Embark Results

Kyrö's results:

Kyro has been a mystery since they day I met him. He was a rescue from a bad situation and all I was told was that he could possibly have '1/16th' Australian Shepherd in him. I did a couple DNA tests through a few vets and all came back with mixed results. One came back saying he was 100% husky and another came back saying he was all husky with a possible great dog parent having a small amount of Aussie in them.
As I learned more in the dog community and Kyro grew- I began to have more and more doubts that these results were accurate. I learned that the majority of dog DNA tests out there are highly inaccurate. One of the most inaccurate being Wisdom Panel- which I believe is what one of the Vets used.
Kyro's overall appearance read husky to me; however, his size and some behaviorisms did not. As well as his stockier build and ridiculously curly tail. When I found out about Embark- I was beyond excited. It's been raved about online and is currently one of the most accurate dog DNA tests on the market. They have reduced their variability for results down to around 5%.
I ordered the tests- swabbed both Kyro and Dovah and waited... My guess was that Kyro would come back with Malamute and possibly GSD DNA in him due to his overall size, build and behavior. I also expected a little Australian Shepherd DNA due to the fact that two of the pups in his litter came out Merle.
I was completely off!
Here is the big reveal!

Kyro actually came back being more Siberian Husky than I expected; however, this matches with the fact that he pretty much looks like an oversized, off standard husky. The Keeshond totally caught me off guard at first, but as I researched the breed I can certainly see it now. Keeshond's have a longer coat and a beautifully curly tail- which is where I believe Kyro gets his coat and floofy tail.
The Collie and Labrador Retriever surprised me as well. I can see the Collie (not in Kyro) by the fact that a couple littermates were Merle. Merle is a coat coloring Collies can have. The Labrador Retriever in him could explain his more mellow overall behavior as well as his stockier build and large size.
Kyro also came back as having an Agouti colored coat which I was correct about due to the banding on his hair- I was excited about this since it was something I was correct about! He also tested clear for all 160 genetic health diseases Embark screens for- yay!
To check out the results more indepth, click the link below!
(Summary, Family Tree, Breed Families, Maternal Line, Paternal Line, Traits and Health)
Embark Results- Kyrös

Dovahkiin's Results:

Dovah's results were not as much of a surprise as Kyro's were. Dovah's breeder was incredibly transparent about everything regarding him- so I knew generally what to expect. I figured he would fall in the low-low content Wolfdog range and have the breed mix of Husky/Malamute/GSD.
Several of Dovah's siblings from previous litters have also been Embarked- so I assumed he would be close to their overall results.
Let's take a peak at his results!

Certainly no surprise here with Dovah's results!
The only adjustment to his results is that after emailing Embark Dovah's relatives results as well as pictures of him- they actually place him closer to 20-21% Gray Wolf vs 18.2%. This does fall within their 5% variation for results, so isn't something completely abnormal.
Something Embark is also currently reviewing is that Dovah came back as DD vs Dd in his results. This would mean he isn't Dilute Blue. This does not make sense as both his parents are Dilute Blue and both other siblings tested came out as Dd. Dovah certainly has a blue/gray coat coloring and lacks pigment around his eyes and lips. The skin around his eyes and lips is actually more of a brown/pink coloring vs a true black- this is a trait of being dilute.
Embark is currently reviewing this and we will hear back next week on what they find. It's apparently been a common occurrence with Wolfdogs and even Solid Blue Wolfdogs are coming up incorrectly. There's a possibility that something else in Wolfdogs impacts the coloring gene that they don't currently test for.
To check out the results more indepth, click the link below!
(Summary, Family Tree, Breed Families, Maternal Line, Paternal Line, Traits and Health)
Embark Results- Dovahkiin

Road to Recovery (P8)

"Not in front of the camera, Mum!"

"Not in front of the camera, Mum!"

Week by week..

With each week that passes Kyro and I have been able to do more and more. We are very careful to avoid doing "too much" but have been rebuilding his strength with each day. His hydrotherapy sessions are now up to 3 7 minute intervals at a faster pace. We've also increased his exercise from a couple walks around 20-25 minutes to 3 walks a day that are 30 minutes each.

I've also started to take him out on more 'mini' adventures to keep his mind stimulated and to help him stay happy. Wednesday we took a trip down to Ballard to celebrate the 17th of May!

Rocking a Norsk shirt and headed to the parade!

Rocking a Norsk shirt and headed to the parade!

17th of May..

The 17th of May is a widely celebrated Norwegian holiday. We attend the parade in downtown Ballard every single year. It's a wonderful time to celebrate the Norwegian culture and to reconnect with your roots. Question I've been asked by many people is: "What is 17th of May?" The 17th of May is Norwegian constitution day. It is the day that Norway signed a a constitution that declared it to be an independent country. If you would like to read more about this holiday, here's a great source for some information:
Syttende mai

17th of May down in Ballard was a huge event. The parade had a variety of floats, choirs and bands. We even saw some beautiful Fjord horses who Kyro was beyond fascinated with.

Happy to be out and about getting lots of love.

Happy to be out and about getting lots of love.

Lots of love..

Kyro's favorite part about going down to the parade was the amount of love and attention he received. We had professional photographers for magazines approaching us for photos, families wanting to pet him, random people wanting photos- Kyro found it all to be fantastic. He even got a couple bites of some really delicious street hotdogs.

Parades are exhausting

Parades are exhausting

After the fun..

Once home Kyro was exhausted. The stimulation and walking around had him nice and relaxed. Kyro crunched down on his raw food, we did some physical therapy and he crashed out until the morning. The next day was beautiful out- sun shining, birds chirping and it really had that Spring feeling.

Raw yums!

Raw yums!

Shedding never ends..

With Spring finally warming up and the sun deciding to frequently show it's face- Kyro's shedding has just continued to increase. Every time I brush him he looks like he's shrunk several centimeters. I weigh him each week at the vet and he's slowly dropping weight due to all his shedding. It's an ongoing bet to see how much smaller he is each week!

Kyro has really taken up to his daily sunbathing lately as well. Him and his little friend, Mabel, spend hours at a time laying outside in the sun. The two of them have the most adorable friendship!

Cuddling in the sun

Cuddling in the sun

Closer and closer..

While we continue Hydrotherapy the next big step for Kyro will come in 3 weeks. He will get his second set of radiographs to see how the healing is continuing. If everything is still looking like it's healing correctly and he is feeling good- we may get the OK to start doing off leash activities again. While it will still be some time before he will be able to wrestle, we will at least be able to start doing short off leash hikes. We can also start going to our favorite park early in the AM/late in the evening to let Kyro play off leash.

I'm certainly going to record his first time off leash at the park since surgery as I know it will be pure happiness for him!

Until next update..

I will continue to share photos on my IG/FB page and video updates of his hydrotherapy sessions, but blog posts will come as I have free time and enough to really share.

If you would like to donate toward Kyro's Road to Recovery, you can do so here:
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery (P7)

Could this face be anymore adorable?

Could this face be anymore adorable?

Long several weeks..

My updates haven't been as frequent recently as life has been extremely busy for us. I am working additional hours while Kyro is recovering as he can't do a whole lot currently. We are also preparing for our big move into our first home (with a big new backyard- yay!) and keeping up on exercise, grooming and therapy.

Since I've missed several updates- this one is going to be quite a long one! Kyro started Hydrotherapy a couple weeks ago and has been doing fantastically. He wasn't super sure about the beginning of the first session, but quickly warmed up to the hydro tank. Getting treats throughout was certainly a bonus! His was exhausted after his first session as he hasn't had extensive amounts of exercise just yet due to him still recovering. I could tell he greatly enjoyed getting some physical stimulation.

Hydrotherapy..

I've had several questions about why Hydrotherapy is beneficial for dogs recovering from any type of leg/joint/hip injury, so I figured I would take a moment to answer this. Hydrotherapy is highly recommended for dogs as a low impact therapy after an injury. The water helps to make their bodies more buoyant which reduces the weight placed on their injury. The underwater treadmill allows for the dog to walk, while having some resistance and that helps to rebuild muscles and strengthen ligaments.

Rebuilding strength..

The biggest commitment we've been focusing on is the slow rebuilding of lost muscle and strength from having surgery and being on bed rest. There has been a very fine line with determining what the 'right' amount of exercise is, vs overdoing it. Two walks a day around 15 minutes each seemed to be the best length for Kyro currently. The first few walk sessions left Kyro with a little limp, but after a couple weeks the strength was returning and it no longer phased him.

Recheck..

After several weeks of established weekly hydrotherapy and daily walks (x2) it was time to schedule Kyro's recheck. The recheck includes radiographs to see how the bone and surgery area was recovering properly. Last Wednesday I brought Kyro in and he went back to get checked out. I waited patiently and prayed for great news- which we got! His surgery area and bones are healing up fantastically. Due to this, he has been OK'd to increase his exercise levels. He is now allowed to do 2-3 walks daily at 30 minutes each.

With this OK'd we have immediately started increasing the distance in the walks. I pushed up to 20 minutes for the first two walks, then 25 minutes and now he is comfortably up to 30 minute walks without issue.

Small adventures..

With Kyro being OK'd to do a little more now we took a road trip last weekend. We woke up at 2AM and drove down to Oregon to catch sunrise at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. The weather turned out perfectly and Kyro greatly enjoyed being out somewhere new. He greeted a ton of people and sniffed lots of beautiful flowers. He also got his paws and legs extremely muddy (which he was very pleased about).

On the way back up to Washington we stopped at Voodoo Donuts, where they even gave Kyro a special doggie donut that had some bacon on it!


 

Enjoying the sun and the flowers!

Enjoying the sun and the flowers!

Grooming, sun and more...

Last Friday Kyro was finally able to get his first bath and deep grooming since his surgery. He went over to our favorite groomers for the morning and had a spa day. They trimmed his nails, cleaned his teeth, bathed him, trimmed up his scraggly hairs and gave him a much needed brush out. The sun has finally showed it's face (after weeks and weeks of on off rain) so his coat has been blowing like nothing else! I could tell after having the grooming he felt a lot better. Keeping a double coated dog well groomed is important to help them properly regulate their body temparture.

Hair shed after just 15 minutes of brushing

Hair shed after just 15 minutes of brushing

Meeting new people...

One day we went down at hung out at a local indoor/outdoor bar and food place in Bothell. The evening was warm and it was the perfect day to be out. The outdoor area is extremely dog friendly and has little outdoor fireplaces. Kyro was thrilled to walk around, meet lots of people and then lay by the fire while we relaxed. Aside from hiking, one of his favorite things is to be out places were he can get lots of love and attention from people. He's a huge ham and just wants endless belly rubs.

Clearly life is rough for this big fluff

Clearly life is rough for this big fluff

Next big update...

In 6 weeks (5 now) we will be returning for another recheck with the vet. This recheck will determine if Kyro will be OK'd to start off leash activities (YES!). He still won't be able to rough house with buddies, but will be able to go to the dog park in the early AM and evening when it's empty to run around to his hearts content. I can't wait to see him swimming in the river again and hopping through the long grass.

We will be continuing hydrotherapy every Saturday and I will continue to share videos of his progress so far. This week he will be up to 3 7 minute intervals at an increased speed from last week.

Flowers, sunrise and a husky- what could be better?

Flowers, sunrise and a husky- what could be better?

Small victories...

Each week draws us a little closer to returning to our mountain adventures. We take all the small victories as huge successes through this crazy journey. Already Kyro seems to be a happier dog than right before his surgery.

If you want to donate toward Kyro's Road to Recovery you can do so here:
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery (P6)

The best face to wake up to in the morning

The best face to wake up to in the morning

Long week..

This previous week has been one full of several ups and downs. Thankfully none that involved Kyro! Kyro has been doing fantastically. His energy levels are back to normal and his appetite has returned to it's full vigor. Now it's difficult just to keep him resting.

The ups and downs have come on my side. Friday night, in my clumsiness, I managed to kick a wall (no, not on a purpose) and badly injured my foot. It was not too swollen Friday night, so I went to bed assuming I had merely stubbed my toes or jammed them. The next morning I awoke to my foot being very swollen and throbbing. Concerned, I made a Doctors appointment to go in. I went in thinking that perhaps I had dislocated a toe or two..... turns out I broke one, fractured two and fractured the long bone in my foot. Thankfully, no surgery is required and I do not need to be in a hard cast. If I had broken the long bone I would be needing surgery and be in a hard cast for 6+ months..... (phew).

I am, however, stuck on crutches for 3+weeks and in a double brace. I will be in the brace for 2-3months depending on how careful I am with my foot. The braces are made up of a soft one that stabilizes my ankle/long bone and one hard one that goes over the soft one and supports the rest of my injured foot. I can't say it's terribly comfortable, but it's certainly better than being in a hard cast. Funnily enough, I injured the same side as Kyro. We now are both recovering on our left sides.

My lovely clumsy injury

My lovely clumsy injury

On the bright side..

Kyro on the other note.. has been wonderful. His limp is extremely minor now and he's able to easily get up and down the stairs. We are still limiting activity to ensure he continues to heal properly. His walks are up to around 20 minutes now and he has been greatly enjoying getting out.

After some practice I was able to figure out how to walk Kyro while being on crutches. He's amazing at walking on leash and knows not to pull me. I have a hands-free belt I have been able to wear- which has worked wonders with the crutches! Our walks are a little more slow than before, but he is totally content being able to get some extra bush sniffing in.


 

Injuries don't stop us!

Injuries don't stop us!

Very spoiled...

Our weather recently has been incredibly unpredictable. Due to this, any breaks in the rain we've been laying out enjoying the sun. Kyro's favorite thing is to be brushed while he's basking in the sunlight. He will even fall asleep and start snoring. A few days ago he was even given some delicious ground quail frozen into a doggy popsicle to eat. He chewed that down faster than I could photograph!

With Kyro's leg growing less sensitive I was also finally able to do a good paw trimming for him. Nails and hair. Huskies tend to grow very long hair around their paw pads and it can cause moisture to collect which gets itchy and uncomfortable for them. It also makes making on hard wood floors slippery and dangerous. I typically trim Kyro's nails and paw fur every two weeks, but haven't been able to the last month as his hind leg was very sensitive. He was thrilled to have the hair all trimmed up and I even soaked his feet in coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Coconut oil is great for their paw pads and apple cider vinegar is excellent for preventing and treating yeast infections from moisture build up.

Being spoiled and getting a nice paw-dicure

Being spoiled and getting a nice paw-dicure

Extra love and affection...

Kyro has a amazing sense for when someone is injured, feeling unwell, or upset. He will come and cuddle, nudge you and be in your face until you allow him to comfort you. With me being injured I have been resting at home as much as possible. I am still working full time (which is especially exhausting when spending 10-14 hour days on crutches). The downtime I have when I get home, or on days off has been spent relaxing and recovery. Kyro thinks this is wonderful and happily cozies up with me to watch TV, or play video-games.

Eating his favorite raw meaty rib bones

Eating his favorite raw meaty rib bones

Physical therapy..

Unfortunately, we have yet to begin hydrotherapy as the Vet who runs it has been out horribly ill. (Fingers crossed for next week) Instead we've kept up with recommended stretches and physical therapy. Movements that gently work the knee while rebuilding the muscle and ligaments. Stretches that help to flex the knee and reduce any swelling, or fluid build up. These movements have certainly made a noticeable difference in Kyro's limp. It seems like the more we work with his knee the more confident he is with putting weight on it and utlizing it like he did before surgery.

Together we'll recover!

Together we'll recover!

Next week..

I will likely post the next update later this week. Possibly Friday, if not sometime this weekend since this update was so delayed. Sometimes life just happens and you have to hold on until everything calms down.

The rest of this week for us will be spent resting, recovering and icing. I do work both Thursday and Friday, but have the weekend off. Which I am beyond excited for. If the weather finally breaks and we get a prediction of some sun... we may venture to the Wooden Shoe Tulip festival next weekend. Kyro and I both can't walk far, but would easily be able to enjoy some flowers for an hour or two!

Road to Recovery (P5)

Happy face for getting out of the house

Happy face for getting out of the house

Best week so far..
This week has been the most successful up to this point in Kyro's recovery. We were able to do some more activities that helped to improve his mood. He's been a little mopey recently due to the lack of exercise. Being able to reroute that feeling of moping into positive activities really benefitted him.

We started this week out with the awesome OK that Kyro can take slightly longer walks. These walks aren't long by any means, but just the little increase in distance has really helped raise Kyro's mood. We are now able to do the full loop around our neighborhood (cul-du-sac to cul-du-sac) which is about a 10-15 minute walk. I let Kyro take his time to smell every plant we pass and to enjoy just being outside.

Walking around the neighborhood

Walking around the neighborhood

Slight limp..

While Kyro is doing a lot better, we are still being very wary about how much activity he is receiving. He is walking almost normally again, but if he reaches a point where he's been up for a little too long we notice he begins to limp. When this is seen we immediately get him to lay down and rest, while doing some cold/warm compressions to keep swelling down.

The plan is to begin hydrotherapy tomorrow if they have availability , so unfortunately I don't have a video to share with you guys just yet. If we do indeed get in for tomorrow I will make sure to right a (P6) blog post sharing the video and detailing how the session goes.

Out at the wineries (no worries Kyro did not drink any wine, just a photo!)

Out at the wineries (no worries Kyro did not drink any wine, just a photo!)

Public adventure..

We've been trying to figure out a great way to get Kyro out into public to get some socialization. He loves people and has been missing interacting with people outside my friends, coworkers and family.  During the weekend a perfect idea popped up- we could take Kyro out wine tasting with us! Our local wineries are dog friendly and tend to be very slow during Sundays. We choose two wineries (very close to one another) and were able to bring him with us. He was beyond thrilled to receive endless belly rubs from strangers as well as lay on the cool stone floors.

It was a great way to get him out, without overworking his leg or giving him too much exercise. We spent several hours between the two wineries so Kyro received ample love and had a really good day outside of the house.

Spring shedding

Spring shedding

Few sunny days..

Recently Washington has been struck with a ridiculous amount of rain. In the last two month we have broke a 120 year record for rainfall here and boy has it rained. The few and far between sunny days we've had we thoroughly took advantage of. With Spring the husky shed-pocalypse begins. A husky owners 'favorite' time of year. Kyro's Winter coat this year grew in more thick and long than any year previous, so the amount of hair coming off him this Spring is... amazing.

I've been grooming him twice a day since last week and the amount of hair coming off him has been incredible. The sunny days have been the most enjoyable for us both I've been able to groom him out on the deck. He loves basking in the sun while I brush out his coat. The dog has been slowly shrinking with each grooming.

"Shed happens, Hooman."

"Shed happens, Hooman."

Leg hair regrowth..

With each week that passes we've seen more and more hair regrowth on Kyro's leg (yay!). His leg is beginning to look a lot less like a pink chicken leg and more like an actual dog leg. You can even see some of the coat coloring returning on his leg. His little IV shaved spots are also growing back fantastically.

The only spot we've seen little to no hair regrowth is the shaved spot for his epidural. I inquired to the Vet about this and it's apparently quite normal. Unfortunately the thick long hair on a dogs back tends to grow extremely slowly, so it is likely that Kyro will have a bald patch there for a good period of time.

Hair regrowth on Kyro's leg

Hair regrowth on Kyro's leg

Until next week..

With next week we are hoping to continue to slowly increase his activity levels. Each week brings a little more that Kyro is able to do. It is slow progress, but reassuring to see. We also will be doing hydrotherapy twice a week and I'm really excited to see how he does with it! I'll certainly have photos and video to share.

If you want to donate toward Kyro's Road to Recovery you can do so here:
Donations

Road to Recovery (P4)

Enjoying his first grooming since surgery

Enjoying his first grooming since surgery

Slowly but surely..

This week was mellow and without any negatives (which is such a blessing!) We were finally able to start focusing on returning to our more regular routines. Grooming, raw meals and very short (5-10mins) walks around the neighborhood.

Tuesday Kyro went into work with me to evaluate his scar once again. We wanted to get it checked as the lower part previously had been a little raised and they wanted to confirm it was continuing to heal properly. Dr. Walker was back in from vacation and was about to check Kyro out. She was thrilled with how he is healing up and expressed her delight at how well he is already walking. She said he looks fantastic and is really anticipating a full recovery from him. We held off on beginning hydrotherapy this week just to give him one more week of healing. Next week (likely Wednesday and Saturday) we will beginning hydro sessions!

Scar from surgery is hardly noticable at this point

Scar from surgery is hardly noticable at this point

Sun finally brought through..

Sunday, after weeks of rain, the sun finally showed itself. The day was 50 degrees and the sun felt fantastic. I took Kyro out to our back deck to have his first grooming session in almost a month. He was happy to be out in the sunshine and sprawled right out, allowing me to give him a good half hour grooming. With Spring here his coat has begun to blow and I'm sure he enjoyed getting so much loose hair out.

The rest of the afternoon he spent laying outside on the deck soaking up the sun and enjoying the light breeze. Kyro is the most happy about being able to be outside again now that his sutures are out. He spends hours at a time just laying and sleeping on the deck.

Hair growth progress on his leg

Hair growth progress on his leg

Back to his regular diet..

The biggest thing Kyro has been happy about is returning to his raw diet. While he was recovering he was on a high end soft food that was comparable to raw, but not the same thing. Kyro greatly enjoys crunching away at the bones in his food and munching on the frozen organs. Every time I gave him his soft food he'd give me this look like, "really? This is what you want me to eat?"

The first raw meal I served him since he had surgery was met with so much excitement. He gave me these big puppy dog eyes, soft whines and a excited tail wag before crunching into his food.. During the recent scattered sunny days I've given him his meals outside which he has thoroughly enjoyed.

Waiting for permission to start eating his raw meal (served frozen because that's his favorite)

Waiting for permission to start eating his raw meal (served frozen because that's his favorite)

First walk around the neighborhood..

The first day of Spring, Monday, was Kyro's very first 'walk' since surgery. He is still on extremely limited activity and exercise so the walk was brief. It was no longer than 10 minutes and was just around the cul-du-sac. Kyro was thrilled to be outside the backyard and happily smelled every bush, tree and piece of grass we passed. His tongue hung out the side of his mouth while he took in all of the scents.

We were even able to do our first 'photoshoot' since he had surgery. We were walking by these blooming Heather bushes and Kyro caught whiff of an exciting smell. He climbed into the bush seeking out the smells source. After sniffing around for several moments he laid down with a big huff. He stretched out, closed his eyes and just kept smelling deeply in the bush. I was able to snap a photo of him relaxed and content while enjoying being outside.

Kyro laying in the Heather bushes relaxing

Kyro laying in the Heather bushes relaxing

Therapy to come..

Next week brings the start of hydrotherapy and daily short walks (5-10mins, not on hydro days) to start rebuilding strength in his leg. I will video his hydrotherapy sessions to share with you guys when we begin them! He is going to look so tiny with his floof being wet.

It will be fantastic to have a way for him to get his energy out productively and safely while he heals. The spring in his step is returning and he certainly is rearing to start playing and exercising again. The hydrotherapy sessions (typically about an hour) should help reduce his feelings of pent up energy.

If you want to donate toward Kyro's Road to Recovery you can do so here:
Donations

I will be sharing the next update this coming Friday, unless anything drastically changes by then. Thanks for keeping up on our journey through this process so far!

Road to Recovery (P3)

Flaunting his lovely chicken leg

Flaunting his lovely chicken leg

Steps of improvement..

While last week had several ups and downs, this week has been a world better! Kyro's appetite has finally returned and he's been eating much more regularly. With him eating again we've seen a great improvement to his behavior, mood and overall strength.

Pills have continued to be a great struggle with him. He is ridiculously clever and continues to figure out everything we've hid them in. It doesn't matter how sticky, smelly or tasty it is- he figures it out. We've been using a rotation of items that seems to trick him, but he tends to figure it out after the first use. Thankfully Kyro is down to one anti-nausea pill every morning and (x3) antibiotic pills every 12 hours. He only receives pain medication as needed now, which has been very little. We've been doing frequent cold compressions (which Kyro LOVES) and that's helped a great deal with any discomfort he has had.

Slowly but surely finishing off his antibiotics

Slowly but surely finishing off his antibiotics

Cone free..

Wednesday I brought Kyro in with the hope for an OK to have the sutures removed. We weren't sure what the verdict would be as the lower portion of his sutures had some exposed tissue. The Dr. came and checked out his leg, doing several stretches and movements with it to confirm it was healing properly. He then examined the sutures and gave the OK for them to be removed! The surgery tech and team (who all adored Kyro) came over to assist with the removal. Kyro flopped back on his back and gave his belly to them. While getting belly rubs (and being completely oblivious to what was happening) the sutures were quickly cut and removed.

I kept his cone on for the rest of the day just to ensure that he wouldn't lick at the freshly exposed skin under the sutures. That night we decided to give him a shot with the cone off to see if he would leave the area alone. He was tempted several times, but after correction let the area be. That night he was able to sleep without a cone on for the first time in over two weeks! 

"No cone? You're not joking, right?"

"No cone? You're not joking, right?"

Recovering quickly..

With the sutures removed and lessoned medication- Kyro has started to turn into his old self. While he is still tender on his leg, he has begun to use it more and more while he walks (which is great!) He has been able to go outside on his own (with supervision) to use the restroom and walk around the yard for a brief amount of time. We've limited these little 'walks' to around 5/10m minutes to ensure he isn't straining his leg. With just that little bit of freedom he appears to be much more cheerful and less stressed than previously. Being cooped up all the time while recovering is not fun! Especially for a dog used to exercising and adventuring everyday.

Sutures gone and looking almost fully healed up!

Sutures gone and looking almost fully healed up!

Naked leg..

As the days have passed we've noticed that Kyro's leg hair is beginning to rapidly regrow. We were having to cover his lower half with a blanket in the previous weeks as he was actually getting cold. He's been much more comfortable lately now that his leg isn't completely hairless. We aren't sure what the timeline will be for full hair regrowth, but it at least looks like it's on the right track!

Our plan for next week is to meet with the Dr. to evaluate where Kyro is at in his recovery. The hope is that we get the OK to begin hydrotherapy to start rebuilding strength in his leg. Hydrotherapy has a huge success for speeding up recovery, helping to prevent future injuries and for rebuilding lost strength. It is a low strain and low weight therapy that is extremely beneficial for animals with injuries like Kyro's. I will make sure to video his first session to share with you guys here!

Here's some information on hydrotherapy if anyone is curious:
Hydrotherapy for dogs

Hair regrowth

Hair regrowth

Until next week..

I will continue to post updates every Friday- unless something drastically different occurs between then and now. Fingers crossed for the OK for hydrotherapy next week and here's to hoping for another smooth and positive week of recovery!

If you want to donate toward Kyro's Road to Recovery you can do so here:
Donations

Road to Recovery (P2)

Very unamused Kyro about this entire surgery recovery thing

Very unamused Kyro about this entire surgery recovery thing

Ups and downs..

The days that have passed since last update have been quite the roller coaster. We will start in order of the events that have occurred so that I am able to keep my thoughts straight. Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon went as the previous days had. Kyro continued to be difficult about his pills, but we were able to discover that coconut yogurt was a good way to administer. Hiding the pills in the yogurt tricked him just enough that he would swallow down his medications.

We noticed after his surgery that his appetite hadn't been what it was previously. This could be caused by a number of things: the medication, lack of activity, pain. We kept an eye on it and his gums to ensure that he wasn't becoming lethargic or drastically losing weight.

Enjoying some yogurt while taking his medications

Enjoying some yogurt while taking his medications

Saturday evening..

As evening approached we noticed a drastic decline in Kyro's behavior. He was becoming increasing fussy and anxious. After a restroom break he became to cough and sneeze. Concerned, I checked his gums and discovered they had become pale and his tongue was a shade of purple. Worried, we rushed into the 24/7 ER Vet to get him checked out. Upon arrival his gum coloring had returned and aside from an elevated heart rate they didn't see any concerning signs. They took some radiographs (X-rays) of his lungs just to ensure he didn't have the beginning of pneumonia. Pneumonia is something to keep an eye out for animals that have been sedated. They can on occasion respirate which can cause pneumonia.

The radiographs came back clean and didn't show any signs of pneumonia. We received some anti-anxiety medication that would hopefully help with his discomfort. Returning home Kyro seemed fine. He slept the rest on and off the rest of the weekend without restlessness. 

The sutures on his knee healing up nicely

The sutures on his knee healing up nicely

Days passed..

The rest of the week continued on with less stress and concern. Between my lack of sleep, worrying about Kyro and working I caught a cold. The lack of sleep worsened the cold and I ended up getting a upper respiratory infection. Kyro and I spent several days cuddled up together sleeping the day away in an attempt for us both to recover.

Kyro still refused to really eat, but would piece at this and that. We continued to check his gums and watch his behavior to make sure it wasn't changing. We figured his lack of appetite had to be the major reduction in activity levels, so he just was not desiring to intake as much.

I spoke to the Technician who schedules surgery rechecks and got Kyro set on Wednesday the 15th to have his sutures looked at and possibly removed. The hope was that if the suture removal got OK'd he would be free of his cone and would be able to start his hydrotherapy treatment.

Close up of his healing sutures

Close up of his healing sutures

Another scare..

Today, while at work, I received a concerned call from my younger sister. She was home sick from school and had noticed Kyro was acting oddly. He was being abnormally vocal and was not baring weight on his hind knee. She thought he might be in pain and tried to give him his pain medication, but it had made no difference.

Concerned by this, I asked her to send me an image of his sutures to see if it appeared inflamed. When I saw the image she sent me I grew more concerned as the area around his sutures appeared far more irritated than it had that AM. I brought the image back to the Doctor and they recommended he be seen.

Inflamed sutures

Inflamed sutures

Waiting for answers..

A short while later my sister arrived with Kyro. I took him back to have him examined, explaining his recent behavior and lack of appetite. It was recommended that he get a set of radiographs down on his knee to make sure something hadn't been bent, or damaged somehow. Unfortunately Kyro was already somewhat distressed and would not remain still for the X-rays, so they had to sedate him.

The radiographs came back looking normal (thankfully!) but it was suspected that Kyro had the beginning of an infection.

Waiting at the Vet to get checked out

Waiting at the Vet to get checked out

Treatment..

Due to the concern of infection, Kyro was put on a longer dose of antibiotics than previously (he had just finished his prior antibiotics on Sunday) given. 3 antibiotic pills every 12 hours until completion. I was relieved to hear that it was caught early and wasn't something damaged in his knee.

The concern of appetite was still there, so Kyro's medications were changed up. The side effects of the pain medication he was on can sometimes cause appetite loss, so we opted to go for a non-oral one. The non-oral medication is a patch applied to the area he was shaved for when he got his epidural. It begins to take effect after 24hrs and lasts around 72hrs. It typically does not impact the appetite, so the hope was that he would begin to eat regularly once again.

Antibiotics galore!

Antibiotics galore!

Home..

After the patch was applied we were discharged to go home. Due to the lower portion of the suture looking strained it is something that has to be continuously checked on to ensure it isn't worsening. Other than that, he was OK'd to continue his recovery as he was before- with the reduction of the pain meds he was on before.

Upon arrival home Kyro was still very out of it from being sedated. He was wobbly and softly whining (typical reaction). We got him into his recovery room and settled on his dog bed. I administered his antibiotic pills and made sure he swallowed them. Now, we are sitting together (he is sleeping soundly- snoring in fact) while I am typing up this update.

Sleepy Kyro after tonights 'adventure'

Sleepy Kyro after tonights 'adventure'

Upcoming..

The plan still remains to have Kyro's sutured checked this coming Wednesday. If there is an improvement and all looks good- he will still be able to have them removed. If there appears to be continued separation, or irritation he will have to wait until the antibiotics do the trick before he can have them removed. If the separation is continuing drastically he will need to go in sooner to ensure his sutures don't rip and cause further injury.

As of right now, all seems well and peaceful. Kyro is contently asleep and we will try some food in the AM (fingers crossed!)

If you want to donate toward Kyro's Road to Recovery you can do so here:
Donations   

Despite everything- Kyro still believes the Vet is the place where you go just for belly rubs (which he gets from everyone)

Despite everything- Kyro still believes the Vet is the place where you go just for belly rubs (which he gets from everyone)

Road to Recovery (P1)

Kyro enjoying a little break from his cone

Kyro enjoying a little break from his cone

Two days since surgery..

The time has been passing pretty quickly since Kyro's TPLO surgery. He has been sleeping comfortably (thankfully!) and hasn't appeared to be too stressed by what has happened. He has been using the restroom regularly and has been maintaining hydration levels. His appetite has been lacking and he refuses to eat unless being hand fed.

The medications have been the most difficult part in this process so far. Kyro is extremely clever and has been able to locate his pills in both his food and pill pockets. He hasn't been tricked by sandwich meat, cheese or treats. The smarty-pants eats around the pills. Due to this, we've had to use a 'pill pusher' which is a plastic device that helps get pills to the back of a dogs throat. This technique has worked so far, but hasn't been enjoyable for either of us.

The sutures on his knee

The sutures on his knee

Finding solutions..

With his appetite lacking I went in search of a food that would interest him and be similar to the raw diet he was on before surgery. Switching over during this process was a must as his interest in chewing away at food that requires work has been little. I stopped by my local feed store on the way home from work and began searching the aisles for a soft food he could eat. After searching aisle after aisle, I finally asked the owner what her recommendation was. I explained that Kyro was on a raw diet and I wanted something healthy, grain-free and easy to eat. She showed me over to an all organic aisle and I was able to find a protein, organ, bone, essential oil based canned soft food to use for him while he recovers.

While exploring this aisle I stumbled upon "Pet Releaf". Pet releaf is a company that produces hemp products for dogs and cats. I was curious and picked up an oil as well as a bag of treats. The owner walked over to me with a big smile. "You ever used these before?" I replied with a no and that I didn't know much about the product. She began to tell me a little about them and stated that she's heard a lot of positive feedback from others. If you want to find out more about the products, here's a link to their site!: PetReleaf She had personally been using the treats and oil on her dog the last three months while her pup has been healing from a broken pelvis. I figured it was worth a try to help with the pain between his medication doses. I also purchased a soft cone that would be more comfortable for him to be in, inside of the stiff plastic one.

PetReleaf products I purchased to help with pain and comfort

PetReleaf products I purchased to help with pain and comfort

Food and medication..

Once home I decided to give the PetReleaf a go as Kyro's next dosage of medication would not be until Mightnight. I took some of his new food and mixed 1/3 the recommended dosage in. I wanted to start small to see how he would react on it. While he ate I blew up his new inflatable cone and replaced his plastic one with it. I could tell that he was instantly more comfortable. After about 20mins I noticed a visible difference in Kyro's antsy mood. He appeared to be much more relaxed. His on/off whining had stopped and he was dozing on and off. I felt a great deal of relief knowing that he was feeling much more comfortable.

Wearing his new inflatable cone

Wearing his new inflatable cone

Therapy begins..

An important step to his recovery being successful is starting therapy. While he is limited to around 4 (5-10 minute) walks to use the restroom, it is recommended for him to start therapy. The therapy is just a variety of movements to help with swelling, blood flow and fluid build-up. We warmed a small towel as instructed and began working our way through the list provided to us by the Doctor. Kyro's movement was fantastic and he actually appeared to enjoy the manual therapy.

Once we completed I was surprised to see a visible difference in the fluid build up around his ankle and knee.

Our instructions for Manual therapy

Our instructions for Manual therapy

Time for rest..

After one last bathroom stop for the day (which in itself is quite the task) I got Kyro all prepared for sleep. Between the light therapy and his bathroom walk he was exhausted and more than ready for sleep.

Sleeping soundly in his new cone

Sleeping soundly in his new cone

Updates..

I will be writing updates weekly (every Friday) unless something drastically different arises in his progress. I am still working full-time and the rest of my time is dedicated to Kyro's care, so I am not able to post updates constantly. I am thankful to have my families support and assistance in watching and caring for Kyro while I am away at work.

The Friday updates will also be much longer and in-depth than this update. There was not a massive amount to share since the last update yesterday.

If you are interested in donating toward Kyro's Road to Recovery you can do so here:
Donations

Resting comfortably snuggled up while Mom writes her update

Resting comfortably snuggled up while Mom writes her update