Friday, March 21, 2008
Zane and I left for Raleigh at 5:30 on Wednesday morning for Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas. Dr. Clark has become the newest member of "Team Zane," our group of doctors that work to get Zane as healthy as possible. Dr. Clark briefly explained the procedure to me and what to expect regarding Zane's recovery.
Zane and I went out for a drive and then waited at the hospital for another hour or so until it was his turn for surgery. He made several new friends out in the waiting room: Rosie the Golden, Diamond the Lab, and Chin Chin the Akita.
It only took a little over an hour for the surgery. Dr. Clark gave me a call as Zane was coming out of anesthesia to let me know that all had gone well. The diagnosis for Zane included a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and medial meniscal cartilage tear. He said that Zane could head home at dinner time if he was up to it.
I stopped by the hospital at 5:30 and the nurses let me know that he was doing well but that they were unable to get him to stand. They said that I could leave him for the night or try back later. I offered to get him standing if I could be allowed out back to see him. As soon as he saw me, he wagged his happy tail and started to get up. That's my boy! I headed back up front to pay the bill ($2100) while they cleaned him up for discharge. It took 4 nurses to walk him up front and get him in the van. Zane was great about it the whole time.
Zane was starting to get painful towards the end of the ride home. I suspect that his pain blocks were beginning to wear off. From personal experience, I know how rough it is when that transitions happens. He cried most of the night and we were up every hour or so to comfort him.
By morning, he was pretty sluggish and not willing to get up to go outside and potty. He refused all food and water. I gently "shoved"his pain pills down his throat to keep him on schedule. He takes 2oo mg of Tramadol every 8 hours. It is his only option for pain control since he is also on Prednisone (a steroid). I checked his temperature and he was at 103.3, with 101 being normal for him. I gave the hospital and call and talked to one of the nurses. Dr. Clark immediately called back and agreed that I should take him to my regular vet for sub Q fluids if he didn't start to eat or drink by afternoon. He even gave Dr. DeQuick a call to let him know Zane's status. I love that kind of follow through!
Zane and I headed back to bed to catch up on our sleep. At 11:45, Zane woke up and attempted to stand. He was ready to go outside! I got him saddled up in his harness and used the towel under his stomach to guide him and we headed outside. Thanks goodness for the ramp. Zane did his business and then came right back in. He collapsed as soon as he got in the doorway. I made him lunch and he happily ate it so I knew we were back on track.
Dr. Clark called again in the afternoon and I was able to give a much more positive report on Zane. Dr. Clark stressed the importance of not letting Zane stay down too long or we might risk him getting pneumonia. Yikes, been there before with Daizee Lu. Well, Zane must have heard him because he made it in and out several more times during the afternoon and evening.