Well, in the last update I said things had slowed down, which was true for like, 5 minutes?! And then we ramped right back up into All The Things. Guess I spoke too soon!
Irma’s bandages came off last Friday, which was a great achievement to unlock. Her surgeon, Dr. Kiefer, said that things seemed to be looking good. Her knee was still notably swollen, but she was walking comfortably and using her leg. The doctor said to keep the cone on for a few more days as she adjusted to the bandages being off, and I used that time to apply an organic herbal salve to her incision to aid the healing process. I think it helped, and the incision is healing really well with minimal scabbing. I’m sure it’s feeling a lot better, too!
The nugget was also supposed to maintain a minimal active life, especially in regards to running and jumping. I don’t know how well we’ve held to that… Irma is totally part kangaroo/part mountain goat, and sometimes I think jumping is her main mode of transportation! Walking? That’s for fools and turtles! But we’ve been letting her play more and monitoring her leg; if she ever shows any signs of favouring it, the toys all get put away and we transition to encouraging more mellow activities like chewing or napping… thankfully, it’s not difficult to encourage a puppy to nap. After a week the inflammation is starting to go down, and her range of motion with the limb has improved, so we think everything is on the right track. We have a follow-up appointment in early March for final x-rays to confirm that everything is healing well, and then that will hopefully be our last interaction with any surgeons until it’s time to spay!
Yesterday Irma had her first general wellness visit with her ongoing veterinary clinic, Pearl Animal Hospital. This is the same office foster-mom Brandee had taken her too the day after she was abandoned, to assess her general health and examine her leg since she was limping. The staff was all quite excited to see her back, and Dr. Scott said she looks so much better than that first visit! In fact, little miss Irma has gained a whole pound… from 5.5 pounds on January 27 to 6.5 pounds on February 22! Irma received her first round of vaccinations, three total of the most important vaccines: DAP, canine influenza (which has been as bad as the people flu this year), and rabies. We’ll be heading back in about a month for round 2 (some vaccines require booster shots at regular intervals) and I am really hoping the pupper is more prepared to be a good girl during the vaccination process. One of her nicknames is Squirma and she totally lived up to it yesterday! Eventually, there were four of us sitting on the floor in a tight circle, with me holding her and three of us petting Irma while the doctor did her final injection. This dog does NOT like getting shots! It’s for the best Irma, I swear!!
Part of that visit was also doing a fecal test for worms or parasites, and unfortunately, I woke up to a voicemail from the clinic saying that her tests had come back positive for Giardiasis. If you’re unfamiliar, Giardia is a type of parasitic worm that dogs, cats, and even humans can get by drinking fecal-contaminated water. It’s actually a pretty common thing, especially for puppies, but it’s still lame! So we went back to the office today to pick up some medication she’ll be taking once a day for a week, and then dropping off another fecal sample a week after that to confirm that treatment was effective. And everyone is spending time over the next few days (and weeks) doing a deep cleaning to make sure Irma doesn’t re-contaminate herself!
This newest development does make me glad that I waited until her bandages had come off before beginning basic wellness care. So much of this young pupperino’s life has been spent dealing with injuries and medical needs, and I’ve tried to avoid overwhelming her with too many pokes, prods, powders, and pills. We still have her spay surgery on the horizon but in my experience, that’s a quick recovery. It’s been almost a month with her in my care and I’m really hoping that by her next round of vaccinations everything else is in the clear and we can start in on a right and proper normal puppyhood! I realized the other day that Irma has still never been able to play outside and even though she is an apartment dog I think outside play is vital and I can’t wait to start taking her out to parks and having a romp in the warm sunshine.
While the cost of her initial leg repair surgery has already been covered by this GoFundMe campaign, your continued donations have been absolutely vital to her recovery and health. Obviously, Irma did not have the best start to her life. While many of her health issues can be fixed, there are still expensive medical needs that add up in these first few months while we get on track for a long and healthy life. But really, I hope we don’t encounter any new surprises from here on out!<3