About my Health - The Beginning


The Beginning

Multiple Fractures


One of the goals of Adventures of Columbo is to help educate folks on what it really takes to rehab a pup with severe orthopedic injuries.  This information first appeared on my Facebook page back in July of 2018.  We're sharing it again here to make it easier to find.  Keep in mind this information  focuses just on my medical treatment/ rehab - not all the things Muppy is doing to try and help me stay sane while I’m on restricted movement (like moving my convertible to wherever the family is doing stuff, taking me for stroller walks and rides in the car).

July 12, 2018: I had the 4 pins put in my left femur and my right front paw put in a splint for my broken toe - so I’m on crate rest for 8 -10 weeks.  The Surgeon said  that my fractures were 10-14 days old based on the amount of healing that had taken place. This meant the fractures had to be re-broke to be set properly.  

Dogs all sleep on the 2nd floor at my house so Muppy  carries me up and down the stairs as needed.  There are also a few stairs to get in/out of the house so she carries me up and down those steps too.  Also when leash walking I have a harness to support my forehand and a sling to go under my flank to support my hind end. Muppy has to use 2 hands to take me out. 

Week 0 - Surgery - Columbus, GA
- 2 pain killers, 1 antibiotic and 1 Anti inflammatory every 12 hours
- out only to potty and eat
- this upset my tummy and I had accidents in my crate (which Muppy knows wasn’t my fault but it still needed to be cleaned) - I tracked poop paw prints all over the house. Muppy bought a nice Bissell carpet cleaner that has come in very handy!
- I woke up multiple times a night needing to potty
- We must keep cast and staples  dry so prior to going out Muppy needs to put a waterproof sleeve on my cast. 

Week 1 Post Op- Portland, ME
- saw my new vet in Maine
- had a full set of x rays taken to have a post op baseline.  This is in addition to the ones Dr. Wayne took in GA - wanted to check to make sure  the pins still looked good after my long ride to Maine. Good news is everything looked fine.
-  had my first shock wave treatment which helps promote healing
- vet did passive PT to help regain movement in my stifle ( what humans call your knee)
- changed my cast on my front paw
- discovered I have a tooth that is broken down to the pulp - which will need to be removed to prevent infection down the road (planned for when I loose my manhood); 2 others have a crack but right now we don’t think they will need treatment
- started on probiotics and joint supplements
- started using back on track wraps on my hind legs to promote blood flow which reduces inflammation and helps with healing

Week 2 Post Op:
- continue crate rest/limits on movement
- Muppy does PT on my leg like Dr. Sullivan taught her to improve my range of motion by breaking down scar tissue in my stifle (2-3x a day)
- Muppy massages my left hind to help prevent my quadriceps from contracting (2-3x a day) per vet; lucky for me Muppy is certified in equine massage and has also studied canine massage so I’m a super lucky pup! My shoulders and front end gets sore from all the extra work it has to do and massage helps me feel so much better.
- Keep medi-boot over cast to keep cast dry; but take boot off inside as it doesn’t breath that well (yup - during 3am bathroom emergencies Muppy has to get my boot on and carry me outside before I have an accident)
- still keep staples dry
- continue food supplements and back on track wraps 1 hour a day
- cast change by Dr. Sullivan
- I developed an abscess in the back of my mouth - it needed to be lanced and now I’m back on antibiotics for another 10 days (1 pill every 12 hours); we are waiting on the results of the culture to ensure we are treating the abscess with the right antibiotic)
- hot compress on my cheek to help keep the abscess draining
- due to abscess no chewing on anything hard and my puppy chow has to be soaked for 10 min in warm water before I can eat (2x a day)
- I still wake up 1x per night to go potty
- I get Muppy up at 6am to potty and because I’m ready for breakfast 

Week 3 Post Op -
- rechecked abscess so far things look ok
- shockwave treatment and PT at vet
- change cast
- continue with above protocols (pt / massage / supplements) & finish our antibiotics

Weeks 4-10 Post Op

- continue with weekly vet visit for PT (shockwave treatment is every other visit)

- cast same off!  This allowed me to start doing some "swimming" therapy.  Muppy has to carry me to the water and then while wearing my life jacket she can help me do a little doggie paddle.  

- during close to my last visit Muppy had the doc recheck my mouth abscess as she didn't like the way it was healing.  Sure enough that tooth was bad and needed to be removed.  We decided to take out the tooth that day and I was neutered at the same time.  

- more antibiotics 

All Clear!

- even though the bones healed, I had no muscle from being on crate rest

- Muppy started a walking program to gradually increase my strength 

- I could finally be a puppy.

November Lameness

Just when a guy thinks he can be a puppy, something new happens.  I came up very lame in November.  

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November Lameness

Elbow Dysplasia Diagnosis & Closed Growth Plate

It was a cold, rainy, raw November day.  I woke up very sore and lame.  Muppy immediately worried that the pins in my femur had shifted.   That's the thing about using smooth pins - they can decide to back out of the bone at any point.  We had to use smooth pins though.  My growth plate was still open and active and these gave the best chance of the growth plate remaining that way.  She also was worried I rebroke my toe.  If you don't follow my adventures on Facebook - I tend to be "enthusiastic" about....well....everything - so any of these were a real possibility!  I was sore and lame enough Muppy took me to  my orthopedic doc, Dr. Sullivan.

After evaluation and x-rays Dr. Sullivan discovered I have elbow dysplasia in both elbows. 



What does this mean for me? I'm already on joint supplements to try and slow down any arthritis.  Muppy tries to keep me from jumping off high things (she mostly fails at that but it's really not her fault.  Jumping is SO FUN!).  We'll keep an eye on things and if I start to show regular lameness we'll evaluate our treatment options at that time.

Dr. Sullivan also took x-days of my femur.  Good news, pins haven't moved and look great.  Less than good news, the growth plate near the pins has already closed.  There is also a slight curve to my left femur.  My left hind leg wont' be the same length as my right hind leg.  We won't know how different until I'm done growing.  So far, I'm compensating very well.  When I stand I rest my leg on my toe rather than standing crocked - which is much better for my hips and back.  Muppy already has a good chiropractor/acupuncturist lined up when I need it. 

Despite my health challenges I'm a super happy pup!  I love my family and can't wait for my next adventure!

February Illness

February 16, 2019 I started limping on my right front paw.  By the next morning I couldn't sit or stand without help and was in a lot of pain.  You guessed it - back to the vet!

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February Illness

What started out as an ordinary lameness with localized swelling quickly turned into something much more.   Saturday, February 16, 2019 I jumped out of bed and Muppy noticed I was a bit lame on my right front paw.  There was no heat or swelling so Mup wasn't too concerned.  By that afternoon I wouldn't put weight on it.  Now there was clear swelling in the carpal joint.  Muppy gave me some pain meds and decided to watch it overnight to see if I improved.  

I did the exact opposite - at 1am when the pain meds wore off I woke Muppy and Duppy up crying.  I never cried during any of my previous issues so this was very concerning.   Things were a bit more complicated because me and the family were up in the mountains on a ski vacation for Pro's school break ("Pro" is the nickname for my 6 year old human).  By 8am I couldn't sit or stand without help and was very painful. 

You guessed it - back to the vet!  Muppy drove me the 1 1/2 hours home to go see my "regular" docs.  I had a fever of 104 (normal temp should be around 101).  I also started to show swelling in other joints.  The gang did blood work and I tested positive for Lyme Disease.  

I was hospitalized so they could give me IV antibiotics and pain meds.  My fever came right down once I had antibiotics.  Now at 71 pounds I'm too big for Muppy to carry me around like when she found me.  I was so painful the first night I even had a urinary catheter so I didn't have to go out to potty.  

The next day I was still in too much pain for this to be "just" Lyme disease.  They sent my blood work out for a more detailed analysis and decided to pull some joint fluid to test.  The joint fluid was angry - this is a sign of inflammation - most likely an autoimmune disease.   T he docs started me on prednisone - which seemed  to help.

The detailed blood work confirmed Lyme disease but also showed Anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  To help fight everything I was put on a second antibiotic.  

After 2 nights in the hospital we had my pain under control and a plan that let me go home.  Muppy drove the  1 1/2 hours back to the hospital to get me.  We spent a night at home before returning to the mountains for the rest of vacation with Duppy and Pro. 

I'm taking my meds and resting.  I'm slowing improving each day.

MARCH 24 2019

I’m being weaned off prednisone because the side effects were tuff on me - constant munchies, panting - drinking way too much and having to pee ALL the time.  I’m on a 1/2 dose of pred now - and up to a full dose of my new med.  Unfortunately the new med raised my liver enzymes.  I’m taking a supplement to support my liver and will be rechecked to see if it is safe for me to stay on it.  If my liver enzymes stay high we’ll have to try another med.  

I have been cleared to be active again! I’ve already lost a pound or two.  Let’s play!

JULY 2019

I've been fully off prednisone for a little more than a month.  The new medicine I'm on is keeping my arthritis at bay!  I'm frisky and losing some of the weight I gained while on the prednisone.   I'm also on a special supplement for my liver because the new medicine raised my liver enzymes, but the supplement brought the levels right back to where they should be. I'll have a re-check with the doc at the end of the summer.

Unfortunately in mid-June I came down with kennel cough :(  I coughed a lot for about 10 days.  That kept me from being able to go out about town and from going to camp.  Fortunately, I recovered without further complications.  Muppy thinks that my immune system may be too weak for places with lots of dogs - like camp.  Looks like I'll be take a break from there for a bit to give my immune system some time to fully recover.


Columbo resting

Columbo resting