Duke [a.k.a. Robo-dog] is making progress.

Unbelievably Duke is doing quite well.  He came home from the University of Minnesota Small Animal Hospital on Friday of last week, so he has been home for five days.  It feels like we are starting to get into a rhythm, finally, with incorporating his care into our household routines. 

Duke ended up having two surgeries with a total of three major procedures for his injuries, along with a couple other issues that need to be dealt with.

  1. Hip.  His dislocated right hip was repaired by way of a ‘femoral head ostectomy’.  This is basically cutting off the head of the femur with a saw, and closing the wound, allowing for the body to form a ‘pseudo-joint’ in the surrounding tissues.  To me this seems like witchcraft, but apparently it’s somewhat common in the veterinary-orthopaedic field.
  2. Knee.  His left back knee was bending in the wrong direction so it was assumed to have been broken. In fact, his ACL and MCL were completely blown, so there was nothing keeping his knee bones from moving in the correct directions.  The surgeon placed some braided-cord-like implants in there to stabilize the knee.
  3. Ankle.  Duke’s left back ankle was fractured, and a plate with a couple pins was installed and it is expected that the joint will fuse together eventually.  The surgeon had to make additional incisions on the other side of his leg to allow the skin to stretch over the plate, so he has a large open wound in addition to the original.
  4. Metatarsals.  He had some broken metatarsals (finger bones, basically) in his left back leg, but those are being taken care of indirectly by way of the cast he is already wearing and are considered minor.
  5. Pneumonia.  Duke contracted pneumonia after his surgeries.  Apparently this is a common occurrence when one spends a lit of time under general anesthesia, which he did.  General anesthesia relaxes the sphincter muscles, one of which is the muscle which contracts to keep junk out of your windpipe.  So during surgery, some fluid and bacteria must have gotten in there. 

Given all the crap that he has gone through, he is doing amazingly well.  His wounds are healing as well as can be expected.  He shows a desire to get up and walk around, and when he does he does not seem to have too much pain.  He wags his tail and is his usual relaxed, happy self.  He tolerates the excessive attention from the kids and doesn’t try to lick his wounds too much.  

It warms my heart to see Duke’s reaction when Eagle comes in the room.  He thumps his tail a little harder, raises his head a little higher, and always tries to stand for my husband.  Eagle is definitely Duke’s  favorite in the family, and I think that’s awesome.

The only thing Duke gets sullen about is the Cone of Shame.  Which I think is perfectly reasonable.


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