It’s now been 9 days post surgery… and we have had ONE full night of sleep since. It’s been an adventure, let me tell you, for several reasons.
First, I live by myself. Now, I see people at work daily and I see my Mom on the weekend, but when the (very well meaning) vets tell me to “watch” the incision… and then I’m asking if it “looks dry,” if there is “any puss,” etc., that’s kind of hard to tell for someone who has just BARELY any sight left. So, Makiko and I would make trips into the bathroom or kitchen of my apartment, which have the best lights several times daily to check it out.. usually once in the morning before work, once in the afternoon after we get home, and once right before bed. Now they also tell you not to touch it, but how can someone who can barely see really confirm that it is dry through visual means? They can’t. So I would gently touch it, just enough to confirm that it was dry. And it always was. Makiko was pretty good about leaving it alone. There was one time that I became a little concerned because there was this little “bulge” at the end of the incision. I forget what the doctor called it but basically that happens sometimes as it fills up with fluid. it wasn’t something to worry about. It also was a little larger because Makiko was so fit that they didn’t have a whole lot to mess with when closing up the incision. She has a layer of stitches below and then the top layer is stapled shut. (I’ll post another post with pictures but I know that’s not everybody’s cup of tea so DONT LOOK if you will get easily grossed out. :))
So, let’s get back to the sleep thing because that directly relates to her attire. The first weekend home, if you will recall, my Mom was pretty adament about me keeping the e-collar on her but that was really a disaster. It did its job, but it was SOOO long that she would trip over it, and therefore didn’t really want to pee, would stick her legs through it in the night and choke herself or hurt herself.. it just wasn’t fun. So we also tried the shirt at night, but she would also find ways to move just right (or wrong, really) that she would get tangled up in it, stick her leg through the neck hole, and then get her back legs wrapped up in the shirt that she wouldn’t be able to move and would be miserable. Every time she got tangled up or started choking herself or something, naturally I would wake up or she would wake me up. So, we tried different ways of tying the shirt up, etc. After several days of this and waking up in the middle of the night, we would usually start the night with something on, wake up in the middle of the night and adjust, and then go back to sleep. After a few days of that and she became quite miserable (as did I with little sleep and working at a mentally exhausting job), if she wasn’t sleeping, I would just cuddle her up right next to me, put my arm around her so I could feel if she scratched, and tell her to stay- and stay she did! Eventually she just ended up laying partially or fully on me, which was fine – even though it got quite hot, and that’s how we did it! 🙂 I haven’t been keeping the shirt or collar on her all the time nowadays, until we got this new product from my aunt. But we were mostly doing okay without the shirt or collar because I would tell her no if she would try and scratch at it or bite at it, and she eventually would just look at me with pathetic eyes when it itched and I would comfort her. Good girl, Makiko.
(First picture is her one night with tshirt and ecollar on, on my bed. Second picture is her one of the first days at work, with shirt and ecollar on. Third picture is her working with her shirt on. Her harness LUCKILY does not hit the incision site (or really even the shaved area) at all!)
So Thursday night, I got a call around 6 and Dr. Quast at Denton Veterinary Center asked me “Has anybody called you to give you the good news yet?” No sir, they haven’t. “Well, I have great news then, it’s an hemangioma, not cancerous..” I was so excited. He went on to explain how a hemangioma is just a benign tumor originating from blood vessels, they don’t reoccur, and we should be just fine. Oh so exciting. He told me I could come in the next day, Friday, and they would look at the incision and decide if they were taking the staples out then or on Monday.
So that Friday we went and they said that the incision was looking REALLY GOOD which was a huge relief, and they wanted to give it a few extra days to heal so tomorrow, Monday, we will be going back to get the staples out. That will be a huge relief. Makiko is back to feeling really good again so she wants to run around (especially when my boyfriend is here), and it sucks being the one to tell her to stay calm. Makiko also got a routine heart worm test she was due for (negative!) and Lepto vaccine. Next up is Bordetella vaccine and rabies vaccine in a few months.
But also on Friday we got this really cool shirt from my aunt, who is also a vet in Colorado Springs, Dr. Susan Whitmore. She owns Companion Animal Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was recently at a vet conference and was given a free sample of this shirt, that buttons in the back around the tail. It’s very comfy, like a turtleneck. Makiko initially was like “oh great..what are you doing to me NOW?” (I make my Mom put it on her so I don’t feel so guilty.) But she has gotten pretty used to it. I still give her a few little breaks from it but it will be good to continue to protect it over the next week as she recovers. Here are some pictures:
It amazes me how fast her hair grows back!! Understandably so, as it grows back it also itches her.. both on her leg where she was shaved for her IV and her incision site. But you can barely tell there was hair missing unless you get up really close and then you can see the different levels of hair, haha.
In summary, incision site is good, no cancer, have a cool new shirt, get staples out tomorrow – we’re rocking this! It will be great to get her back to working full-time again. We have been doing light-duty, and she has been doing well. Like today we went to Kroger and it is so freeing to stand up straight and just go through the crowds with her. But it will be nice when we don’t have to worry about the incision anymore, or limiting her play time, etc.