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.