Phoebe got a splint on Saturday for a fractured toe bone. The next day, once the drugs wore off, she was hobbling around outside. She saw a squirrel and was g-o-n-e. I was amazed that she could run on a stump.
That evening her splint started to slip and by the morning it was nearly off. She was walking down the hall with it dragging behind her, foot bent at the wrist. That was not going to work, unless I wanted her to get a broken wrist.
Off with the splint. I was expecting to find her limping around, but she seemed as good as new. Hmmm. I made a follow-up appointment to show due diligence, and expected the vet to pat her on the head, give her a band-aid and kiss the boo-boo.
I was wrong. After the vet examined Phoebe’s foot, Phoebe has a slight limp. It was just enough to prove that her foot had not miraculously healed.
The vet gave us two options: Put the splint back on and limit Phoebe’s movement, or crate her for 3-4 weeks, only bringing her out for breaks. The bottom line here is that Phoebe needs to stay off that foot.
- The decision was obvious; we went with the splint and intently listened to the instructions:
- Keep her off her feet as much as possible
- Every time she goes outside to go to the bathroom, she must be on a leash. That limits how far she can walk and prevents things like the squirrel-run.
- No slippery floors. I shouldn’t be a problem if she stays off her feet.
- She may start feeling cooped up, so take her out front for a few minutes (like down the driveway or across the lawn, just to give her a change of scenery
We handed over the old splint and the vet noticed how dirty and frayed the end was. She gave us a little smirk and said – looks like she was doing a little too much walking. Busted!
We did have one little problem, though. Phoebe definitely has a mind of her own and if she wants to jump, she will jump. Trying to catch her before she takes off is like trying to catch a greased pig. Food? Good luck trying to contain her enthusiasm, she hops around like a cross between a skip and a bunny hop. This could be a problem – maybe a little sedative was in order. Just enough to keep her chilled out for a few days.
Acepromazine is a popular choice, but my vet is a self-proclaimed outcast for her avoidance of prescribing it. She will prescribe it if she has to, but she does not like that seizures are a potential side effect. I guess we all have our personal concerns.
We talked about Benadryl, but Phoebe has taken that for allergies and it no longer has a sedative effect. We decided on Butorphanol (an opiate agonists). It is used for pain control, sedation, and believe it or not, coughing. The pain control and sedation is significant, but short-lived. Our goal is to keep Phoebe calm (AKA planted) for a few days, so she was prescribed a low dose (2.5 – 5mg twice a day).
We started with 1/2 a pill at dinner. Within 20 minutes she was zonked out. She wouldn’t get up for treats, and when we hand fed her some blueberries, she wouldn’t open her mouth. that is a complete 180 from the normal food-addict.
A few hours later, we had a visitor and she was just chilling out until someone walked by with a meatball. ZOOM! She flew off the chair before I had a chance to react, did a little run-around-sally routine (my friend calls it a terrier frenzy). Phoebe does it from time to time and it is harmless. All of a sudden she will barrell out the door, sprint a few laps around the yard, zip back into the house, run down the hall, make a U-turn and another sprint around the yard. It is funny and I get tired just watching her. When she has burnt off steam she plants herself. In this particular case, she planted herself on the living room floor and promptly went back to her opiated world.
I know these pills are intended to keep her calm, but I do not want a zombie dog. I just want to take the edge off her lovable impulsive cuckoo-ness. If she is a total zombie tomorrow I will try a half dose.
I am not going to worry about it too much right now. I have a feeling that in a couple of days she will get used to her cooped-up routine. Hey it beats staying in a crate 24 x7.
For now, it is time to snuggle with the Pheebs and then sneak off to bed. Good Night.