Hip Replacement Rehab Setup - Page 4 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #31 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Tomorrow is Haku's big day, yes? My girlfriend and I will be thinking of him. Please let us know how things go.

I did research the place you are taking him to and it really does look excellent. If I were in your area and had a dog that needed a total hip replacement, that is where I would take him.
Hi JonRob,

Thank you so much for checking in, it made me smile!

Yes, I drop Haku off at 7:00am tomorrow :O I am trying to remain calm as I am sure he can sense my stress.

I also really like the Animal Surgical Center. I know that they will do their best and that's all I can ask for.

Due to some circumstances there will actually be 3 surgeons in on the surgery tomorrow! Dr.Doyle, Dr. Degner, who will be doing the followup checks, and the head of Orthopedics from Louisiana. I hope this doesn't make it any harder or something but so many smart people in one room can't be a bad thing I think....

Today, besides cleaning and prepping of the recovery room, Haku played with one of his buddy's, did a ton of fun enrichment stuff, destroyed some boxes while I tried to assemble my new vacuum cleaner, played tug with me, played some fetch (man he is gonna miss that!) and was a complete and utter sock-stealing nuisance while I tried to clean the house lol.

Some pics of my happy boy. Gosh I hope that smile comes back and this doesn't hit his personality hard.
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post #32 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 10:27 PM
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Love the pics! Thank you--what a fine handsome dog he is!

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Due to some circumstances there will actually be 3 surgeons in on the surgery tomorrow! Dr.Doyle, Dr. Degner, who will be doing the followup checks, and the head of Orthopedics from Louisiana. I hope this doesn't make it any harder or something but so many smart people in one room can't be a bad thing I think....
I think this is great.

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Gosh I hope that smile comes back and this doesn't hit his personality hard.
The first couple of postop days can be a little tough, but our dogs with total hip replacements did great very quickly after that. The biggest problem was that they wanted to rock and roll right away, and we couldn't let them. "Yay!" they kept saying. "The hip pain is gone! Let's boogie!" So Haku will be an even bigger complete and utter nuisance soon.

Hang in there, and please let us know how it goes.
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post #33 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Surgery went well. Surgeon phoned me afterwards and said it was one of the best hip replacements he has ever done. Like it was meant to be. That was nice to hear.

He also reconfirmed we were making the right decision with the surgery after comparing his x rays from 4 months ago to this morning. He said he was surprised to see so much more arthritis in the joint. He was not expecting as much in such a short time and said the surgery was definitely the right choice.

I pick him up tomorrow. The living room is all decked out with his crate and my bed. My mom is staying the first night to help me out since I am all alone. Now to tackle the rehab :O
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post #34 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:32 PM
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Thank you SO much for the good news! Now the rehab fun begins! You'll get very good at it very quickly. And Haku should start driving you nuts soon wanting to romp and play. Please continue the updates if you have time.
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post #35 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Figured I might as well use this as a journal since I am lying around on my laptop so much.

It's Day 1 after we brought him home.

I knew the first days would be tough, I guess I was secretly hoping Haku would be so exhausted he would sleep for a day or 2. Well he sort of did and didn't. He was obviously exhausted but incredibly restless. He also has been whining non stop since we brought him home. Sucks as I don't know if he is in pain, tired, stressed, hungry etc. I have never seen him so miserable. Poor guy. To be expected though.

He slept okay but he is very restless. We are in a small carpeted room with his crate and he just whines and paces, which I stop him doing. I ended up putting him in his crate with a chew and he is whining and chewing.

I think this is going to be hard on him. But I am also hoping he will get used to the routine. Once he realizes we are not going outside to play he may settle down...

He is already putting some weight on the leg and I have to try hard to make him walk slow as he tries to launch off already. My 3 steps to the garden of proving a bit traumatic for both of us unfortunately. I trip to the hardware store for a ramp may be in order. They are just too steep and he panics. I lift him down right now.
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post #36 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 01:51 PM
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Stuff some Kongs with quality canned food and freeze them

Get a Buster Cube or other food puzzle toy.

Hide his food around the room and let him search it out.

Today should be the worst day for pain. He should make a turn for the better tomorrow morning.

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post #37 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 03:02 PM
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I’m glad the surgery went well and the fact that the surgeon was so pleased with his work, in my mind, is very reassuring. I hope Haku can settle and you can get some quiet time also.
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post #38 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 01:51 PM
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I knew the first days would be tough, I guess I was secretly hoping Haku would be so exhausted he would sleep for a day or 2. Well he sort of did and didn't. He was obviously exhausted but incredibly restless. He also has been whining non stop since we brought him home. Sucks as I don't know if he is in pain, tired, stressed, hungry etc. I have never seen him so miserable. Poor guy. To be expected though.

He slept okay but he is very restless. We are in a small carpeted room with his crate and he just whines and paces, which I stop him doing. I ended up putting him in his crate with a chew and he is whining and chewing.
All normal. Things should get better soon. Then the hardest part will be preventing him from capering around like a madman because he feels so good. Hang in there!
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post #39 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Day 4 after surgery

This is long because I am just bored and rambling, enjoying putting my thoughts down and trying to stay sane

Things have improved greatly. We are starting to get our groove.

A few things that helped.

#1 Got a ramp. - Thank you so much to SunFlowers (I hope) for the advice. After Haku starting trying to bolt when I went to pick him up or down the steps I knew we had to change things. Got a nice thick sturdy plank, about 2 feet wide and nailed in a non slip mat but in reverse. So the rubber non slip side faces up. Its perfect and now I just have to hold Haku back from launching up and down as he thinks its great fun. He has always loved climbing on things. Thank goodness he already knew a solid "wait" and "go on" command. He is now learning "slowly" haha. It's a bit tough going up as there was not too much room to make a more gradual incline so I really hope it's not going to hinder healing. I am using the sling for support.

#2 Started a routine. - I realized that Haku is most likely completely confused over our loss of routine. I was pretty rigid with one before the surgery due to his energy levels and restlessness so I am not surprised he is backsliding. With all the meds, hot and cold compresses and instructions, setting up a routine has worked pretty well. He is slowly starting to realize the recovery room is the new place of residence and that no matter how much he whines we are not playing fetch. I must admit that I have a serious problem with this one as I get guilty thinking " I have a GSD he is whining, I have not done enough with him today." While it's good he had an active life and I got plenty of exercise, I definitely did not do him any favors in the calm or relaxed state of mind department. I think for the first time ever he is truly learning that he needs to chill sometimes. We will see how long this lasts :O Routine now includes scheduled crate time. I thought he would be okay with me in the room but it honestly was making things worse. In his eyes I am his entertainment system so he sees me and thinks, walk, fetch, ball, training. To practice for going back to work I started bringing back our before work routine. I put him in the crate and went shopping for myself. I watched on the camera. He cried for 15 min which sucked but then fell asleep and stayed soundly asleep. I think we both needed the break. He was used to this before the surgery, no crying, fast asleep till I got home from work but I think he is unsure with all the changes. Even more clingy than usual. I honestly might go back to work early though. I think it may be better for him.

#3 Training. - I know people say it over and over but I guess I have been lazy or unsure what to do. So today as Haku is feeling pretty good. (his goofy smile is slowly coming back and his lazer eyes of "I NEED TO DO SOMETHING" stare into my soul) I decided to make a long list of things that I can teach him lying down. I found an awesome video:


Today we worked on pushing a ball with his nose, resting his chin down and putting a toy in a basket. I did these with shaping so his brain worked extra hard. He gets easily frustrated but I didn't stay on one trick too long and with 20-30 min of this he curled up next to me and SLEPT! unbelievable. And he had only been awake about 1.5 hours. Hope it was not a fluke. I think he was so craving the mind work.

#4. Scheduling interactive playing with me and puzzles. - My parents (bless them, life savers during this truly) stopped by to bring me some apocalypse essentials that I was missing and a variety of stuffed toys for Haku (Halloween themed of course.)
I try give him one new thing a day and then I will rotate them out hopefully keeping them fun. I started getting more creative with every little thing. Food, treats, toys. I don't just give him the new toy. I wrap it in a shirt so he has to take it out. Put it in a box. Place it under a cup and make him choose the right one. It's all quick little things but I think they are stacking up and making his day more interesting. I also just lie with him and do silly things like make his squeaky toy "run" from him under the covers. We did this pre-op and he would wait for the squeak under the couch pillows then pounce on it like a fox in snow (never gets old, its adorable) so I took most of our games and made "recovery versions"

Fetch? - roll the ball to him. Make him catch it lying down (only tiny throws)

Tug? - lie on the bed with him and tease him with his stuffy and play gentle tug

Nose Work? - Sniff Mat and wrapping food in towels, under bowls etc. Glad he knows this, in a few weeks I can set up proper stuff and hides which he loves. Nice and low impact.

Flirt Pole? - This was hilarious. I was lying in the floor with him just teasing him with his toy making it all animated and I thought, I bet I could make a mini flirt pole...So I did. It was awesome. I will post pics of his ridiculous face. Nothing crazy, I pretty much just swing it back and forth over his head while we are lying down. It's a two foot pole with some string and his toy. He seemed to enjoy it and I think it satisfied a bit of his prey drive.

I have no doubt it will get much harder as JonRob says when he starts feeling good. But hopefully we survive. We are allowed to start 10min leash walks at day 14 I believe if everything looks good. I think that will help as I can let him sniff some stuff out on the lawn. Also Physical Therapy week 4. That will blow his mind.

Incision looks great. Almost no redness at all now. Just normal skin and a nice dark line where the skin has joined. He started limping more heavily on the leg day 3-4. I think the local pain meds wore off. I keep him on his pill ones regardless of if he seems to be in pain or not as he has cried out sharply a few times randomly when he moves too abruptly and that worries me. He still puts a fair amount of weight on it though. He tries to drag me when we go out to potty...He seems to have forgotten all his leash manners!

I don't know how I end up exhausted and I am literally doing nothing. It's insane.
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post #40 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 11:56 PM
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Thanks for checking in! My girlfriend and I have been wondering how things are going. And the pics are great!

That is a truly awesome post with great insights about dog behavior, such as the importance of exercising a dog's mind to wear him out. I hope lots of people read it, including folks who don't have a dog to rehab. I don't know what you do for a living, but if you're bored with your job and want a career change, you would do very well as a dog trainer and/or dog rehab specialist.

Also, your dedication to Haku is outstanding and makes my day. He is very lucky to have you. It was easier for us because we always have multiple dogs, which kept our post-op dogs entertained even though they couldn't play with them. Sort of like doggie theater. Does Haku like to watch TV? Animal Planet maybe?

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Originally Posted by Moonshayde View Post
While it's good he had an active life and I got plenty of exercise, I definitely did not do him any favors in the calm or relaxed state of mind department. I think for the first time ever he is truly learning that he needs to chill sometimes.
Not your fault. There is no way to train a young dog to chill 24 hours a day, hardly any activity, day after day. It is a completely unnatural state to be in.

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Originally Posted by Moonshayde View Post
He started limping more heavily on the leg day 3-4. I think the local pain meds wore off. I keep him on his pill ones regardless of if he seems to be in pain or not as he has cried out sharply a few times randomly when he moves too abruptly and that worries me.
With the hip dysplasia pain, he knew how to adjust his movements to reduce the pain. Now he has a totally different reason for pain, so his old strategies don't work. He should learn new ways to adjust and the pain should go away as he heals. If the pain persists, give his surgeon a call about it.

It is astounding what dogs can go through and bounce back. You might be interested in a video link I posted in another thread about the fantastic recovery of a dog that had part of his snout blown off:

https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...ml#post9195927

Keeping on doing what you're doing! And God bless you and Haku.

Last edited by JonRob; 09-23-2019 at 12:00 AM.
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