Last Saturday (4/9) we were finally able to pick Callie up from the vet's office after her operation. She actually looked much better than we expected when she greeted us - ears up, eyes bright! She was clearly freaked out, but otherwise seemed very happy to see us and quite alert.
We had a meeting with one of our vet's assistants, who walked us through our responsibilities for the next couple of months, and then we paid our bill at the front desk. Looks like prices went up since last November - the total bill came to $2,020.63! If you are curious what that bill looked like... here you go:
So yes, it was about $500 more expensive than we had hoped! They said that the prices of some things had doubled since last fall, and although Callie still received the less intensive (cheaper) version of the surgery that we had hoped for, the price of that surgery had gone up from the $1500 we were previously quoted. But the rock show fundraiser by itself raised enough to pay for an amazing 25% of the operation, and thanks to so many donations and our own savings, we were able to pay what we needed and take our little lady home! It was worth it.
As you can see, Callie came home with a bright pink cast with a blue/green star on it. Pretty cute, really! It's made of a thick gauze bandage, wrapped with that rubbery plastic kind of bandage that sticks to itself. I know Callie doesn't like it, but she seems to be adapting to it pretty quickly.
Sometimes she even sleeps with her head resting on it, which is kind of sad and adorable all at once.
Callie spent most of the first day just sleeping. In fact, that's pretty much the pattern every day! She is still working out the various ways to rest with that big ol bandaged leg, but she's doing well. When we take her out to go to the bathroom, we have to wrap the bandage up in plastic to make sure it doesn't get wet. Naturally it rained a lot the last couple of days, so "wrapping the bandage" involved a few twist-ties and grocery bags! Even though it looks huge and ridiculous, thankfully the wrapping doesn't seem to get too much in the way. In fact, generally Callie is much more mobile than we expected! This is great, because it means she is feeling all right, and also problematic, because it means we will have a hard time keeping her SLOW once the bandage comes off.
Callie gets a few medications each day. One is the glucose supplement that she has been taking since last November, which should help her joint heal and strengthen. Once a day she also gets an analgesic (painkiller) that comes in these little single-serving tubes. There are no needles - it's just syringes! She really dislikes taking this one, because I sort of have to force-feed it to her, but thankfully it dispenses quickly and is abruptly over. Only 5 days to go!
Lastly, she also gets an antibiotic twice a day. I have to give her 3 mL of it at a time, which may not sound like much but I guarantee is more than Callie wants to take. I fill up the syringe with this pink-orange goo that smells oddly like banana, and then I have to sort of wedge it between her teeth and dispense it gradually. Yuck!
We are halfway through the medication period, and in just a few days we will get the bandage removed. On Thursday we'll drive back to the DMV Center to get it taken off, and we'll also get a quick checkup and instructions on how to do physical therapy with Callie. She will hate it! But we'll get through it. Callie will have to go one more week after that with the staples in her leg, unbandaged, and we'll need to watch closely to make sure she doesn't lick or bite at them. Once those are finally removed on April 21st, we will keep doing physio and keep trying to restrain our pup from running and jumping! And then it's the slow road to eventual recovery.
We will have our first evaluation with Dr. Planté on May 4th, when we will do a round of x-rays and he will tell us how Callie is recovering. Hopefully 2-4 weeks after that he will give us the all-clear, when Callie will at last be free to run and hop as she pleases! We have been forewarned that probably within the next 3 weeks Callie will start to feel like she can move a bit quicker, and in fact we have already seen her trying to hurry from place to place even WITH the giant bandage on her leg. Somehow we will need to contain the little cutie, until her leg is ready to keep up with the rest of her furry little body. Although this worries me a bit, for the most part I am just extremely thankful that the surgery is done and that Callie is doing such a good job. Seriously guys, you wouldn't believe what a tough little pup she is.