Tag Archives: ACL injury

Missing Alex – Happy 14th Birthday

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Siesta Time

It’s been a couple of months since Alex passed away and we still miss her very much.  Today, May 5th, would have been her 14th birthday.  I do wish we had more time together, but I am grateful for the time we spent with her.  What Alex enjoyed the most was sunbathing.  There were times when I had to tell her to come in or move away from the sliding doors because she was already panting.  Funny how you miss the little things about those you love and are no longer with us.

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Alex

Happy birthday my amazing girl.  We love you dearly.  Till we see each other again.

Your moms,

Marcela and Cynthia

Alex’s ACL Injury – 15 Months Later

alex3upIn November 2013, Alex injured her ACL and I was beyond scared.  So scared that I was ready to put her through surgery, but my better half, Cynthia, talked me out of it, and even today I am glad we made the right decision for Alex.  Please, bear in mind that neither Cynthia nor I are vets nor pretend to be one, but we made the best choice for our furry kid Alex, taking into consideration her age, recovery period, chances of getting full recovery, and expenses.

At the beginning, Alex wore the brace featured in the above picture all the time, except for bed time, of course.  She had tons of bed rest and this was easy to do because at the time of her injury she was already 11 years old so she loved to sleep.  This is not an easy task to accomplish if you have a young dog.

alex1upNowadays, Alex does not use her brace when she is at home anymore.  She wears it only when we go out and when we visit family.  Because of her ACL injury I changed a few things in order to help her heal and keep her free of pain.  Here are a few of the changes I made for her:

  • Walks – I try to get her out 2 to 3 times a day, when the weather is not too cold, for about 15-25
  • Diet – Alex eats 75% human food, 25% kibble
  • Bed – I got her an orthopedic bed
  • Sun bathing – Sunbathing, in moderation, is excellent for her injury
  • Heating pad – I put a heating pad on her during the evening.  This accomplishes two things: it keeps her warm; and it helps improve her mobility
  • Supplements – Omega 3 and Osteo-Pet total joint care

I cannot complain.  Alex is doing great and she is about to turn 13 years old in May 5th.  I still cannot believe it.  My girl is a tough little cookie.

Comfortable Bedding For Senior Dogs

Alex, wearing her brace and a sweater

Alex, wearing her brace and a sweater

Alex, my 12 1/2 year old canine companion, is a senior and I’ve realized that comfortable bedding for dogs should be high on a pet parent’s list, but much more so if your dog happens to be a senior dog.  Alex loves to be close to a vent, as you can see in the above picture.

Alex's other bed

Alex’s other bed

Alex’s favorite bed is the one shown above.  Yes, that is a heating pad.  I paid a little over $100 for that bed, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that it was worth it.  She loves it and it is pretty thick, which is great.  Now that is cold Alex has a comfortable bed, a sweater she wears indoors, and a heating pad to keep her warm and help her with her mobility since she has an ACL injury.  Have a great week.

Alex’s ACL Injury – Part 3

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Almost 5 months have gone by since Alex’s ACL injury, and I am glad that we did not put her through surgery.  Well, that is thanks to Cynthia for talking me out of it.  Years ago, Cynthia and I took a class in college and our instructor called us, the dynamic duo, and you know what?  I think he was right because we have always relied on each other, and this was one time when I truly needed her support and advice.

Here’s a little update on Alex:

  • Walks – She still wears the brace during our walks, but her speed and flexibility has greatly increased overtime.  She does not wear the brace at home.  Alex is walking longer than before, about 25 minutes once or twice a day.  But the next day, just to be on the safe side, she takes shorter walks so she does not over do it.
  • Rest – She sleeps a lot, she is almost 12 years old, but even at home she is more active.  One thing we do not allow her to do at all is run up and down the stairs like she used to do before.  Alex is probably thinking, “Mom you are a party pooper.”
  • Diet – Since I started to feed her more human food than kibble, Alex’s appetite not only opened up, I love that, but she has not skipped a meal once.

aclpart32Alex is also taking supplements to help her with her ACL injury, and I am also, little by little, trying different spices to help her arthritis.  I can’t complain.  My girl is doing fine and she is still active at almost 12 years of age. The combination of bedrest, supplements, walks, diet, etc., has certainly given Alex a new “leash” on life.  Senior dogs are amazing.

Alex’s ACL Injury – Part 2

acl21It’s been about 2 1/2 months since Alex started to wear a brace from Woundwear, and this is her progress so far:

  • Alex was only able to walk for 3 straight minutes while wearing the brace and was so exhausted that she slept for hours after that short walk
  • Nowadays, when the day is not too cold I take her to walk for about 20 minutes in the morning, and about 10 minutes late afternoon or vice versa.  Even after taking those walks, she likes to walk around the house
  • She is still on bed rest, and she is not allowed to run up and down the stairs which she still loves to do
  • She does not wear the brace when she goes to bed.  I put a heating pad around her injured leg and back when is time to go to sleep
  • In the morning, once she sees one of us get up, to our amazement and delight, she walks without limping and no brace for a couple of minutes
  • She seems to have gained some of the flexibility and agility she had before she got injured

acl22By the way, I don’t get any monetary compensation from Woundwear.  What I like to do is share the experiences I have with different products.  Why?  In the hope that you get an unbiased opinion, and I get feedback from you.

The only two things I found negative about the brace were the price, $386.75 including shipping, and having to pay about $120 for someone to take the measurements for the brace.  I did not pay for the latter because Cynthia took the measurements, but a lot of people, for what I read online, had difficulty with this part so the total for them would have been a little over $500.

Was it worth it for Alex?  Yes, it was.  I am hoping that in a couple of months from now she’ll be only wearing that brace once in a while.

In Home Dog Boarding vs. Dog Kennels

boarding1Soon, it’ll be two weeks since Alex started wearing a brace for her ACL injury and so far she is doing fine.  She is putting pressure on both legs, although still favoring her right leg, and she is resting a lot.  This is her favorite spot when the sun is out, by the sliding doors.

boarding2In order to get her to look at me I had to bribe her with a treat, and it worked.  While looking at her, I remembered the last time, years ago, when I had to travel out of the US and leave her in a kennel facility, and how I told myself and Alex that that was the last time I’d do that.  Please, do not misunderstand me, there are kennel facilities that are run by experienced, competent, dog loving individuals that do their very best to take care of the dogs they are entrusted with, but a kennel environment for many dogs can put a great amount of stress on them.  Years ago, I was the manager of a PetsHotel and I can honestly say that the staff that worked alongside me truly loved dogs and did a great job caring for them, but I also realized that the majority of the dogs were stressed out so with that in mind I decided to quit that job and I started offering In Home Dog Boarding.

boarding3Years went by and I still love what I am able to offer to pet parents and their dogs and that is a stress free environment, similar to the one they have at home.  I’ve had dogs that had a variety of issues such as: separation anxiety, fear of being crated, incessant chewing, etc., and they all have done well staying with us.  At the end of their stay I talk to the pet parents for a couple of minutes to let them know how their furry kid did and to mention anything unusual that I noticed about their doggie.

boarding4 Dexter, the handsome boxer mix in the above picture, is one of my regulars and although he may look a little intimidating he is really a sweetheart.  For the most part, I don’t crate dogs unless necessary, but, and this is something I do want to stress to all pet parents, a crate should be used as a tool for training your dog and never as punishment nor the answer to solve all your dog’s problems or issues.

boarding5Recently, I read a post in dogsmakeeverythingbetter.com/‎ about a shelter for dogs run differently than the ones here in the US.  This shelter outside of Tehran allows dogs to live freely with each other and they are even able to eat next to each other.  She posted some amazing pictures and it really made me think about what she said about dogs being social animals.  I am a firm believer that we all can learn from one another, and perhaps this shelter in such a far away place can teach us all a thing or two.

boarding6Because the dogs that stay with me literally hang out with me, I always ask pet parents to text me an hour prior to picking up their furry kid in order to have their doggie ready and to make sure that all the other dogs will not disturb us when they get to my place.

Whatever your choice for your dog may be, when it comes to boarding, my advice would be to ask a lot of questions, ask to see where your dog will be staying, do a search and see what comments are posted about this facility or pet sitter, and weigh all your options before making your decision.  Always remember that you are your dog’s advocate and that if you are not comfortable with a particular place or person, follow your gut and keep looking.