Thursday, August 30, 2012

Buddy's recuperation ~Sevan

We took Buddy to the vet for his surgical follow up and the vet said everything was looking great so far. His incision has closed up very nicely. We talked about the pros and cons of getting him a custom knee brace from OrthoPets. The vet wasn't familiar with the company or braces that fit properly for dogs and don't fall off. She said she'd look into them and we'd talk about it more as an option to further support his knee and hopefully help him move better and live without arthritis for longer. (I have no illusions that he'll be arthritis free for life. Not possible considering how much cartilage he lost in surgery)
We left with a bucket of glucosamine condrodien supplement (chewy treats) and instructions to help him work out more and more to build his leg muscle back. He'd been refusing to put his foot down for the longest time until I actually helped him and showed him it wasn't going to hurt to walk on it. He started limping a bit after that, but he preferred to hop.
We have been taking him up to the lake to go swimming as the vet said that was the best thing for him to rebuild muscle. My dogs have never been swimming and I wasn't sure he'd be much for it. The first time I took him he wasn't at all interested. Once he found that he could swim he became more interested. I let him swim against my hand in the shallows (I put my hand against his chest so he was just swimming in the same spot) and then let him get out, shake off and walk around a bit. Then I brought him back into the lake to do it again and he was more willing the second time.
We've been walking him on short walks to get his strength up. We've also got to watch him where weight is concerned. He's never been a fat or over weight dog, but the vet wants him to stay on the lean side. He builds thick muscle easily, and we have to watch that so he's not over heavy. He used to weigh 96lbs, and now he weighs 86. I told the vet I was shocked he'd lost so much weight, and she told me he shouldn't weight any more than he does now. Which I was shocked at because, as I say, he's not a fat dog...but he's usually much more muscular than he is now. So I'm not sure how I'm going to help him to keep weight off, but we'll try.