Ursa, her accident and the road to recovery
This blog post is a compilation of blog posts from late 2008 and early 2009 and is being added back to the new My Blue Heaven to preserve the story. This initially appears as multiple blog posts and there are a few missing.
Please know that Ursa healed fully and is doing GREAT today. You would never know that she had ever had this accident.
My broken puppy
Filed under: Dogs — Tags: Broken, Ursa, Xray — Scott @ 4:11 pm December 2, 2008
I have enjoyed posting some snapshots of my new puppy since we got her. This shot on the other hand is not really the one that I wanted to post. First off, I didn’t take it, my wife did, and I really don’t find the cast all that flattering.
On Sunday evening, my wife was cleaning up all of the dog toys in the back yard when Ursa jumped for one. She landed wrong and started screaming in pain. We rushed her to the emergency animal hospital where we found out that she had broken her leg.
Those that follow me on Twitter have read many of the Tweets I have posted about this incident, and today was the first time I have really had a chance to sit down and post it here.
As I write this, she is at the animal hospital and will have surgery tomorrow morning. She should be returning home again on Thursday.
It will take about a month for the bone to heal. They will be inserting pins though her skin and they will be held in place with a bracket on the outside of her skin. The vet believes that this will allow her to heal fairly quickly, and anticipates a 100% recovery. She will have to spend the next month in her crate, as she can’t be allowed to be very mobile, and that will be a real challenge, but what can you do.?
Feeling a little guilty
Filed under: Dogs, Holidays, Photography — Tags: Photography, Travel, Ursa — Scott @ 9:24 pm December 10, 2008
For the last week and a half I haven’t done anything that wasn’t work or looking after Ursa.
I haven’t had a decent nights sleep since the accident, Ursa has to take sedatives to settle down at night but they only last a few hours. We still have at least 3 weeks to go before she will be free of constant supervision.
It really is turning into a “Long December” and I really needed to interact with a little color tonight.
That is where the guilty feelings are coming from. The wife is in the living room with Ursa and I took a few minutes to look for a colorful picture to post.
This shot was taken last fall, but brings back lots of childhood memories in Seaside, Oregon. I won’t go into any of that now as all I really wanted was the color!
Half Way There?
Filed under: Dogs — Tags: Ursa — Scott @ 9:39 pm December 16, 2008
We got word from the vet today that Ursa will most likely get her external fixator removed on either the 29th of 30th of this month. That means that we are a little better than half way there.
These first 2 weeks have been a real challenge, and I am sure that we will have some challenges in the next 2 weeks, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Jumped the gun a little
Filed under: Dogs — Tags: Ursa — Scott @ 9:31 pm December 18, 2008
I guess I jumped the gun a little in reporting that we were “half way there” for Ursa’s recovery.
Found out that we will not be having the xrays and probably removal of the external fixator until the 7th of Jan.
We were really disappointed by this, not only because our lives are in turmoil right now, but because her’s is also. She wants to run and play, we want her to run and play, but she will have to wait another week for that.
We are still having problems getting her to actually sleep at night, but we are increasing her sedative dosage tonight. Hopefully that will allow us to get something that will pass for a normal nights sleep.
Wish us luck.
Hopefully the last bandage
Filed under: Dogs — Tags: Ursa — Scott @ 8:50 pm January 7, 2009
Ursa has become very popular with the entire staff at our Vet’s office. Even though her treatment is being done by a specialist, she is getting weekly checkups and bandage changes with the “regular” vet.
During our latest, and hopefully last bandage change, the staff decided to “dress” things up a little.
Note: The post announcing that she was healed and out of the fixator was lost and I can not find the original text, but the following is a 1 year follow up.
This first image is an X-Ray after the healing process and was taken the day that the fixator was removed.
This image is of her the day she was able to finally able to be on her own in the back yard which was 2 week after the fixator was removed.
A year ago today
Filed under: Dogs, Holidays — Tags: Ursa — Scott @ 3:08 pm November 29, 2009
Here we are. It is Sunday and we are winding down from Thanksgiving weekend. I suspect that most people are taking the day easy, watching some football and getting ready to go back to work after a long weekend. That was exactly what I was doing one year ago today.
One year ago today, Ursa, my german shepherd / chow mix puppy was 6 months old, and had been in our house for about 2 months after adopting her from Pima County Animal Control. On that Sunday, my wife had decided to clean up some of the toys that a young puppy had scattered all over the yard. As she was walking across the yard with an arm full of toys, Ursa decided to jump up and grab one out of her arms. The problem was that she landed in a small depression in the yard and came down on her hind leg wrong. I think that most of southeastern Tucson heard her scream in pain as her leg broke.
We got Ursa into her crate and headed to the emergency animal hospital. We spent most of the night there, sadly it was a very busy emergency room that night. After about 6 total hours there, we were heading home with Ursa in a temporary cast that she would be in for 3 days.
We had an appointment for the next Wednesday for her to have a surgery on her leg where they would set the bone with an external fixator. An external fixator is a device that has 2 carbon fiber shafts with surgical steel screws set into the bone and attached to the shafts. It is really a pretty gruesome looking contraption, but the surgeon was convinced that it was the best route for her, and at her age would allow the bone to heal the best. Ursa was at the hospital for 2 days for the surgery.
After we brought her home, we were told that she was going to have to stay off her leg for 6 weeks. This meant that we would have to keep her in her crate when we were not home, and on a leash with us when we were. She could not be allowed to run or jump and they didn’t even want her to walk at first. Aside from the lifestyle change of having to spend 100% of our time with her when we were home, the real problem came at night. Even though she is crate trained, she really hated being in her crate and would become very loud. For the first week I think we averaged about 1 to 2 hours of sleep a night.
We talked to our regular vet about this, and she proscribed some sedatives to give Ursa before bed time, they helped a lot and allowed us 4 or 5 hours of sleep.
During the 6 week recovery, there were bandages covering the fixator to keep keep things clean, and to help prevent Ursa from licking what was going to become a very itchy leg. These bandages had to be changed out once a week, and that task fell to our regular vet. Ursa became somewhat popular with the whole staff at Rita Ranch Animal Hospital in Tucson, and on her final bandage change, they decided to decorate her a little.
After the 6 weeks in the fixator, it was time for her to have all of her hardware removed. Everything went well, and even though the hardware was gone, we had to still keep her somewhat calm for the next two weeks as there were 8 holes in her bones from where the surgical pins were installed. Those 2 weeks actually went by very fast, and even though there were times when we really didn’t know if we would survive the whole ordeal, Ursa was finally back in her feet.
We had a real concern that her spending almost 8 weeks being on a leash right next to us the whole time would cause her to want to never be away from us, but those fears were unfounded and she picked up “owning” her backyard just as she had prior to the accident. She started running and playing as if she hadn’t just broken her leg a couple months prior to that.