I am pleased to announce that Riley is free of the crate for the majority of her time!  She got the go-ahead from her surgeon this morning to be out of her crate while I’m home and just be crated when we’re away.  She still has to go potty on the leash, but she can roam around the house and jump on the furniture.

Dr. Dassler said that her leg looked great on her X-rays and that she’s healed up enough that he doesn’t worry about her undoing anything they did in surgery (which is good since she and Chloe have been going nutso playing…) and that her bone is healed up enough that he could actually remove the plate and screws in her leg and she’d be fine.  No worries, she’s not getting her plate and screws removed…he was just making a point.

Look how much fur has grown back in on her hind leg!
He said she’s sitting well with it (usually they tend to splay their injured leg out to the side, but she’s sitting with hers underneath her like a normal dog) and she’s walking on it very well.  She’s free to climb the stairs and can jump on the couch, she just isn’t allowed to chase squirrels or birds for another month or so.
She’ll be getting three 5-minute walks a day for the next 5 days, then three 10-minute walks for 5 more days, then 15-minute, then 20-minute until we work up to 30 minute walks.  No more physical therapy–the walks will be enough therapy.  Then after 30 days, she can be off-leash in the backyard.
Oh, it also says on the paper they gave me that I “have done an excellent job with all of Riley’s nursing needs.”  Thank goodness.  Phew!  🙂  I forgot to ask for a copy of her X-rays…in fact, I didn’t even see her X-rays, he just told us all about how well she had recovered.
Let the party begin!!

Last Day of Crate Rest!!!!!!!!!!

Today is (hopefully) Riley’s last full day of crate rest!  Hooray!  I can’t believe we’ve made it 8 weeks post-op!  Her follow-up appointment with X-rays is tomorrow morning at 9:00.  I’m hoping they’ll be able to take the X-rays without sedating her (if they have to sedate her, I have to leave her there for most of the day…), but who am I kidding…they’ll probably sedate her because she acts like she’s had a lobotomy or something when she goes to the vet!!  🙂  So say a little prayer that she doesn’t act too silly tomorrow and can have her X-rays done without sedation.  I mean, really, how hard is it to keep a young cattle dog still for a few seconds???  😉

With all this surgery/crate rest this year, I didn’t have time to sign Riley up for the dog Christmas Card Exchange that we did last year.  And I definitely didn’t have time to send out cards!  (Even though I got a nice professional shot of her in her Christmas bandana back in June…).  So we were surprised to get two Christmas cards from our bloggie friends in the mail yesterday!  We got one from our good friend Hound Girl and one from our friend Miss Barbara at If I Didn’t Have a Sense of Humor.  If you are living under a rock and haven’t read either of their blogs, check them out!  Hound Girl has Riley’s twin from another mother, Haylie, who also has hip dysplasia and is toy-obsessed and her brother, Fred, a Bloodhound, is training to be a Therapy Dog.  And Miss Barbara’s blog is just plain funny.  Enough said.

Haylie and Fred’s card.

Trixie, Minnie, and Jeep must have helped Miss Barbara out with her cards because Riley was most interested in sniffing their card!
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to post a crate-less picture of Riley!!  I just can’t wait to snuggle with her again and love on her.  I open the door to her crate and stick myself halfway in there to love on her right now, but it’ll be nice to do it without all the metal bars around!  🙂

Chloe’s Test Results

Okay, so I have the full story on Chloe (I actually have her medical record in front of me)…

Chloe had lost 3 pounds since when she was there a week or two ago–she now weighs 27 pounds.  There was a possible abdominal mass seen on Chloe’s X-ray.  The mass was confirmed with the ultrasound.  It was a large (about 4 to 5 cm) mass that is either displacing the spleen or is on the spleen.  Regardless, the spleen is enlarged and pushed to the side.  There was possible altered architecture of both kidneys (whatever that means).  She also had a somewhat thickened bladder wall and this is consistent with her recurrent urinary tract infections.  The vet is concerned about neoplasia (tumors) that could be causing immunosuppression that is contributing to the recurrent UTI’s.

Chloe’s bloodwork had slight elevations of alkaline phosphatase (ALK) and creatinine.  She also had moderate elevations in her globulins.  The vet said that globulins are proteins within the bloodstream and that “elevations in globulins may indicate the presence of certain diseases, including certain cancers.”  She said that it is possible that if there is any cancer present that it is affecting the immune system and causing the recurrent UTI’s.

Chloe was very out of it all last night but seems to be pretty much back to normal today.  Riley didn’t pester Chloe last night but she’s back to it today, so she must be able to sense that Chloe’s feeling a bit better.  The wild thing about all of this (the mass, the possible cancer) is that Chloe still runs around and plays with Riley and she still eats well, so that’s encouraging.

My dad got her an appointment with the veterinary internist/oncologist in Chesapeake (about 30 minutes away) for next Friday at 2:00.  So I guess we’ll know more about what is going on then.

Chloe at home last night…still a bit out of it.
Meanwhile, Riley is getting very excited about her visits to the nursing home and school this afternoon.  Okay, maybe she doesn’t even know she’s going, but I’m getting excited about them!  We’ll report on them over the weekend.