Hip Replacement Rehab Setup - Page 5 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #41 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your lovely post JonRob. I appreciate that someone appreciates all my effort lol. Sometimes I am sure I am overdoing it but with just the 2 of us it's hard not to sometimes.

Day 9.

Things are moving along. My guilt is increasing as Haku gets more and more amped up each day. I had to physically thwart 2 full out zoomie attempts yesterday and 1 just now. He now has his harness on almost constantly and he is never more than 3 feet from me or else in his crate as I can no longer contain his enthusiasm. He is grabbing anything in sight and what used to be normal is SO EXCITING. a FLY! a clean SHIRT! different SHOES! i open the CURTAINS! He is bored bored bored and his frustration is rising. I was hoping to keep him a little more out of the crate but he is only out at night and a few hours a day now. Otherwise he paces and wont settle I am freaking out he has/ is using the leg too much.

I had to go back to work since mid Wednesday because they are too overloaded agh. And while watching him sleep the 4 hour stretches at a time makes me feel better, as I am sure it's the best thing for his body right now, when I come home he is like a pepsi bottle with a mentos thrown in! :O I have had to use sedatives both times after coming home after a long stretch of time and tonight I am going to try with out. We just finished a 20 min training session ended with a frozen Kong. Cut up cheese, sausage and some sticky yoghurt seem to be the favorite so far. Peanut butter, strawberries and blue berries get ignored when frozen. He is surprisingly picky sometimes...

The incision looks great, the staples are almost hidden by the new hair growth and the scabs are already dropping off. He has not cried out in pain, as far as I can tell, since last week and he seems to be putting a fair amount of weight on the leg. He also now includes both legs in his stretch when he gets up which is cool to see. It's all weak and wobbly though, shame.

I thought training would be my answer to survive all this but gosh he is 1000x more frustrated than usual. He has always been bad and I have had to be careful to reward frequently and keep things slow and simple because he gets bored and frustrated really really fast. Now it's like the frustration has tripled. Usually I would get a good ball session in before training to help but yea. I just take deep breaths lol. He gets so frustrated when I ask him to think AT ALL that he tries twice then throws his head back and grabs the closest object haha. It's irritating but I know he can't help it right now. It is pretty funny too. For example, I am teaching him to place an object in a basket. well. It sort of turned into him FLINGING IT into the air/ over his head. Quite impressive really. Sometimes it actually DOES land in the basket. Very amusing.

Some things I have noticed:

He is shaking a lot the last 2 days. Not like tremors, but as if shaking off water. Every time he gets up and a couple of times when we go outside and stuff. It's not his ears because he is doing his whole body. To me it seems like he is SO EXCITED and ready to go he is trying to "shake it off." When he does this he looks at me with that naughty twinkle in his eyes and I have to watch out for immediate impending zoomies. I grab his harness.

After a week of perfect stools for the first time since I have had him (the antibiotics?) he had a half mushy very pale stool. I think it was the very large raw bones 2 days in a row. I hope so. I was thinking any medication symptoms would have shown up by now. Tomorrow is the last day of all medications anyways. It was so nice to see solid stools we have been fighting it so long

His knee on his THR leg seems to be pointing very far outward. Just something I noticed, it's probably because he is not putting proper weight on it yet. I have no idea.

His legs are so skinny. I think both of our muscles are withering away. I can't wait to get out hiking again and rebuild our strength when this is all over!
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post #42 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 12:15 AM
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Thank you for the latest update!

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Sometimes I am sure I am overdoing it but with just the 2 of us it's hard not to sometimes.
Don't worry--you're not.

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Originally Posted by Moonshayde View Post
My guilt is increasing as Haku gets more and more amped up each day. I had to physically thwart 2 full out zoomie attempts yesterday and 1 just now.
Nothing to feel guilty about. As difficult as this is, it's a sign that Haku feels great. It all sounds so familiar--we went through it with every one of our total hip replacement dogs. My girlfriend would grumble, I would say, "This too shall pass," and she would grump, "Yeah, like a kidney stone."

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when I come home he is like a pepsi bottle with a mentos thrown in!
Yup. Great way to describe it.

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Peanut butter, strawberries and blue berries get ignored when frozen.
Watch out for peanut butter--it sometimes contains xylitol, which can quickly kill a dog. I don't trust the label to make sure it doesn't have xylitol in it, so I don't give any peanut butter to my dogs at all.

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The incision looks great, the staples are almost hidden by the new hair growth and the scabs are already dropping off. He has not cried out in pain, as far as I can tell, since last week and he seems to be putting a fair amount of weight on the leg. He also now includes both legs in his stretch when he gets up which is cool to see. It's all weak and wobbly though, shame.
Sounds like he is healing really well.

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After a week of perfect stools for the first time since I have had him (the antibiotics?) he had a half mushy very pale stool. I think it was the very large raw bones 2 days in a row.
Probably was the bones. But since he has consistently had mushy stools before the surgery, it would be worth doing the blood test for pancreatic insufficiency after he's out and about again.

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His knee on his THR leg seems to be pointing very far outward. Just something I noticed, it's probably because he is not putting proper weight on it yet.
It's probably normal postop but it would be good to ask the surgeon about this.

I think you're both doing great even though you're both going nuts. Hang in there! Again, Haku is very, very lucky to have you!
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post #43 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 12:14 PM
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It sounds like you have done and are doing a great job with his rehab. Stifling puppy zoomies has to be hard. Did Haku have a cement or cementless implant? I’m just curious.

Keep up the good work and thanks for posting updates and the link to the 100 crate games.

We had our consult Thurs. he wants some weight off my boy and will then reevaluate.

There is that light at the end of the tunnel so just focus on it :-)

"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"
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post #44 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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It sounds like you have done and are doing a great job with his rehab. Stifling puppy zoomies has to be hard. Did Haku have a cement or cementless implant? I’m just curious.

Keep up the good work and thanks for posting updates and the link to the 100 crate games.

We had our consult Thurs. he wants some weight off my boy and will then reevaluate.

There is that light at the end of the tunnel so just focus on it :-)
Thanks Heartandsoul,

Good luck with your journey too!

I believe Haku has a cemented THR. I am a bit upset about this as I liked the research on the cementless but this place seemed to only do cemented. I will double check on Friday at our checkup. I hope it lasts his lifetime and does not loosen etc :/
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post #45 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Day 13 post op.

We are about to hit the 2 week milestone. Very exciting as I am literally living hour by hour. We had a bit of a rough weekend. I got sick and Haku decided to up his crazy game like he was sensing my weakness.

We had a crate-tantrum on Sunday. Haku refused to go into the crate and put on the breaks by lying down, refusing to move and giving me whale eye. I thought I actually saw a nip coming if I pushed him but he was being very clear in his wants lol. I just needed to go to the kitchen to grab something and he tries to destroy the room when I leave so I just calmly led him in no commands, no fuss. Well he has never refused before but he knows the pattern now. I had an intense flash of anger then just took a moment to get my cool back. I know this is hard on him but he also can't be a snot. I couldn't do much as I can't force him with his hip. Anyways, I try minimize the amount of times I leave the room as he is getting very dramatic about it. I leave, he bark/ scream protests (I ignore) but when I come back he tries to zoomie or he does it when I leave...not good. I don't react and pretend not to make a big deal of it and can get him under control fairly easily asking him to do something instead. Gosh he is testing my patience. I think once this is over we need some serious obedience rehash lessons. I am usually much firmer but I understand this is a trying time. He honestly is trying so hard and actually doing really well. The evenings are hard, he turns into a demon from 6-9pm. But otherwise he goes outside with me, goes straight to his outdoor bed and lies down with me. Waits when I ask at the top of his ramp, the baby gate, the backdoor, so I can put on his sling. I think he is so used to following me everywhere he gets upset when he can't. I changed things up a bit the last 2 days and took him to the kitchen with me on lead instead of leaving him behind the baby gate. Put a spare dog bed in there in the spot he used to lie to watch me and he goes straight to it and waits, watching me wash the dishes and prepare stuff. Just like before. Ended up being much easier and I think he likes that it is like the old routine.

My post op instructions say tomorrow, day 14, if he is bearing a moderate amount of weight on the limb, I can start 10 min leash walks 3x a day. This is very exciting as I think Haku would love the time to sniff. Not sure I can take him outside the garden as he is very reactive but I may see if we can go at a quiet time. It is a much needed change of pace for both of us. I am a bit concerned though. he isn't exactly lying around all day. Well he is but after I get home from work it is a struggle. He is up and down up and down. The latest is how freaking FAST he is popping up from lying down. Of course he lies on his new hip side which means he is using his THR to shoot up from a down position. Too fast for me to stop it freaks me out.

I noticed his leg seemed quite sensitive today. He took longer to rise and was not putting as much weight on it as the last few days, limp a bit more pronounced. I hope it is nothing but I will mention it on Friday at the checkup.

I purchased some maze bowl slow feeders and tried one tonight for dinner. It was freaking awesome. Haku was obsessed and he usually gives up on frozen stuff half way but not this time. Only thing is he was a bit too enthusiastic as he stood for about 40min getting it out he wold not lie down...

I have had to use the sedatives the last few days as I have been quite ill. They do seem to take the edge off but I don't know, he doesn't sleep and sometimes I think they have the opposite effect. But it may be reducing his inner maniac. This dog just can't stand doing nothing, it's insane and he needs to learn to chill. I get exhausted just watching him.
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post #46 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 03:51 AM
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Thanks for the update!

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I believe Haku has a cemented THR. I am a bit upset about this as I liked the research on the cementless but this place seemed to only do cemented. I will double check on Friday at our checkup. I hope it lasts his lifetime and does not loosen etc
Problems, although rare, can happen with both types of THRs, and it's not clear that either type is better. All of my dogs had the cemented THRs which were great except for the one that the idiot surgeon put in crooked so it broke his femur a few years later. That was surgeon incompetence, nothing to do with the THR being cemented. A crooked cementless THR would have done the same thing.

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I know this is hard on him but he also can't be a snot. I couldn't do much as I can't force him with his hip.
If this gets worse, you may need to use an e-collar to maintain control of him. Also, when you start the longer walks, a prong collar would probably help a lot.

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The latest is how freaking FAST he is popping up from lying down. Of course he lies on his new hip side which means he is using his THR to shoot up from a down position.
Which tells you the hip with the THR is feeling pretty good.

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I noticed his leg seemed quite sensitive today. He took longer to rise and was not putting as much weight on it as the last few days, limp a bit more pronounced. I hope it is nothing but I will mention it on Friday at the checkup.
Good idea. He probably just overdid it, but it's important to let the surgeon know.

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I have had to use the sedatives the last few days as I have been quite ill.
Sorry you've been sick! I hope you get better soon. I remain very impressed by your dedication to your very lucky Haku.
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post #47 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-05-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Day 17

Yesterday was Haku's 2 week checkup appointment. It was an exhausting day.

I also have two crazy projects at work and have to go in on the weekend now.

Haku was way over the top with his first car ride and outing since the operation. It was 4 hours of trying to control him. A ton of treats and patience but he was just too excited/ nervous.

I wish we could have seen the surgeon who did the op but he was not there. The other guy was nice but I feel like he did not really let me ask questions. I had a ton of questions but when you are in the exam room with an 83lb dog who was literally scrabbling on the floor trying to do circles, check everyone, trying to jump on the chair, I was not paying much attention. I was so scared he was going to slip on their floor. We had 2 close calls as Haku full out tries to sled pull me. Very distressing.

We started short walks this week which have been nice but I got a bit emotional seeing how all my training with him has back slid. Pulling on the leash, not listening to me, no focus, reacting to critters, people and dogs. I just hope we can build it back up again after the rehab. It is a lot to ask a young energetic dog that has had no exercise or proper out let for 2 weeks.

I also totally failed as an owner, due to being distracted, and Haku managed to snap at the vet tech's face. I was so surprised, mad at myself and embarrassed at Haku. I know he has issues and the muzzle training is so close, I just need him to have it on for longer periods of time now, but I was so in the hip discussion I just totally blanked. Haku won't just maul people but he really does not like being focussed on and especially leaning over in his face. Which is EXACTLY what the vet tech as doing. Haku is hard to read, he will seem to be all cute giving kisses and licking a persons face and then he snapped in a "back off" warning. I know he is not kissing out of excitement or happiness. It is appeasement. I always tell people to please ignore him (or at the vets I say he is anxious of strangers please let him just sniff you first). Haku looks super cute and cuddly and goes right up to people and everyone always goes to pet his head lean down and say hello. He hates this. I told the first vet tech this for the staples while I told her I will just hold his head. He would have nipped her. I told the surgeon who came in as he was about to say hello to Haku I said just let him check you out first and the doctor immediately changed his approach with Haku, greeting me instead, which was perfect. Then a third vet tech came in to talk about meds and I was just so tired not paying attention and he snapped at her face after doing a seemingly cute hello. I immediately corrected him out of instinct then felt bad as I totally set him up for that. Agh. What a long day.

I also found out that Haku actually had a cementless replacement done. While I am very glad of this as it's the one I liked, I am also silently freaking out. I would have been a lot more careful making sure haku did not move as much with the cementless as I know the bone needs to grow into the implant to secure it as there is no cement. I just really hope I have not done irreparable damage to the hip with Haku's restlessness.

The surgeon saw how he was behaving there and was concerned. I said I am having a really hard time with his activity. He prescribed me more Trazadone and said to just use them to keep him more quiet. Haku got weird with the recommended dose so I only give him 1 tablet and it's doing a decent job.

Next checkup in 10 weeks to take an xray of the leg. Gosh I hope it's all okay, hasn't moved and didn't get irritated with the pacing. Surgeon said something scary. That after 4 weeks they can pretty much no longer remove it easily if there is an issue like infection or movement :O Makes sense but gosh.

On the up side the surgeon said Haku is walking on the leg great and the range of motion seems really good, although with me having to hold Haku's head so he could check the leg I worry that we did not get a good indication for any discomfort etc.

We had worked so hard on "just ignore strangers I wont let them touch you etc" that this has put us way way back. I am tired.

Last edited by Moonshayde; 10-05-2019 at 11:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #48 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-05-2019, 09:22 PM
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I have been following along with this thread. Thank you for the update.
I just want to offer you words of support. Haku is a young dog and I'm confident that the two of you will overcome the training set back in no time once his activity levels can be increased.
As for the snapping at the face of the vet tech. Shame on them more than you. They should know better than to lean into the face of any dog or go over their head unless they absolutely have to do so. Especially with a dog recovering from a major surgery. Vets and vet techs are supposed to be pet savvy people and read body language and know to use caution. They know their patients and owners are stressed at these appointments. They know better and they failed all the way around. I understand it doesn't excuse his poor behavior. However you did the correct thing and corrected Haku. That said now you know he will snap/bite. Muzzle for all future appointments.

Now that his staples are out what have they said about rehab? Just wondering if it is available in your area if swim therapy/water treadmill is an option. It's low impact, will build good muscle tone and burns a good amount of energy.

Hang in there!
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post #49 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-06-2019, 11:26 AM
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“The surgeon saw how he was behaving there and was concerned. I said I am having a really hard time with his activity. He prescribed me more Trazadone and said to just use them to keep him more quiet. Haku got weird with the recommended dose so I only give him 1 tablet and it's doing a decent job.

Next checkup in 10 weeks to take an xray of the leg. Gosh I hope it's all okay, hasn't moved and didn't get irritated with the pacing. Surgeon said something scary. That after 4 weeks they can pretty much no longer remove it easily if there is an issue like infection or movement :O Makes sense but gosh. “



Moonshayde, is you next appointment with his actual surgeon? If not, I would call back and request/insist nicely an appt with him specifically especially where this surgeon seemed concerned and you now have more questions.

I think that if this surgeon was that concerned, he would have strongly suggested an X-ray right away. I think perhaps he was just emphasizing the importance of keeping him low key. That being said, I think that if you can stick to appts with your surgeon, it will help you with your own stress level.

As was mentioned both cement and cementless have their own pros and cons. I have a cementless and I do like the fact that the bone grows into/onto it, my boy’s surgeon will do cemented if/when he does go in.

Adding to what Springbrz said, just make “please don’t get in his face” a standard first part of the initial hello every single time you go in for a visit irregardless of whether or not they know your dog and even when the muzzle is on. This way, if during exam, you are distracted, the request/warning was already given.

As for the backsliding concern, once he can regularly release his energy appropriately, you two will get back to where you were.
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Last edited by Heartandsoul; 10-06-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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post #50 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-06-2019, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for the update!

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As for the snapping at the face of the vet tech. Shame on them more than you. They should know better than to lean into the face of any dog or go over their head unless they absolutely have to do so. Especially with a dog recovering from a major surgery. Vets and vet techs are supposed to be pet savvy people and read body language and know to use caution. They know their patients and owners are stressed at these appointments. They know better and they failed all the way around. I understand it doesn't excuse his poor behavior. However you did the correct thing and corrected Haku. That said now you know he will snap/bite. Muzzle for all future appointments.
Excellent advice.

Moonshayde,I think Haku's renewed antics are largely due to the fact that he is to some extent a different dog now. Before he was in significant pain. Now he is not. Since he is at the brat stage, this has really ramped up his brattiness. If you are not using a prong collar, I recommend that you start using one now, before you or he gets injured. If you fall because he jerks you around, you could land in the hospital.

Also, although it's normal to be worried and concerned postop, the worry, guilt, and sympathy should be minimized. A dog at the brat stage will often perceive these as weakness and try to take advantage of you. With our THR dogs, we were very sympathetic during the first few miserable postop days, and then we went right back to our mind-your-manners-you-snot demeanor. "You have no idea how lucky you are," we told them.

Hang in there and please keep posting updates!
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