Hi everyone! I’m happy to report that Oslo has continued to do well, and is now DONE with his crate-rest! It has been 9 long weeks since he started showing some scary signs of spinal pain, & I am so relieved that he is back to his normal self.

Having him crated over Christmas was certainly not ideal, and definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit over at our house. Ultimately though, I am just glad that he was treatable with crate rest, and that we didn’t have to jump straight into another surgery. To be honest with you, I am not sure how we would afford another $7,000+ surgery… Oslo is insured, however since we got him insured AFTER his first spinal surgery, all his IVDD stuff is now considered ‘pre-existing’ and is not covered.

(Yet another reason to not wait until your dog is ill before you think about insurance!)

Anyway– he is much better now and we are all very happy about it… Most especially OSLO! He is thrilled to have some freedom around the house and to be able to cuddle up with Jersey again. We’re keeping the (ugly) rugs down on the floor for the time being, and we also do not allow Oslo (or Jersey for that matter) free run of the house while we are home… but those are just general, basic precautions. The dogs get put away safely in our office while we are out of the house, where they have several cozy beds, fresh water, and just enough space to stretch out and relax safely.

This morning we all piled into bed and had ourselves a Saturday Morning Lay-in. It was lovely.

Sorry for the lack up updates over these last few weeks, everyone! I’m happy to report that my absence has very much been a case of there simply not being a whole lot to report. Oslo is doing very well!

Since my last update (on January 9th) I’ve been able to fully wean the pig off all of his meds. He done really well with the transition and hasn’t had any noticeable issues with pain of discomfort. So, in the last week I’ve slowly begun ease up on his crate rest, too.

Before I could let him out of his crate, I had to goto Walmart and stock  up on some cheap rugs/runners to cover up our slick hardwood floors. Taking a corner in the house too quick & slipping/twisting in the wrong way could be disastrous to my unsteady little guy– so area rugs were a must. Even though I don’t like the look of the rugs, I realize that they are necessary at least for the next few months while Oslo builds up some muscle, coordination and stability.

So with new, large, non-slip rugs placed strategically around the house, Oslo has been allowed some freedom from the crate. Only while we are home, and only while things are calm in the house. At night time, and while we are out, he is still crated… and any time he starts acting silly (which is often– Oslo is quite the nutcase!) he goes back in the crate until he calms down. We can’t risk him hurting himself while zooming around!

As for potty breaks, I walk him at a slow & steady pace (with no leash pulling) to the end of the block and back. He handles the distance well and I think the slow walking is important in building up his strength again. In the coming weeks I hope to increase the distance that we can walk together, as well as relaxing the crate rest rules further.

All in all, he is doing great!

We are half-way through Oslo’s 8 week (or so) crate rest period and things are going well. There isn’t a whole lot to report, really.

He’s bored and increasingly anxious to be free. He will whine whenever he sees me sitting on the sofa because he knows that I’m weak and will usually cave in and let him sit with me up there. He likes to snuggle under my throw-blanket and  press himself up against my legs. He’d be up there all day if I let him, but he can’t be left unattended for even a minute (lest he have a moment of bravery and try to jump down on his own— disaster!) so it’s usually just for an hour or so at a time… or however long I can manage to sit in one spot. I’m not much a sofa-sitting-tv-watcher myself, so even an hour feels like a LONG time for me.

I’ve cut back on his pain-meds to about half of what he was taking, and will probably continue to cut back on those over the next week or two. I want to make sure that he is comfortable, without being OVERLY &/or unnecessarily medicated.

His rear legs do seem stronger though… and when he stands and takes steps when he goes outside for pottying, he seems a lot more steady & stable. So, progress is definitely being made. Now it’s just an issue of making sure that he is rested until his back is FULLY healed. The hardest part of crate rest is following through with the entire prescribed 8 weeks, when they seem “better” after 3-4 weeks.

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Christmas is over and it’s been one hell of a week!

Last Friday we all piled into the car & made the 8 hour drive to Vancouver. We wanted to spend a few days before Christmas with Family. Leading up to the trip, I was actually quite anxious about the drive. Wintery roads & a dog who needs to be kept still & calm really had me stressing. I’m happy to report that the drives (there and back) were uneventful and we had a nice visit.

We were back in our own comfortable nest by the 23rd and celebrated Christmas day in familiar surroundings. Everyone under this roof was certainly spoiled, and Oslo & Jersey were no exception! They received some really thoughtful gifts from the people in their lives that love them and I was/am reminded at how lucky I am to be surrounded by animal lovers like myself. I would never expect anyone to give my dogs gifts for Christmas, but it really warms my heart when people think to include them.

Oslo, of course, remains on crate rest and observed the Christmas on-goings from the safety of his pen… But that didn’t stop him from eating far too many treats, & getting very excited about the opening of his stocking & gifts. Jersey partook in one of his favourite pastimes, chewing & ripping apart cardboard boxes, while all of our wrapping & mess was strewn about the floor.

We hope that your Christmas was filled with laughter, love, happy memories… aaaaand maybe a few special gifts ;)

May the last few days of the holiday season be good ones!

LOVE these apple crisps that I got for the boy’s stockings!! Made with only ONE ingredient:: Organic Apples. The dogs LOVE them (and I do too!).

We’re about 10 days into Oslo’s crate-rest and things are going okay.

The good news is that he is content and his pain medications seem to be working nicely. He hasn’t demonstrated any scary episodes of pain and generally seems comfortable. He DOES want out of the crate very badly and spends about 50% of his time looking at me as pathetically as possible (the rest of his time he spends sleeping, chewing, or playing with a toy).

The bad news is that at this point, it’s safe to say that his crate rest will go much longer than the initial 2 weeks that I had anticipated. In fact, I think it’s probably safe to assume that he won’t be doing much of anything until the end of January or so.

He is definitely exhibiting some weakness/lameness in his rear legs… his right leg especially. If memory serves, his right leg was the one that suffered the most nerve damage following his surgery 3 years ago, so I suppose it makes sense that it’s the one troubling him now…. He’s absolutely able to walk, and stand, and generally function, but my hawk-eyes do spy some weakness, and some ‘knuckling’ which sends alarm bells ringing, for sure.

At this point, easing up on crate rest too soon could VERY quickly undo any healing that we have manage to accomplish in the last 10 days. When treating IVDD dogs ‘conservatively’ with crate rest like this, it’s imperative that their spine be able to heal and form scar-tissue completely before allowing them freedom & movement.

So in the crate/play pen he remains, on medication he remains. For now I am just doing my best to keep him comfortable and happy in the crate– cozy blankets, a hot water bottle to snuggle, a nice antler to chew, the TV to watch, and Jersey by his side.

Oslo is doing okay today. He seems pretty comfortable, and has his normal hearty appetite. His rear end seems wobblier than normal to me.. but it’s hard to say if I am just imagining it because I am on extra-super-duper high alert? I don’t know. I suppose it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference either way because he is not tricking me out of crate rest again!  No way!

Jersey is a very good big little brother, and is making sure that Oslo has plenty of company while he serves his time.

Hi everyone,

I have a bit of scary news. Over the last week or so, i’ve had some concerns with Oslo.

Mid last week, he started ‘acting funny’. Stiff, arched back, reluctant to move, panting when at rest. Knowing all too well that there are absolutely the early symptoms of IVDD- I put him on immediate crate rest and contacted my vet. We got him a prescription for an NSAID (anti-inflammatory) and pain-med, and were instructed to keep him rested for at least the weekend.

Well, over the weekend he seemed to bounce back. His little ’bout’ seemed behind us, and I wrote it off in my mind as perhaps just a ‘tweak’. (Anyone who suffers from “a bad bad” knows what it means to “tweak something” and need a couple of days of rest.) I stopped worrying, thinking the worst was behind us. I relaxed the crate rules, I gave him some more freedom around the house, I eased up on his medications.

But I was wrong & I should have known better. It wasn’t behind us.

He was painful again today. Very painful. Painful enough that he actually YELPED out randomly when trying to lay down! It was scary and heartbreaking. Needless to say- back onto STRICT crate rest he went, and back into a complete tizzy I flew.

And in that tizzy I have remanded since.

I’m terrified. Visions of a 2nd surgery flash through my mind. How will we afford it again? Oslo’s back will not be covered by insurance because it’s a “pre-existing condition”! How will I manage the time off work? I can’t bear the thought of Oslo having to go through it all again. I can’t bear the thought of *myself* having to go through it again. Just thinking about it sends bile & panic up into my throat.

My husband tells me to take deep breaths. To take things one day at a time. He reminds me of the effectiveness of ‘conservative treatment’ for IVDD when done strictly and properly. He reminds me of how well Jersey responded to the conservative approach just earlier this year! All of these things I know intellectually, of course. But the problem with seeing your loved one in pain is that your brain seems to stop working and a very raw, primal, emotional part of you takes over.

So, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t completely freaking out. But my husband is right– at this point, we can just take it one day at a time. We’re going to continue with crate rest (strict!) We’re going to continue with the meds (strict!) and we’re going to cross all of our crossables and think positive thoughts.

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