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Alfie Update

Alfie is doing great, one would probably never know he ever had surgery unless they saw him go up or down a big flight of stairs. I have been told if we give him Cosequin every day he may never need surgery on his other hip. I hope that is the case. It is almost impossible to tell if he is any pain because he is so tough and energetic- we walk 3-5 miles a day. Here are some photos from the last couple months.

On the roadFarmer AlfHammyI can be serious, you knowEyes off my rawhide

It’s been a great past couple of weeks for our curly-haired dude.  His post-op pain finally seems to be on the wane and his personality is making a strong comeback. alfiegiantstick

The biggest hurdle now has been getting him to use his “new” leg, as it’s pretty easy for him to get around by hopping on three paws.  Slow (very slow) walks have been key, and the playground near our house has an uneven, pebbled base that forces him to use all four legs for balance.

He’s a smart one, so teaching him to walk at such a slow pace wasn’t too tough. Though, being a terrier means he’s got a lot of energy in his little frame, so we do let him run a few laps around the house every now and then … even if it’s only on three legs.

workin

SwimmingAlfie went swimming in Lake Travis yesterday. He enjoys paddling around the boat ramp at Town Lake, so the natural assumption would be he would love the lake, right? Not so much- he was intimidated by the wake from all the boats and did not want to stay long in the water. The good thing was the shore was rocky which forced him to use his leg more than usual.
 
Alfie the fish

By nighttime, Alfie was sore from all the activity and didn’t want to do much of anything. We gave him 1/4 of a pain pill right before bed, but woke up to him panting at 4 a.m. I gave him another 1/4 and that seemed to do the trick. Our biggest challenge now is how to effectively manage his pain medication. We are trying to give him anti-inflammatory only when needed, but we also want him to be comfortable. I can tell when he is on the meds because he gets so mellow and spaced for a WFT. Panting, withdraw and the occasional growl are the signs of pain he gives us. I wish there was a better way to anticipate.

Check out a video here: Alfie vs. Beetlebug

up the ramp!
Using the ramp!

Post BathIt looks like we are officially out of the woods. Alfie had his staples removed and the wound is healing great. BathHe finally got a bath and said goodbye to the cone. He is playing and starting to use the leg when prompted. We are required to take him for slow walks for a few weeks until he learns to use the leg on his own. The slower we walk with him the more he uses it. It is wonderful to see his personality again!

ramp

Check out the ramp to the door that Jeremy built for Alfie when he is allowed to get around, how awesome!

Below are some excerpts of wonderful advice that I have received via emails from knowledgeable WFT owners that were thoughtful enough to contact me with tips on his care. Thank you Julie, Pam, Janice & friends!! Your support has been so beneficial. Maybe these tips can help others as well.

“give a big rawhide to chew on in the crate…..not those little tiny ones but one about the size for a medium size dog so he can’t swallow it.  Keep an eye on him anyway to make sure he doesn’t manage to get big pieces off that he could swallow.  They also said to keep him in the crate all day except for potty breaks.  Keep him on a nice soft crate pad and just try to ignore him as best you can.” 

“Try covering the crate with a blanket and putting it in another room.  Or just lay with him…..drug him and make him lay down.  This is where you have to be “alpha;” don’t worry if he thinks you’re mean. “

“If you have the time, take him out of the crate and on a harness and sit on the floor with him.  Have a treat or toy to exerice his mind. Don’t make it a fight, you can’t win, make it time to be together.  Take him out of the crate and just be together.  If he will let you, massage around the surgery area and see if that doesn’t help him relax.  When he can be up and starting to walk again, keep a leash on him all the time he is out so that you can control him.  Close all the doors to rooms that you don’t want him in.  Use a baby gate to keep him in the room you are in.  He simply wants to be with you and where the action is. Give him that, and he should settle down.”

“Think of him as a 2 yr old child. You can take a tennis ball and cut it in half, and use medical tape and tape it to the bottom of the foot, with the round side down.  Then when he tried to walk on it, it will feel funny and hopefully it will make him lift the leg and not try to use it. Personally I hate the cone’s.  Especially with the Wire’s as they see it as a constriction.  Remember that 2 yr old mind. ;-}  If you are there with him, take off the cone and watch that he doesn’t try and mess with the stitches.  You may have to use it when you are not there.  When it is healing it will itch and that’s why the cone.”

“We got Charlie a little bed, and that was a real comfort for him. The first three days are the hardest, then healing begins. Keep him quiet, and do only what the Vet says is allowed, wires are famous for not going by rules, ( they make up their own) so, if he is a rambunctious type like mine. I wish you luck in keeping him still.”

 

 

On helping your WFT recover from surgery and crate confinement when necessary for safety:
“give a big rawhide to chew on in the crate…..not those little tiny ones but one about the size for a medium size dog so he can’t swallow it.  Keep an eye on him anyway to make sure he doesn’t manage to get big pieces off that he could swallow.  They also said to keep him in the crate all day except for potty breaks.  Keep him on a nice soft crate pad and just try to ignore him as best you can.” 
“Try covering the crate with a blanket and putting it in another room.  Or just lay with him…..drug him and make him lay down.  This is where you have to be “alpha;” don’t worry if he thinks you’re mean. “
“If you have the time, take him out of the crate and on a harness and sit on the floor with him.  Have a treat or toy to exerice his mind. Don’t make it a fight, you can’t win, make it time to be together.  Take him out of the crate and just be together.  If he will let you, massage around the surgery area and see if that doesn’t help him relax.  When he can be up and starting to walk again, keep a leash on him all the time he is out so that you can control him.  Close all the doors to rooms that you don’t want him in.  Use a baby gate to keep him in the room you are in.  He simply wants to be with you and where the action is.  Give him that, and he should settle down.”
“Think of him as a 2 yr old child. You can take a tennis ball and cut it in half, and use medical tape and tape it to the bottom of the foot, with the round side down.  Then when he tried to walk on it, it will feel funny and hopefully it will make him lift the leg and not try to use it. Personally I hate the cone’s.  Especially with the Wire’s as they see it as a constriction.  Remember that 2 yr old mind. ;-}  If you are there with him, take off the cone and watch that he doesn’t try and mess with the stitches.  You may have to use it when you are not there.  When it is healing it will itch and that’s why the cone.”
“We got Charlie a little bed, and that was a real comfort for him. The first three days are the hardest, then healing begins. Keep him quiet, and do only what the Vet says is allowed, wires are famous for not going by rules, ( they make up their own) so, if he is a rambunctious type like mine. I wish you luck in keeping him still.”