Friday, September 2, 2011

Passing Time

Today marks five weeks since hock surgery with one more week to go.  The disappointment though is that Dr. G is on vacation next Friday so we have to go an extra weekend splinted.  Pooh!  But I am taking that Monday off so we can get final x-rays taken care of in the morning.

I really have no idea what to expect.  The bones should be knitted, but her hock will have been imobilized for over six weeks.  It will be interesting to see the range of motion and I hope it is not too painful.  We are so ready for some rehab.

The AKC Agility Invitational is in mid December and the vets believe that she should be more than ready for competition by then.  This event invites the Top 5 agility dogs of each breed for the year and it is in the nearby state of Florida so I really want to go.  I have earmarked an agility trial for late November as a prep trial... so much for having a whole season.  I just hope everything comes together as planned.
Overall, Riley has been positively wonderful.  She definitely has to be leashed or confined at all times, but she just does not complain about anything.  If she makes any noise, it is because she has to go outside.  Hopefully I have been making her time more bearable.  Should you find yourself in a similar situation, some of this might be helpful. 
Other than a chicken back for breakfast, Riley does not eat any of her meals from a bowl.  Dinner in a bowl is a waste of entertainment.  Most of the time, I mix her dinner with a dollop of yogurt, cottage cheese, canned dog food, canned pumpkin, and/or a raw egg and create a mixture to spoon into Kongs.
Mmmm, doesn't that look good?

I find that a cup of kibble + whatever you are adding = 4 stuffed medium sized Kongs.  Then I freeze the Kongs (so obviously you need to plan ahead if freezing).
Each Kong is served one at a time over the course of a couple of hours. 
Time to go off on a tangent.  I HATE peanut butter as a Kong stuffing and yet it continues to be the number one thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Kongs.  First, peanut butter does not rinse out.  So if your dog misses a spot, you have to scrub it out or it eventually grows mold.  Secondly, peanut butter is extremely high calorie at almost 100 calories per tablespoon.  I cannot think of anything worse to waste calories on when my dog is in a state of buring less calories than she normally does.  Third, it does not last long!
My only peanut butter exception is if I fill the Kong with dog food first and then use a butter knife to mix in a small amount of peanut butter.  It works for a special occasion, but this is not my go-to mixture for a convalescing hound.
I have also been twisting bits of kibble into rope toys.  It is a great way to encourage flossing!
One blessing is that the recovery period is happening during the hottest month of the year and I am taking full advantage of it.  I have been taking a small, stainless steel bowl and adding a dollop of yogurt, cottage cheese, or canned dog food and some water (I used juice from a watermelon a few times). 
I freeze it and then during the heat of the day, I take Riley outside in the sun and have her sunbath while she enjoys her frozen treat.  The great thing about getting her hot and panting for a short time is that it burns some of her excess energy.
Last but not least, we let Riley squeak really annoying toys since she does not destroy them and stays down most of the time.
Hopefully you will never have to bed rest a hound, but if you do, maybe some of these strategies will help you get through it.


Mad Red Hare said...

She is such a good sport! You have some greyt ideas for food/snacks there. Good ideas to keep a hound from getting too bored. Will be watching for the updates for sure!

gyeong said...

Looks like Riley has mastered the whole rehab thing. Hopefully she is dreaming of jumps and A-frames while napping after a tummy full of yogurt.

K-Koira said...

My only experience with long-term crate rest was a friend's dog after a broken leg (like, snapped clean in half type break, then screwed and pinned back together). They used massive amounts of Ace to dope the dog up so she couldn't get too riled up.
I think I like your way better, and while I hope I never have to use either method, I will for sure be trying your way first. (And for what its worth, I rarely use peanut butter to stuff kongs except occasionally as one ingredient in a mix-in for Kongs for when I have a long day at work and have to leave the dogs.)

Michelle said...

5 weeks has seemed to have gone by pretty quickly. Glad she continues to recover well. Looks like she is handling rehab with great stride. :)

Tammy said...

She is just an absolute doll!

Katie said...

Frozen Kongs are definitely the way to go during bed rest!

I'm glad she's been such a good patient. It is so hard to keep an athletic dog cooped up like that.

houndstooth said...

I've used Kongs, but I have to remember that rope toy trick if we ever have a dog on crate rest again. Ugh! I hate getting peanut butter out of Kongs!

Ximena said...

Is it pathetic that I'm totally envious of how many Kongs you have?


Elli rarely gets PB, only if I know I'm gonna be gone for over an hour. Like you, I mix canned + kibble most of the time, though I think she's got that figured out, too -- bounce it on the floor and it all comes out lol.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

I hope I never have to crate rest a dog to this degree too. But Riley seems to be making the best of things.

I've never actually used a kong to feed dogs. Frankie doesn't like PB at all and I'll give Beryl the jars to lick and that's about all she gets.

I like the rope toy idea. I'd be interested to see Beryl's reaction, somehow I think she'd lose interest if the kibble didn't fall out easily!

Just 1 long week to go!

Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

Fortunately Summit is the kind of dog who enjoys bed rest and bed rests himself about 18 hours out of a normal day. I don't know if that's his age starting to show or what. He also refuses to squeak toys of his own accord. Good to see that Riley is such a patient patient. And that she will be able to compete again soon!

royalcoonhounds said...

I hope I never have to rest a hound like this!! Although, the two I have now would be pretty easy. They are kinda lazy already.

I bulk freeze my kongs, sadly p-nut butter is one of Daisy's favorite flavors. So, I typically mix a little bit with yogurt or cottage cheese so she gets that flavor, but less calories.

Winnie said...

Really good tips there. I shall save those although hope I never need them.

Thanks also for your comment about commenting on my blog. I didn't know that 'embed under the blog post' setting made a difference...I have changed it to 'pop-up window'. Can you let me know sometime if that allows you to comment as 'you' now?

Love and licks, Winnie