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Monday, April 2, 2012

The Adventures (er, Misadventures?) of Lucy

Lucy injured her ACL a few months ago.  The vet recommended surgery to repair it.  I did get a second opinion and that vet also recommended surgery.  Since it was so close to our trip back home for Christmas, I put off the surgery since Lucy didn't seem to be in pain.  But in the last month, Lucy started exhibiting signs that she was in pain so we decided to go forward with surgery.  But whew, what an adventure it has been. 
We scheduled the surgery for March 14th and this involved an overnight stay.  The following day, I went to pick Lucy up from the vet.  I'm so thankful that we were able to have the surgery performed on her because it ended up that her ACL was completely ruptured, not just torn.  She also had developed a little bit of arthritis.  No wonder she was in so much pain. The technician also explained that Lucy had destroyed her bandage that morning so she was on her 2nd bandage.  She was also wearing an e-collar to prevent her from chewing off the bandage.  I took Lucy home where she slept for most of the day.
 By the next morning (Friday), I noticed Lucy's bandage seemed to be slipping down and I could see the top of the sutures.  It also appeared that Lucy had chewed an edge of the bandage.  So, it was back to the vet where Lucy had to have yet another bandage replaced.  By that evening, however, Lucy had begun to chew the edge of the bandage again.  But I was able to repair it with a small bandage and medical tape.  But Lucy kept reaching the edge of the bandage even with the e-collar on.  I had a slightly larger e-collar in the basement so I put that one on.  It worked until Monday evening when Lucy was successful at tearing off not only the bandage I put on there but the original one.  So, it was back to the vet again on Tuesday morning where she got another replacement bandage.  By this time, Lucy was becoming well known at the vet and everyone there couldn't help but chuckle, especially when we were called into the exam room and Lucy put the brakes on with her paws. 
Wednesday morning, after I woke up and got Jackie off to school, I noticed Lucy had somehow managed to destroy her new bandage but this time, she had gotten down to the sutures and destroyed them.  And her leg was bleeding.  Ugh, this time, it was no longer funny.  I got Lucy back to the vet's office where it was determine that she was going to have to have the sutures completely replaced to put on IV antibiotic to prevent infection.  And it required another overnight stay.  I was beginning to wonder if we made the right decision to go forward with the surgery. 
The next day (Thursday), I went to pick up Lucy and this time, she was sporting a very large e-collar. And a hard splint underneath the bandage.  I couldn't help but burst out in laughter at the ridiculousness of it all.  She looked like she was wearing a satellite dish.  Even the vet and techs were laughing.  It was quite a humorous scene.  But it worked.
We were sent home with a new round of oral antibiotics and an anxiety medication to help keep Lucy calm.  And an appointment to return the next day to check on the surgery site and replace the bandage again.  This time, the vet was very pleased to see that the e-collar was working this time to keep Lucy from destroying the bandage and sutures. 
We were given an appointment to return a week later to have the bandage and sutures removed.  Thankfully, that satellite-dish sized collar worked and we made it through the next week without a call to the vet.  Until... until the day before the scheduled suture removal when Tim woke up to find that Lucy's e-collar was not on her and that half of her bandage was missing.  She apparently had a fun time shredding the bandage and left the mess on Ben's bedroom floor.  Since it was the day before her appointment and the wound looked closed, I refused to call the vet again. So, I just got a couple of soft paper towels and medical tape and wrapped up the part that was exposed.  It sufficed until the next day.
The next day at Lucy's appointment, I explained about the home repair on the bandage.  The staff got a kick out of Lucy's antics.  But thankfully, the surgery site looked good and the bandage was able to come off for good.  Whew!  I wasn't sure I could take another day of this ordeal.  Lucy had an agenda and she was sticking to it no matter what. 
So all was well until the evening after the sutures were removed.  This next part is not for the faint of heart.  I let the dogs out to do their business.  After awhile when I let them in, I notice Lucy had something hanging off of her.  I called her over and when I looked closer, I noticed that this strange object was not hanging off of her.  It was hanging out of her!  Ugh.  I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and a plastic bag to pull the object out.  It was a bandage, at least 7-8 inches long.  Only Lucy.  Then I started to worry about an obstruction and how much more money this mutt was going to cost us.
I called the vet's office again the next day and before I could even explain what was going on, I heard nothing but laughter in the background.  Yes, Lucy has a reputation there for sure.  I explained what happened the previous night and the staff member immediately got the vet on the line for me.  She explained what symptoms to watch out for that would indicate obstruction and told me to call immediately if any of those symptoms started. 
Thankfully, there is no sign of obstruction.  But since the bandage and sutures were removed, Lucy has been acting somewhat depressed.  Perhaps she misses all the attention?  I don't know.  Or maybe she needs Prozac. 

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