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Continuing Story of Lucy the Lost Corgi...

January 5th, 2006, 10:20 PM
Well I know there is at least one person who wants to know what happened after we lost Lucy in North York, Ontario and found her again so I thought I would move this from the "Lost Dog" thread to this one and if there is any interest I will tell you what is happening, and if there is not, then I will thank for the opportunity to post the lost dog post and also for the good advice I received from members.

When I last posted Lucy had been found injured by Animal Control and taken to the Emergency Vet. As luck would have it, an employee of the Emergency Vet lived in the neighbourhood we were visiting. She saw one of our posted flyers and took it to work with her. And when she got to work there was Lucy, so she phoned us. Someone had been walking their dog and found Lucy, injured, in a schoolyard about 10 blocks away. X-Rays showed a broken hip so it is likely she was hit by a car. X-Rays also showed a bladder full of stones, which was probably why she ran away in the first place. Meanwhile, lifting her in and out of the truck I had my hands full and asked Miguel to fish the keys out of my pocket and lock the truck - which he did, and that the last we have seen of those keys, and the remote door opener, and the remote car starter keypad. Probably dropped in the snow when we were trying to hold her up to pee!

The Emergency Vet said that they prefer to let the hip heal on it's own, provided she can eat, pee, and poop. The first two were OK but we were having problems with the third. So on the first I got up and carried her out to try again, but no go. And then she had no interest in any food anymore. So I went to wake Miguel up and said we need to pack up the truck, go back to the Emergency Vet and see what options are available, maybe an enema, and get back to Montreal, even if our Vet was closed until the 3rd. When I went back downstairs, guess what - poop on the floor, and lots of it. I have never been happier to see dog poop!

So we loaded up the truck and headed home. Fortunately we had a spare key to the truck. Stopped for gas in Port Hope and guess what? The spare key would no longer unlock the ignition and start the truck. Stuck in the gas pump line on a Statutory Holiday. I figured we would have to get towed to a Dealer, and get a Motel with two dogs, one sick, for two days until Jan 3rd and things opened again.

But they wanted the truck away from their gas pumps so I wiggled and banged the steering wheel and key until something clicked and it started. I think the spare key has never been used for anything but opening the doors, so it didn't quite mesh with the ignition anymore. So home with no stops and no stopping that truck for fear we would get stranded somewhere. Uneventful trip, though, just periods of freezing rain and more periods of blowing snow. We left so late the last hour and a half was after dark.

Never so happy to see home. Someone on mentioned a harness so I looked this up on the internet, since nothing was open to buy one. Once I understood the intent I home-made a harness using her leash by using Duct Tape to form two loops for the back legs. This helped alot in the going outside department.

On the 3rd we were finally able to see our Vet. There have been more scares with not peeing or whatever. I think the humans are more off the wall with these things than the animals. She only Pees once in a day because she only wants to pee once a day, I think. But for the Vet, it is a potential major crisis, and before you know it, everyone is upset except Lucy!

Things have settled down. The Vet wants to try another diet change to see if the stones can be dissolved. Lucy is supposed to be imobile for 4 to 6 weeks, until the hip heals. She doesn't seem to agree with this.

From members, can you offer any advice or experience with the following:

1. Broken Hips and the healing process. The Vet says she must be caged when we are not at home to make sure she doesn't move from her bed. We asked if she was confined to a 8' x 4' room, would this be OK? The Vet says "well can you put a video camera in to see how much activity she does? If she does too much then she needs the cage confinement". What is she going to do? Pace back and forth or dance?? I want to do the right thing, but I don't want to go overboard.

2. Experience with Bladder Stones. I can't remember the name, but they are the kind that may disolve by diet and anti-biotics. The Vet is suggesting Medi-Cal Weight Control/Mature. She is only 3 and not over-weight, but maybe this formula will help disolve stones. Anyone have experience? She had a Bladder full of stones already, at 1 1/2 years. It was a different Vet at that time and they operated and removed them. But I don't thing another operation is in the cards with the broken hip, and we have to try something.

Anyway, I have to go for now. I will post a picture of Lucy if anyone wants and can tell me how to create a picture that stays within the 100KB limit.

P.S. Rocky, the "other" Corgi, is wondering why all the attention is going towards the "new" dog. After all, he is the oldest, at 13, and what with the arthritis, and the hearing problem, and the cateracts, he feels he should be getting more attention than is currently coming his way !! Why is Lucy being carried everywhere, when it is usually him that gets carried up all the stairs??

January 6th, 2006, 11:00 AM
Happy to hear that you made it home with Lucy and that she is on the mend. I have to agree with your vet that keeping Lucy confined to the cage is probably the best course of action - much harder I know on both of you - but Lucy will move around a lot more if not confined. And remember, Corgis have the long bodies and short legs. My experience is limited to mini Dachshunds - paralyzing due to disc disease - early treatment in late 80s being steroids and cage rest - at vet's - for 2 weeks and being moved to increasingly smaller cages as movement returned - purpose of course being to restrict movement. In 1989 after full body surgery he came home after 40 days - again the cage - really had to restrict his movements. He managed to teach our other Dachshund to open the cage - had him take his place and then came down for a drink of water. Little devil - he was a brilliant dog. Had even put the crate on our bed. So you can imagine how much walking around he would have done had we just confined him to a room - and let's face it, despite strict orders re limiting movement everyone stretches it a bit, so the cage provides a safety zone. My Dachshunds were never crated so this was not a popular time. Either was the 6 months of lard like food to help dissolve crystals - his 4 bladder stones had been removed during his back/neck surgery - quite the sight - all 10 lbs. of him - looked like a giant stitch. Our last little guy had surgery at Guelph - again had to be confined to a cage - and with him with had to use the sling to support his rear end - Guelph gave us the sling - some people use towels - but the whole process was tough with a 10 lb. short haired body - he became frustrated trying to balance himself to have a bowel movement. There is a product you can find called "Bottoms Up Leash - made for this purpose - didn't know about it then. Really hope Lucy's stones dissolve - but be prepared that they won't. I am so grateful that my first Dachshund's stones did not recur - despite his gourmet diet I really watched the purines and oxalic acids - it was funny - I was diagnosed with kidney stones at same time as he was with bladder stones - our brochures were almost the same. Now we have an Eskimo - they are prone to stones so am watching carefully - he is very food driven - but Eskimos have more sensitive stomachs than our Dachshunds did - I can't even bear to think of having to put him on a diet. Important of course to keep weight under control - will be hard with Lucy being immobilized, but you want the hip to heal and you sure don't want any disc problems. Please report back and let us know how Lucy is doing. The lady I met at PetSmart with her Corgis is going through health issues with her 3 year old - she has also done the Guelph run - she had a 24 hour window that is required by the new McMurrich St. emergency in downtown Toronto - with on-call specialists - just didn't know about it. I did but didn't have the 24 hour window.

January 6th, 2006, 11:42 AM
I'm glad to hear that you found Lucy and are now home safe and sound. Sorry to hear about Lucy's injuries. I would love to see pictures of Lucy as I'm sure many others on this board would. We all love pictures. If you are still experiencing problems posting them, pm me and I can try to help you out.

I also agree that you should follow the vet's orders. I don't have any personal experience with either broken hip or stones, but I do have some advice that you might find useful.

It is extremely important to limit her movement at this time in order for her hip to heal properly. Otherwise you could have a lot of complications. The crate is a very good idea as this way you will be supervising her every move. A sling is also very important as this will allow her to move but not put pressure and stress on her hip. This will speed the healing along. I used towels to make a sling when my dog had knee surgery and also required her back end to be supported. She too was on crate rest for several weeks. Crates are better for recovery than x-pens because there is more limitation on her movement. She must also not be allowed to do any jumping or climb stairs. She will need to be carried up and down stairs as I'm sure you are aware of.

As for her bladder stones. What type of food are you feeding her? She may need to have them removed depending how big they are but I'm sure the vet will want to wait until she is feeling better and her hip has healed. She has been through quite an ordeal.

Please do keep us updated on her recovery.

January 6th, 2006, 02:10 PM
Thanks for all the good advice. I am still struggling with the options. Re: crating - I do understand the issue. But then I am looking at next week for example. Work commitments mean she is alone at 7:00AM. The absolute earliest someone can get home from work is 4:00PM. This represents 9 hours in a small crate (suitable for short times, but 9 hours??). We are not well to do and can't afford to have someone come in, and all our relatives are in either Toronto or Vancouver, or I would rope in some favours from Nieces.

So I will go around the Pet Stores on the weekend and see if I can't find something bigger, but still restrictive enough. We have a portable kennel from when they were puppies, but at 3 feet by about 6 feet it has about as much room as our small galley kitchen, and from what you are saying, it would be too big.

She was on Hills Perscription Diet Dry after the last bout of stones. The Vet is working on determining a new Diet, which I believe is going to be canned. She wants to confer with some other Vets first.

January 6th, 2006, 02:26 PM
being in a crate for 9 hours will do a heck of alot less damage compared to it she hurt her self again out of it. I reccomend the crate, I know I have done it, and I have done it recently

January 6th, 2006, 03:49 PM
I fully expect Lucy will have accidents in her crate - just as she would in a larger pen or room. But that beats the alternative - not getting better. I realize how tough it is - finally understood the old saying that parents had "it is harder on us than you". With her broken hip she is probably not all that mobile as yet. When looking for a larger crate, maybe ask your vet if he/she has a spare - that is how we quite by accident go a large crate for a large shepherd we took in - she had to have emergency surgery and the vet said not to buy a crate as she had a few. In return I have donated a few of our smaller crates. Re the food, my guy had to eat the canned Hill's - I think C/D but could be wrong - but no mixing up the white lard appearance - maybe it has improved in taste. My Eskimo recently had a virus and had to eat canned I/D for a couple of weeks - now that I gather is tasty - I was worried at first. If you get a larger crate you might be able to put down a puppy pad or equivalent for Lucy. During my dog's 2 weeks periods at vet's on steroids before he had surgery, he was confined to crates - and of course for the 40 days after surgery - they cope. If cost were not a factor I would suggest leaving Lucy at your vet's during day and picking her up at night. Might not hurt to ask how much he/she would charge under the circumstances - could be little or a lot. Even if you hired someone to come in, you would have to pay more than for a regular pet sitting visit due to care required. You would definitely want someone used to handling injured dogs. We had to be so careful with our Dachshund's back - he left that worry to us while he plotted how to get his freedom. No doubt Lucy will do same. Expect in about a week it will get harder.

January 7th, 2006, 10:06 AM
Well I wasn't planning on going overboard. The internal measurements of the crate we have is 2 feet deep, 18" wide and 15" high with a pillow in it and maybe another 2-3" when she lays on and compresses the pillow. Lucy is 25" long stretched our no-tail to nose and about 6 1/2 inches high laying down. Laying on her side, 15 inches from back to feet, with her legs extended. You can see out the front grate OK but the side grates are only a strip about 3" high. This was Rocky's crate to go on the plane from Vancouver to Montreal. So I was only looking to get something about 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet with cage sides instead of plastic. She is really not going to be able to move around much. Just something to restrict movement.

As it is, she refuses to pee or poop when I use the sling. And we have tried this about 25 times over the past 4 days, gently with the sling or even with just my hand for support. She looks at me like I'm stupid and sits down in the snow. Lift her up with the sling and she sits down in the snow.

But everytime you just take her out and set her down, she walks a few steps, sniffs a bit and pees, poops or both. It is so frustrating.

The Vet has settled on Medi Cal Weight Control/Mature canned food after consulting with some other Vet who had good results using this food (along with lots of water and anti-biotics) on another dog with stones of the same type. So we will start with this on monday.

January 7th, 2006, 03:13 PM
I think we have solved the problem. What was causing the confusion is that likely what I was calling a crate is not a crate. More a transporting cage. Now we have been to the Pet Store we have a Crate. A proper Midwest Homes for Pets Life Stages Crate, 30L x 21W x 24H with a movable divider to make it smaller as the need is.

This is much better. She can see outside and seems much happier in this crate. It is the right size for her size and weight and has room for the water dish.

I believe we will be able to tough out the 4 to 6 weeks now with a proper crate.