I have been really rubbish at keeping Dembe's diary up to date this week. Think it was still all the stress from the vets the previous week and being exhausted by it all!
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Since Dembe had his day at the vets last week he has been incredibly clingy! I am almost falling over him as I go around the house as he just wants to be next to me all the time. On Monday afternoon I went upstairs to get some medication and I ended up spending almost an hour up there having a cuddle with Dembe as he just wanted some close time with me. He is so soppy and affectionate.
This morning was Dembe's first early morning in quite some time, he really wasn't happy about it and refused to get out of bed!
He has got into his new routine quite quickly and is no longer waiting by the window waiting for his dog walker(s) to arrive. It used to break my heart to see him waiting and knowing that due to his limp ( which we now know is bilateral elbow dysplasia ) he wasn't going out. We now spend lots of time playing, cuddling and generally making a fuss of him.
I really wasn't very well on Tuesday having a migraine at both ends of the day and alas I didn't take any photos of the boy.
The vet rang in the afternoon as they had the report back from the orthopaedic specialist, who confirmed out vets belief that he has the beginnings of Bilateral Elbow Dysplasia. We were given 3 options, 1. CT scan to see what is happening to the elbows, would involve a general anaesthetic. 2. Arthroscopy, camera inserted into the joints and a good look around, again would involve a general anaesthetic. 3. Conservative management, using supplements, reduced exercise, weight management, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy etc . We have opted for option 3, we have insurance but as they have both said it is only at the very early stages we don't feel it warrants any invasive action at the moment.
The vet also advised us if we had slippery flooring, which we do, to get some mats down so that he doesn't hurt himself. We have already ordered some mats and are just waiting for them all to arrive.
We will use pain relief as and when he needs it. We have been referred to hydrotherapy and are waiting to hear back from the physiotherapist.
Jay was on a late shift today, so he took Dembe out on a walk around the block for his first walk at 5.30am. Then at around 9am he went up on the common with him.
As readers of this blog will know we have a nightmare with Dembe and his food. Sadly some of this problem is of our own making. Every time he turns his nose up we panic and then add something to his dinner to make it more exciting. All this has done has taught him if he refuses to eat then he gets something better. So starting from this evening I will be playing hardball and teaching him if he doesn't eat then he gets nothing until his next meal. It will be hard but it is getting to the point where he is refusing everything apart from cheese and corned beef, which is not a balanced diet! as much as he likes it.
I had a very cuddly boy again, so he had lots of attention lavished on him. As I was getting some sewing done Dembe positioned himself out on the chairs so that he could see me whilst enjoying some time outdoors.
He did make me panic as I couldn't see him later on in the afternoon. I looked all downstairs for him, only to spy him hidden by the Yukka.
Spot the Labrador!
Dembe and I were both shattered so we had an early night as we always tend to when Jay / daddy is working.
I emailed Happy Dogs and Creature Kind today to formally tell them that Dembe would not be returning for walks with them. It is really gutting as he loves his social time with his friends but we have been told his main walk needs to be no more than 25 minutes and no crashing around or being an idiot. For those that are unaware Elbow Dysplasia is a life long condition that will need to be managed,
The way Dembe was sitting on the sofa made me think of King Dembe so I drew a crown on his photo!
Dembe thought it would be really clever to turn his nose up at breakfast. So after 20 minutes of it being down and barely being touched it was picked up and put in the fridge ready for his dinner. He looked really shocked when none of the usual treats were forthcoming. Jay nearly cracked but I said to him that Dembe has us wrapped around his paws. For him to be healthy he needs to be eating the meals we give him and not rely on being topped up with treats all day long!
I admit is horrible knowing he is hungry but I am not to blame for that. He was given breakfast and decided he wasn't going to eat it. This refusal of food knowing that something better will be offered is also a sign of intelligence. I have to say his wind has been much less frequent and less foul smelling since moving over to raw. He is also pooing a lot less and the consistency has become a lot firmer so easier to pick up. Probably TMI for some but Dembe has always had issues with wind and his poo being loose. Even as a small puppy his wind was horrific. That is why we moved him off the Kibble that the breeder had him on as it really wasn't agreeing with him. We have tried a variety of kibble since all expensive stuff but he still has the bowel issues. So that is why we decided to move to raw food for him.
Today would have been Frankie and Willow's 15th birthday, it is the 3rd birthday without Willow and the 2nd without Frankie. They are missed everyday the same as their mum Mollie. They were such a massive part of our lives.
Mollie & Frankie
Both of the above photo's are Willow
Both the above photo's are of Frankie.
Dembe picked at his dinner this evening, we know there is nothing wrong with him as he will eat a cocktail sausage. He is trying it on and it is going to be a battle of wills, only mummy will win this!
Daddy was on an early shift today, so Dembe was shattered as he had an early walk up on the common. Plus Jay took him for a walk around the block before he left for work. On both occasions Dembe refused to poo. Which was very silly as when Jay is on an early shift he has the longest stretch without a walk.
Again he ate very little breakfast, which was silly as there would be no treats forthcoming. This is the longest he has not eaten properly for, he is probably expecting me to cave as usual but not this time as I am fed up of trying to get him to eat.
At 11am Dembe started crying and going to the door wanting out. He was very persistent poor lamb. Thankfully Jay was popping back to give me some medications that I needed. So when he came back he walked Dembe around the block. Dembe had two enormous poo's, Jay said he nearly needed a forklift to pick them up😂😂😂😂😂😂 When Dembe got back he was much happier! As Jay had come home then he didn't come back for lunch.
Dembe was really into his blue dinosaur today. He kept jumping onto my lap with his blue dinosaur in his mouth. He likes lying across my lap having a cuddle with a toy in his mouth!
I told him at 15.30 that his dad would be coming home soon. He ran to his toy box got his carrot and stood at the window waiting for his dad to get home.
Dembe did eat this evening however shortly after he threw it all up. He has been sick a couple of times this week. I think he may have an issue with the Golden Paste or the Salmon oil we have started him on. So after an hour when he hadn't been sick I gave him some more dinner but a much smaller portion with no supplements in. That did the trick and he kept that down. So the plan is now to not use any supplements tomorrow to let his tum settle. Then to slowly reintroduce them one at a time.
Jay is on a late shift again today, so Dembe's first walk was around the block and then at 9am Jay took him for a longer walk up the common. As we didn't get up until late Dembe didn't have his breakfast until after his common walk. Today I threw caution to the wind and put a big portion of raw food in with his minced beef. I decided if he didn't eat it then he would go hungry until this evening. To both of our amazement he polished off the lot. No fussing, no walking away from the bowl it was head down tail up and the bowl was licked clean! I said to Jay we may have a few days where he doesn't eat but we know that he will eat it and not to pander to him!
Dembe has spent a lot of the day sleeping in the lounge or out on his favourite chairs in the garden. We have lots of cuddles and playing with his blue dinosaur again!
This evening for his dinner I gave him more raw than the minced beef ( I have been slowly trying to get him to swap over from minced beef to his raw food) and again he polished the lot off. I was amazed and Dembe looked so pleased with himself when I told him what a very good boy he was. Just goes to show that he has learned to be fussy and he has trained us expertly to give him nicer food he if refuses rather than just letting him go hungry!
Jay popped home at 5pm and took Dembe for a walk around the block. He will be back just after 10pm and will walk Dembe around the block again for his last wee-wee's.
I am writing the blog early this week as we are going to see Uncle Paul tomorrow for the first time in ages we are going to his house. Dembe always goes crazy when he sees uncle Paul.
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Take care and have a good week
Sunday, 3 October 2021
As this week was a holiday week I haven't kept a strict Diary. It has also been quite a stressful week which those of you who follow Dembe's page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thedembediaries or know me personally will know.
On Wednesday this week ( 29th September ) Dembe had to go to the vets for the day to have some X-rays taken of his front legs. Dembe has had an intermittent limp for a few months this year and conservative measures of rest and pain relief were just not working. He was also showing signs of being stiff when he got up after being laid down for a while. All things we should not be seeing in a dog that isn't even three yet.
Dembe had to have both legs x-rayed, 3 different positions for each one and to do this he would need to have a general anaesthetic. We really didn't want him to have to under go a G.A but we had done all we could and we needed to know what was going on with him and that he wasn't in pain.
Dembe's daddy dropped him off at the vets at 08.30am and so began the longest day of our lives. We were told that we should hear something by 2pm and that if we hadn't we should give them a ring. Jay caved at 13.50 as he needed to know Dembe was ok. We found out that he was fine and that he had been out for a little walk and had been to the toilet. We were told the vet should ring us back in an hours or so.
The vet rang back around 90 minutes later and if it was actually possible those 90 minutes seemed longer than the whole of the rest of the day. Sadly she told us that Dembe has bilateral ( both legs ) Elbow Dysplasia, - you can find out more about ED here. The vet told us that his left leg is more badly affected than his right. However both legs are only showing very subtle changes on the x-rays. The x-rays will be sent to an orthopaedic specialist who will provide us with their expert opinion. The good news was that there were no bone fragments floating around the joint, so he wouldn't need any immediate surgery. As the condition was discovered early treatment will be conservative management, getting his weight down, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. He will adore hydrotherapy as he is a water baby, as those who follow the blog know! We were allowed to come and get him straight away.
I have never been so glad to see my baby boy in all my life. He really wasn't with it when I saw him walking down the car park. Everyone kept telling us what a lovely boy he is and they thought it was so sweet that he had come down with his blue dinosaur. The vet nurse talked us through after care and said he would probably be out of sorts for 24-48 hours. She also told us that there was a risk of him having diarrhoea as that was a side effect of one of the medications he had been given. They had also given Dembe's nails a trim. She said that he doesn't like his legs or feet being touched, I said no doing his nails is a two person job!
When we got home I said to Jay do you think he wants to go around the block but Dembe made it clear that he didn't want to by going straight into the house and jumping on the sofa with his carrot.
Our little space cadet was really out of it.
Dembe had a really awful time after the general anaesthetic. He cried solidly for 24-36 hours, only stopping when he slept, briefly! Or when he was eating or out for a walk. He had awful diarrhoea as a side effect of the medication he had been given. As he won't go to the toilet in the garden this meant Dembe had to be taken around the block frequently. Poor Jay was out at 9pm, 10.30pm, 1.30am, 2.30am and 5am on top of the frequent trips around the block during the day.
The crying went on through most of Thursday, just a little whimper constantly. It was clear looking at him that he still wasn't fully out of the G.A. His eyes were like saucers. I was very relieved when his natural treat box arrived and he was very interested in it. The chewing broke up the crying.
He was so sad and pitiful it was heartbreaking that we couldn't comfort him. The first time he was really happy and started looking more like himself was when he had a present delivered from his Auntie Beverley. She had sent our beautiful boy a Turtle toy. He wagged his tail like mad and was so happy he paraded it around the bedroom!
That was the first time we saw a glimmer of the Dembe we know and love since he had come home from the vets.
He was still having diarrhoea on Thursday during the day so I had to ring the vets and get him some stuff to soothe his belly. The vets advised us that it might take 24-48 hours to resolve.
Dembe was a lot better Friday still a bit whingey but we had longer spells between cries and he spent an awful lot of time sleeping.
As you can see from the photos his eyes are totally different and he is fully present.
By Saturday he was completely back to normal!
As Jay went to go and see his mum, our neighbour and friend Kim walked him around the block for me so that Dembe could have a wee. Also on Saturday the diarrhoea was completely gone as well so he was much happier in himself. He really didn't do well with a general anaesthetic and it was awful not being able to comfort him.
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