Last Friday, my sweet little pit bull Carmen had surgery to repair a torn ACL. For almost a month we had known it was partially torn, and we'd been doing everything we could per the vet's instructions to keep it from tearing completely. Then, Christmas happened. Lots of people and changes from routines and, somehow, in the middle of all the madness, she tore it completely.
The drive home from the vet's office after picking her up from her surgery was heartbreaking (see above). She laid like that on the seat next to me and just cried. My dog never cries. She doesn't whine or complain much at all, but this was heart-wrenching. Of course, with my dog being my baby and the actual baby inside me producing crazy hormones, I cried too. Wept. The whole way home.
That was a bad, bad night. We were instructed to make sure she was confined ("strict confinement" was what we were told) and to keep her from licking the bandages. So, for most of the night we just watched her and tried to make her comfortable. She kept crying, and she had a wild, crazed look in her eyes from all the medication. Poor pup was strung. out.
At bedtime, I decided to stay out in the living room with her, where her crate was. We put her cone on her and put her in the crate, and my husband went to bed. She couldn't figure out how to lay down with the cone on, even when I showed her, and she started panicking.
Mostly because I was worried she'd puke in her cone or have a total anxiety attack, but also because I'm a bleeding heart, I took her out of the crate and took her cone off her. We laid on the floor together, but every time she would fall asleep and I'd try to Ninja my pregnant self off the floor and onto the couch, she'd wake up and whine again.
The vet's office told us not to put her on furniture in case she jumped down, but whatever...I know my dog. She needed SLEEP. At 5am, I climbed up into our big chaise, picked her up with me, and put her on my chest, with her bandaged leg stretched out. After a few minutes, she fell asleep right on my chest, and I did soon after. We slept like that for 3 hours.
I woke up my husband -- coffee at the ready -- at 9 and asked him to take the morning shift so I could SLEEP. Our baby girl was in much better spirits.
After a few stressful days of wearing the cone pictured above, we discovered that it was too small, and she was able to reach her bandages and lick them incessantly. Pain in the ass. We already felt like we had to watch her constantly without the cone...but now we couldn't leave her alone WITH the cone. Plus, we confined her to a spare room each night, where she would whine. Incessantly.
Yesterday, we went to have her bandages removed. And she got a brand. new. e-collar. Check out the look on her face below. I died laughing when they brought her out wearing it. Apparently it needed to be way past her nose, so she couldn't get to her leg with the sutures now exposed.
However, as much as she acted all awkward and pitiful, she finally got tired and found a way to lay down...and she did. not. move. for four hours. She slept so long and so hard that I actually went over and put my hands on her belly a few times to make sure she was still breathing. Poor baby. She had a much better night last night, and I was actually able to come to work guilt- and worry-free today. I REALLY don't think she'll be able to get to her sutures with this cone on, and she seems to whine more when she knows we're in the house but she can't get to us.
So now we just have to put up with this big, floppy, awkward cone for another 5-7 days.
The hardest part for her is not being able to sit and cuddle with us...me especially. She's been incredibly clingy with me ever since I got pregnant, and now she can't get close. It's hard on her AND hard on me. But we can do it.