Luke the down dachshund’s first day out of the hospital

I brought Luke home from UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital last night. After the 1 and 1/2 hour drive, he was hungry and ate a good dinner. I had a pretty easy time expressing his bladder, too, which was a relief. I stand him on all four legs in the back yard, position his back legs as naturally as possible, and then press on either side of his abdomen. The urine comes out in promising spurts — which may mean he has muscle tone and could recover some of his bladder control. We will know more about his prospects in a couple of weeks.

He has 13 staples down his back…we should have named him Frankenstein.

After dinner he sat with us on the bed as we watched a DVD of “The Closer”. I don’t think Luke was impressed with the show (especially the episode where the cat has kittens — why wasn’t that cat spayed?), but he happily relaxed when I started the massage techniques his vet student, Carrie, showed me for his feet and legs. This is interesting: she said that when dogs’ sensation begins to come back after surgery, it can feel like “pins and needles” and be painful — some dogs self-mutilate trying to get relief. So we had a nice long rub on his back feet and legs.

He also did well with the passive range of motion exercises. His joints resist bending a bit at that point of the circle, but it was a lot more relaxed at the end of the session at the beginning.
He snuggled next to me all night. I got his bladder really good before bed, and no accidents all night — YEAH! He woke me up at 2 am to go, and I took him out and expressed him again, and back to sleep. I was really encouraged that he appeared to “know” that he had to potty. As for the poop — a little Q-tip inserted in his rectum spurs that right away! No problem there!

So now I sleep with one “down dachshund” snuggled on either side of me.

I came home from work early today and found him perfectly happy in his crate. We did his bladder and bowel and took a little nap while listening to the news on the radio. He has also started to play and loves to eviscerate a stuffed animal. He takes particular joy in ripping the white fluff out with relish and a wild look in his eye.

We tried towel walking today after our nap and some more massage/range of motion exercise. If I don’t hold his rear legs at JUST the right height, his back legs get all tangled up together. Not as promising as I had hoped, but we’ll keep at it. I will try the water therapy this weekend – want to give his wound a little more time.

I ordered his cart today….he will be much happier when he has more control over his movements.

It is amazing that he seems to be in no pain at all, considering his backbone was sliced open less than a week ago. He is so cheerful and calm. He makes hardly any noise, unless he is left behind in a room…then he squeals as though he is in a vise. He wants to be held ALL the time.

Whoever is reading this, send healing vibes to Luke’s back legs.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kathy
    Aug 03, 2006 @ 00:07:00

    Hi Kristin!

    Your photos of dachshunds look just like my Hannah! She’s a red mini, but has shorter ears. Aren’t they the cutest?

    Thanks for posting on my blog!



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