Howdy, Grizzy, Luke and I are sorry to be away for a while. This thing called “life” sometimes gets busy. We are happy to let you know that the “Dodo” will be featuring “Grizzy’s Journey” very soon. They are putting the finishing touches on his video. We can’t wait and will share it hopefully this week. Also, I’m enclosing a coupon for Barnes & Nobel ending today for 10 percent off any purchase. It’s supposed to rain today, so perhaps a good book is in order. We have heard that “Me, My Dog and a Sheep” is a good one. 🙂 It is on the shelves at the Danbury, CT store. Finally, we have selected a new working title to follow “Me, My Dog and a Sheep” to be published hopefully before Christmas. It will feature Grizzy’s adjustment to coming home from the Rehab Center and his wonderful daily journey today with his brother Sozzi, sister Maggie, baby sister Eli, kitty cat, TiTi, fish friend Hulk and of course Luke his BFF. So happy Summer Saturday in July. Make it a good one.
"Don't be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams."- Unknown
Me, My Dog and a Sheep is a featured exhibitor at:
MAY 30 – JUNE 3, 2018
655 W 34TH ST, NEW YORK, NY
So far it is a lot of fun and an educational experience. From Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Bill Clinton and James Patterson, the BookExpo/BookCon features a very eclectic and diverse atmosphere for all book lovers. There is even now a section of other products that you can purchase at the show. Me, My Dog and a Sheep will be selling autographed books to the public this Saturday and Sunday. We also have Grizzy bookmarks, a running contest, and some surprise giveaways. Word is Mr. Griz may be making an appearance on Saturday. More to follow on that. Hope to see you there.
Enjoy this 20% off coupon Love, Grizzy
It is really difficult to find a rehab specialist that has the resource, skills, and willpower to get a large dog that is paralyzed to walk. In fact, I looked over the entire tri-state area and found one. Thank GOD I did. Shaker Vet, in Lathem NY. For a dog as bit as Griz, you need inpatient. This is unless you are very close and bring him every day. I recently looked at some prestigious surgical center in the greater NYC area. I have not found one with rehab. There are rebab centers, but they are going to e-rehab. What is that you say? They look at your dog, and they figure out exercises that may help him that you can watch or print and you go home with them to try on our own. While this price is much lower, I can’t imagine success in many. Particularly the skill required, equipment, education and skill required to get a paralyzed dog to walk. Here is a link. It is just a heads up to be cautioned. I reviewed the internet for exercises for months, bought books and even had local PT to my home to show me techniques. In my case and I’d bet any large breed e-rehab will not work unless you are trained in veterinary care. Here is an example: https://canineexercise.com/
Just food for thought from experience.
As discussed in earlier posts, the need to have rehabilitation available post-op is huge. If you don’t have that resource coupled with a large breed, you will learn very quickly that you don’t have the tools, skill, and resources to help your furry friend. This was very frustrating to us and looking hindsight knowing what I know now, our Griz would have never come home post-op in the condition he was in to suffer 4 months of immobility and gone straight to an inpatient rehab facility. There are few facilities able to take a large breed but thank God I found one in Lathem, NY. We took Griz to 2 other “rehabilitation” vets and they said they could “treat” a mastiff and they could not. We went to one in Connecticut that took our intake over the phone, said they could treat and when we got there after renting a van, they said they could not. Keep in mind with all of these false starts, we had to rent a van, use a human hoist to get Grizzy into the van and moving an already injured dog was very difficult on all of us, particularly Grizzy. I looked all over the tri state area. This is a skill and specialty that is not easy to find so you really have to do your homework on the facility that is going to do surgery on your animal and ensure they have post operative treatment and a good reputation. Our surgical center was a huge very reputable place but they lacked in rehab resource even though they pushed it pre-op we found out the hard way.
I can’t tell you the amount of hoists, harnesses, supplies, and handmade moving gurnies that we used. Again, I would do it all over again, we certainly have no regrets but I would ensure this important resource was available. Grizzy is not the only dog that I know now that has come out of this facility and is now getting rehab outside. Unfortunately I can bet some dogs have been euthanized because of the lack of this resource and the difficulty with home-care. If I help any family get there animal the correct care through this blog or learn/understand the complexity I will be happy. That is the reason why I’m doing 30 days of post-op posts. Attached is a video of a hoist that we purchased by referral from the surgical hospital. It was roughly $300.00. You can see it did not work whatsoever and my husband tried to compensate by putting a life jacket on Grizzy to protect his skin, muscles from pulling up dead weight using a hoist, etc. We were told “get him up,” “touch his feet to the floor so he feels his feet” “do it every day, etc. I get a headache thinking about it. He was in no condition to attempt to feel his feet and we were trying everything.
We are starting to share videos on YouTube. Many got buried on Grizzy’s facebook page so we are pulling them out for you to enjoy his journey on the screen. The folks at Shaker took great videos of his fight. You will see how hard they worked, skills and grit in helping our Griz.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo2WM4VR-EP6ay5aY5GxOuA?view_as=subscriber
The main purpose of this blog on homecare is to assist anyone who may be in the same situation. As I said yesterday, the key is to ask questions of post-op outcomes, check references and ensure there is a rehabilitation program in place. This was our attempt at home, and we did make some strides, but Grizzy never got up until he met my friends at Shaker Vet. They are now like family to Grizzy and us. I can never thank them enough. They saved his life as the suggestion of the surgeon was if he didn’t walk at four months he would not. Jenn, Kellie and Ken and the other members of the Shaker family proved him wrong. I continue to hear stories through channels of animals needing rehab and not being pointed in the right direction or understand the needs. I can be reached at email@example.com if you ever have questions. We have to share our experiences to help our furry friends as they can’t talk for themselves.
As I look through pictures, I recall many nights of sleeping on the living room floor with Grizzy. He cried with anxiety, and almost every night like clockwork he used his bowels at 2 am. Grizzy is such a good boy; if he had a bowel movement, he felt bad. You could see it in his eyes. We probably went through 20 beds and comforters in 4 months. Taking care of him was very similar to a human quadriplegic. Toileting was constant, and you could not let him lie in it. There were some occurrences of urine “burn,” and it was painful to him. I found an excellent aloe spray wash shared below that is used for humans palliative care. Once I figured it out, I could manage it pretty well with quickness in clean up and use these products that were very reasonable in the purchase price. We also used the disposable pads/mats that you get in the hospital. It protected the beds somewhat, and it saved you on washing sheets and dog bed “life.” Each night or if I had to leave for a bit I lined his bed with at least 3 of them. Even if they claim a mattress is water resistant it is not. We bought $200 beds due to his size and comfort needs, and once they soiled long term, we had to throw them out due to the smell, or we donated them to the local shelter as the cages are outside and some of the dogs do not have beds at all. One thing I remember well is we could not go out for long periods of time. It might not be for everyone, but we were and are “Team Grizzy” so we adapted as needed. Because he could not move I had to roll him on his side, pull out the disposable mat(s), clean him and then flip him on his other side, clean and then re-line his bed with new disposable mat(s) and sometimes a new bed or comforter if it escaped the disposable pads. We developed quite a trust as you would a person that you care for in this capacity. He did not fight me, in fact the moment he went, he cried.
The cleaner line is great. The links are below as well as the disposable pads. I had a little trial and error, so I’d like to share it because it works great and works for people as well. 🙂 Aloe Vesta Perineal Cleanser. They also have skin protector cream and foam cleanser. The cream worked great to sooth any urine burns and prevented the skin from breaking down.
As you can see his canine family was very supportive too. His brother Sozzi (mastiff) and sister Maggie McPuppy (Bernice)
In looking at some older pictures last night, I came across many of Grizzy’s post-op pictures. Emotion crashed down on me, both good and bad. By bad, I guess I mean “hard.” As I have said, when we had Grizzy have surgery to correct Wobblers, we never had a clue how home care would work. We were told our dog would walk out of the hospital, but instead, we picked up a total quad. He walked in, with difficulty and came out on a gurney, all 160 pounds of him completely limp 🙁 The first I will share today is my husband Anthony’s attempt at making a winch system to help us get Grizzy up. It didn’t work because Grizzy was so uncomfortable. We also put him in our bedroom, thinking to keep him away from our other dogs but he was too lonely and cried, both in pain and because he was alone. You can see in his face how much pain he was in. This was day one of a very long journey. While I am so grateful we made it through; I would urge anyone that has a large breed that has any spinal surgery to ensure they get the facts or experience on surgical outcome realities. We would not have changed our decision to get Grizzy fixed, but we would have been better prepared for post-op needs. Also, you need to ensure the surgical center has the rehabilitation resources. Ours did not. We found out the hard way that the staff only worked two days per week and you were lucky to get on her calendar. If I knew what I know today, Grizzy would have gone directly to Shaker Vet in Latham, NY for inpatient rehabilitation. But you live and learn, and I only want to share these insights for those who may be in the position one day.