7-1-03:Follow up vet visit
I told the vet I was feeling a clicking sound when helping Honey get around, so we went in for xrays and follow up care for her leg. Honey was excellent for xrays, being laid on her back and film taken as if for OFA. The xrays showed a broken pelvis, and it's on the side with the uninjured leg. This amazed me as I was suspicious of a break in hip or pelvis, but didn't expect to be on the side of the leg she was using to get around for pottying. This tough as nails girl hadn't been complaining, just trying to do her best to walk.
Her road burns were evaluated, and we feel that about half of the injured skin will slough. Now we just hope it won't peel off through all skin layers, although I feel the blackest areas will.
Next we did a dressing change. We were happy to see the front side edge was already growing granulation tissue and filling in. The edge around the point and back of the hock is very deep though, and the vet took this time to scrape away dead bone to healthy tissue and debride shredded and dead tissue and ligament remains. Her nails on that foot were trimmed as I could not get at the foot to trim them the other day. We cut one nail short enough to check for good blood flow to the foot and were not disappointed. The area was then filled in with Silvadene and rewrapped in the soft cast. The whole time, Honey was perfectly behaved, only tensing up a few times.
Her next big vet check, barring any complications, will be in 2 weeks, when we may be able to fuse the joint if healing has progressed as it should.
7-2-03Last night some of the road rash started sloughing off Honey's side. This area was burned deeper than the top of her back PIC, and the area we were worried about. A section the size of my hand is open and raw plus sore; I got my first yelp ever when turning her over. The blackest areas have not done anything yet, but I expect they will slough much deeper than the other areas. The leg is more sore today, too, after the bone scrapping yesterday. Still no sign of infection, which is fabulous, although she's had a low grade fever of 102.5 to 103F. PIC, but don't open if you are squeemish. She seems to be happier seeing my husband than me, but then again, he's not the one shoving pills down her twice a day. We tried a hint we got from the Boxer Friends email list to keep her from licking; we wrapped a towel around her neck and duct taped it on. Works great! and it's comfortable for her.
Pics from the dressing change today. Photo of back and leg *WARNING: graphic*. We are changing it every 18 to 20 hours as it was oozing so much. That's working better, but we are going through dressing material and Silvadene creme much faster, now.
Looks like the entire road burn area on her back and sides is sloughing. The deepest areas are just starting to go, the thinner areas went a few days ago and are weeping quite a bit. I worry that she's not drinking enough to compensate for the loss of fluids. She's feeling a lot better and her real personality is coming through now. She wants to be with us and not in her hospital space, and I do bring her upstairs when the rambuncious ones are in the yard. She seems to get along with everyone, but I can't have the clod-hoppers (AKA: Mia) stepping on her or trying to get her to play (AKA: Abbi). She spends quite a bit of time with Harry and Rosie. When she's back in her isolation area, she fusses and whines, and today actually barked once to let me know she was unhappy about it.
We had an out of town dog show and got back Sunday evening. Honey stayed with the vet during that time as it takes 2 experienced people to take care of her leg. Joe cleaned the leg some more, and healthy pink granulation tissue is slowly filling in the wound. The joint is still exposed, however, so her fusion surgery is postponed until the granulation tissue covers the joint. The bone is healthy and even bleeds some when scraped (good). It may be as early as the end of this week as well as she is doing, but we will see. The area over the joint was the deepest and worst part of the wound. We also are going to dressing changes every other day (that's a relief!) There's almost enough skin tissue to cover the area, but she may still need a small graft. The road burn on her torso is healing well. The only bad spots that haven't sloughed off yet are the 2 deep areas and they may leave scars. About 3/4 inch + has healed around the edges and I am treating those areas with vit E as they are *very* itchy now. We ended up putting a No Bite collar on her as she could still lick part of the burn if she worked hard enough at it around the towel. She's not at all happy about wearing it, so we take it off her when she's outside with us or gets to sit on the couch (pic) with one of us. She was *so* happy to see us pick her up, I'm sure she thought she had been abandoned all over again. She was all butt wiggles over seeing all the other dogs, too, and wanting to join in on their playing. I let her play a bit with Mia, as Mia treats her like a puppy that can't play well yet. *Love* that english attitude on Mia.
Changed the dressing today (and Tuesday), and the granulation has slowed down a lot. There's healthy pink tissue, but the joint is *still* exposed. (Pic- **Caution** explicit photo of exposed joint) The pic is a bit fuzzy, but the joint is still clearly visible. The burned area on her torso, though, continues to heal visibly every day. There are now 4 spots an inch or less left to heal. **PIC**. Honey's attitude remains good, and she wants to run and play with the other dogs *so bad*. I've also started giving her 1 lean chicken back when I feed chicken to the other dogs, and she's a very good enthusiastic chewer. She would switch to a BARF diet very easily. We have still not been able to find out anything about Honey's breeder. Her former owner has not been any help claiming no knowledge of registration papers. As a result, we have been unable to contact the breeder to inform them of Honey's bad hips.
7-22-03 During the dressing change yesterday, while examining the leg wound, we got great news... The joint is starting to get covered by granulation tissue after a month of bandaging! That means we can schedule Honey's hock fusion which is the critical next step in her healing process. The burn on her torso is also looking great, having just 4 small spots that still are scabbed. In large areas, the black pigment of normal skin is returning. No sign of hair yet, but I'm sure it's on it's way.
7-23-03 Honey went in to see Dr Joe today to assess the tissue regeneration. He was very pleased with how the wound was looking and we have tentatively scheduled her hock fusion in 2 weeks! He was also pleased with how well the skin was growing on the sides, and we are *hopeful* that she may not need a graft over the wound. Dr Joe is a perfectionsit and meticulous in his recontructive work; if anyone can do it, he can.
We will now start a new update page for Honey.