Sunday, January 03, 2016

A New Day Brings Better News

At 9:45am this morning as we went outside, his stiff right leg was making a walking motion and his right paw would move from dangling to the correct position with each of these "steps". 

I still had his hips raised with the harness and his feet barely touching the ground -- but there was a defined stepping movement with the paw in the air.

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At 11:34am this morning when I sat him on the couch, gated, he was sitting with his right rear leg bent. This leg has been locked in a straight position since Dec 19. Picture below of the bent leg. If you look back through the other posts of him sitting you will see a stiff straight right rear leg.


Right rear leg is bent for 1st time since injury

It might be a good time to trim his toenails. If those nerves are rebuilding he might be able to feel me cutting them and flinch his paws. Otherwise I can trim them without any reaction.

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Before I get started on this post today I wanted to clear up something that maybe was taken wrong yesterday after I posted that I wasn't sure about Winston's recovery. Not soon after I posted that I had a couple of different blog comments and more emails in my inbox. It may have sounded like I was considering putting Winston down in the next few days to a week.

That's not the case.

I am going to give him every opportunity and option to recover to the point of walking again. From the start of this (Dec 19) I have had a date in mind to where I would have to decide for the best for Winston. That date seems to adjust with each new article I read or every new link that is sent to me by this blog's readers.

Basically it boils down to science and Winston.

At times he gets "Basset Hound feisty", is always stubborn and has a never give up attitude. A typical basset hound. About the time I think there is no chance for him to recover enough to walk - he does something that gives me hope. Like this morning.

While outside on the "frozen tundra", he had peed and after I slid the harness off him so I could carry him back into the house he takes off scooting across the frost covered grass -- slightly pushing off on his curled right paw. If I put his paws in the correct position while holding up his hips with the t-shirt harness ... he can handle a little weight on those legs before having to sit down.

This link sent to me yesterday by Contessa over at 5C's Que Pasa has a very good vet explanation of what Winston is going through right now and in a way is ahead of schedule because he has been showing some improvements after two weeks, and nothing should be expected for 3 weeks. Contessa's dachshund Carmeh had similar issues last May and recovered by July.

It's just that when you see a face like this, you hate seeing him going through what we have been doing through at all hours of day and night ... only after two weeks ... it also makes me to keep trying to help him recover, by time and different treatments.


I have no doubt that the laser treatments are having some effect on him. He will sleep a lot the day of those treatments. I also think he may "twitch" more than the other days. By that I mean he will be laying down, possibly sleeping, and then all of the sudden he sits straight up and doesn't move for a minute. When he does that I am thinking he is feeling some kind of pain in his back.

Last night he started whining around 7pm. He had already been outside plus had drank almost a full small bowl of water. I knew what he was wanting. He was tired of the gated area just on the other side of the end table. He wanted on the couch. He could hear the ballgame on tv.

Whining to get on the couch

Stella never woke up when I lowered Winston to that spot
So I gently laid him down on the couch next to Stella and myself while I watched a football game. He moved around gingerly finding that one comfortable spot -- was asleep soon after. It was almost 3 hours later where he jumped straight up in the sitting position and started whining. Outside we went.

By the time I was able to slide the t-shirt harness under him, he was half way to the opened door. I could tell he was in a hurry, faster than normal. He trotted to his spot with me holding his feet up almost off the ground (I try to keep his back as straight as possible). He had to poop.

The thing is, he will "walk" around the yard to smell out his spot but his new spot is not in the yard. He decided a few days ago that his new spot was at the back of the field behind the house, all the way out to where the bushes start separating the field from the trees. Once he is there he will go and it's a long trip back inside from there carrying a 60# basset hound.

He walks that distance to the bushes on two legs and me holding his hips up

The problem is his back is so long, even if my left hand is as far back to the hips as I can get, the way he is built his lower back with curl down by gravity as we walk. There is something about that right side of his back ... the right rear leg that will not bend ... always laying on his left side or sits on his left side. So I always pick him up on his right side.

He rested most of the night and the night ended at 11:09pm. I was hoping for about 6 hours of sleep, but that was not the case. Sadie came into the bedroom to wake me at 2:18am and I could hear Winston whining in the distance from his gated living room area. Sadie has been sleeping in the chair next to the gated area since Winston has been hurt. Same urgency from him as last night with the same results.

Any car that is driving by at 2am in the morning on the highway (there are a few) within site has to wonder what is going on if they glance up to the yard. I am walking around holding Winston by the harness, small camping flashlight in my mouth facing the ground and walking in small choppy steps to keep up with his pace ... all in the middle of the night and in 20° weather.

I am not saying that to make myself something special ... but to just show how weird that must seem to drivers passing by in the darkness.

We were able to sleep a solid 4 hours this morning before the hounds had their breakfast. Stella must have been hungry because she started that howling thing she does. This is the first day of not giving Prednisone to Winston. His dose is every other day for the next week, then he will be all out of Prednisone.

On a different topic and maybe some are following my flood photos. Believe me this is NOTHING compared to what the people in the St. Louis area are going through. I can barely imagine going through that in the spring but it's indescribable those people have to go through that in sub-freezing temperatures.

If you can look at the photos from yesterday's post, you will see this morning that the water in the field across the highway had a large majority of it disappear. On the other field across from that, yesterday afternoon it looked like you go go sailing with whitecaps on the water. Today a lot of that water is gone and has frozen on the edges.

Almost gone over night

Edges are frozen with less water
With no wind that high 20's temperature doesn't seem so bad ... Sadie, Stella and I head out for a walk before the last NFL kickoff of the season starts.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Steve, maybe you could wear a hikers headlamp instead of a flashlight in your mouth ?? Also, if you had a large size radio flyer or 4-wheeled yard cart and kept it parked out in the field where Winston has his new spot ? It would be cold so you would need to throw a blanket over your shoulder as you went out the door - then after Winston pooped put the blanket in the wagon and load him in and pull him back to the house ? Of course wagon ride might be too bumpy and you would probably be pulling 100 lbs instead of carrying 60 lbs ? also you would have to re-park the wagon in the field so it would be ready for the next one-way trip - I am a long time reader and much too involved - but I do hope Winston makes a full recovery so you and the hounds can have a more normal lifestyle and enjoy a happy new year - These are just my thoughts but it would provide additional entertainment for cars going by in the night ! Good Luck - continue your patience - Winston deserves it

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    1. Those are good ideas. I thought about the headlamp the other night. I hadn't thought of a 4 wheel cart/wagon. Without the fall cut of the field behind my house that might be bumpy for him to ride in, as it's pretty rough for any kind of wheels. I even bounce a lot when I have ridden my mountain bike through it.

      Yes, Winston definitely deserves whatever it takes to get well.

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  2. This is a good argument for having a base camp. Would be very very difficult to do all this while camping, eps. in a trailer or rig with stairs. Winston is a very lucky guy to have someone so caring. Best of luck.

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    1. A few weeks ago before Winston had his back problem, I thought it was a good idea I had not gone tent camping in AZ after seeing the night time temps were not much different than mine in Indiana. I've got the bag and tent to handle those low temps ... still a pain with the dogs having to go outside.

      I cannot even see myself able to do what we have been doing the past two weeks in a trailer or RV. I guess my intuition paid off at the right time.

      Eh ... I'm lucking that Winston is my hound. He is trying his best to get well again.

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  3. The lumber companies and probably Harbor Freight sell a wagon with wheels that have air. It wouldn't be as bumpy as a red wagon. We have one but I don't remember where I bought it. I just hope you don't have back problems carrying 60 pounds several times a day.

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    1. Thanks for that idea. I'll start by calling my local lumber company to see where I can get one of those wagons you mentioned. My back, arms and abs are getting stronger by making 8-14 trips per day. Yes...im counting trips outside on my tracking spreadsheet. :)

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    2. Contessa - I decided I needed to track the number of times he peed and pooped per day, to see how the prednisone affected him. Also it would should me if there might be other issues if the number was high. I put #/# right below the rating which is below the day of the week on the sheet I showed you.

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  4. Well we are managing by using ramps, we have 6 in total including one from the RV to the ground and one from the ground down to the beach here in Mexico. I feel like we are living in a dog hour but it is so worth it.

    I know that Winston will get what he needs to stay well.

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    1. I am looking for some kind of ramp today at the lumber yard for the step from the house and then another step to the carport floor.

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