On his way to his foster home

03.16.24 | WAIFadmin

First of all, Tank knew he could count on you! We are blown away, that in less then 24 hours, that the community raised more than double our goal of $9,000! Not only does this cover his surgery costs but also his future recovery and rehab expenses. Tank will “paw it forward” any excess funds to the care of his furry friends at the shelter. Since his expenses have been covered with your donations, we redirect you to help the other shelter animals in our care by clicking here if you wish to support them.

Tank made it through his 6-hour FHO surgery Friday night where he stayed overnight. His recovery and rehabilitation will take two to three months so updates may happen every few weeks. Below is his recovery and rehabilitation protocol.

Diagnosis confirmed:

  • Segmental left ilial body fracture with significant displacement
  • Left acetabular fracture
  • Mild pneumothorax – improved over past week
  • Diarrhea
  • ALT elevation

Under the care of his foster, they will be monitoring his incision twice daily for signs of infection (increasing redness, worsening swelling, heat, pain, or any discharge).

Tank must wear the Elizabethan collar AT ALL TIMES for the first 2 weeks after surgery to prevent damage to the incision.  Any licking, chewing, or scratching can cause the incision to open up or become infected. After his incision is completely healed (approximately two weeks), he’ll be able to take a bath.

It is IMPERATIVE exercise and activity level be closely monitored and restricted for the next 14 to 16 weeks.  This is the most important part of the healing process.  During this time no off-leash or uncontrolled activity or exercise should be allowed. When taken outside for potty breaks Tank should remain on-leash for short (5-10 minute maximum) breaks for elimination only.

Tank should NOT be allowed to run, jump, climb on or off furniture, use stairs, or engage in any rough play or activity.

Tank should be kept in a crate (just big enough to allow room to stand up, turn around and lay down).  This at most should be a 6’x6′ confined space. Water and food dishes can be elevated to make it easier for Tank to eat and drink while wearing an e-collar, but should not be kept on bedding.

Tank must be kept separated from other sources of excitement such as windows, children, or other pets. This includes any other animals in the household.

After week 6, longer leash walks may begin, with a maximum of 2-3, 5 minute walks daily in addition to walks for elimination. The length of leash walks may be increased by a few minutes every week, for a maximum of 2-3, 10-minute walks daily, at the 8-week recheck appointment.

We should see gradual improvement over time in the use of the left back leg.  If at any time Tank becomes suddenly more lame, we will contact the veterinarian right away.

Physical rehabilitation is a vital part of recovery.  We will encourage early use of the left pelvic limb in order to preserve and maximize range of motion (ROM) of the hip joint.

Range Of Motion (ROM) 
Move the affected joint (left hip) through as full of a range of motion as Tank will allow.  Some mild discomfort is normal initially, but will improve over the next couple of days.  Warm compress for 5 minutes before ROM and cold compress for 5 minutes after, is recommended.  Range of motion activities are extremely important after a FHO.  Even though Tank won’t like it initially, it is extremely important to stretch their back left limb/hip as frequently as possible during the next few weeks.

Starting on MONDAY, March 18, the veterinarian will review with the foster how to perform ROM exercises.

DAYS 3-4 after surgery
Gentle ROM of all joints on the surgery limb every 8-12 hours with 10 repetitions for each joint.

DAYS 4-7 after surgery
Gentle ROM of all joints on the surgery limb every 8 hours with 15 repetitions for each joint.

DAYS 8-14 after surgery
Gentle ROM of all joints on the surgery limb every 8 hours with 20 repetitions for each joint.

WEEKS 2-4 after surgery
Gentle ROM of all joints on the surgery limb every 8 hours with 30 repetitions for each joint.

Tank may NOT have access to flights of stairs during this time.

Any sudden, dramatic change in use of the operated limb may indicate a severe problem; please contact us as soon as possible if this is noted.

Studies have shown that formal rehabilitation, under the guidance of a certified canine rehabilitation doctor, will speed the rate and completeness of recovery following orthopedic surgeries. WAIF will schedule an initial rehab appointment with the vet hospital’s certified canine rehabilitation doctor.

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