Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ripley Gets Knee Injections for Her Arthritis

Today (Wednesday, April 11th) I brought Ripley to the vet so she could get some fluids injected into her arthritis-riddled knees.  I knew she wouldn't be able to stay upright on the slippery floors of the waiting room, so put her in her cart.  She had a good time walking around and greeting all the people ...  She's such a ham! ... check out the short video to see Ripley walking around the waiting area like she's on the Red Carpet.  :-)


I'm trying the mobile cell phone app feature for my blog as I wait for Ripley to recover from sedation.  Dr. Ben isn't sure if the injections will help her this time ... When he examined her legs before the injections, he said they felt REALLY bad. Worse than the last time. I'll be able to tell if the meds are having a positive effect within a few days.

Waiting for Dr. Ben

........ Back at home .... I had to carry Ripley into the house.  She can't walk AT ALL!  She's always been sore after getting the injections, but she's always been able to walk afterwards.  I gave her pain meds and a couple of her favorite treats.  She's resting on her orthopedic bed and I'm hoping that after a while, she'll be able to put some weight on her back legs.

Fresh out of surgery.

Still groggy from the sedation.

So, yes, I'm a worried Mom right now!  And feeling helpless.  She's also been leaking pee a bit.  I tried to use a back leg support harness to help her walk before we came inside, but she didn't want to put enough weight on her front legs either.  If she's not a little better soon, I'll have to call Dr. Ben and see what he thinks.  Prayers and healing thoughts for Ripley, please!


I ended up calling the emergency number for the vet clinic at about 1 am.  Her right back leg was so swollen and hard, and she couldn't sleep because of the pain.  I described her symptoms and he asked lots of questions.  He determined that she wasn't in immediate danger, but wanted to see her first thing in the morning.

Thursday morning the 12th of April:  Since she still wasn't able to walk without help, I enlisted my step-father's aid in taking her in.  In the parking lot of the vet clinic, the vet tech and I loaded her onto a gurney/cart so she wouldn't have to walk.  After examining her leg and getting Dr. Ben's opinion (Doc Ben was on farm calls), the kind, young veterinarian decided to give her steroids and antibiotics. They concluded that some of the joint fluid that was injected leaked under her skin causing the pain and inflammation.  It's possible that her knee joint is so clogged with arthritis that the fluid just didn't have anywhere else to go.

Waiting for Dr. Kelvin to examine Ripley's leg.
Back at home, Ripley seemed very relieved, and I helped her walk around for a bit so she could get some of the stiffness out of her legs.  We all rested in the sun for a while before going inside for treats, more water and some much-needed sleep.  Ripley and I both slept most of the day!

Thursday morning. Resting in the sun after a morning visit to the vet.
...............  Friday the 13th of April:  The swelling in her leg is slowly coming down and hopefully the steroids the doc prescribed will help speed her recovery. ... Something that became very clear to me the past couple of days: When you live with a disabled family member, otherwise small set-backs loom large.
But small steps forward are great victories. Yesterday evening, I left Ripley laying out on the back deck for a while since she seemed to be enjoying the air and scenery. I had planned on going out to help her back in soon, but all of a sudden, I heard her coming through the doggie door on her own. She gave me her usual "woo" of hello as she walked into the kitchen and I couldn't help but laugh and cheer.
Even though her progress has been slow and she has needed help getting up several times today, I can see "the old Ripley" returning.  Her appetite is getting better and her back legs are starting to work for her again.  I hope to report soon that we've taken a walk in the woods ......
"We derive immeasurable good, uncounted pleasures, enormous security, and many critical lessons about life by owning dogs."
~Roger Caras, A Celebration of Dogs

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