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Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

Stitches out, fighting with the roommate; it’s a normal day!


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Seroma, day 10 (not too big)

Today is day 10 for Dakota and we celebrated by getting his stitches removed. I wanted to wait a couple of days more, but Dakota had been going to town trying to scratch the awful itch they created, and I wanted to have that abdominal bruising looked at. Turns out day 10 is perfectly fine for suture removal and everything had closed up nicely.

Dakota does have a smallish seroma, which I suspected, but it isn’t large enough to require any treatment. After the stitches were out, there was some fluid oozing in one reddened area so I think it may find its own drain. Sounds nasty, doesn’t it? A couple of days ago Dakota did begin licking the incision and irritated a spot, and this is where the oozing is coming form.

The bruising is ok, although of course no one will commit to saying it’s actually from the surgery. There have been all kinds of caveats issued: It could be a platelet disorder that only last week manifested; it could be internal bleeding from who knows what that just popped up…I don’t think so.

After we got back home, Dakota’s bulldog Evelyn (the worst roommate in the world, remember) tried to snag a bone from his mouth. Evelyn had been left home with at least 5 bones while we were gone, but once we got home the only one she couldn’t live without was the one Dakota picked up. They really went at it for a moment, and I had to intervene. All I could envision was Dakota’s shoulder tearing open and everything falling apart. It was really rather frightening. In retrospect, Dakota now cares if Evelyn wants to steal from him. Several days ago he would probably not have lifted his head to protest.

So the mending continues and I’m hopeful that Dakota will regain more strength every day. He is doing much better outside, avoiding obstacles and not falling down. The worst navigation challenges come from his persistent running into people, especially me. He often doesn’t seem to know what to do with his body and just rams right into my legs. I think he wants me to move out of his way, but I just can’t always do that. He also needs to learn to moderate his speed. I understand why faster is easier for him, but boy is it fast! I’m very sure he can slow down a bit and still keep up good momentum.

Now the challenge will be to keep Dakota quiet for another week so the seroma can resolve. Oh yeah, and he absolutely can’t keep licking at the incision, either. I guess he’s still going to be modeling some tasteful duds for the next week or so.

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by posted under recovery, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »    
8 Comments to

“Stitches out, fighting with the roommate; it’s a normal day!”

  1. February 21st, 2011 at 4:46 pm      Reply daisy2010 Says:

    Yeah for Dakota! Sounds like he is doing great!

    Oh and Samson sends a special invitation to Miss Evelyn to join the Monkeydogs. Every tripawds annoying companion is eligible….

  2. February 21st, 2011 at 7:55 pm      Reply admin Says:

    Glad to hear Dakota is getting along so well! Thanks for the update.

  3. February 21st, 2011 at 9:18 pm      Reply rudyroo Says:

    Yeah Dakota should feel more comfortable with those stitches out!

    Sounds like Dakota and Evelyn (including you too!) had an exciting day!

    Good to hear that Dakota is adjusting. Dakota will figure out how to get around and maneuver in no time. Rudy would do a huge jump to go up one step from the garage to the house and would slide. Now after a few weeks he figured it out, he does a smaller hop now.

    Dakota will be running around with Evelyn in no time:)

  4. February 21st, 2011 at 10:04 pm      Reply melanie Says:

    I’m very happy your pup is doing so well…

  5. February 21st, 2011 at 11:44 pm      Reply luckypup Says:

    So glad Dakota’s starting to act like normal again!
    Do you have a picture of the seroma? Lucky has had what I think is a seroma since his surgery. It started off really gross, but now it’s getting a lot better very rapidly. That’s funny that nobody’s saying it was from the surgery…
    I hope Dakota enjoys his cool collar for the next week!

  6. February 22nd, 2011 at 9:49 am      Reply shari Says:

    Hey Lucky! How’re ya doin’? So glad you are up on Jeff’s computer this morning!

    I did insert a photo at the top of the page so you can see what Dakota’s small seroma looks like. Also, if you go to Day 6, there is a photo there of Dakota and his awful roommate, and Dakota is wearing his shirt that I modified for him. No cone of shame for D-dawg! I cut the sleeves off of a ratty shirt and sewed up the hole for the missing leg so can’t lick and won’t get too cold. He has 3 shirts that he rotates, depending on his mood and who he’s trying to impress.

    I hope you keep getting better and better, Lucky!


  7. February 22nd, 2011 at 9:55 am      Reply shari Says:

    Hey Daisy,

    Evelyn wants to know what she needs to do to become a monkeybuttheaddog. She also wants you to know she can’t be brave because she’s a chicken. And she won’t say this because she’s not smart enough to say it, but she isn’t very smart.


  8. February 23rd, 2011 at 5:17 pm      Reply samson007 Says:

    Evelyn doesnt need to to anything…if she annoys Dakota in anyway she already is one. Hey mom??? Why no pictures of Evelyn? Huh? Are you playing favories? She can get her own sign on like me and help us harass the tripawds like in the forum

    Seriously -Monkeydogs are all in good fun and their antics are meant to lighten the mood. We ALL need a little laugh now and then.

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February 2011
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What came before

Dakota is our Golden Retriever mix, and he was likely born in February 2002. His full name is South Dakota Watson, and we found him on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in August 2002. The area we discovered him had no homes, no structures, no bodies of water, no shelter. He had his permanent teeth but was still a puppy, so we assumed 6 months was a reasonable age guesstimate. He weighed 12 pounds, which was grossly underweight. Two weeks later, he weighed 23 pounds. He was too weak to eat much so we fed him 6 times a day. Sometimes he would just collapse at his food dish and fall down, and I would have to feed him by hand.

I wish Dakota could write this page because he is the only one who knows the beginning. From his birth until the day we found him, we have no idea what he endured. Well, that’s not entirely true. We know some of it, and other bits we can infer from his behavior. For instance, we know for a fact that Dakota was suffering from malnutrition, sarcoptic mange, assorted internal parasites, flea anemia, dehydration and dental enamel hypoplasia (pitting and staining of the teeth commonly resulting from distemper as a puppy before the teeth emerge). We can infer that Dakota had distemper from the hypoplasia. We can infer that he was deliberately dumped. And we can infer that a man in a baseball cap wearing sunglasses hit him with some kind of stick and chased him off with a hose. Dakota has problems with all of those things.

Dakota has every reason in the world to hate people, but he doesn’t. He’s very mistrustful of strangers, but he is beyond loyal to his family. Once he meets someone and gets the ok from us, he opens his heart to them, too. He is very attached to me, probably because he was isolated (due to the mange) for the first 11 weeks we had him. He had nice digs set up for him in our house, but he could only look at our other 2 dogs and not touch them. I was the one providing all his care during that time, as we found out the hard way that mange can be transfered to humans. To protect our young son, no one but me played with Dakota during those 11 weeks.

Because we feel pretty sure that Dakota survived distemper, and he survived being abandoned, surviving cancer should be no biggie for him.

We know Dakota’s cancer is not an osteosarcoma, and his chest films were clear, one month apart. We are very optimistic about his long-term prognosis in light of those facts. Hopefully we have several more years with him and he will grow old with us, just as he should.

Right after we got home with Dakota, all 12 pounds of him.

Eyes swollen shut, ragged ears, and just as calm as could be.