Saturday, May 7, 2011

Post-Surgery Prepatory Measures and Loads of Drugs!

So if you have a dog that requires external fixator surgery, here is a list of what you need to prepare for when you bring your dog home after surgery:

1. A Confinement Plan:
  • An exercise pen just tall enough that your dog can stand in it but NOT jump up. You will also need plans to put a roof on it when your dog is feeling better (around 1-2 week mark) to prevent jumping. More on this in later posts.
  • A crate can work for a smaller dog, but you need to be careful that the fixator can't get stuck in the bars. More on this in later posts.
  • A small room (with no furniture to jump on /off) can work as well - the smaller, the better. Be careful of the flooring - nothing too slippery.
2. Lots of Q-tips, seriously go buy the 1,000 pack. No,  go buy four 1,000 packs! Congratulations - you are now the official new sponsor of Q-tips cotton swaps. The first two weeks, you will go through massive amounts of Q-tips to clean the fixator pins. Don't worry - this will decrease drastically by Week 3-4.

3. The biggest tube of Neosporin (or other Triple Antibiotic Ointment) that you can find.

4. Nice comfy padding for in the pen, crate, room. You don't want anything too high (like super-plush orthopedic beds) that they have to step up to get on/off; however, padding is definitely good.

5. Something to hide pills in (meat products, lunch meat, pill pockets, whatever works for your dog).

6. A method to keep your dog from licking. This depends on your dog's nose size. My dog has a freakishly long muzzle which makes this next to impossible. I would recommend an e-collar (clear if possible), a comfy cone, or a plastic muzzle with a lick/stool guard).

7. Social support. Seriously. Your dog is going to require a LOT of care. Make sure you get in touch with friends, family, roommates, etc. They are there to keep your spirits up, take shifts watching your dog initially, keep you sane and balanced in the long months ahead!

Day 4.5 Post-Surgery:

Today Taj feels much better! He is now barking and growling at noises again. He even let me sleep mostly through the night - I only had to get up once to help him reposition. I do make Taj wear the e-collar all night because he loves to lick his itchy pins!

Today Taj received a package from Becca and Jessie and their Pug-Pekingese Max. They sent yummy "Healthy Bones" and giant pill pockets for Taj's every 8-12 hour drug cocktail.

Taj's initial drug dosages (he's 58 lbs) are:
  • Rimadyl, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (100 mg)1/2 tablet with food every 12 hours (2 weeks)
  • Pepcid: (10 mg) 1 tablet as needed every 12 hours - give half an hour before the Rimadyl (2 weeks) 
  • Simplicef, antibiotic (200 mg) 1 tablet every 24 hours (1 week)
  • Tramadol, pain killer (50 mg) 1.5 - 2 tablets every 8 - 12 hours as needed for discomfort
VOSM also recommended that I give:
  • Dasuquin, a glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate supplement. Dasuquin is a joint health supplement that supports cartilage production and blocks enzymes that break down cartilage and create inflammation within the joint. This is the only veterinary joint supplement with clinical studies to support its efficacy. Dasuquin is 1 tablet every 12 hours for the first 4-6 weeks and then down to 1 tablet every 24 hours after that.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements (EPA and DHA) from marine sources are recommended. Taj actually does not do well on salmon oil, so I give him some cooked salmon once a week and add some sardines into his food once a week as well.
 I now officially run a mini dog pharmacy! Taj's leg looks a lot less swollen then it did Day 1 Post-Op. The pin sites all look good and clean. After I catch Taj licking, I do re-sterilize the pins that he's licked with the chlorhexidine.

Happy Saluki Drug-Induced Haze

I'd rather have those Texans send me Steak!

Posing with my Pill Pockets!
Chlorhexidine (Taj's pin cleaning solution)
Taj's brother Rumi being especially "concerned" about his health
These are NOT Tiffany bracelets!

1 comment:

  1. But they cost almost as much, as will the final bill tally at the end of his care.