Izzie’s home from surgery and doing well. It’s going to be a long road. They did a lot. I can’t even begin to tell you all they did. They used a lot of big words. The vet dentist/oral surgeon called her mouth a catastrophe. He said none of what he saw was new to him, but he’s just never seen all those things going wrong in one dog’s mouth. After x-rays and 4 hours of surgery on Wednesday, we were able to pick her up at about 7pm. It was nice to have her home the same night and not have to think about her sleeping alone in some kennel.
She was really doped up and was practically falling asleep standing up before we got her in the car. On the way home Ryan drove and I sat in the back with her for the 1 1/2 hour drive home from Milford. I was so scared. I was afraid she would stop breathing on the way home. I was so relieved when she let out one of her trademark huge sighs. After we got settled at home, Ryan went out to get all of the special food we need for her, baby food, baby cereal, ensure, wet dog food, etc. When he got home, we both worked on icing her face for 3-5 minutes every other hour until we went to bed (this was to help reduce swelling).
We didn’t get much sleep Wednesday night. We were worried sick, and between us feeling anxious and her feeling a little uncomfortable (and hungry, I think!), we were up several times during the night. For two days after the surgery, we had to put a hot/warm compress on her face 4 times a day. For the first few days, she had to eat baby food, baby cereal, ensure, etc. But now we are able blend wet dog food with some chicken broth in addition to the other things. She’ll be on the blender diet until the next time we go in. She’ll also have to wear the satellite dish collar until then. Right now she has about 40 stitches in each side of the top of her mouth. She also received a bone graft on both sides (I think). Her next appointment is for October 23, and she’ll be having one more surgery that day, to finish up some teeth extraction, and to apply sealants to her remaining teeth. She’ll then have to continue with the blender diet and the collar for at least 30 days after that. So we’re looking at about 60 days of recovery time, during which time she’ll wear the satellite collar (we ordered her a soft collar instead though) and she’ll eat the blended diet. Also during those 60 days, she will not be able to chew on anything – no balls, soft toys, soft treats, nothing. I think she’s going to be so bored, although she’ll be on pain killers and antibiotics that whole time, so maybe she’ll spend the time sleeping and lounging. Once she’s all better, she will be able to eat dry food again, but because of the sealants she will not be able to chew on sticks, rocks, ice, hard toys such as rawhide bones. I bagged up all of the off limits toys today and gave them to Jenna for Max.
The vet that we went to, Dr. DeForge at Silver Sands Veterinary Center in Milford, was amazing. If you suspect your dog or cat may have any teeth issues, get them over there ASAP. Izzie is getting the sealants on her remaining teeth because of her lack on enamel. He said that between that and the impacted teeth, she’s probably been in a good amount of pain most of her life. He said that these 2 months of surgery and recovering will be hard, but that when we come out of this on the other end, she’s going to be a new dog. He likened her to a patient with migraines, who has had them their whole life, doesn’t know any other feeling but that pain, and then is pain free! I can’t imagine Izzie any happier, but it’s going to be great to know she won’t be in pain. We have our eye on Christmas as the ultimate recovery goal. We want her to feel 100% so she can enjoy her first trip to Florida.
On a sad note, my parents had to say goodbye to my childhood cat, Riley, this week. We think he was about 15 years old and after a few days of not feeling well he was diagnosed with cancer. Riley wandered into our front yard when I was in middle school (I think!) and I have fond memories of climbing the tree to feed him. Eventually we were able to domestic him and I would like to think he had a very good life with his. When I moved away, he became my father’s cat (or maybe he always was), but really acted more like a dog. He was a great companion and he and my dad spent many afternoons and evenings in the garage listening to Bob and Tom or watching Seinfeld. He truly had the Life of Riley and I know he will be missed immensely.
While watching animal planet tonight, I heard an interesting piece of information: Studies have shown that having a dog increases a human’s life by 3 years. Now, I don’t know if that’s on average, or up to 3 years, or what, but it’s pretty amazing that so much joy can come from loving (and being loved unconditionally by) an animal. Give your puppies, kitties, bunnies, ferrets or goldfish a hug tonight.