I went for a walk tonight with Nala and we ran into one of my kids at the park by the pool. I hadn’t seen her since before my surgery and she gave me lots of hugs and a kiss. We crossed the big street and my friend Patty who was out for a walk caught up to us. Patty is Buttercups mom and she has known me since I was first adopted. I got lots of love from her and she walked the whole way back to my house with us. I love to walk and I love to "see" all my friends.
I am happy to report that Tonka Man is almost back to normal. The blind boy is very OCD about his daily routine and he has not been right since he collapsed with his heart problem. Our usual predictable days have been anything but -and full of medication schedules, ice packs and warm compresses.
This morning he had the stitches removed and then he got to spend the day without the cone on his head. He was such a good boy today at the vet and just stayed real still while the stitches were removed. It is still amazing to me that just 2 weeks ago he had a hole in his heart fixed.
I also don't think he has had a good night’s sleep with that thing on and I know I haven’t since this all started.
Tonight he went for a walk with Nala, had a good dinner and then tore through the recycling bag to make a mess in the kitchen- so pretty much back to normal for the evening.
With all the craziness about Tonka's heart we are celebrating Tonkaversary a day late. We will be having a can of Grammys Pot Pie with dinner and a frozen peanut butter kong for desert. In the midst of all this controlled excitement we will raise a paw to the wonderful Doctors and staff that have allowed us to have another Tonkaversary and to the inventors of the amazing technology that now resides firmly plugged in the bionic dogs heart.
AP had to go to work today and so her parents came to watch me while she was gone. I am still on pain medication and my leg is still swollen and sore but I had a really good morning. I went for a walk with Nala and came home and ate almost a whole bowl of food. AP left for work and I was sleepy for most of the time she was gone but I woke up after a while and wanted to chew on my bully stick that Aunt Carol left for me. I was laying there like a good boy chewing on my stick and then got up and went to the door to go potty. AP's parents let me out and I walked out in the yard and went (I am still peeing crooked thanks to the swelling from the surgery) then I headed off towards the ramp. AP's mom went back in to open the kitchen door at the top of the ramp to let me in -but I didnt go to the ramp. I veered off and went to my digging spot.
What I didnt know was that AP's dad was still behind me and he caught me as I spit out the last of the bully stick I had been hiding in my mouth to bury. BUSTED!
AP says I am a sneaky snake...
Today is Friday and Tonka man had heart surgery on Monday. Tuesday was a good day, Wednesday not so good and Thursday really not so good. I should have expected that since the same was true with his eye surgery. It is the old "it will get worse before it gets better" saying.
The incision site to the femoral artery became very angry looking and he started to have swelling and fluid build up down the leg and up and out through the groin.
Tonka loves kids, walks and cheese - mostly in that order. So when he didn't seem to care that the kids were out and he refused to get up and walk or come for cheese then I knew he was hurting. I had been a little stingy on his pain meds so the Dr. said we should give him the full dose and see if he perked up any. When after a full day of meds he was still unresponsive and would not eat and refused water I started to really worry. I called CVCA and they responded really quickly and Tonka was seen early this morning by Dr. Ferguson in Annapolis. He and I discussed the swelling and fluid retention and he added warm moist compresses to his recovery and a round of antibiotics. During the exam they had to really poke and prod to make sure everything was OK and in doing so I think they unstuck something that was bothering the Tonk Man. Every time I would get him up this week he would whirl around every few steps like something under his leg was tugging on him. That stopped after his exam today. This afternoon he laid out front for a little while and went for a walk with his friend Nala. hopefully tomorrow will be an even better day.
I got to pick Tonka up and bring him home today. It is amazing to think that just yesterday he had heart surgery and today he is home. I cannot say enough great things about CVCA and the care that he received. I met with Dr. Rosenthal today to discuss his post surgical care and he answered all my questions and really put me at ease (heart stuff is scary stuff). Tonka was very happy to "see" my dad and had a good time in the waiting room with a very nice couple fussing over him.
He came home and slept on the landing for a little bit then went downstairs and wanted to eat so I fed him a small bowl. He wanted to go outside so I opened the door and he walked out and went potty and then just stood there looking a little lost. I went and got him and we came up the ramp and into the kitchen and that is where he has been the rest of the day. He is still a bit groggy tonight but he never does real well with medication.
It took me a little while to clean up all the gel from his armpit and chest where they did echocardiograms yesterday and today. That stuff is really sticky but I got it washed off and blew him dry with the hairdryer and he was loving being brushed -even though he was half asleep. I am going to try and scan the echo pictures to post. The pictures show the blood flow before the occulder with the leak and then after the occulder with no leak - very cool.
He has not messed with the very large incision and stitches on his hind leg but has been interested in grooming the shaved spot on his front leg. I'm sure he will eventually get interested in the stiches and I will have to break out the comfy cone which will make him mad.
His Aunt Carol came by this afternoon with a large caterpillar toy and that perked him up for a moment.
He finally got up with a lot of coaxing this evening and had a little dinner. His leg is bothering him so I gave him some pain medication to make him more comfortable and now he is back to sleep. I have a feeling I won't be getting much sleep tonight but I am so glad he is home and doing so well.
AP here - a very tired AP.
Today was Tonka's heart surgery and the amazing Doctors -Dr. Peckens and Dr Rosenthal http://www.cvcavets.com/ successfully plugged the 6mm hole in his heart with a 10mm ductal occluder. Tonka has a fairly large incision in the crease of his back leg where they accessed his femoral artery for the catheter. The placement of the occluder went very well but the artery did not want to stop bleeding right away so it took a little longer than I thought it would. The staff were awesome and everyone took really good care of my boy especially Cari and Heather. Cari called me this evening when her shift ended to give me an update on him she said he is still groggy but alert. This is what he looked like when I left this afternoon.
Still out from anesthesia
The leak is plugged and the murmur is now quiet. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the well wishes and prayers. Some rest and recovery and he will be blippity blopping and back to wrestling with his friends.
AP here: Tonka is scheduled for surgery this month to repair the PDA with the ductal occluder. If all goes well it will be great to take advantage of that since it is minimally invasive surgery with a shorter recovery time. If they get in there and the hole is too big we will have to cancel that option and go back at a later date to have the duct tied off. The fact that he is is now three and this was never caught until now is not in our favor - his heart is enlarged from the years of constant over circualtion. To compound matters his limp is back and so even slow quiet walks are having to be cancelled which makes him very depressed and angry. Pyr's are a very stoic breed and will ignore pain to do what they want. Tonka thinks he should be able to walk and run and play. Unlike a sighted dog he is not able to lay at the front door and watch the world and be entertained that way so it is very hard to keep him occupied or quiet. I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support, prayers and well wishes and will try to keep you posted as we go.
I am a rescue from the Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue Association in Richmond Virginia . I was born blind but that does not stop me from being a very happy boy. My humans are helping me write about my many adventures so I hope you follow along.