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jopfef
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Re: [Pets] Countdown time... AND SURGERY PICTURES!

Tigger and Pooh are crated tonight, pending Tigger's surgery tomorrow morning. Not the best picture in the world, but try taking one shooting through the front door of a crate! As an aside, I have four of these gigantic air kennels, and they have more than paid for themselves over the years. My 90-pound Yellow Lab fits in here with room to spare, so there is plenty of room for both of these little guys.




Dinner was served earlier at their usual location next to the pantry, and all the other critters were fed at the same time, so as not to cause any untoward animosity toward each other. Tigger can no longer have anything to eat or drink for the rest of the night, hence the empty water bowl in the crate. He and Pooh normally sleep crated, but were put up much earlier than usual tonight.

Tomorrow morning, I will rise much earlier than I usually do on my day off, and bundle Tigger into the car for the short ride into the city for his surgery. Surgery is scheduled for sometime after 9am, and I did call earlier this afternoon to confirm that everything is still set for tomorrow.

I am nervous, excited, and scared, all in one bundle. Nervous for Tigger's sake, excited because I get to watch the surgery, and scared because it IS major surgery and anything can happen.

I'll keep you posted on how things go tomorrow. In the meantime, keep your fingers and toes crossed that all goes well with Tigger's surgery.

And again, my heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you for all of your help in getting this done for Tigger!
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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Re: [Pets] Countdown time...

Waiting to hear good news ...


jopfef
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reply to jopfef
At Watson Road Vet Clinic right now.

Tigger had a mild sedative and another x-ray of his broken femur and hip joint. Basically, no changes from the original x-rays two months ago, except for a little more arthritic deterioration. On a VERY cool note, Dr. Zeis showed me the new x-ray on a big tablet!

Tigger is now being sedated, intubated, and prepped for surgery. Translated, he's getting a bad haircut! And surgically scrubbed. I think they're going to do the neuter and the dewclaw removal first, and then I get to watch the "head and neck" removal. It'll take some time for him to wake up after his surgery, and we'll go home later this afternoon.

More to follow soon!
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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Still waiting ... saw you pop in and disappear, had to check back to see if there is any news.


jopfef
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reply to jopfef
On my way back to pick up Tigger. Surgery went very well, and Dr. Zeis is very pleased with the results!

I'll have more shortly, after I get home with Tigger. And yes, I did take pictures.


sortofageek
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signmeuptoo
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reply to jopfef
Excellent, glad the sweetie is ok!


jopfef
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Re: [Pets] Countdown time... AND SURGERY PICTURES!

Okay, finally some time to get this updated! Sorry this took awhile, but Tigger has required some special care since he came home from the hospital. All he wanted to do last night was be held and rocked; he'd wake up and cry a bit, and then go back to sleep when I'd comfort him. Probably recovering from the anesthesia; been there, done that.

Tigger came through the surgery with flying colors! I stepped into the OR to watch, after Tigger had been neutered and had the little dangly dewclaw removed. Dr. Zeis clipped off the little dewclaw and cauterized the wound; looks like it was never there.

Step-by-step pictures. The surgery was really neat to watch! First, the incision, to open up access to Tigger's broken femur.




After poking around inside of Tigger's leg, Dr. Zeis brought out the hammer and chisel. His assistant turned Tigger's leg at the correct angle, so that Dr. Zeis could use the chisel to break off the broken femur head and neck from the good part of the femur.




Then he manipulated Tigger's leg until he had the hip joint located and properly positioned, which entailed moving Tigger's leg to an even more extreme position. Remember, at this point, the femur had already been disconnected, so this is strictly soft tissue being manipulated.




Once the hip joint was properly positioned, Dr. Zeis used the strangest looking pair of "plier-thingies" to remove the broken head of the femur from the hip joint.




I was totally surprised at how small the broken head and neck was, until I realized that Tigger is only 13 pounds.




And then he sewed Tigger up! Underlying tissues were sewed up with dissolvable sutures, and the skin was sewed back together with neon green sutures. Tigger is not quite "glow in the dark" with these things, but they do show up against his skin.




So there you have it! Tigger is either crated, or on a very short leash for very short walks to go potty, since he has to stay extremely limited in movement for the next month. Pooh has been very upset that he can't have access to his brother, so I figured out how to tie Tigger to the dog couch tonight. Now he can't jump off, but he can curl up with the rest of the dogs and with his brother and still be safe.




I'm also letting him have a little crate time with Pooh, but only if I'm here to supervise. If I'm not here, Tigger is in his small crate for his own safety. Four heavy towels deep, folded over, and very soft and comfy. A screw-on water bowl that he can access easily with his cone on, and he is pretty resolved to dealing with this now. When I get home, Pooh goes flying into the bedroom to check out Tigger's crate, and waits anxiously until I get Tigger out, so that he can make sure that his brother is okay.

Tigger is on both pain medication and a very strong antibiotic for the next ten days. In order to keep his tummy comfortable, I've cut back his kibble a little bit and have added brown rice to his diet, to keep him bulked up. Don't want him to have any problems at that end, since the antibiotic is so strong. On the way home tomorrow, I'm also going to get him some yogurt, to help keep his gut populated; hopefully, that will help too.

And on this happy note, I'm going to call it a night and go take a nap. If anyone has any questions, you know where to find me!
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


lonnyb
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reply to jopfef
Thank you for the pictures and the update. It looks like God has been at work fueled by our prayers.

Sleep well!
--
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Santa Fe
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reply to jopfef
Thank goodness everything turned out all right!
--
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sortofageek
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I wasn't being impatient, JoJo. I knew the little fellow was going to need your special brand of TLC. I also knew you would be doing an excellent job of that. Tigger and Pooh are so fortunate to have landed in your home and care.

I'm looking forward to the progress reports and little Tigger gets better and better.

Good job.
--
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Icarus
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said by sortofageek:

I wasn't being impatient, JoJo.

I was!

Glad the lil guy did well and is on the mend!


signmeuptoo
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reply to jopfef
I can't look at the photos (I'm squeamish), but so very glad for the good news!


sortofageek
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reply to jopfef
Jo ... sometime ... when you're not so busy, I need a little help understanding Tig's surgery process. Please help a surgery-challenged team mate.

This is what I understood.

1. Doc made incision, to open up access to Tigger's broken femur.

2. Doc poked around inside Tigger's leg.

3. Doc brought out hammer and chisel.

4. Assistant turned Tig's leg to the correct angle.

5. Doc used chisel to break off the broken femur head and neck from the good part of the femur.

6. Doc properly positioned the hip joint (at this point the femur was disconnected).

7. With the "plier-thingies," Doc removed the broken head of the femur from the hip joint.

8. Doc sewed Tigger up!

There is something missing for me between #6, where the femur was disconnected and #8, where the Vet did the sutures. The picture left in my mind is that he sewed Tigger up with a disconnected femur. I'm pretty certain that wasn't the case, but I keep reading it the same way.
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Santa Fe
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Can't help you there, I passed out after reading step 1!
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sortofageek
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I took the pictures out, TRAIN! I knew you were squeamish! Actually, I would probably still be that way if I hadn't raised four children.


jopfef
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reply to sortofageek
said by sortofageek:

Jo ... sometime ... when you're not so busy, I need a little help understanding Tig's surgery process. Please help a surgery-challenged team mate.

........

There is something missing for me between #6, where the femur was disconnected and #8, where the Vet did the sutures. The picture left in my mind is that he sewed Tigger up with a disconnected femur. I'm pretty certain that wasn't the case, but I keep reading it the same way.

Okay, let me explain. The fancy name for this surgery is a Femoral Head Ostectomy -- and you are right that Dr. Zeis left Tigger with a disconnected femur. And there is a really good reason for doing Tig's surgery that way.

Nature abhors a vacuum. In Tigger's case, as in the case of many small animals who have this type of surgery, removal of the offending parts allows Mother Nature to begin the process of creating what is known as an artificial joint. There is now a fair-sized gap, relatively speaking, between the femur and the hip joint. Once this area heals from the initial surgery, it will begin to fill in with a strong fibrous type of tissue known as granulation tissue. It's a tough, strong tissue; over time, it will fill in that area and replace that femur and joint that was removed by Dr. Zeis; instead of Tigger being "bone on bone" and having pain, he will have a joint made of fibrous tissue that will be pain-free. Part of the purpose of doing physical therapy for Tigger is to help direct the development of the granulation tissue, so that it develops correctly and fills in around both the femur and the hip joint. He also needs to re-develop the muscles needed to carry himself on that leg again; he has pretty severe atrophy right now. The good part is that it made the surgery go much easier, but the bad part is that it will take longer for Tig to get strong again. It takes a minimum of three months for the artificial joint to develop, and that's why Tigger has to stay really quiet for the first month after surgery. Need the femur to stay in place, so that the basic granulation tissue can form its initial connection with the hip, and then grow the artificial joint from there. Obviously, it's not going to be as strong as the original joint would have been, but it'll get Tigger back on all fours again. Of course, unlike his fat brother, Pooh, Tigger will always have to be kept at a proper weight to prevent any problems with his right-hind leg. (Pooh, by the way, is really looking good these days!)

Years ago, one of my Aunt's cats was walking around in the rafters of the barn. In one of his more insane moments, he decided to jump down into the stall with the stud colt, who promptly kicked him into the next county. That little cat had the same surgery the next morning, spent several months confined to the laundry room in the house, recovered beautifully, and was back in the rafters about six months later. However, he never did jump down into a stall again!

So, hopefully this will clarify things for you!
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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That's just amazing.


jopfef
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said by sortofageek:

That's just amazing.

Yep, it sure is.

That surgery has been done on small horses, ponies, large dogs, and with fairly good results for all of the above. Of course, the horses and ponies could never be ridden again, but if you wanted to keep said critter for a pet, it was a very viable option for getting rid of the pain.
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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This is actually the most amazing part to me:

Once this area heals from the initial surgery, it will begin to fill in with a strong fibrous type of tissue known as granulation tissue.

You call it "nature." I believe in a different reason, but we can both be amazed.
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Icarus
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reply to jopfef
Just me being impatient again......any updates on the lil guy Jo?


jopfef
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said by Icarus:

Just me being impatient again......any updates on the lil guy Jo?

Oh, hell yes, Icky!!!

Check out this picture of Tiggy's leg that I took tonight. Piled on the dog couch with a bunch of dogs, eating my dinner, and I just happened to look over and see this. This is the FIRST time ever that I have seen Tig stretch out that leg!!! HURRAY!!!!!!




I had to stay really quiet while I grabbed my phone to get this picture. I didn't want to get all excited and have him move, since I wanted to record this for posterity.

NOTE: That's Dusty in the background. He's my 9-year-old Mini-Doxie/Yorkie mix, all 9 pounds of him, and he is the perfect little gentleman. Goes everywhere with me, specially when I go on service calls. I tell everyone that he's my assistant.

And I just came in from the last potty before crate time for Tiggy and Pooh, and got another surprise! Tiggy stretched out to go pee, and stood on his right-hind leg while he was peeing!!! Another FIRST!!! HURRAY!!!!!!

Within the last 24-48 hours, I've also noticed a big difference in Tiggy's attitude. He wants to GO. Now. RIGHT now. And I think it's because he's not in pain anymore. I have to be really careful with him now, so that he doesn't get loose coming out of the crate and take off, and I'm keeping him on a 3-foot leash when he's outside for his very short walks. He wants to GO when he's outside too; not just a little potty walk, but lets GO for a real walk. And I can't do it, dammit. He has to stay quiet for a whole month after the surgery. At least he gets his social time up on the dog couch every evening, and that does help him. But he is feeling good, probably for the first time in a very long time, and I just want to let him run and play -- and can't. I know I have to be patient, but oh, I can't wait to see him all healed up and rolling free!

WHOA!!! LOL!!! I just thought of something really funny! It's St. Patrick's Day now -- and Tiggy has neon green sutures!!!

--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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said by jopfef:

At least he gets his social time up on the dog sofa every evening, and that does help him.

Awwwwww, this is wonderful news. Our little critters don't have any way to understand when they hurt, but they bear it so much better than I would. And look how fast Tigger wants to just put it behind him and get on with life! That's awesome, Jo, and you're such a good nurse.

But we all knew you would be.

Did Jo just say sofa?
--
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jopfef
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said by sortofageek:

said by jopfef:

At least he gets his social time up on the dog sofa every evening, and that does help him.

Awwwwww, this is wonderful news. Our little critters don't have any way to understand when they hurt, but they bear it so much better than I would. And look how fast Tigger wants to just put it behind him and get on with life! That's awesome, Jo, and you're such a good nurse.

But we all knew you would be.

Did Jo just say sofa?

Trust me, Sunny. That thing is not, repeat, NOT, a sofa. No self-respecting sofa would look this bad -- LOL!!! It is DEFINITELY a couch, and a dog couch at that.

And NO, I didn't say "sofa". You did.
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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What was your dinner doing there unattended, Miss Jo?


jopfef
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My dinner was not unattended. There wouldn't have been anything left for me if it was unattended. There would also have been the dogfight from hell if my dinner was unattended.

I had to move quietly to get my phone out of my pocket to get that picture. Considering that Manny was in my lap trying to bribe me out of some of my dinner, getting the phone out without disruption took some very careful maneuvering.

It was well worth the effort!!!
--
"I can't save them all, but I sure as hell CAN help move them to safety." - Jo

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


sortofageek
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said by jopfef:

Piled on the dog couch with a bunch of dogs, eating my dinner, ...

OK, so they were eating your attended dinner then?
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Icarus
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said by jopfef:

It is DEFINITELY a couch, and a dog couch at that.

I knew that!


Santa Fe
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reply to jopfef
Well, all OUR sophisticated cats prefer SOFAS!!!
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PeteC2
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said by Santa Fe:

Well, all OUR sophisticated cats prefer SOFAS!!!

Everyone knows dogs prefer Barco-loungers!
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