Saturday, August 3, 2013


When I left for my 9:30 a.m. physical therapy appointment yesterday morning (Friday) everything was normal at home, Rigby and I had worked on our homework from our new online class, I had fed her, taken her out and she was in her crate taking a morning nap.

After my appointment I went to the bank and then stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items, including hot dogs for tracking on Saturday, as I felt my knee was ready to head out to the park and do a few short, flat tracks with Rigby.

When I got home things were not quite normal any longer. 

As I entered the kitchen with my groceries in my hands Dan told me that Rigby had had a little accident.  She and Rocky had greeted me at the door and I had not noticed anything wrong, so I asked, "You mean she peed or pooped in the house?"  I couldn't imagine that had happened, as she has not had an accident in the house since she was 10 or 12 weeks old.

"Well, no", he said, "she has a little boo-boo."

He then proceeded to tell me that, as is normal at our house, after he had gotten up that morning he had fed Rocky his breakfast, but this was one of those days when Rocky's stomach was out of sorts and so he did not eat his meal (not uncommon for Rocky, as he's had stomach problems since we got him).  A bit later, and forgetting that Rocky's food was still in his dish sitting on the floor, Dan let Rigby out of her crate and she made a beeline for Rocky's food, which, not surprisingly, Rocky took exception to and he proceeded to let her know in a way that was none too nice.  Dan told me she had gotten bit on her leg, but it was "not too bad."

I immediately checked out the damage to her right leg and was not happy with what I saw, figured she needed stitches and so I immediately called the vet. Luckily they said they would fit us in and they told me to bring her right over.

After arriving at the vet's office and while trying to show the receptionist where the laceration was, I discovered blood behind Rigby's leg and realized there was another wound besides the one I had originally seen.

Once back in the exam room, and after a normal temperature reading, the vet soon came in.  She examined both wounds and as she spent some time checking out the back of Rigby's leg I didn't like the look on her face and I got that sinking feeling that this was more than stitches.

The vet explained that the wound on the front of Rigby's leg was a bite tear wound that would need stapled or stitched, but that the wound in the back showed considerable swelling and was of more concern to her and that possibly the tendon sheath had been injured.  I was given two options for dealing with the wound and, after discussing them with the vet, decided that surgery for Rigby was the best way to go.

Thankfully the vet's office was able to work their schedule so that Rigby could be operated on later in the afternoon and she would then come home to us in the evening.  The one concern that remained with doing the emergency surgery was that Rigby had eaten around 8:30 and her fast before undergoing anesthesia would only be about 6 hours, not the 12 that is preferred.  The vet and the staff assured me that they would watch Rigby closely and do their best to prevent any vomiting when she woke up, in hopes of preventing her aspirating anything into her lungs.

So I left Rigby in the capable hands of my vet's office and just hoped that the outcome would the best we could have.

Later in the afternoon I got the call from the vet's office that the surgery was finished, Rigby was awake, okay and had not vomited anything, all great news.  Then they told me that the wound in the back of the leg was deeper than they had thought and so it was necessary to put in a drain to aid in the healing process -- not the greatest news.
But she was ready to come home and I made an appointment to have the drain removed Monday afternoon.

Since I had to be at work by 4:00 on Friday I was not able to pick Rigby up myself and Dan had the task of going to the vet's office, getting all the instructions, getting her home and starting her care. I hope that at her appointment Monday, to remove the drain, I'll get more details on the surgery and exactly what they saw with the wounds on her leg.

As of this morning Rigby is doing well.  Yes, she wears the "Cone of Shame" and will wear it this weekend, as I don't want her to pull that drain out. The short times I've had the cone off she has made it clear that if given the opportunity she will chew her bandages and I'm going to prevent that from happening if at all possible.

She seems to be moving on her foot very well and I think, if given the chance, she would run around the house and play like normal, but she is on vet ordered limited activity and so she will have to wait a bit for full-out playtime.

Rigby's bandaged leg.

We brought up the largest crate we have and set it up where her crate normally sits.  It gives her a bit more space for negotiating turns with the large E-collar on and it seems more to her liking.

Last night she slept in bed with me and, except for falling out of bed at about 6:00 a.m., she had a decent night's rest.  This morning she ate well, took her pills and had a good drink of water, went outside, did her "business" and is now resting quietly in the crate. 

Hopefully in a couple weeks all will be healed and Rigby will be back to her full activities, showing no residuals from her wounds at all.

Rigby and Rocky have done so well together since we brought her home and they have become very good buddies, they play together, bounce around the floor together and even have begun sleeping on the couch together, Rigby using Rocky as a big pillow.  I guess now we know the limits of Rocky's patience with Rigby, and that limit is his food dish and his food.

Rigby and Rocky sitting for their treats.

We have worked with Rigby and Rocky and can feed them treats together, having both of them sit and waiting for the other to receive a treat, but this was our first encounter with Rigby trying to eat out of Rocky's dish and it will hopefully be the last.

As I mentioned earlier, when I arrived home and before I knew what had happened, both Rigby and Rocky greeted me at the door, so I don't think any great damage has been done to their relationship, but precautions will need to be taken to ensure that Rocky's food, if not eaten, is put safely out of reach before Rigby is allowed the run of the house.


  1. feel better soon, cousin Rigby!!

    <3 from CeCe and the BRW's (Big Rescue Weims) June and Haze