Sunday, July 7, 2013

FHO Day #18

When I decided we were going to go through with an FHO I knew that the recovery was going to be long and that it wasn't going to be easy. However, I can tell you that I truly wasn't prepared for how difficult it could be. I'm not whining, just trying to share a reality. When you read through other dog's stories, you know it's going to be hard, but I don't think it is possible to really prepare yourself for how hard it can really be. If you've never been through it you really don't know.

In some ways I think that a bi-lateral FHO [both hips] would almost be an easier recovery because the dog would not be able to "cheat" and use their good leg, because both legs would be equally matched and the dog would have to use them because they have no other choice. I think doing just one leg, which is all Seppel needed, makes things harder because it is very easy for him to cheat and use his good leg vs. his bad leg.

Like I've mentioned, progress has been about the same. I've read online of various methods that people have used to try to get their dogs to use the bad leg. Someone said they taped a bottle cap to the dog's good foot, someone else said they put a booty on the good foot and put a rock in, someone else said their vet said if the dog didn't use the bad leg they would wrap the good leg so the dog had to use the bad leg. Yesterday we had some free time at work [teehee] and tried the cap method and wrapping the foot in various ways. For Seppel none of these things really improved the use of the bad leg, and if they did, it was only initially while he was trying to figure out what the heck we had just put on his foot.

I've been swimming him now everyday. It's clear to me that he can go for longer than 5 minutes[and has gone for longer!], especially because he is a dog that really only propels himself with his front legs and doesn't do much kicking with the back. I am going to call Paws Aquatics this week and see about getting an appointment - the gal there said there were some exercises they could try, maybe I can pick their brains and we can see if there is a way to get him using the leg more. Hopefully I will be getting a pool soon for home and we can also experiment. I held him by his life vest the other day and that is when I noticed he doesn't kick with either back feet really at all... I do see some movement when he is headed for the ball, but it isn't nearly what you'd expect. AND I think he also will primarily only use the good leg if he is going to kick at all.

We went for a walk last night and I tracked it in runkeeper. It's about .7miles. He seems to manage this distance fine - tonight I think we will try for a full mile. Towards the end I do think he gets tired and MAYBE places more weight on the bad leg? It's hard to say.

I also have been letting him play with the hose the last too nights. I'm very careful about it and in some instances he will use the bad leg for support. When I put my finger on the end to make it shoot out further he will jump for the tip of the hose and will put some weight on the leg. I try to be careful as I don't want the leg to crumple and he will hurt himself, but we did little quick jumps where he puts some weight on the leg. I think this is exercise that needs to be done... only because it does get him using the leg a little bit more.

Needless to say, we're coming up on week 4 and this has been a long journey so far. I know that in a year we'll look back and this won't be such a big deal, but seeing it now, as the days go by it's hard not to worry about him.

So for anyone reading this and considering an FHO - it isn't easy. Sometimes the internet makes it seem like things go pretty smoothly, and they DO, but I am saying that this surgery is definitely full of ups and downs and it can be heart breaking when your dog is doing well, but not progressing.

So far Sepp continues to do well - but there hasn't been a big change in leg use at this time.

Lol, I love him!

1 comment:

  1. As you know Bindi's second surgery was not as planned, and she still favors her "good" leg that had the better surgery. You can barely tell, but if you know what to look for you can see she doesn't put as much weight on that leg as she should. I think you're right, having them both done would have been easier but also way more painful for him. But I often wished for the same reason that Bindi had gotten two TTA's or blown at the same time so she would be better at using her leg.

    All I can tell you is that yeah, it's unbelievably slow. Good days and bad days, progressions and regressions. With time and care, though, hopefully a year from now you will be surprised at how well he is doing and barely able to tell he had anything done. <3

    I know it's hard! Look me up if you ever need to vent.