Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Neurosurgeon Follow-up Visit (Day 16)

on December 21, 2015

Let’s get right to it – the neurosurgeon was thrilled with Daisy’s progress so far! Especially considering that she was in such iffy condition when we brought her home coupled with the fact that the surgeon had said we should only expect to see small improvements weekly, specifically NOT daily. BUT as you saw in this recovery journal, Daisy did make progress daily, and our little girl surprised even a highly experienced neurosurgeon.

The surgeon asked, “Can she walk a little for me?” DD put Daisy on the floor, and she tore across the room to run and hide behind me! I walked a little so Daisy would walk, and I must say, she put on her best show! The neurosurgeon was impressed with all of her progress. Still, Daisy has to have four more weeks of strict crate rest – we still have to carry her down to the curb to go potty, and no extended walks yet. But those four more weeks are shorter than were expected – it was supposed to be eight weeks of strict crate rest; two weeks were shaved off. 🙂

Her left rear leg did react to testing, which it wasn’t doing before the surgery. And that’s only after two weeks, so it will probably get even stronger and better over time.

AND – no more sling! We can take her on her short walks without using the sling at all – at this point it wasn’t holding her up anyway, it was just there in case she needed it and to give her confidence. Walking her and carrying her in and out will be much easier now.

And we can bathe Daisy and groom her – thank goodness! She’s getting a bit…::ahem::…scented these days…and her hair has gone wild without a trim!

LOOK AT THAT CRAZY BEARD!!

LOOK AT THAT CRAZY BEARD!!

That’s the good news – which is all the most important stuff anyway.

The medium news, which we can adjust to: no rough play, meaning no more tug-o-war, no more chasing toys, no more intense running – EVER. And while we can certainly eliminate those more high-powered activities, it’s going to be a battle getting Daisy to stop. Tug-o-war is her favorite game, and racing like a lunatic through the house is a favorite activity. We can ignore her prompts to play tug-o-war (though it’s hard not playing something with her that we know she loves, especially when she teases us with a toy), but how do we stop her from racing around? Maybe we’ll have to limit her to smaller areas of the house – lots of baby gates will be needed!

Also, though her incision is healing well, the surgeon said she seems to be having a bit of “suture reactivity”, meaning there are little bumps along the incision from the stitches under the skin (possibly an allergic reaction). It’s not bad, though, and we can put either Vitamin E or triple antibiotic cream on it to help it along. She said if we see little ends of stitches popping out through the incision anywhere, “just pull them out” – I think we’ll leave that to DH, he’s much better with icky stuff than we are! Hopefully we won’t have to deal with that anyway.

Peach fuzz is getting longer and softer, but doesn't this remind you of a fire break in the woods? :)

Peach fuzz is getting longer and softer, but doesn’t this remind you of a fire break in the woods? 🙂

The bad news: this could happen again. The surgeon said she’s seen dogs go through 2 or 3 disk surgeries in a lifetime, though it’s not common…but it can still happen. DD asked what we can do to prevent it, and the answer was “Nothing. If it happens again, it’s not your fault – this is a degenerative disk disease.” So while we will limit her activities, the surgeon said she could pop a disk just by stretching or walking off a curb. We’re praying it doesn’t happen again – mostly because we don’t want her going through that agony again, but also because our wallets can’t really handle any more expensive surgeries!

In my view, the good news far outweighs the bad news and the bad part may never happen anyway. So we’re happy, she’s happy, the surgeon is happy – our Christmas will be jolly! 😀

I got a good report from my surgeon - I'm a happy pup again! :D

I got a good report from my surgeon – I’m a happy pup again! 😀

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27 responses to “Canine Disk Surgery Recovery Journal – Neurosurgeon Follow-up Visit (Day 16)

  1. It’s wonderful to hear that your little girl is doing so well. Our Jolie Amie, a Standard Poodle, has arthritis in her spine so her vet told us no more jumping to catch a ball. Now I simply bowl it across the grass so she doesn’t have the oppertunity to jump. I know you folks will be able to modify her games and she will be her happy little self. Blessings to you all.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Thank you Charlotte! At least we have four weeks to figure out how to get her jumping under control when we enter the house – we’ll need it, she gets so excited! 🙂 That was a good way to replace Jolie Amie’s jumping when playing ball, and I’m sure she enjoys chasing it across the grass just as much.

  2. Barb says:

    The surgeon isn’t the only one who was well impressed with Daisy’s progress, we all are; she has improved far quicker than any of us thought she would. Well done Daisy, keep it up! You are all in for a jolly Christmas with one happy little girl.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      She sure has – we’ve been so happily surprised by her progress too! The neurosurgeon had painted a rather bleakish picture of Daisy’s recovery at first, especially with the possibility of paralysis, the necessity for us to watch her round-the-clock at first for bad post-op reactions, and the doctor’s expectation for a very slow recovery. We were so scared! But this little girl fooled us all, and am I ever glad she did! 😀

  3. KDKH says:

    great news!! I’d recommend a reputable animal communicator to discuss the running and rehab with Daisy. It couldn’t hurt and it could help a lot so that she understands what is going on. I recommend insightwithanimals.com. She works over the phone, has a degree in biology, and has worked as a vet tech before becoming an animal communicator full time.

  4. Debra says:

    I am sorry to hear that Daisy can’t resume some of her favorite play activities. I don’t know how you will ignore her promptings, but I would imagine lots of hugs will help! It’s wonderful know she’s doing so well, and we won’t even entertain the idea that this could return! What a wonderful Christmas gift! 🙂

  5. Fozziemum says:

    Way to go Daisy! We understand the restrictions and have to a smaller degree the same issue with Doc..he had a knee reco years ago now with arthritis as well he can pull up badly from running chasing jumping etc..being a fox terrier it is nigh on impossible to tell his terrier brain to not be so hyper..in summer we have found swimming after a toy to be a good non weight bearing exercise..but it is hard in winter..i am sure a doggie physio will help with a plan for Daisy..the main thing she heals without pushing herself…hoping and knowing now you should have a very Merry Christmas xxxx

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Sounds like Doc does have similar restrictions; a friend of mine had a Jack Russell Terrier, so I know what you mean about how terriers are hard to keep calm! A doctor did suggest water therapy for Daisy, but like you said, it’s winter, but even in summer we don’t have anywhere to let her swim. Wish we had a giant tub!

  6. Cupcake says:

    I knew the doctor would be shocked in a happy way about your progress, D. You hung in there and your family did all the right things for you. Courage up close, all the way around! I agree that all focus should be on the good stuff. The bad stuff WILL NOT happen anyway. ❤️❤️❤️

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  7. Daisy that’s the best christmas gift…. I’m so glad the surgeon had so much good news for you. It maybe is not easy to avoid tug of war and other sport events, but it’s doable… and we can look to a bright sky over havachon heaven :o)

  8. Fabulous report from the doctor, Daisy! We are so proud of you! *ear licks* Noodle

  9. Mary says:

    Horray!! That’s all the best news. Now you can relax a little, and enjoy her.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Absolutely! While she’s in the crate and feeling better, we know she’s safe. We see this as our “smooth sailing” period before we turn her loose on the world again! 😉

  10. She looks really good and it is good news. Keeping her from tearing around will be hard I bet. My hubby has a ruptured disc. He had symptoms around the time I was so sick in the hospital (maybe the pain was brought on by stress). By the time he got into the ortho surgeon he was pain free. The surgeon was surprised because it is a bad rupture. There will not be further treatment until or unless the pain returns. The surgeon’s advice was that he should just live his life because there was not much he could do to prevent it. It sounds like what you were told about Daisy except for no tugging or tearing around. 🙂

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Thanks Linda! Yes it will be hard to keep her on the calm side, I think we’ll have to resort to keeping her with us and using a lot of baby gates. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s ruptured disk, I had no idea that could be painless! I hope he stays pain-free, and yes definitely no more playing tug-o-war with him! 😉

  11. So happy about all this good news. Take a moment to enjoy that (and then go back to the real world of the medium and not so good news).

  12. FABULOUS!!!!!!! I got the same report on the “it could happen again at any time” too. I am just more careful with the jumping off of furniture and running. Thank goodness Anne never liked to play tugs. Our latest dilemma is that she has a bout of pancreatitis and colitis, not sure what brought it on except I had to change the rawhides we usually use. My poor poor baby. Loves to ‘our’ sweet little Daisy 🙂

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Oh no, your poor little girl! I’m sorry to hear Anne is going through that, I hope it all clears up soon. I’ve read where a change of just about anything in a dog’s diet, even chewies and snacks, can take a toll on them. They’ve become quite sensitive! Our paws are crossed that she feels better fast. xoxo

  13. Jodi Stone says:

    Good news there. I’m sure you’ll keep a good eye on her and she’ll do well.

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