High Alert

When I got home from work last night, I decided to take the dog for a walk. I’d meant to do it over the weekend and never gotten to it, and I was hoping that channeling his energy in a positive direction would slow him down on the busy project of destroying his bandage.

Two-thirds of the way through the walk, the strap on his waterproof boot gave out. About 15 steps later, the whole operation (boot, plastic bag inside the boot to keep his foot dry, sock, and bandage) fell apart and he walked for the first time through the dirty snow.

He was obsessed with licking his foot, but somehow, I managed to get him home. I didn’t want to wrestle him into the tub for the first time under these conditions, so while he manically licked his foot, I found a bowl, filled it with warm water and Dawn dishwashing detergent (vet said “mild detergent”) and stuck his foot in it. Not knowing where the pressure sores were or how serious they were (just knowing that he was limping on that foot and didn’t want me to touch it), I tried to gently scrub between his toes, to help dislodge the dander. I didn’t bother rinsing it, I just dried it.

He made his way into the living room, we both settled down, and I covered his foot with a clean sock. I could still smell the funk off his toes, so later, I removed the sock, let him lick the foot some, then cleaned it with a wipe I bought for cleaning him since I couldn’t bathe him all this time. It became clear that his foot is really tender and messed up with sores in various stages of healing, so I gave him a pain killer. He spent some time wearing the cone, but after I took it off, he left his foot alone most of the time.

After the adrenaline of the thing I desperately wanted not to happen, happening, I was basically worthless and exhausted all evening. I tried to get a decent night’s sleep, just on the theory that I’ll need it.

This morning, I fastened a plastic bag over his sock to prevent his foot from having to come in direct contact with the snow and ice. It didn’t work great, but we’re in damage control mode, not perfection mode. I’ve moved up his bath and nail trim to today, and we’ll just do our best to give him time to heal and reduce the possibility of infection as well as we can.

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