Saturday, March 5, 2016

What is this thing called "fun" that you speak of?

Yeah, I know. I haven't been posting...again. That's because I have very few fun Holly things to post about. I'm awfully tired of posting nothing but bad news about Holly. But, alas, that seems to be all that there is to say. Can you tell we're feeling very "glass half empty"?

In early January Holly injured her left knee more significantly...another tear and this time it wasn't healing. In early February, she finally tore it completely. She is now totally 3-legged and the leg is very unstable she's unwilling to bear much weight on it at all.

Because of her cancer and immune status, surgery to stabilize the knee is out of the question. I visited with her main vet, an orthopedic surgeons and our wonderful canine physical therapist...we all agreed that surgery for the knee is not in Holly's best interest. Fortunately, the right knee was repaired and stabilized with TTA surgery 3 years ago, so at least she "has a leg to stand on".

Unfortunately, the front leg that had the cancer has some problems and over-using the leg, like she's doing now, is causing painful muscle spasms. It's really hard to limp on a front leg and a back leg at the same time.

I can honestly say that none of us believed that Holly was going to live this long. She has officially passed the 1 year mark since she was diagnosed with myxosarcoma, which is about all the time she was anticipated to have according the oncology vets at WSU. Awesome, right?!

So what to do about that damn knee. I won't go into the details, but believe me that surgery is not an option. That leaves "do nothing" or get her an external brace. I have a very, very, very hard time with the "do nothing" approach...not that any one would blame me for taking that route given all that she's been through in the last 6 years and the gobs and gobs and gobs of money I've spent on it all.

Since I can't "do nothing", last week we measured and casted her leg to get a custom stifle brace through OrthoPets. It may not help her much, or at all, but I'm going to give it a shot and cross my fingers. They are quite expensive, but it's only money, right? (chuckle)

Meanwhile, her life is pretty boring. Short leash walks to encourage her to use the bum leg is about all the exercise she can handle. I am allowing her to be free in the yard as long as there is no running around like a complete idiot (her favorite past time). Holly very much likes to have an audience so as long as she's not trying to show off for me, she does stay pretty chill just hanging out in the yard.

Danee and I are still trying to have fun without Holly. We are shockingly snow free...spring is VERY early out went some of the agility equipment and Danee is learning how to weave and drive forward to obstacles.

I am also fixing up my dog is currently in a thousand pieces between my front porch and basement. All the hardware was getting rusty so every nut and bolt is getting replaced and every inch of rust is getting sanded and painted. Hopefully I will have it all back together again by next weekend.


KB Bear said...

I am sorry that Holly is have such a rough time of it. I hope that the brace helps. I knew a neighbor dog who was helped immensely by a brace.

I was thinking that maybe you and Holly would enjoy learning something non-athletic. I've been teaching my dogs "nosework" because our black lab has a horrible elbow and we're waiting for his surgery date. He adores it - so I think it helps him with the lack of physical exercise. We've learned it through the Fenzi online school. We started with Nosework 101 - a great step-by-step course. I think the next start date is April 1.

Anyway, I am so glad that Holly is still fighting off the cancer, and I hope that you and she can find ways around the other physical issues. Thinking of you...

Linda said...

Your header is gorgeous!

Kim said...

Thank you KB! I'm so glad to hear the R is enjoying nosework while he's healing. Holly didn't care for traditional nosework, so I invented a game where she searches for a treat in plastic easter eggs hidden in the yard.

And Thank You Linda :)