Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gates and "The Face"

Easton continues to move a little better every day. We give him short controlled walks and no running or jumping. He has this adorable habit of following our every move, which means up and down four flights of stairs 20-30 times a day. Now its only 3 or 4 times a day. These very functional doggy gates are wonderful. I do have to look at "The Face" several times a day. Don't know if I'll ever be immune, but I must stick with the plan.

He does come up to the bedroom for a good nights sleep. Dreaming and howling at imaginary fireworks, peddlers and/or mastodons. Yes, I said HOWLING. It scares the crap out of me at 2AM. I get up and pet him to see if he's OK, but he just wags his tail and turns over to dream again. "Geez Dad, quit waking me up". Sorry bud, I thought the alarm went off!

As you can see, Lady is watching over Easton, even when he wants to GO. It's OK Big Red, I'm just going to the garage for a minute.....really!

Goldens are such show-offs

A Portuguese production - the song is perfect, even though I can't understand the lyrics.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Easton update: feeling better, however....

The word came from our Vet late this week that "Easton needs surgery" to repair his right-rear ACL. We talked about the pros and cons of the different surgical options/techniques. The Vet clinic uses a visiting surgeon who has excellent results with (what I call) The fishing tackle technique. During Easton's most recent examination, our Vet encouraged us to research completely the subject of ACL injuries in dogs via the reams of information and opinions offered on the Internet. Here are a collection of interesting clinical descriptions and well thought out opinions on the subject.

Is surgery really necessary?
Drs Foster and Smith chime in
Video news report - surprisingly well done

First let me say; our Vet highly recommends the fishing tackle technique which the surgeon they use has had tremendous luck with over the many years they have been working together, servicing the needs of the clinic's patients. Our Vet has accumulated a massive amount of "trust capital" with us; caring for Cosmo, Devo, Lady and now Easton. We trust her implicitly. If and when Easton has surgery, her recommendation will be our course of action.

However, as I talked about in the previous post, Easton has been resting and only gets very focused and specific exercise (on-leash from the time he leaves the house, out the back avoiding stairs for shorter walks). This is to allow Easton a chance to heal and to get use to a more sedentary life, free of the impact and risks that originally injured him. We have two doggy gates on order to permanently block/control access to both sets of stairs. He just can't sprint up and down the stairs following our every move.

The good news is that he appears to have recovered to the point that he is not limping at all and walks exactly like he did the day we brought him home!! He likes to lead the way; and atypical of my normal dog walking disciplines, I let him! He has always occasionally scraped the tops of his right paw toenails as we walk. It is no better or no worse than on April 14th (our first walk together).

Bottom line: I don't want to put him under the knife unless his quality of life is severely threatened. We'll continue to watch him closely and will create an environment for him so that chances of further aggravation to his knee is as close to zero as humanly possible.

The Easton KNEE !

I feel like this every time I sit down to write!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Easton swims for his life

It's been over three weeks since Easton injured his right rear leg after being attacked by an off-leash dog. We were hoping that after a few sessions of swim therapy he could grow strong enough to heal, but that is not the case. A trip to the Vet last week brought a preliminary diagnoses of a torn/ruptured ACL. When our Vet first met and examined Easton a month ago, she thought there might be some minor soft tissue damage to his knee even though his range of motion was good and he was not limping. Since the day we got him, he has "drug" his right-rear paw, occasionally scraping the nails on the asphalt when we toddled around the neighborhood. It has become obvious to me that Easton has had a knee condition for some time now. The attack has made it worse, aggravating or even completing the tear of the soft tissue in his knee. We are expecting an opinion from the radiologist today or tomorrow.

Here is video from Easton's last session at Splash Dog Spa (it's really not fancy, just very well thought out). You'll see in the video, at times, Easton seems to swimming harder; because he is! Leigh Anne turns on the jets and Easton swims against a raging current. Let me tell you, it wears his baggy ass out! Plus, he gets a massage every 5 minutes or so. WOW. He just loves it. When I win the Lottery, we'll do it 5 times a week....ha, ha.

On the advice of our Vet, Easton has to go cold turkey!
NO toys
NO fetch
NO rough house - It's like we've done this all our lives. He is gentle, but tough!
NO dog park
NO more swimming for now - If he has surgery, he'll be swimming a lot for therapy.
Short, controlled walks
Less food (no weight gain allowed) - he is not overweight, but no chances taken!
....And, the toughest one - NO stairs (or at least minimum up-and-down). This one is just about killing him, because he needs to follow me EVERYWHERE. Both flights of stairs are blocked, but I let him come up to sleep with us at night.

When I know more about what the course of action is with Big Red, I'll let you all know. He is still a happy-go-lucky boy who doesn't seem to realize he could be seriously injured. I'm trying to teach him how to play laying on his back. He doesn't get it yet, but I see signs he is starting to relax and let it flow.
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