Well I thought this week would never end! Hence why I’m so late at posting our week 3 diary update! So sorry – but you’ll can read all about that next week when Thomas takes over! Week 3 with Ollie overall has been very good, we’ve made progress – we’ve had a few break throughs and a few things that has caused us a bit of worry, anxiety and frustration.
If you’re not up to date with our diary updates, let us update you quickly. Our little man Ollie had back problems over Christmas/New Year and went in for an operation on his back to remove a misplaced disc. The disc was in good condition and was not removed but put back into place. Our diaries are to try and help others in the same situation as us to understand what to expect and help them through this very stressful time. They are also here to help us gather our thoughts and to de-stress a lil bit. It’s funny how writing things down really does help with the worries.
If you’ve missed our previous two diary updates you can find them here and catch up before reading on!
We’ve come to call them his ‘Hiroshimas’. Penny has ordered a protective helmet.
Let’s start at the start. Funny that, but it seems a good place to begin (..im in a funny mood today!). Monday morning at 7am meant POOP for us; and lots of it. Welcome to the week – thank you Ollie. But before you all go URRRRGGHHH, this was one of our positive points of the week. Yes that wasn’t a typo – P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E! I’m not sure if we’ve mentioned it but before the operation Ollie was always a ‘regular’ dog. Regular as in his day consisted of: breakfast, piddle, back to the bowl for a check to see if he missed any, poop, check Penny’s bowl for leftovers, nap and repeat. Since the operation his pooping habit changed to every 2 or 3 days. But as of Monday he’s back to everyday!! It’s a small celebration but we’re taking it as one! Maybe celebration isn’t the right word – achievement is better. He still doesn’t know when he’s doing them – we’ve come to call them his ‘Hiroshimas’, as he’ll drop them unexpectedly whitle we carry him. Penny has ordered a protective helmet.
We also tried to arrange Ollie’s hydrotherapy sessions. This is where the frustration came. Apparently there are quite a few dogs wanting hydrotherapy. The closest facility to us, which is 10 minutes away and highly recommended by friends, was fully booked over the coming weekends with a 6 dog waiting list. We have no chance. Or only choice was to take Ollie on a weekday and try to arrange it around our work or to try the next closest facility. Option two didn’t workout, the second hydrotherapy centre was just too far away to make it feasible for Ollie to go. So we decided to stick a pin in it for a few days to think it over, while also bearing in mind the sooner he starts the better chance of regenerating the nerves in his legs getting his mobility back.
Excitement was high on Tuesday (…this brings it’s own concerns of ‘excitement piddles’) – it always is when the doorbell rings – especially when it’s the postman! Well today those excitement piddles can ‘feic right off’, as Ollie got a delivery of his new ‘Belly Band.’
We posted a view photos on our instagram/twitter of it’s arrival. It left a few of you with some questions. Let us try and answer a few. Basically a belly band is a piece of fabric, which is waterproof and elasticated, that wraps around your dogs belly and covers their, cough, ‘wieners’. You place ‘absorbent pads’ (…now that is another story of purchasing these!) inside the wrap that catches any little dribbles that may occur while your dog is rambling around.
I have to stress this is not a ‘catch all nappy’ and should not be thought of as a solution for expressing your dog. You should still express your pooch – these belly bands are just to catch excess dribbles of urine and not full flows – so to speak. They give dogs with IVDD and problems in that area a little extra helping hand so they can be a bit more mobile until hopefully they get control back themselves.
We got Ollie a classic stars and navy pattern – we think it suits him! He wasn’t too happy about wearing it at the beginning. He was never one of those dogs that would wear t-shirts or jumpers willingly. He puts up with a harness but still strops. The belly band has to be pretty tightly wrapped around – for obvious reasons, so it was a little uncomfortable for him at the start. Once he realised that when he had it on he was allowed on the sofa and to wander around he was pretty accepting of it! I think we need to order more! (…ps we got these from Glenndarcy Pet Products via ebay!)
Over the next few days Ollie was a lot happier that he was out and about more from his bed and crate. The power of a belly band. Between Wednesday, Thursday & Friday he was a lot more mobile but still dragging his legs behind him. We did start to notice he has got a little more strudy on his back legs while we’re doing his exercises. He actually tried to stand by himself on Wednesday – though very wobbly and with us really close by. We’ve compared him to a new born gazelle (…we know that’s not a gazalle! lol) – he’s a bit all over the place with his legs but determined to stand – at times. Were looking at this as great progress! We can’t wait to get him into hydrotherapy to see where it will go!
Towards the end of the week we started to figure out, after quite a few accidents that Ollie was starting to hold in his poop and pee. Especially while in his bed. We found that he’s starting to crawl out of his bed to go the toilet. Now he’s still very hit or miss with where and when he does this, but we can see he’s definitely making an effort to hold it in and go in the ‘right place’. And the right place for him right now is the nearest piddle pad. At one point on Friday he crawled over to a piddle pad to do a poop! This is progress. But as great as all this piddle progress is, it’s also creating a stressful problem for us – it’s almost impossible to express him now. Which is obvious why – he’s holding it in.
We’re crossing our fingers for something to transpire on the hydrotherapy front quite soon, we’ll keep you updated! Overall Ollie is feeling on top of the world at the moment – which is a bad thing really as he wants to do everything he used to and unfortunately he just can’t. It’s very hard to explain this to him. It’s a pet owners cliché, but I really wish they could understand us.
Until next week – thanks for reading our little ramblings and de-stressing diaries. Feel free to email us if you want to talk about IVDD or have any advice for us! Thomas will be writing next weeks update, which I’m sure you’re all secretly happy to hear!
Coming up: Hydrotherapy sessions throughout February – fingers crossed!