) and her pain is being managed very well...she's about a "2" on a scale of 10. She was released from her "cell" (just kidding) for a pee break this morning, but was too busy talking and visiting with everyone to do her business...she's such a social gal.

She continues to have fluid buildup. Some of it is leaking out through a part of the incision, but the rest is pooling in her chest/abdomen area (gravity is simply pulling it down). Her incision is being left uncovered for now, and is looking good.

Dr. Sparling is going to consult with his colleagues about Jaida's case and together they will determine the best course of action for terms of the fluid management, drainage, and bandaging. He mentioned the possibility that she may have a minor blood clotting disorder. Nothing serious, or she would have bled out during her surgeries, and her other incisions (spay, dewclaws) would not have healed as well as they did. In the meantime, I am happy that she is comfortable, resting, cooperative with her "staff", and in good spirits.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

She was home...for a while.

Here's our brave girl.

She's had a rough go of things. So have her mums.

She was very happy to go home yesterday, and walked herself out to the car. Getting her in the car was another story...she screamed. It is very hard to lift her without hurting her, but it's the only way to get her in and out of the car and up stairs. We are glad she's "only" 45lbs...

She was even more happy to be carried into the house, so happy to be home...big kisses for kim, tail wags for all the cats, and peed over my arm and onto my shoe as a display of her undying affection for Gracie. We got her settled in her old "play room", the downstairs bathroom, gave her some food and her meds, and settled in. Or tried to. She was, and continued to be, quite restless, having trouble finding a comfy place to settle down for any extended period of time.

We managed to get out for a bathroom break, then upstairs to bed...she settled reasonably well. But we awoke from a dead sleep with out hearts in our throats...the was screaming in pain. She had rolled onto her "bad" side and didn't seem to know how to roll back. Leapt of of bed, repositioned her, soothed her until she calmed down. Lots of heavy breathing and whining all night...and at least two more heart-lurching screaming episodes, only without an obvious reason for them. All we could do was wait it out.

She was in good spirits this morning, despite everything, and walked herself down the stairs and outside to go to the bathroom, but screamed after doing her business and refused to walk back into the house on her own.

Got her settled again in the house. She was calmer, but restless. I noticed that she had developed a firm bulge on her neck, under her duragesic patch (you can see it in the picture), then later another small bulge on her belly on the opposite side of the bandage. Another phone call to Dr. Sparling, and then another trip to the clinic ensued.

The bulges were buildups of fluid (blood mainly) from the surgery. Nothing life-threatening, but they needed to be drained. Dr. Sparling removed her bandage to see how things were looking under there, and drained the fluids. She handled it all very well.

The good news is, the incision is looking wonderful. HUGE, but really healthy and CLOSED, which is the most important part for me. It looks like a large backwards "L", about 7-8" in each direction, closed with sutures. I've looked at a LOT of incision pictures in the past few months, so this wasn't shocking to me. I was just happy to see the incision starting to heal well.

The crappy (well, sort of crappy) news is, we decided the best thing for her would be to stay at the hospital for a few more days. They will monitor the fluid buildup closely, perhaps put in a drain, rebandage her, and give her different pain medication. This will also give her the opportunity to stay calm and cats or mums or Gracies to cause distraction. This will give her mums a much-needed opportunity to breathe, let someone else take care of her for a while, and get some desperately-needed sleep. We will be better able to cope with the rest of her recovery if we are rested and clear-headed.

This is a whirlwind, and very trying. But we are fortunate to have a lot of people supporting us through this ordeal.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

She's o.k.

Dr. Sparling just called...Jaida is o.k.

The surgery went well, without complications. She is more sore than last time, as this type of surgery requires disturbing the brachial plexus nerve system (a biggie). Muscles have been repositioned to pad and protect this sensitive area. She has a large, inverted-Y-shaped incision. They are managing her pain well and monitoring her very closely. She will stay overnight, and will be monitored frequently. Hopefully she will come home with us tomorrow if all goes well.

Speaking for myself only (although I suspect Kim is feeling much the same)...I am shaking and exhausted...drained emotionally and is all I can do not to cry.

Thanks to Dr. Andrew Sparling, his surgical team, and all the other staff at Osgoode Veterinary Services who continue to be fully supportive throughout this ordeal.

Round two.

Crystal here.

Jaida went for a recheck at the vet's last night. Things were not good. Her incision had split open completely. It was weeping. Bone was visible. There was a serious risk of infection. We had to make an awful decision:

Jaida is having surgery this morning to remove the rest of her leg.

Although this procedure is much more invasive than the partial amputation, the wound should heal properly as there will be no moving parts to pull on the incision, and the incision will be flat against her sticky-outy parts to bump.

We are devastated. We feel terrible that she has to go through this. We are exhausted from a restless, sleepless, anxiety-filled night. We are emotionally drained.

We will keep you informed as soon as the vet calls.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I am still fabulous me.

Jaida here.

Life has been a tad weird for this oh-so-gorgeous gal lately.

My fabulously bendy boo-boo foot is now a foot.

A marvelous peanut-bump is now in it's place!!! I will admit, though, that my peanut-bump is not quite at the gorgeous state just yet. In fact, it is BALD and there are metal thingies and stringy thingies in it that my crafty teeth would like to examine a bit more closely, and it has a tendency to leak in a most unbecoming manner.

So, in order to ensure that my peanut-bump gets the glamourous reveal it deserves, moms are hiding it under t-shirts until it is up to par. I am not sure why they make me wear a CONE all the time. It keeps me from inspecting my peanut-bump for signs of its future fabulous-ness, how rude.

Also, despite my telling moms that I am FINE they will NOT let me play. Not outside, not with my cats, not with Gracie, not even with gentle Daisy. There have been no walks in the woods or mudpuddles. Only trips to see nice Dr. Sparling and his helper-doctors. It sucks.

But, I am getting lots of pets and belly rubs, and moms are carrying me everywhere, and I get lots of car rides (which I have now decided are actually as fun as Gracie claimed), and people keep giving me treats and cookies, and I get a lump of peanut butter twice a day, and I take lots of comfy naps. So I guess it's not all bad.

All of this to say, I am still fabulous, just a little less bendy, and I'm doing just fine.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Time heals all wounds?

Crystal here.

I think I'm more stressed about this than Jaida (or Kim...thank goodness one of us can stay calm in these situations). Jaida's arm has been "leaking" all week...not terribly alarming...but last night she pulled off her bandage, to reveal a large open wound where a bunch of stitches had "popped". We got back from the vets not long ago, with Jaida re-bandaged and 10 new staples in place to hold everything together.

She is taking a long time to heal, longer than "normal". It may be weeks until we are able to take out the sutures/staples or even take the bandage off and let things breathe a little bit. Her poor little immune system has already been through so's like her body is saying "give it a rest, already!". The good news is, there's no infection and the incision is clean and healthy so far. All we can do is take it a day at a time.

It's a bit hard (ok, a lot hard) to see her arm like this. I spent a fair bit of time awake, staring at the ceiling, and wondering if we did the right thing by trying to spare her upper arm for the prosthesis. But, my rational side tells me we've done everything right so far, and things could have gone flawlessly...there's no point in second guessing our decision. It's made, and we'll work with it until things change considerably. In the meantime, I permitted myself a good weep at the vet clinic while Jaida was in the treatment area getting fixed up.

On another note, a fellow amputee, Magic Crazy Bear the beautiful malamute girl, has passed away after a long courageous battle with bone cancer. She will be missed by everyone, especially her human, Peter, who loved her more than life itself.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Our little trooper.

Crystal here.

I had a quick moment to grab a computer, and wanted to let you all know how Jaida's doing 5 days post-op.

In a word, AWESOME!!! Doesn't she look great?
We couldn't be happier. She's happy, active (more than she should be), doesn't seem to be in pain, and looking wonderful. We took her home on Friday morning (earlier than we thought we would), and since then she hasn't looked back. It's honestly as if she has no idea that she just underwent major surgery.
We had a bit of a fright on Sunday, after she escaped from us and started wrestling with Gracie (sigh)...her stump started "leaking"...but after a few calls to the after-hours emergency vet, it was decided she'd be ok until her recheck the next morning. We got her bandages off, and things were looking good (the leaking was normal post-surgery fluid buildup escaping through a popped stitch). We're going to keep her bandaged for now, until the fluid subsides and she show a little less interest in licking her incisions.

We are still quite computer-less until next week, but rest assured that Jaida's happy, healthy and as gorgeous as ever.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's done!

And she's o.k.

Everything went well, no complications other than some trickiness because of the wonky way the bones at her elbow articulated...but things went smoothly.

She's awake and alert. More alert than the vet expected her to be at this point. She's on painkillers and antiobiotics, and they will keep her overnight so that she stays quiet and still. We get to take her home tomorrow.


We may not be able to update as regularly as we'd like to for the next week, as we will be playing "nurse" for a while, but we will make sure to post all the details once we get back.

For those of you who have been sending prayers, good vibes and happy thoughts our way: thank you, it's paid off :-)

Got the all-clear to go...

Crystal here.

Kim called with an update...Jaida's had her physical and bloodwork, and she's good to go for surgery within the hour. Dr. Sparling can hear some residual scarring in her lungs from the pneumonia, but not enough to cause him concern. He's going to remove her hind dewclaws too, while she's under. Poor baby is going to have THREE sore feet (or lack thereof) and a sore tummy from getting spayed. It seems like a lot, but it's better to have fewer rounds of anaesthetic because of her lungs. Better to get it all done at once.

She's at the vets.

Crystal here.

Kim and I dropped her off about an hour ago. We should hear from them this afternoon. We know she's going to be just fine, but that knowledge isn't helping the nervous mummy butterflies.

We'll update as soon as we hear from the clinic.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One more day.

Jaida here.

Moms are smelling a little nervous these days. I think it's because tomorrow is my SUR-GER-EE day with nice Dr. Sparling. Moms told me that's going to be when my boo-boo leg turns into a bye-bye leg.

Apparently I'm going to be sleeping through the whole thing, so I won't be able to offer my opinion (which I am NOT used to at all - I have a lot of very important and clever opinions about things), but I'm sure nice Dr. Sparling will do great and make sure I still look gorgeous (just a little less bonky and twisty and dangly).

I think moms are feeling a little scared, but I know things will be o.k. And I can tell they're a little sad, too, about the bye-bye boo-boo (it is, after all, a part of my cute-ness and special-ness). But I have PLENTY of other cute-ness-es about me, and the darn ol' thing is still getting in my way and getting bonked. I don't think I'm going to miss it that much.

Moms will let you all know tomorrow how I'm doing. Thanks for being part of my fan club!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Disappointment, decisions and...dirtyness :-)

Crystal here.

What a whirlwind. Friday: we arrived at the vet's office for Jaida's pre-op consultation, only to discover that a booking error had scheduled us in to see the WRONG VET!!! As much as we like Dr. Currie (she actually saw Jaida during her first two days and was great), she knew nothing of Jaida's amputation, the prosthesis option, or anything. She was able to show us an old orthotic support made for another client's dog, but didn't know much about it. It was really disappointing, and extremely hard to go home without answers to our questions and "the decision" still unresolved.

Our strong desire to get this monkey off our backs (plus a couple of cold beers) kept us talking for most of that evening, and we've made a decision:

Jaida will have a partial amputation, and we will have a prosthesis made for her after she heals. There. It's done.

We figure this way we will have provided Jaida with every opportunity, we will have explored and pursued all options, and the worst possible outcome would be another surgery and/or some money down the toilet if Jaida refuses to wear the device. If, however, it all works out, Jaida will have a new crutch that will slow or prevent wear on the joints of her good legs. The decision is made, so now we just have to deal with the pre-surgical nerves, of which there are plenty - eek.

So, with this out of the way, we threw ourselves into enjoying a beautiful, sunny, warm weekend with Jaida and Graice. Kim actually treated the girls to a "day out" before our vet appointment. They got a big, long car ride (Gracie's favourite, and Jaida even likes them now too), went to visit Kim's co-workers, then stopped at a pet store where Gracie spotted a bald guinea-pig she really wanted to *ahem* meet (maybe just have a little taste?). Then off to ANOTHER pet store where miss Jaida promptly selected a pig's ear from the shelf and headed for the door. This act of thievery was cute enough to score her some extra cookies from the cashier. On the way home from the vet, Gracie made friends with a construction worker who stopped us to allow some vehicles to pass. The woman leaned over to speak through the open car window, and was surprised by a very enthusiastic and very wet kiss from Gracie! The look on her face was priceless, but she was a good sport about Gracie's forwardness.

Saturday was glorious, so we started it off with a long walk in the woods....
...and, of course, MUD (what would a fun weekend be without mud?)... (there are hazards associated with closeup photography of boo-boo leg mudpuppies:) ...and we followed up the muddy fun with a nice dip in the creek... Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy a few more fun-filled days before the surgery this Thursday. Here is a portait of Jaida with all four legs, possibly one of the last we'll take:

It may sound strange, but we're so used to her little leg the way it is, and her with it...we're going to miss her little boo-boo foot.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fun and games.

Crystal here.

It's been a quiet week consisting of rain, rain, clouds, rain, and more rain. The girls have more or less been stuck inside, with the odd romp in the woods thrown in between showers. Gracie's pretty cool about having some low-key days (she, like her mums, appreciates a good nap and a little down time). Jaida, however, has a tendency to get beansy but knows how to keep herself entertained.

She has the most utterly ridiculous and hilarious moments of puppy craziness...dashing around the hardwood floors (which really do lend themselves to a certain degree of comedy when it comes to animals), legs flying everywhere, eyes rolling, crashing into tables and couches, ears back, big wide toothy grin and floppy tongue, squealing and panting and groaning and chasing anything that moves...when it's Gracie she's chasing there are usually some great stop-drop-and-barrel-rolls thrown into the mix when Gracie chases back.

Kim and I usually sit back and watch these episodes half-collapsed with the giggles...they're so frikin' cute and funny. We'll have to try to capture it on film some day...

As for Jaida's Journey, we're kind of in limbo right's a waiting game. Waiting for her pre-op appointment this Friday. Waiting until the final decision is made in terms of how we will proceed with her surgery and prosthesis (this aspect continues to be a bit of a roller-coaster ride). Waiting for the surgery itself. For the recovery period and everything that entails. For the time that she's feeling better and we can settle into a comfortable routine once again. It's a weird, quiet place to be...yet somehow whirling and frantic at the same time.

I think Kim and I are both determined to make "THE" decision this Friday during Jaida's pre-op . Personally, it's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to be involved with. Just when I think it's a no-brainer (one way or the other), I start second guessing everything again. Hopefully, with the guidance of Jaida's trusted veterinarian, Dr. Sparling, we'll be able conclude this particular chapter to everybody's satisfaction. We'll let you all know how things turn out.