Arwen got to come home to us on Wednesday after her Tuesday surgery, and we are so relieved to have her back home. The vet office was a little concerned because she refused to eat a bite or go potty the whole time she was admitted. They thought she maybe just needed my husband and I to be there, and they were right. The second we arrived at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon she wolfed down a cup of food, and the second we arrived home she went potty in the backyard. I guess this means if Arwen is ever kidnapped, she will go on a hunger and potty strike until she is returned to her parents.
We prepared the house for her return by laying rugs all over the hardwood floors, and moving our living room couch into the garage so Arwen won’t be tempted to jump/step up onto it. We replaced the couch with our bed’s king-sized mattress, and we are camping out with her in the living room. My husband and I have adjusted our work schedules so we take turns being home with her so she hasn’t had to be alone yet.
That first night was hard. Arwen was super restless and didn’t sleep hardly at all. I think it was hard for her to get comfortable. She panted and whined a lot. The only thing that made her stop whining was my husband or I petting her, and it’s impossible to pet her and sleep at the same time. Arwen’s second night was much better. She slept most of the night, and only got restless a couple of times.
So the good news about Arwen’s recovery is that her appetite and thirst is as good as it has ever been. Definitely no appetite loss at all. And she still drinks water like a horse (as my stepfather describes it). She also takes her medication with no issues. She is on 14 pills a day (8 tramadol, 4 gabapentin, 2 vetprofen) and we just toss them in with her food. I don’t think she knows she’s even taking meds.
So she doesn’t go potty as much as she used to. We knew she may not have a bowel movement for a couple of days, but I wish she wouldn’t hold it so long when she has to urinate. She is only urinating maybe twice a day. We try to get her to go, but she won’t until she really has to go, then she urinates a lot. We have started rewarding her with treats after she goes to try and encourage her to go more. She just had her first post-op bowel movement this morning, though (hurrah!).
Seeing Arwen so helpless is really hard. We are bringing food and water to her, and using a simple harness the vet gave us (it just loops under her chest/stomach area) to help her go potty outside. Otherwise she is just on bed rest, sleeping on and off. When she is awake she is getting lots of attention and cuddles. But I can tell she is still uncomfortable. It’s really hard for her to get up when she’s lying down.
I know we made the right decision for her, but I still feel guilty. I wish I could take her pain from her. I keep telling myself that this pain is temporary. Just seeing her on 3 legs is hard, too. I have only sent pictures of her to my closest family and friends (who have been super supportive), but hesitate to have anyone else see her right now (present company, excluded). I know not everyone will agree with our choice to amputate, and worry people will give me their unsolicited opinions. I am thankful there is a community like Tripawds where so many people have made the same choice my husband and I have. Even though it’s sad so many people have had to have these medical issues with their pets, I take solace that we’re not alone.
Thanks to everyone who has blogged about their own journeys! I have read so many of them and it helps so much.