It’s been two weeks since Scarlett’s FHO surgery and she is recovering slowly but surely. Yesterday, we took her back to the vet to get her stitches out and though the wound is healing and her personality is back to normal, the recovery is just starting. After continuing to hobble on three legs for a week and a half despite daily stretches, exercises and walks through tall grass, we decided we needed to stricter plan to get her using her leg.
“I only have three legs.”
Along with constantly saying, “use your leg, Scarlett”, we implemented a new exercise that somewhat forces her to put weight on the leg. While she stands with the right leg dangling at her side, we take it and gently move it forward and properly touching the ground, instead of dangling beside it. The key is putting it in front of her back left leg. Then we lead her forward and she puts weight down because she needs to move her back left leg first to walk– moving the right one forward again is awkward and since her back legs are not parallel, she can’t hobble easily from the position.
Pushing her leg forward.
The position forces her to put pressure on the leg when walking forward.
This morning, we brought Scarlett home from FHO surgery. We are so happy to have her back– even though she is acting a bit crabby and dramatic, we’re blaming it on the meds. Scarlett’s surgeon told us her leg was much worse than he thought and prepared us for a long road of recovery. First though, our princess gets to relax– for a whole week!
One day after surgery. Still feeling those strong pain meds & not too happy.
In FHO surgery, they shave off the “head” and “neck” of the leg bone- where the leg connects with the pelvis- and put the leg back into the correct position. Instead of replacing the head of the leg bone, it is left to strengthen and develop scar tissue and muscle that acts as a replacement. Depending on size, age and physical rehabilitation, dogs can recover 60-95% (and currently, Bethany is showing us that percentage may be 100%!).
Scarlett and Harley teamed up with intentions of digging up this gigantic tree. No idea what they were going for but it was definitely something! Harley and Scarlett are the hunters of the pack so they’re always trying to get at lizards, ducks, iguanas, junebugs and other “yard invaders”. What do you think they’re doing?
I'm almost there...
Today marks one year since Scarlett came home with us!! On March 23, 2011, we went to Miami-Dade Animal Services in the midst of a shelter-wide Distemper outbreak. A highly contagious disease, they needed to clear the shelter to disinfect it; to do this, all dogs needed to be adopted out or they would be put to sleep.
Scarlett's intake picture from Miami-Dade Animal Services, 3/23/11, 28 lbs.
Unbelievable is just one way to put it. Last week, our veterinarian made a shocking discovery while examining Scarlett. While at first completely overwhelmed, we know everything is going to be okay.
My sweet mama, Scarlett.
Scarlett started limping last Monday while she was outside. That’s odd, we thought, but dismissed it once she stopped moments later. On Tuesday morning, the limp was back and she was picking up her back right leg when she stood. Since she has never limped in the year we’ve had her and has not had any accidents since, we took her to the vet for an explanation. After feeling around and noticing her right leg did not extend as much as the left one, Dr. T called for an X-ray. “Could this be the same thing as Chelsea?” I blurted. “It can’t be,” he replied as they walked out.