Monroe’s Diary


Monroe (Sept, 2005)

Happy-go-lucky puppy of 3 years (2005): agile, frisky, squirrel and cat chaser, inquisitive, and, yes, kitty-poop-eater (eeeeeeeeeeeew!**). [This last bit, apparently, is something most dogs do and, in fact, some eat other dogs’ poops, too (even MORE eeeeeeeeeeeeeeewy!); my vet says, under her breath, that even though it is a gross thought, it is highly nutritious (but still eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewy)].
{For more recent photos of him, refer to this post.}

Days One & Two, Pre-Op:
On Wed, he went to Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital with a nearly paralyzed hind leg and an enlarged liver. My vet, Dr. Jeri Holland, had referred him to them for a closer inspection and better ultrasound. Their findings corroborated with Dr. Holland’s: he had a serious herniation in his lower back at L 4/5, which had rendered his left hind leg paralyzed. His liver was enlarged because of prolonged use of steroids (prednisone), which he had been on, in one form or another, since about 2005. [The steroids were used to lessen his skin allergies, which caused him to lick and scratch a good deal of the time.]

The enlarged liver, subsequently, had compressed his kidney, which made him think that he had to relieve himself…anytime. Dr. Ashbaugh, at Wheat Ridge, explained that they had determined that he may also be suffering from a steroidal condition with a name about 3′ long. They suggested that he have surgery as soon as possible and he was admitted for surgery for the next morning. Estimate: $5-6000. I had no choice but to put a down payment on it, otherwise he’d be at home with 3 legs that work and a hell of a lot of pain.
When I got home, I sent out a letter (and began a group at Facebook like the one I started for Terrah when she needed assistance for Operation Sally) and asked for help with Monroe’s Emergency Fund.

Wednesday evening and all day Thursday were about as stressful as you can imagine. I spent a great deal of time worrying whether I had made the right decision…whether WE had made the right decision. 2 years ago, he had the same operation at another spot in his back and I wondered if it was right to put him through this again. Of course, when I mentioned this to Spencer, my son, later, he told me that he wouldn’t have agreed with me, anyway, if I had thought about the alternative, which I really didn’t want to think of at all.
I honestly believe that when he heals, he’ll be as right as rain, just as he was before this onset.

Thursday morning’s surgery was put off until 6pm on Thursday, due to emergency cases that flowed into the hospital. And, of course, my stress continued and I was pretty worthless at work.
When Dr. Wheeler called me about 7pm that evening, he was frank and positive, telling me that the herniation was quite large but  had been removed so that he’ll regain the use of his hind leg just fine.

Day Three, Post-Op:

Poof - PostOp

Monroe (Poof) - PostOp

Monroe returned from the hospital yesterday just before I had to go to work. The post-op bill came in less than they had figured, which is a great relief….even though it is still $4500….that’s better than $6K! [If you want to contribute, please see this page for information near the bottom of the post. So far, about $1300 has come in for the little guy.]
Spence and I brought Poof home from the Hospital and, when I picked him up to get into the car, the poor fella winced in pain: I learned how to pick him more quickly when Spence made the same move out in front of the house. Pretty disoriented at home, he didn’t appreciate the cage arrangement but it is a necessary evil about the situation right now.
I left for work reluctantly but Spence was here so that was a good deal more comforting for all of us, I think.
When I got home from work, we had to use some pretty good persausion to get him out of the cage but finally were able to do so. Once out in the garden, it was all we could do to get him to simply pee but our hard work finally paid off. The three of us just sat in the garden in the dark for a long time with Spence and I consoling him…and, I think, ourselves.
At bedtime, I thought he’d be fine in his cage downstairs but that proved to be a foolhardy idea. I carried him upstairs about 1:15 and he managed to pee on his little bed immediately. No worries: there are plenty of others stacked up here for him to use while others are in the washer.

Day Four, Post-Op:

Monroe slept comfortably through the night, thankfully, though I’m not sure I did.
Before I moved him downstairs, I opened the door into the gardens so I could carry him straight out. Once there, I had to coax his bladder, which proved positive and which didn’t hurt, again thankfully. He ate breakfast in the garden, as well, and, much to my delight, managed to poop, too (that had become a concern…though I probably shouldn’t have, considering post-op sedation, etc).
He bee-lined for his cushy bed when we got into the house but he bailed from it just as quickly and, surprisingly, headed for the cage, which is comfortable even if it is confining. I took the picture above when he was settled and he has been there pretty much all day. Even though I have tried to coax him out, without success, I imagine he’ll come out around dinner time and a little more relaxation in the gardens. And next time we get outside, I’ll get a picture of his incision, just so you can see what he is dealing with.

Suffice it to say, my stress continues despite the fact that he is home and (relatively) healthy. It is a bit of a chore to figure out the exact way in which to pick him up but, by and large, each of us has figured that out. However, there are spots that I barely touch (seemingly) that make him wince and whelp! Bad Dad! Bad Dad! But he finds a comfortable spot and lays down again….I wonder, though, is that a dirty look he’s giving me or just a look of resignation to the situation right now?
It does make me wonder…..
probably too much.

NOW PLEASE MOVE TO Monroe’s Meanderings. It’s Monroe’s blog about his recovery…and travels in the yard, the neighborhood, and the world.

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One Response to “Monroe’s Diary”

  1. […] her surgery. He even made sally her own facebook page. Now his dog Monroe needs some help. Read his diary here and help if you can. He is such a good person with a big heart. Forget Starbucks for a day and help […]

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