So the dog’s recovery has been much lengthier than we anticipated— he wore his splint until last Wednesday, and has had a couple of rounds of pressure sores on his feet (he hasn’t had his nails trimmed since just before the surgery, and his foot wasn’t touching the ground, so having his toes wrapped for the last 2.5 months means that his nails dig into his skin and cause problems). The last round necessitated leaving his toes wrapped for another week, to get completely healed. So I’m supposed to remove the bandage Wednesday, though I wouldn’t bet that the bandage would last that long, at this point.
He was so good about leaving the bandage alone throughout his recovery, but this last week has been a real challenge. For the first time, we’ve had to put him back in the actual cone. He’s chewed through the sock we’ve had covering his leg, he’s chewed through the waterproof boot. He’s desperate to lick his leg and to remove the last of the bandage from his foot. He has to be supervised almost constantly. It’s exhausting.
But he’s supporting his own weight on the leg, and the leg is straighter than it was. I’m taking him, Wednesday, to doggie day care to remove the bandage bathe him (especially the foot in question) and cut his nails in one fell swoop. The vet’s assistant said that because of the build-up of dander, he’ll “mangle” his foot if I don’t wash it right away. If his desperation to get at it is any indication, I can believe that language to be more literal than figurative, so having a professional on-hand seems wise, to me. (I don’t typically bathe him at home, and now seems a bad time to DIY.)
If I knew, before the surgery, how ridiculously this would turn my life upside down (and my mother would tell you that it has turned her life upside down as well, though my least generous self would tell you that she resents having to pay attention to the dog at all, so the fact that she’s had to let him inside in bad weather for most of the day, even though he mostly naps, seems to her a huge imposition) and the fact that it would be easily double the projected time, I’d not have charged forward so blithely. But I’m not sure dreading would have made it better. The vet says we should wait at least six weeks— I think we’ll wait at least eight, and very possibly longer— before starting all over again on the other side, but I don’t want to wait so long that it becomes something I put off indefinitely, which seems like a real danger.