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Thread: Surgery scheduled for Thursday 4/4!

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  1. #1
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    Default Surgery scheduled for Thursday 4/4!

    So Winston is scheduled for decompression surgery with Dr Glass at Redbank Veterinary Hospital in NJ for Thursday 4/4. We have to bring him in the day before for prep & blood work. Dr Glass does not use the titanium mesh & he's been doing this surgery for 15 yrs. He feels the healing process is a bit easier for us & the dog when the mesh is not used & he has not had a problem with scaring. I've cancelled all plans indefinitely & I'm lucky enough to be a stay at home mom to 2 12yr olds. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Sorry I can't offer any advice but I just want to send all my best wishes and hope the surgery goes well for Winston on the 4th.
    Catherine & Kookie

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    I attached an x-pen to Riley's crate so that she would have more room after her surgery. She was allowed 3 five minute leash walks for the first couple of weeks. Other than that, she had to be in her crate or in our arms. I also put her crate right next to our bed at night so that I could hear her and tell if she was in pain. She came home with a fentanyl patch for pain which she had for the first two or three days which worked liked a charm. I only gave her extra pain meds once the first night home. THe hardest part for me was keeping her quiet in my multi-dog household. I had an 11 month-old pup who was so full of energy, that even when I was holding Riley, I couldn't trust that Oz wouldn't come and barrel up into us.

    Truthfully though (and I've said this before) the recovery will be harder on you than on Winston. You will look at his shaved head and you'll feel his pain and you'll question whether you did the right thing, whether you've prolonged or shortened his life, whether you've given him a better quality of life, and you'll probably cry. It took a good 6 months for Riley to really recover, for us to figure out her meds (Winston will most likely be on meds even post-operatively), and for me to not look at her as if she were going to die any minute. It took another year for me to stop treating her with kid gloves and feeling like nobody else could take care of her like I could. I was afraid to let her out of my sight. Now, almost 5 years later, I treat her normally and treasure every day I have with her. I realize every day is a bonus that I didn't think I would get. She loves life. She runs, she loves walks, she is happy. She is certainly not a normal dog, her brain was too damaged by the time she had her surgery for her to be healthy normal, but she is living life and loving it.

    Wishing you all the best on April 4th.

    (By the way, Riley did have the titanium mesh implant)
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much. It's so hard to know your doing the right thing before the surgery so I can imagine after the surgery will be really tough. I've been through other dramas with other animals so I do know the angst you are describing. Even as so far as to go with a dr that doesn't believe in the mesh. He did explain to me that the screws & the mesh result in a longer recovering as far as cranial pressure etc. he says he's never had a problem with scarring on any of his procedures in 15yrs. It's a very difficult decision & I'm already praying to God I'm making the right one. All I know is that if I don't do something he will get much worse. I'm curious to know what your dog still does that makes you say she will never be normal? I really want Winston to be the happy, sweet playful boy he is.

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    Riley's main problems before and after surgery were balance. Her vestibular system was very badly damaged by the SM. She cannot jump and on bad days she needs to lean against walls to keep her balance. Sometimes she will be sitting and just starts shaking and her legs will collapse on her. So that's what I mean by never being normal. Prednisone keeps it pretty much in check and it is 1000% better than before surgery. But like I said, she's a happy girl and loves life.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  6. #6
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    Aww thank you so much for sharing. Winston is pretty much mostly scratching his neck & head & licking his paws. About once a month he yelps. Of course all these symptoms are a lot less since on his meds. I'll keep you posted.

  7. #7
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    Great news. The Dr said we are out of danger! Winston is doing so good. He's even starting to wag his tail! The dr said he has nice range of motion in his neck. He's eating, peeing & pooping. He said he can come home I'm 24-72 hrs. I'm hoping he can come home on Sunday because my husband is off from work & there will be less traffic. Without traffic it's about 3hrs drive. Thanks for all your support. I'll still keep you posted on the situation.

  8. #8
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    So glad the surgery went well and he is doing good! The hair is a trademark and he now is what someone with Chiari say they call "zipperheads". So welcome to the club, the hair will grow back and the best part is the surgery is over. Now for the recovery
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  9. #9
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    Oh what a relief! Anne' s characterization of the "zipperhead' is pretty accurate. I'm so glad he's responding to his caretakers at the hospital. Cavaliers have a way of working their way into everyone's hearts and they seem to take extra special care of them. One look into those eyes and who can resist just giving a little extra TLC? I know Sunday seems like such a long time to wait, but it will be good for Winston to have that extra recovery time for the long car ride car ride home. I'll be interested to hear what their discharge instructions are for him. Get some sleep now because you may not sleep well for the first few nights when Winston is home. And maybe plan on sleeping with his crate next to your bed for the first few nights home so you can tell if he's in pain. I'm sure he'll be so relieved to be home and with you too. Relish the moments even though they'll be subdued. Anxiously awaiting your first post about his arrival at home. (as well as others about his progress before he comes home!)
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  10. #10
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    Just catching up on this now. So glad the surgery went well....I can imagine the worry and angst you've been through.
    Hope his recovery is uneventful.

    Leo and I are send hugs and best wishes from "across the pond"

    Look after yourself and have a safe journey when you drive to pick him up.

    Mel XX
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

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