Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Recovery of Rom

It's only been a day since Rommel came home all stapled up from the veterinarian, but he is improving. He's sleeping most of the day and very slow moving, but he's bright-eyed and actually eating. Eating is a new thing for Rommel - he's never been a big eater and to see him actually eat a whole bowl of dog food is new to us. Oddly enough one of the best high-caloric foods to give a dog to increase their appetite is beaver. Really. Beaver. So Farmer B and Aidan made a beeline for the natural pet food store to buy him a can of Beaver. I learned from the company's website that the food is made from surplus beaver that would normally end up in a landfill. I have never heard of surplus beaver - this has opened up a whole new world for us.

We wonder if this enlarged spleen might have been an issue for most of Rommel's life. He's always been a light eater and never been motivated by food - maybe his spleen has always been pushing on his stomach and intestines and caused some discomfort. I guess we'll never know.

On a brighter note I made Rommel a little addition to the tshirt he's been wearing. I call this my "post-surgery anti-lick dog suit". It's what all the cool post-op dogs are wearing. Farmer B's tshirt has been cut around the neck to accommodate Rommel's large neck. I also cut the sleeves off - along with a lot of the front of the shirt to accommodate his large chest and front legs. I cut a slit up the back so I can tie it "cheerleader-style" on his back to stop it from drooping. This wasn't quite working though - he could still stick his snout under the bottom edge of the shirt to get to his massive row of staples. So I got a piece of super-soft MM microfleece and sewed it to the bottom edge of the shirt. The piece I sewed looks like a large "V" shape - with a bit of extra fabric at the bottom of the V. The "V" pieces come up between his hind legs and have been sewn to the top of the shirt - where the "cheerleader" ties are on top. This keeps the soft fleece on his staples and prevents him from licking at his wound. Obviously we have to take his shirt off when he goes outside - and at night we're still putting on his Elizabethan collar so there is no chance he'll rip out any staples while we're sleeping. Its not pretty, but this set-up is working great for him.

Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts on his recovery. We should get the pathology results on Monday or Tuesday and we are hoping to hear the words "cancer free" more than you can imagine.

Since this is a gardening blog, I went out to the garden to take some photos of our plants to give you all a status update tomorrow. These photos will not be for the faint of heart.

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