Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gracie's Home!

Grace came home last night, but we were both too exhausted from stress and pain (her leg, my tooth) to do much more than crash and sleep. Today, we both feel better.

Because a lot of people that I worked with at the EVC now work at the CARE Center, Grace saw some of her old friends, and met some new ones, too. Dr. Daniel and animal nurse Gloria were both there when I picked her up, and nurse Aimee ran her anesthesia the day before. Everybody commented on how good and sweet she was, naturally.

Depsite her many fans, Grace was eager to go home. Here she is, pulling the assistant across the waiting room, trying to get to me. I didn't have time to compose a photo, just aimed and shot, as you can tell.

It is always harder, seeing your own pet post-operatively than a patient. Grace whimpered as she climbed up into the back seat to leave, and again when she got out of the car. Back at the office, we loved on her and gave her treats, then put her in a cage up front for the rest of the afternoon. She ended up with her face in a back corner, and I had to turn her around so she could see out.

I don't know if you can tell, but she was a little distressed Friday afternoon. Her face, as well as her body position, shows her level of anxiety, especially compared to the more relaxed photos from Thursday's post. She wouldn't take her pills in Pill Pockets, so I had to force them into her. She wouldn't even eat a Trader Joe's chicken jerky strip, until I broke it into tiny pieces and hand-fed them to her, one by one. She just wasn't my Gracie, and it was breaking my heart.

When we got home, Holly had to sniff her all over, especially her leg, till Grace actually growled a little, totally out of character for her.

Today, she is not crying, is more interested in food, and is pulling me as I walk her around the yard on a leash. She made the rounds of the bird feeders with me when I filled them this afternoon. When we came back in, I had her lay down in the living room, in front of a space heater (which she loves) while I went to my computer room, but she wouldn't stay. She got up and followed me back here, and is laying in the sunbeam, keeping me company. That's more like her!

This is a typical posture for a dog 24 hours post-op cruciate surgery:

Actually, in Grace's case, I think it is a little better than average. Most dogs don't put the foot down for several days, and she is actually touching her toes to the ground, although not bearing any weight as yet. That's good. We don't want her to stress that healing joint just yet. In fact, we have 6 weeks of strict rest - leash walk for potty trips and that's all - before we can start any kind of rehab.

Wanna see my new digital SLR camera?

Grace's right rear leg after ACL surgery

Looks a lot like a Rottweiler leg, doesn't it? I had planned on using my income tax refund for a new and better camera, but instead I put it into Grace's surgery. Oh well, there's always next year for a new camera.

Here's a photo of a trip to Scotland:

Grace's left front leg after radiation therapy

How many legs does this dog have, and when will I be done paying for them?


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gracie is sure blessed to have a Momma that will forego trips and cameras for her welfare. I am glad to see Gracie is better and in good hands for recuperation.

Kathy said...

I'm glad you have Grace home now, and that she is on the mend. The only way I can get my shepherd mix to take pills is to grind them into powder and then put the powder into canned cat food. That was how I got her to take her New Year's tranquilizers.

Sara said...

Super news to hear that Gracie is doing so well and is home so that both of you can rest. Would you describe briefly what is done in an ACL repair ? Thanks !

KGMom said...

Yeah--Gracie is home, and healing.
Great pics showing the step by step recovery.

Julie Zickefoose said...


I so admire your forthrightness. You paint such an accurate picture of denial, and the dangers of knowing too much. Not many people would tell on themselves like you do. You're one of a kind.
I'm so glad Gracie had her surgery. She really looks so terrific for her age, what a sweet sweet dog. Good luck with the post-op leash walking--yuccch!

ncmountainwoman said...

Oh, I'm so glad you posted an update on Grace. I remember fixing rice and bits of chicken in broth to try to get protein in our dog after her ACL repair. She had no appetite at all for several days.

I remember sitting on the floor with her, just cuddling, my heart aching because she was in pain. And I didn't even have a bad tooth.

I do so hope Grace mends as well as our dog who was ready to be more active again long before the surgeon allowed her to. For the remaining six years of her life, she ran as well as before.

Here's hoping the best for Grace. And for you.

holly said...

Go Grace! Happy to hear she's home and on the mend, sorry to hear about your tooth. If they pass that rebate bill (haven't had a chance to read headlines or paper yet today), there's your new camera!

Tell Gracie that I could have done a better job waxing her legs than they did...:)

Susan Gets Native said...

I'm glad Gracie dear is home. It's tough to be the Mom. Hope your tooth is better, too!

Mary said...

I'm sure you agree she is more than worth a new SLR and a trip to Scotland. I'm so glad she's home and feeling better. She's in very good hands :o) We dog owners get all emotional, don't we?