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Getting picked up from CSU – post Surgery

Friday, September 9th, 2011

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Dakota did great in her surgeries and is on the road to recovery.  Keep in mind this road has a much reduced speed limit.  No stairs, jumping, or running for 8 weeks and she will need our support to help get her around for a couple of weeks.   Standing for a few minutes and some steps a couple times a day is our goal for the next few days.  These restrictions are all for the proper healing of the back leg which required breaking of her bone and inserting an implant.    She had a complete cruciate rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament and meniscal damage.    Her bone shapes allowed her to get a TTA over the TTLO  surgery – which was great because it has less cutting of the core part of her bone and will give her more stability.

Yes, we were a bit anxious to see Dakota.  We wanted to see how she was doing and give her encouragement but at the same time worried how the amputated leg and back fixed leg was going to look like.

The staff at CSU did an awesome job taking care of her and giving her love.   Dakota made sure and thank’d them with lots of wags of the tail and a perky head up whenever someone came by.  They were proud of her and sad to see her go at the same time.

The awesome Doc’s at CSU showed how to help her to stand upright and take a few steps.


Here is the first look at the wounds.  She’ a bit naked looking with the shaved leg and torso.  The actual stitches on  her hind leg is on the inside.  And well, of course it is an adjustment to see the amputation site.   ahh, Dakota is trying to reach out to give a kiss.


Oh such a happy dog!   So happy to be in the CAR on her BED and on her WAY HOME !



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Why beat me, I’m a good dog?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

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Dakota here, I’m resting and doing OK.  As one would imagine after having all these tubes hooked up to me and doctors fussing over me I can’t help but reflect on my life.  I have so many great memories from my time with Darren and then Darren & Amy but I keep going back to how unlucky I was at the beginning of my life.  Now I know Darren and Amy are worried somethin awful ’bout me but this is really nothing considering what I went through the first year of my life.  I was given to a man when I was two months old.  I was very sad to leave my mom and siblings but at the same time excited for the new environment.  Then it started…….The first time it happened I was kicked across the room.  I didn’t really know what happened.  Then I was chewing on a sock, as puppies do, and I was kicked again.  This time he also hollered at me.  I was terrified and cried and cried, I wanted to snuggle up under moms belly.  The beatings continued for months….oh how I dreaded when that man came home from work.  He did all sorts of bad things to me that I would rather not mention but I knew that I did not want to live like this.  I had way too much love to give.  One day after getting beat for throwing up on the floor I decided I would run away.  The next day when he went to leave for work I waited by the door and made my escape.  When I got outside I remember him hollering at me but I just ran and and ran and ran.  I finally stopped when I was so tired I thought I was going to fall over.  Now the adrenaline was gone and I was really scared.  It was a different kind of scared.  Where was I going to get food?  Where was I going to get water?  Was that mean man going to find me and take me to his home and beat me?  I wandered the streets for a few hours when I saw a nice lady in a van drive by.  She turned around and when she turned around I saw what was on the side of the van  “Animal Control”.  Finally someone that could answer my questions.  She had a treat for me too.  She loaded me in the van to take me to a secret location where I could tell her all about the mean guy and hopefully to get me something to eat and drink.  I was so thirsty.

I’m getting tired now and by body hurts, oh yes the very first question I was going to ask that nice lady from Animal Control when we get to our secret location was “Why beat me, I’m a good dog?”


Resting at CSU after surgery

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

CSU called and said Dakota did great and is out of surgery and resting!  They were able to do the TTA vs TPLO surgery for the cruciate ligament.  The TTA surgery offers a faster recovery time.  Dakota will spend two nights at CSU and the plan is to we bring her home Thursday. 

Today after dropping Dakota off we purchased gates to keep her confined to one level of the house and we also got some mats for the tile floor.  For at least the first couple nights we will set up our spare bed and sleep by Dakota.

We are now officially proud parents of a Tripawd.

two surgeries scheduled

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Darren’s first nickname for me was Gripper, then Elk Chaser, and Dogger Bogger. Amy calls me Girl Dog Dakota and both think I’m the Greatest Dog ever.  Soon I might get a new nickname because I’ll have undergone two major surgeries on September 6th 2011.

One is to have TPLO surgery on my back-left leg due from a cruciate ligament rupture in the knee that occurred after an awesome time at the dog park chasing after a ball and running in the river on July 10th, 2011.  The second is to amputate my front left elbow due to a snyovial sarcoma non-aggressive cancer around the elbow joint. The tumor was found a week later and does not appear to have spread and is degrading the bone and will cause me quite a bit of pain in the long run.

Once I got on the pain medications (Tramadol and then also Gabapentin) and some sleeping, my appetite came back and I’m more active.  But I’m still just getting by with my back leg being pretty lame and my front one hurting after a fair amount of activity.   I’m mostly only able to go on short walks and swimming.  I can run OK (if I don’t think about it and there is a squirrel to chase).  Darren & Amy took me for a good swim yesterday (which I did not want to leave the lake) and I’m pretty sore and limping today, but it was so awesome!

Darren and Amy have asked a lot of questions and talked many times with my very caring Veterinarian at Mesa Veterinary Hospital.  She recommended we take a visit to CO State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital that specializes in Oncology for animals.  There I also received lots of hugs and love from the Doctors and Interns.  I saw three surgeons who all said I’m a good candidate for surgery.  They said I’d go as far as Darren and Amy would take me; which is so very true.

The problem is the surgeons all had a different order of how they would handle my case, OF COURSE….Should the back leg get fixed first & heal, then amputate the front; or amputate then fix the back leg (which is really not an option cuz my back leg is so lame; or do both at the same time.    Basically the tear the band-aid off as fast as you can theory is what the Darren and Amy ended up going with.

The doc’s all say I have the spirit and a strong will and should do well with the surgeries.

It’s been awhile now due to scheduling and waiting for test results and I’d probably be healed from the cruciate by now, but we had to know if the sarcoma cancer was the aggressive type.  Great news, it is not.

So, I will have both the surgeries Tuesday morning the 6th    They are nervous, hopeful, and trusting that this is the right decision for me.  They are a bit unaware at this time what the recovery will be like, just that it will be challenaging.    

Keep us in your prayers and any advice on recovering from an amputation and a TPLO surgery for a cruciate ligament rupture would be welcome.