We had a very aromatic evening – Daisy had her first poop at the very end of Day 3! We didn’t even know until the smell hit because she just remained lying there as it slid out (sorry to be so descriptive), but she panted like she was giving birth! We’re very relieved and hope things will start “moving” at a normal pace from now on, at least every other day. (I only wish it wasn’t so cold out so we could open windows when these aromatic treasures arrive at night!)
No calming music needed again today. The small, flattish pillow we put in the crate seems to be making a big difference in Daisy’s comfort level. She puts her head on it and her spine is level all the way through her neck. She appears to be very comfortable and almost always uses it; in fact, she’s starting to try new positions and we saw a little curl in her position today, both of which are very positive.
This morning she started to get a bit restless and whiny (but not the pained whining of two days ago), as well as shifting positions in the crate frequently. This always makes me nervous because of that lame back leg – I’m always afraid it will get caught in a crate opening (that happened yesterday) or she will twist it in just the wrong way and create another issue. I guess all that rest and sleep yesterday gave her more energy today!
Daisy licked us for the first time! She also perked her head and ears up when she heard the dishwasher beep – until now she wasn’t interested in anything, including a couple of loud noises from outdoors. AND – we heard the first little “bfffff” today! It was quiet, but it was there. 🙂
I saw Daisy move her left leg from the thigh this morning. We gave her a little thigh massage and manipulated the joints gently in that leg last night; after a few movements, she let us know it was enough. It’s so interesting to see the difference in her signals – when she wants the vet to stop doing something, she turns her head fast as if warning that a nip is imminent. With us, she either licks our hand in a particular way or gives us a soft look while pulling her leg away gently. Dogs are amazing communicators and I’m fascinated at how they treat those they know and trust differently from those they’re not very fond of.
Anyway, we’re going to continue the massage and movement a few times a day to see if that helps. This morning she was trying to rearrange herself in her crate, but her left leg was stuck way far out. She looked at it, seemed to think about it, and then I saw her pull it toward her with one quick movement. Very encouraging. I believe the thigh muscle will improve over time – what seems not to be working is from the joint down to her toes – the bottom half of the leg. I can’t tell if she has feeling in that section, but I’m sure we’ll find out more when we visit the neurosurgeon on the 21st.
Of course, there has to be a negative – the pee problem is back – we went way past the 24 hour mark with no new pee today, but we didn’t panic because she hadn’t drunk all that much water. But by night time, we had to try to make her go. We put her on the wee wee pad and tried to express her – all we got was crying. We took her out back with the sling, hoping her natural and usual pee environment would stimulate her – nothing. As a desperate final resort, DD carried her to her favorite fire hydrant, hoping the smells there would stir her – still nothing. Back down to the hospital at 10 PM, because 36 hours without peeing always seems to panic vets…which panics us.
And it wasn’t good – Daisy has the early signs of a UTI because she’s holding her pee too long. Yesterday’s big pee wasn’t a breakthrough after all, it was just that she had so much pee that she couldn’t hold it in, which wasn’t good. The vet couldn’t express her tonight either, she had to take a sonogram to find her bladder! She said Daisy’s resisting (her medical chart actually says “difficult to express”), and then when we take her to the vet she gets nervous, which tightens her muscles even further. It took effort for the vet to express her – they didn’t even get home until 11:30 PM. She said Daisy should be peeing twice a day, and if not, we have to bring her there to be expressed, even if it’s twice a day. Well, we can’t – we work. So night is the only time we can do it, which also isn’t good.
But the vet said she’s healing well otherwise and does have motor function in that left rear leg. We were given clearance to walk her a little bit outside to keep her muscles from atrophying and to get that left leg working again – and ultimately, of course, to get her to pee. Who’d have thought this would be our biggest challenge?!
One positive thing in all this pee madness – when DD and DH had her out back (everything is a two-person operation now), they encouraged her to walk forward and she did, using three legs and a little bit of her lame leg! A little bit is a start! Also, she was willing to walk forward instead of backward, like she did after the surgery, and she didn’t spin in circles either.
I never thought I’d be wishing for Santa to bring Pee Ability to Daisy for Christmas…