Monday, October 11, 2010

Your opinions, please!!!



We're so happy that Mika is home this afternoon. 
He looked good and was happy to be home.


The vet did some x-rays before and after the surgery, the post x-rays showed the bones aren't touching each other anymore so I hope that means everything is fixed from now on.

After the first surgery, Mika was advised to have a good rest for at least two weeks and what we could do to him were to walk him slowly on lead and tried to encourage him to use the injured leg. For the rest of the time, he was confined and not much movement he could make. When we went back for check-ups, the vet said Mika's muscle has started shrinking and that's the start of swimming.

While the vet found out that Mika was still refusing to use the injured leg, it came to the second x-rays which led to the second surgery as you all have already known.

Now, here is the question and I need your precious opinions urgently :-

After the second op, instead of being advised to give Mika a few weeks of cage rest or anything else,  the vet said Mika should start swimming 2 or 3 days after he is home as his muscle has shrunk badly these days (I think it could be due to he refused to use his leg previously and the swimming came a bit late as well).

It's completely unlike what we were advised from the first surgery. The vet suggested us to use some gauze and big plasters to cover the wound when Mika has the swim; he should swim for about 10 to 15 minutes twice a day in the beginning and slowly extend the time to 30 minutes twice a day. He thinks it's the best way for him to exercise his leg. Besides, Mika has Vit B and other meds to strengthen the muscles too.

A friend advised me that I should CAGE rest Mika for the first 2-3 weeks, not allow to run around at all, toilet on the lead. Later on, I can let him stay in a bigger cage but I really have to confine him and do not let him run/jump for 6-8 weeks.

I'm lost at the moment.
I don't know whether I should start to let Mika swim just a few days after the op or keep him confined and no exercise for the next 2 months. What if he has good rest but the muscle shrinks??? What if...and what if...?

What should I do now???



30 comments:

Kerry said...

Oh gosh, tough question! I don't know if I'm qualified to give an opinion, but here are some immediate concerns that come to mind:

Swimming is just inviting infection in... the plasters will help, but it only takes one little trickle to get in there... That's only an immediate concern though- once that wound heals up a little bit, I would think he should be fine.

Muscle atrohpy is a big deal though. I don't know how much time it takes to rebuild the muscle, and I don't know what percentage you'll get back. Maybe get a second (or third) opinion from a vet?

I don't agree with crating him for that long... that will guarantee almost no use of the leg whatsoever, and what pup is happy being crated for that long?! I really believe that happy pets(and people) heal faster.

Keep us updated! (I know you will!)

Sagira said...

Oh man...that is a tough question. Can you maybe call the vet that told you swimming is okay and just ask them to explain why the huge difference between what you were instructed to do the first time around?

Tank said...

I got conflicting advice like that too when I was talking to VETS about Tank's knee surgery. One VET said he should be kenneled for a month after surgery... another said he should start walking after the stitches come out (10-14 days post op.) I went with the 2nd VET... he said to let him walk as much as he wants to build up the muscle although it might take 2 months for him to put full weight on the bad leg.
If the same VET did both surgeries on Mika, I would definitely call and have him clarify his instructions.
Tank's Asst.

AC said...

I can't speak from dog experience, but I can speak from human experience. Doctors and physical therapists get humans moving quickly after joint surgeries. First, you have the problem of muscle atrophy. Even more of an issue is build up of scar tissue in the joint if it doesn't move around. If this happens, a person can lose a lot of range of motion and use from the joint in the future. The start of rehab might not be exercise that's completely weight-bearing, but it still gets the joint moving. Doctors use to bed rest patients after joint surgery and only more recently realized that this hindered healing.

Tanks advice sounds good. Perhaps asking for clarification from the vet?

I'm not sure what kind of exercise would be best for Mika, but I don't think that caged rest would be good for him.

Kathy said...

If your vet gives the thumbs up to exercise I would DEFINATELY do that, as a nurse .....it makes the healing much faster and especially if he has a lot of muscle atrophy, just be careful, watch him for signs of pain and go slow, but keep him moving if that is what the vet says, my opinion ;-).

George the Lad said...

I agree with want Ac says, plus I don't think he could be caged, unless he is used to being in one, and them only for short times. You could be starting problems!
If the op went well this time, paws crossed it did, you may find him walking better on it anyway, after a short time.
Jan x

Kathy said...

PS, the only thing I am unsure of is swimming that soon, seems like for the first few days some leash walking slowly, a couple of times a day would be better for the incision unless they have something on to protect the incision line....we used to get people with cesarean sections up and in the shower the next day but we covered their wounds with opsite that provides a waterproof barrier.

Patti and DeBoys said...

My immediate concerns with swimming before the stitches are out, go right along with Kerry.

Now, with our experience with the same surgery...Brutus was aloud to walk around the house while being supervised limiting the exercise to walking only while the stitches where still in. Once the wound had healed enough for the stitches to be removed his exercise gradually increased along with short swims. The only time we crated (confined him in a laundry room) him was when we weren't able to supervise his activities.

When he did start his swimming we did monitor his wound very closely...stitches where removed before beginning...then watched closely to not allow it to get to water logged. His swimming regiment was very similar to your vets recommendations once the stitches were removed.

Once the stitches were removed we allowed increased exercise gradually (first 2-3weeks) swimming, walking and stretching/message was what he was able to do. After the first month exercise increased progressively over the next few months allowing jogging, running and then finally jump-up onto couch.

We were lucky to have near us a certified Dog Acu-Massage Therapist which came to our house a couple times a month. And, our vet had a Physical Therapy Department that we where able to travel to once a month for evaluation of his progress. Providing us with homework -- new exercises and drills to work on.

So, with all that said...Please reconfirm the vets recommendations before you have Mika swim.

Happy said...

I don't really know anything bout all these, so I don't think I could give any good advices. But, if he's resting in his crate, do get him a kong toy or maybe he already had one? Put some soft treats inside, so that he wouldn't be so stressed out and bored while resting in it.
We hope Mika gets better real soon. We pray for him to get better everyday.

jen said...

I have been giving this some thought, and although the swimming that soon after a surgery does not seem routine, Mika's surgery was also not a rountine surgery not to mention a repeat surgery, maybe just call the vet for clairification.

Sara said...

It seems like you have gotten a lot of good advice. My dad had hip surgery last year, and I know they wanted him up and moving right away!

Go slow, increase the exercise gradually, and I think everything will be ok.

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

This is a tough one! If you can really protect his leg in the water (making sure he doesn't get the staples wet and all that), I'd start the swimming when the vet recommended. It's pretty hard to get the muscle back to normal after it's atrophied for too long. What I would do to ease my mind a bit is to call other vets, some in the area and some elsewhere - emergency vets, regular vets, all that. Explain the situation and his surgery and that you're concerned about the conflicting treatments.

Good luck! I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right choice for Mika.

Remington said...

My opinion is get those muscles moving so they can get strong! Done in moderation will be fine. And swimming won't do any damage like long walks and jumping would. Just my two cents worth....

houndstooth said...

I'd swim him some and try to keep him crated the rest of the time, or in a small ex-pen where he couldn't get around too much. Swimming is low-impact exercise and there's not much risk of injuring the bone while strengthening the muscle. If he overdoes things walking around and falls, he could really hurt himself is my guess. Plus, you don't want the muscles getting atrophied so that he can't get around any when the time comes for him to start using it again. I'd want him to gradually start moving around some, like to get up and get a drink or some food. But that's just me and I'm not a vet.

Yoda_the_Dog said...

Mom is giving advice based on people. She had both of her knees replaced 5 years ago and they have you up and walking the very next day. She also had a broken ankle and surgery many years ago with "no weight on the foot." Her leg muscles have never come back. She recommends you listen to the VET that did this surgery.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Glad to hear that Mika is home! But sorry about the confusing advice from the two different vets. I don't have any advice to give you but I do have lots of sympathy for your situation - there is nothing worse than wanting to do what is best for your dog but not having a concrete plan to follow. Lots of people wrote with great advice but I think I would get another vet's opinion before deciding what to do. Good luck and we're thinking about you!

Caren Gittleman said...

I am so happy Mika is home and wish I knew more to help you.

I agree with Ricky (above me) who suggested you get a second opinion.

I am wondering if it is because the BONES ARE NOT TOUCHING now (and they were before)....and because the muscle is shrinking? I agree with another person who said with physical therapy they usually want you moving right away.....

To me the best course of action is to get a second opinion....please let us know what you decided to do

The Thundering Herd said...

Not an expert and I certainly advise reconsulting with the vet - BUT, I would lean to exercise in a controlled way. Muscle strength is critical to joints.

Peggy Frezon said...

I hope the vet gave specific directions when you can resume activities, etc. Certainly does look like a smile on his face!

RYKER said...

If it were me I would put a capful of ASAP Silver Solution (google "ASAP Silver Solution") in the water to prevent infection of the wound promote healing. Do the swimming preferably in warm water to aid circulation and blood flow. The nice thing about swimming is the buoyancy effect taking the pressure off the area during exercise.
You also might want to get a second opinion from a canine orthopedic specialist and or Rehab specialist.
~Sandy
Oh, found this link to a site you might be interested in reading...
http://www.chicagocanine.com/pooch/poochhd.html

Ms. ~K said...

I agree with the idea of some kind of light exercise...

Mango said...

That is really confusing, but we think the swimming sounds good as long as he can get in and out of the pool without using his little leg.

I am dancing for joy that you are home, little guy.

Slobbers,
Mango

Noah said...

We are not vet's by a long shot. With Noah just having had his surgery 10 days ago, we were advised to limit him the first couple days and allow him to move about as much as he wanted afterwards. Keep in mind he wasn't using his leg for over a week prior to the surgery as well. He went today and they told us to gradually increase his walks. We have noticed that he is using the leg more, even when walking. A friend of ours had the same surgery on their dog (different vet) and was instructed to cage for two weeks. Every case is different I guess, but I believe this way was best for Noah.

Diana said...

I think he should be moving his leg and not on complete crate rest. Of course he needs to be crated when you arent working with him. My only problem with the swimming is the chance of infection. Usually they want you to wait for the incision to heal. Have you searched for an animal rehab place near you? But I do agree you need to keep him using his leg. Diana

Lola said...

Checking with the Vet is probably right. We tend to agree with that and also with everyone who said that doctors usually want humans to get moving as soon as possible. It's the "use it or lose it" principle, I think. Swimming is a safe way to use it so that probably is the best advice. It never hurts to double check, though.

lotsa licks, Lola

Hailey said...

we are so happy Mika is doing much better! In our opinion, we say he should be excersing the muscle now as the vet said. Otherwise, the muscle will become weak. Doing water aerobicts is not as hard on muscle as walking on the concrete floor is. When my mom injured her knee, they told her no walkine, but watercise was it!!

Hugs & smoochies! XOXO
Hailey

Piappies World said...

Hello there!
We are very happy to know that Mika is home and the surgery went well.

Piappies Mom thinks that following Dr. V.E.T. would be the best advise although, it would help if you let him address your concerns and worries as well.

Perhaps it would make Mika recover better if he works on the rebuilding of his leg muscle.

Hope this helps.

Love,
Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai & Wai-Max

Vonnie said...

Good to hear Mika is home! He is a handsome and happy looking wee dog!
I think if it was me, I would call someone who does Hydrotherapy to ask their specialist advise. The best way for the muscle to build id hydrothreapy. I would still cage rest him and take him outside to toliet on lead. If it is okay to put him in water before the wound has healed, I'd make sure it was well waterproofed.

the booker man said...

i'm so glad the surgery went well and that mika is home!
i definitely agree that the first thing you should do is clarify the post-op instructions with mika's vet.
i also agree with the others here who have mentioned that it's a good thing to get moving as soon as possible after surgery. i would be concerned about the possibility of infection with water on the incision site. maybe some very slow, light walking for a week until the incision has closed up somewhat and then move to the swimming?
definitely speak with mika's vet, though, and if you are still not satisfied, i'd seek a second opinion.
please keep us posted!

the booker man and asa's mama

Aksharaa said...

Hi Eva, So glad that Mika is back and has had a successful surgery.
Early mobilization is what is advised these days. Even after massive foot surgeries in humans, they are made to walk after the 1st 48 hours, though with support.
Swimming is very good, doesn't put extra weight on the joint but works the muscles.
but like the Bookerman's mum said, be careful about the wound. it should be dry at all cost. swimming will mean regular post swim dressing change.
and of course, a high protein diet is advisable to build up muscle mass.
please do talk to the vet about muscle building diet suppliments. u can of course give him home cooked low fat chicken.
Hope he gets well soon. Please keep us posted...
wags, Buddy n Ginger

 
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