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About Rhys

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    Clinton, Utah
  1. I had a Hale dog door installed through the wall 5 1/2 years ago. I love the double flaps. The wind has never blown it open. The interior flap recently started tearing at the top but is still functional. The door gets a lot of use. It comes with a tinted plexiglass insert that locks into place. The down side is the dogs couldn't tell it's in place and would run into it and we didn't always notice either and have locked them in. I put a big X and the word closed in reflective tape on it. The word closed registers in my brain better than the X. I chose the dog door that would fit between the studs and got the tallest size for that width because I didn't want to replace it. It's installed about two inches from the floor on the inside and is about 5 inches from the deck on the outside. We had a small dog at the time. If I had the dogs then that I do now I would have installed it a bit higher.
  2. I called my heart dog “handsome boy” so Rhys got stuck with the nickname “sexy beast”.
  3. Dh and I thought about a sling before the amputation and considered buying one from Petsmart but then Dh talked to a vet tech. She told him that they use a towel for a sling. So we planned to use a towel but Rhys never needed any assistance. Rhys’ leg was amputated because he couldn’t bend it so removing the leg actually increased his mobility. He jumped in the car when I picked him up from the vet. Before I picked him up I forgot to close the dogdoor, he was through the house, out the dogdoor and down the 5 porch steps before I could stop him. The first day home he walked around with a puzzled look on his face because he couldn’t figure out why that leg wasn’t getting in the way. Below are more photos of Rhys. Most I have posted before but I don’t know if you saw them. Having 3 legs hasn’t slowed Rhys down. I think you will be surprised at how fast Buzz adjusts to 3 legs. Cathy
  4. The hardest part of Rhys’ amputation for me was that he whined for the first 30 hours after I brought him home. If he was awake, he whined. The anesthesia can make dogs vocal. I couldn’t be convinced that his whining wasn’t due to pain, so in addition to the patch and pain meds he came home with, I gave him (with the vet’s permission) other pain medications I had. Rhys was doped up. I know now he wasn’t whining from pain because he abruptly stopped after 30 hours. Not whined less, completely stopped. Even when the pain meds were reduced he didn’t whine. No matter how much you mentally prepare yourself, it is still a shock to see your dog for the first time after the amputation. Below are photos of Rhys' amputation so you have some idea of what to expect. Initially, Buzz will not be able to get up or stay up without traction. If you have uncarpeted floors, cover them. Some owners have gone on Free Cycle to get area rugs to put down. I have a large kitchen/dining area that is vinyl that I had to cover with throw rugs. Rhys now does fine in this area. Try to treat Buzz as normal as possible. He will pick up on your emotions. Buzz isn’t going to think “Oh no, I’m missing a leg”. He will not think of himself as disfigured. Remember you are removing the source of his pain. Expect to get little sleep for the first 48 hours. The first 2 weeks are the hardest. Most dogs completely recover and adapt to the amputation within 6 weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, post them on the amputation forum at HandicappedPets.com. Someone has likely gone through something similar. Even though the reasons for amputation may be different, the amputation is the same. That forum was a great support to me. Wishing all the best to Buzz and your family. Cathy
  5. Is amputation an option? HandicappedPets.com has a forum for amputation. There are several members whose dog’s amputation was due to cancer. Tessa’s, who is a member of that forum, dog Xena had her leg amputated over 18 months ago because of cancer and she is doing great. Rhys’, the dog in my avatar, leg was amputated in April 2007 due to an injury that didn’t heal correctly. That photo was taken 6 weeks after the amputation. He is doing great. Missing a rear leg is less handicapping than a front leg because the majority of the dog’s weight is on the front legs. Sending good vibes your way. Cathy
  6. HandicappedPets.com has a forum for Blind and Deaf Pets.
  7. I watch Rhys’ weight because he is a tripod. Rhys is very lean but he is a big boy and weighs 50 lbs. With a fourth leg he would probably weigh around 57 lbs.
  8. Adopting a dog from a rescue isn’t anything like fostering a child. A dog rescue’s purpose is to adopt the dog into a good permanent/forever home. The purpose of foster care is to place the child in a safe and nurturing home while the birth parents work on the issues that caused the child to be removed from them. The goal is to reunify the child with the birth parents though there may be concurrent planning for the foster parents to adopt the child if reunification fails.
  9. Rhys' left hind leg was amputated 6 months ago. The leg didn’t bend so it limited his mobility. I thought that once the leg wasn’t in the way he would just follow us down to the basement because he goes down the 4 steps off the porch just fine. I knew he had the ability to go down the basement stairs but he lacked the confidence and I hadn’t been able to lure him beyond the 3rd step. Rhys absolutely hates to be picked up. About a month ago I carried him down to the basement so he would know what he was missing. He loved being down there with us. Tonight I picked him up and brought him down to the basement again. After being in the basement for a couple of hours he followed our other dog up the stairs and then came back down with her! He has now gone up and down the stairs several times!!!!!!
  10. I adopted Rhys from a local rescue. I really liked a black mutt, Jin, pictured on the rescue's website but wanted to adopt two dogs that needed to be placed together. When I found out that Jin and another dog, Rhys, were very bonded and that Rhys had one failed adoption because he wouldn't stop whining because he was separated from Jin I was very excited to meet them until the rescue director told me that Rhys is a border collie. My first thought was border collie, um "no thanks". Okay, I really thought “oh hell no” because of my next door neighbor's border collie, Buddy. Buddy is hyper vigilant, barks at anything, everything and nothing; and is very very very high energy. I have since figured out that Buddy is not getting the attention, training, physical activity or mental stimulation that he needs. The rescue director told me that Rhys is laid back and medium energy so I decided to be open minded. I researched the breed and met Rhys. I love my Rhys. He is sweet, affectionate, mellow, smart and engaging.
  11. I just thought I’d add my experience with both of these. The inflatable one works if your dog is not flexible. It worked great on my lab/heeler but Rhys is made out of rubber. I tried this one on Rhys prior to his amputation and it was useless so I bought the foam one. The foam one alone was also useless but paired together they would have worked okay but he did look a bit silly. Fortunately he didn’t lick the incision enough to need to wear an e-collar.
  12. Hi Mary, I’m sorry for what you and Bingo are going through. If you’re looking for emotional support from people who have gone through what you’re going through, there is an amputation forum on HandicappedPets.com. There are several members of that forum that their dog’s amputation was due to cancer. Best wishes, Cathy
  13. There’s a forum on HandicappedPets.com for blind and deaf dogs. I’m sure someone on there can answer your questions. The information and support I received from the amputation forum was great. Sierra is a cutie. I love her pink nose
  14. Rhys had double dewclaws. The double dewclaws were removed from his right hind leg when the left leg was amputated. The cost of having them removed while he was out for the amputation was $23.82. After reading AK dog doc's post, that was money well spent.
  15. Nasal mites can cause reverse sneezing. My cocker was given a shot for nasal mites and she never reversed sneezed again. I remember my vet mentioning that the shot (I can't remember what it was) is not safe for some herding breeds. Since Tatum was a purebred spaniel, the herding breeds the vet mentioned did not stick in my mind.
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