Saturday, June 16, 2012

Five Weeks Out From ACL

Nehi had her last post-op check up last week, but her annual yesterday. Dr. Grossman says she's doing great, and has rarely seen a dog recover so quickly. Which I love to hear!
On a side note to the ACL, I asked since Nehi was now three, if maybe we could see if she was old/mature enough to be over her protectiveness.
When I first started taking Nehi to the vet's at three months when I got her, one of the vets told me that the reason they had such a hard time working on her was because she was so protective of me. So, after Nehi attempted to snap at a couple of techs, we decided that the best thing was to take Nehi in the back. She was a completely different dog- submitted easily to treatment, and they never had a problem.
Anyway, rewind to yesterday- I asked one of the techs, and as she petted Nehi, she said she didn't think protectiveness was a problem, or else Nehi wouldn't let her pet her. Brought the same thing up with Dr. Grossman, and he said we'd try it in the room and see. I held Nehi's head while he checked her knee. Nehi growled, but stopped when I said "No". The shots were a different story. Partway through one and Nehi tried to snap. Now, I know how to hold a dog, so there was no way she was going anywhere, but even Dr. Grossman stepped back. He took her in the back and same thing as always, she was a doll. Guess she'll just always have to go in the back! Doesn't matter to me, and since it seems to make it a less traumatic experience for Nehi, it's all good!
When he brought her back, he commented that it was a hell of a bond that we had. This led to a conversation about what Nehi's breed might be. He said you could definitely see the Shepherd, but what else? I said that a friend had said Nehi looked like a Ridgeback to him. The Doctor said that would make sense, that he never truly trusted Ridgebacks, and the aggressive/protectiveness could definitely come from that, although Shepherds, particularly female Shepherds, often had the same instinct. While we talked, Nehi was fine, and he was able to give her cookies. He was impressed at the difference in her, and complimented me on how gentle Nehi was with her mouth. I told him that was A LOT of work when she was a puppy, because I was aware, because of her breed, that she had a hell of a bite pressure.
He asked how she was about others, and I explained that we didn't have many visitors at the house, and she had a stranger-danger bark, but once I let people in, she quickly settled down with most people. With the exceptions, they are people that you can tell that aren't comfortable with big dogs, although Nehi does try and play dominance games with most people who come in the house until I correct her, as they are too timid to- she can be intimidating. So far, there's only one person that when they come to visit Nehi lays down on the couch with and actually falls asleep!
Dr. Grossman was even more amazed when Nehi let me give him a hug at the end. She's well trained enough that her protectiveness has limits.
So, clean bill of health for Nehi, and hopefully, we won't be back at the vet for anything other than monthly heartworm/flea and nail clipping.

So, enough of a side trip...
She's back to eating her full bowl of food, which is great and this week was the first time she picked up her toys and showed any interest in playing.
We're right now just at one walk in the morning, just two blocks down and back (roughly 1/4 mile). By the end of this, she's favoring the leg a little, so we're going to have to work back up to our normal 1 mile, 2 times a day.

I think it's possible she's overdone it  in her excitement this week. Today she was limping after our walk. Although she's favored it more after walks (and part of the reason we're doing walks in the morning, rather than the evening when she's tired), today she seems a lot more stiff than she has been. She also is uninterested in toys today, or much else, other than just laying in bed, or in the sun.
It's not a bad way to spend a lazy Saturday, but hope she keeps feeling better as I've read some dogs tear their other ACL when compensating for a healing one.
Dad says I'm just being a Mom.
Dr. Grossman told me yesterday that for a human, the recovery from ACL surgery is six months of constant rehabilitation, so not to worry. He said that the walks are plenty of rehab for her.  She's also on Dasuquin chews which, if anything can, might prevent her blowing the other ACL. If not, I certainly have surgery and post-op down to a science!

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