Tiny's Wheelchair Project

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ErnestoA
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by ErnestoA » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:55 pm

Long time no talkie! My internet's been nearly non existent for a while now and my computer is on its last legs so I haven't been able to get on much.

The temps you're posting are normal for dogs. They normally run between 101 and 103 but temps can climb a bit over that during digestion and post exercise. Wilbur's normal temp was 104 pretty consistently and Jebus was 103. Man I miss those little guys!

It's good to see you guys working through stuff and having some fun still!

I finally got some wheels that I can afford to fuel so maybe I can come visit soon!

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amberwolf
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:05 am

ErnestoA wrote:The temps you're posting are normal for dogs. They normally run between 101 and 103 but temps can climb a bit over that during digestion and post exercise.

Not normal for these (especially Tiny). She's consistently 100.2F under normal circumstances. Yogi's is a bit higher, but not by much. I'm sure if they ever really exercised hard, their core temps would go up measurably, but they don't. :)

WHen she is sick, it's very obvious that she is sick (weak, wobbly, lack of appetite, etc), and then her temperature also goes up, to different ranges depending on what problems she has. I haven't yet correlated exactly which problems cause which temperature changes, though.

When her temperature is back down to the 100.2F, then she acts normal. So this tells me pretty convincingly that whenever she gets hotter than that, something is wrong, even though it may not be serious (usually, it is).

Just at this moment it's back up to 103.2F again, but had been 102.(various) for the last day or so.

I couldn't take her with me to wokr today, as I had to commute an hour's ride away, to 44th & thomas, with some sections of bad roads plus bad traffic due to beint saturday the day before valentine's day and president's day weekend, too. I just couldn't put her thru all that roughness and stress, so I had to leave her home with Raine to keep an eye on her as often as he could, given his own illness.

She did ok, but she was very weak, and laid around all day almost until I got home, only a few minutes before I got there did she get up from the bedroom and go to the feeding couch to wait for dinner, apparently.

She's still doing "ok", but still sick, only eating chicken and rice today so far...mostly wanting the chicken; this morning only eating that, tonight she ate everything, pretty ravenously.

Tomorrow is the vet appointment, dunno what time htough.

Wilbur's normal temp was 104 pretty consistently and Jebus was 103. Man I miss those little guys!
:( What happened to Wilbur?
It's good to see you guys working through stuff and having some fun still!
Not much point in being aruond if there's no fun. ;)


I finally got some wheels that I can afford to fuel so maybe I can come visit soon!

That would be cool--we'd like to see you here. Gonna bring your trike with you?

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:54 am

So, Sunday morning we went to the vet with the rescue, and after more than 3 hours of waiting for them to work us in, Tiny and Yogi got xrays and other tests done. I think it was close to five hours later before we were all done and headed home. :(

Tiny's results weren't unexpected: arthritis is worse; her left hip joint is bad enough that she's having trouble walking on it now that's she's sick enough that she doesn't just push past all the owies and do whatever anyway. She is still so obstinate that she will still get up and walk around anyway, but sometimes it hurts enough or she is in a spot without enough traction to be able to get up with the other three legs (all of which also hurt to one degree or another), and she gets "stuck" where she is until she finally rests long enough to do it anyway, or I help her up.

The right hip is not as bad, but it's on it's way too. Again, not unexpected, just wish it wasn't.

No pneumonia was detected, and it is likely the fever is from the arthritis flare up, but it is not certain.

She's now got Tramadol and Novox to help with the fever, inflammation and pain, and Clavamox to help with any infection she might have that's contributing to the fever.

The Tramadol makes her sleepy, so she's been doing that even more than usual.



Yogi's left rear leg is also a bit arthritic at the knee, but the real problem seems to be the pad between the knee joint ends--it may have moved forward a bit out of the joint, and the part over the knee in front swollen up. This may heal on it's own (it appears to have begun doing so), but since he won't stop pushing it, and running/etc., it's either going to take a long time or it isn't going to heal completely.

So they recommend 2-3 weeks of "crate rest" which is just about impossible for him. He *will* stay in a crate, but he's anxious about it, and everything he hears he wants to investigate, and if I'm not around there's every chance he'd hurt himself trying to get out f it (and probably destroy the crate in the process).

He tolerates the ride in one to go places, but doesnt' really like being in it, just the having gone somewhere different. ;)

The rescue offered to keep him up at the "sanctuary" for this, but I don't think that'd be good for him, emotionally. He's very very used to being here, with me and Tiny, and it's hard enough on him when I am not here and take her with me. If he couldn't see us at all except maybe once a week (the most I could manage to do with work and taking care of Tiny here, etc, cuz the sanctuary is pretty far away from me), it'd be very hard on him, especially in addition to basically being locked up for almost all of the time he was there (the whole point of the crate rest is to keep him inactive to let the leg heal).

And neither I nor Tiny would do very well without Yogi, either.


So to do this, the only practical ways are either for me to stay home with him for the duration, which wouldn't really work because of work, or to take him with me and keep him crated up there (like Tiny does, on the trike).

In this case it'll work out to be both. My boss at work let me take next week off, and if I can bring him in a crate /trailer he can stay in while up there, then she'll let me do that, too, as long as it doesn't keep me from doing my job. Since it's worked out well enough with Tiny, it should be ok with Yogi, too, but that will have to be tested.

I also still ahve to build teh trailer for the purpose, because the one I have for him right now is not really big enough for him to stay in for several hours at a time, as it is only enough for trips to take him places. I have the stuff to do it with (if I cannibalize the wheels/tires/etc off the other trailer, for now), and should have the time, next week.



The good thing is so far neither of them needs to use the wheelchair this thread started out for, but the bad thing is it's likely they'll both need one eventually. :/

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:49 pm

Between the forced rest of being in the trike kennel most of the day at work, and the new meds / antibiotics, Tiny is almost back to normal, and keeps wanting to play and drag Yogi around--keeps "bumping" him in the shoulder to get him to want to play with her.

But Yogi is still gimpy when he moves faster than a slow walk, and sometimes even then, so I'm still walking him on a leash and keeping him inside whenever I'm here, though I have to let him free to roam including the yard when I'm not. So he can't play yet, and he's getting pretty bored about it, and frustrated sometimes. As long as I'm right there, he's mostly chilled out, but when I'm not, he gets anxious to go outside and do his thing.


Now that I am home for the next week, specifically so I can do this, I'm keeping him entirely inside except when we're out walking leashed in the yard, and also re-training him to stay in a wire crate. He already knows how; someone has taught him pretty well in teh past, but he's unhappy about being left alone in one and at present if he was left for too long he'd probably hurt himself trying to get out of it, and destroy the crate too.

He'll go in on his own (just like Tiny) without encouragement, often without even asking him to, and he'll even stay in there even with the door open, as long as there are no exciting sounds he wants to go chase. :/


So far the only real problem is that *Tiny* likes to just go in there whenever Yogi leaves it; for whatever reason she seems to always feel more secure in a smaller space (probably from the years spent at the rescue, where she didn't always have free reign of a yard, and would probably spend a fair bit of time in a kennel run).

So often enough Yogi wants in the crate but Tiny's already in it, so I'm gonna have to setup Tiny's plastic kennel from the trike in the bedroom next to the wire crate for Yogi, so she can go in the smaller kennel and Yogi can go in the larger crate. :)


I'm also still designing the new trailer for Yogi to bring him to work in, so he's not confined to the tiny (for him) plastic kennel on the trailer I use to just bring him places in. The wire crate won't fit as-is on it:
Image



I have some ideas about that over in the SB Cruiser thread here:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 8#p1154498

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amberwolf
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:22 am

Just after dinner/meds time, I moved Tiny's kennel off the trike into the bedroom next to Yogi's crate, and both of them just walked right into their respective places and laid down. Tiny was already starting to doze by the time I got the camera out, though YOgi was still deciding:
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A while later, after I got done messing around with stuff on the trike, they had both gone to sleep (could hear Yogi snoring from a room away), though I woke them taking this pic cuz of the flash. :(
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Then they both got up, Yogi went to go see if the house was still there ;) and Tiny stole his spot, moving from her kennel to his crate, so he just came over and laid on my legs instead; that's where they are both sleeping now.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:28 pm

Yogi's been doing good with the crate; I move it outside to the porch when I'm working on stuff out there so he can see me and be "outside" without running around, but Tiny still goes in it whenever he's not in it. Sometimes she goes in her own, and sometimes he goes in hers and she goes in his, at bedtime. They may even swap several times in a night. :roll:


The trailer is now done enough to use for today's commute, though it's nowhere near completed, as far as the custom crate to go on it, or other features.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 4#p1159354


Image

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Image





Buuut: His knee is continuing to get bigger, in the bony part, not soft-tissue swelling. :( This could be something as "benign" as worse arthritis, or it could be as bad as bone cancer. Will have to have the vet recheck it and see.

In the meantime, we'll continue with the crate-rest as the vet previously said, until they say different.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:50 am

Still doing the crate-rest for Yogi, taking him to work with me every day. His knee is still swelling, slowly. Still waiting on getting him back into the vet for a recheck (was cancelled last time, still waiting on a new time, probably next weekend).


He's getting pretty tired of being in the crate except for potty walkies, though he goes in on his own, and stays in without much complaint as long as I'm somewhere around and he doesn't feel "abandoned".

He is very very barky now, much much more than before, and sometimes aggressively so when we are on potty walks at work (which happen before I start my shift, and during my lunch). He is also much worse at pulling, which he'd almost entirely been broken of before. And he also has much more "selective hearing" than previously; sometimes refusing to even respond to his name, much less a command, whenever there are people around.

Mostly he's ok otherwise, but he is just so frustrated at being not allowed to run around like usual, he has so much pent up energy, he just doesnt' know what to do with himself. :/

I really wish I could just let him run around, especially since as far as I can tell the crate rest has done nothing to help his knee.



Tiny is also frustrated cuz she is full of energy and wants to play with him so bad, and when she tries he wants to respond, but I have to keep him on the leash so he doesn't run or otherwise stress the knee, and he behaves for that, though it's obvious he doesn't want to. And Tiny is so disappointed when he doesnt' chase after her, it almost makes me cry. :(

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:08 am

So, Yogi's not on crate rest for now, as it didn't really do much to help his knee, and the vet said he'd need surgery to fix the ligament or tendon (I forgot which), and that the slowly enlarging bump on the lower inside end of the femur is an arthritic ridge (that won't be fixed by the surgery and that we can't do anything about it; he's just stuck with that part).

So he's not coming with me to work now (last time he did was last Friday; vet visit Saturday, then we all spent Sunday around the house and yard, mostly with me trying to get various plant sproutlings/etc planted/transplanted, as Iv'e been trying to get time to do for the last two-plus months, since it started to warm up but during which too many things have been going on to do).

He's REALLY disappointed about that, and sometimes goes and sits in the trailer-crate when I'm out in the backyard before I go to work, watering things.

The first day, Monday, that I went to work without him, he got in the trailer (which I dind't take with me) and when I rode around to the gate to leave, he stayed in the trailer waiting, confused--when he didn't come to say byebye like usual I went back to see, and he was sitting there with his ears out and head cocked, obviously not understanding why the trailer and him didn't go along with the rest of the trike and me.

He followed me back to the gate (and the trike), after I gave him a jowl-scratching and rub, to say byebye, and I took the trike out the gate and closed it, but he was still so sad that he just laid down on the inside of the now-closed gate with chin on ground and paws spread out to either side, totally bummed out. I *almost* gave in, and almost went back to get the trailer to take him, but I didn't really have time for all that to stil make it to work on time.

So he stayed home with Tiny, who wasn't quite feeling frisky (had been gimpy on her left front leg the day before a little bit, and not really very energetic, after having been pretty happy though not as playful as usual (due to having been out of pain meds for more than a week, waiting for the rescue group to get them refilled, despite me asking if I could do it; which I never get any answer to when I ask), when she came with us to the vet for "moral support" for Yogi, though they did take a blood sample to run various tests, on each of them, since she was there anyway).

(the vets also changed Yogi's pain meds from Novox, whcih don't appear to make any difference with his limping, to Gabapentin, and because that's supposed to be easier on liver/kidneys/etc than Novox, according to the vet, I asked about changing Tiny's too, so they did.

They'd already filled the NOvox and Tramadol for her at the vet visit, so we already had that, thankfully, because it took until tonight to finally get the Gabapentin, and I don't think TIny could've handled the pain she's in for so many days, having already gone so many days without ANY pain meds (other than aspirin, which is all I had that I could give her) waiting for the NOvox/Tramadol refill).


........

Anyway, when I got home from work, he was super happy that I was back (so was Tiny but she was feeling worse), and was ready to explode with energy.

Tiny, however, was really gimpy, and was whimpering when getting up or laying down; the "underarm" area behind her left shoulder/elbow was swollen as if there were fluid under the skin/muscle area there, just a bit. Coudln't find any wounds, etc., and it was (is) probably something from her shoulder/back arthritis, but I don't know. Temperature was a little elevated, but it kept going up (sometimes down), ending up at 102.8F, eventually dropping a degree after getting her pain meds (tramadol and novox), and staying around 101.8F most of the night, going back up as the meds began to wear off.

It's gone back up and down since then, right in that range (her normal is 100.2F).


So, next day I took her with me to work, just in the crate on the trike. But she had such trouble by halfway thru the day just turning around in it (cuz it's narrow, and when she hurts she can't bend like usual), that today I took her in Yogi's new trailer as that crate is larger by enough to let her more easily turn around in it (though she still has a bit of trouble sometimes).

Yogi was confused by that because he was really happy I was hooking the trailer up to the trike again, but when I had Tiny get in instead of him, and wouldnt' let him get in with her when he tried, he got all sad and confused again. :( Then he got completely disgusted when we left without him, and he just sat in the yard and stared as we rode off down the street. :/ I'd've taken him wiht us (in the trike crate) but I knew I would not be able to keep an eye on him *and* Tiny, in her present state, while still doing my job at work.

Again, he was really happy when Tiny and I came home (as he had been the first day I took TIny but not him), greeting me first then trying to get Tiny to play, but she felt so bad she just ignored him completely, and I had to leash him and walk him around away from her because he wanted to play so bad but she could barely walk around, and he kept bumping her and was going to knock her down (which normally wouldn't be a problem, but right now she wouldn't be able to get back up on her own or at least it would hurt her a lot to do so).


Neither Yogi nor I (nor Tiny, probably) think it's very fair that when he FINALLY gets a chance to play with Tiny again, she gets sick and can't. :(



I've been in contact with the rescue group about Tiny's present problems, and they left a message with the vet, but I havent' heard anythign back about that yet, even after keeping them updated on her condition (the shoulder pain is worse). They did finally drop off the Gabapentin today, while I was at work, so I was able to give Yogi his (first pain meds he's had in about a week now), and change TIny's from the Novox.

I am not sure if it is better than the Novox yet or not, as she's still getting re-used to the other effects of the Tramadol, which include sedation and some dizziness/confusion, and the Gabapentin also has those effects so it makes that part worse, at least for now (that part with the Tramadol had mostly gone away by the time she ran out, and it was jsut helping with the pain by then). Probably she'll get used to/past those effects of the GP too, like she did the TD, but it'll also probably take a couple weeks or more.

ALso, she'd been fine before with just the 2 TDs every 12 hours, but with this extra pain I used the full allowed dose of 2.5, starting yesterday, and it seems to make some difference, if not a lot.



One of the biggest things that's different about the present problems she has from the past ones, is that she's eating perfectly normally, albeit not as peppy/enthusiastically vacuum-cleanerish, but still wanting to eat--usually she's not hungry for the usual blendered-up dogfood, and I have to make her chicken/etc. However, she wont' scarf down the icecubes like usual, which she *has* still done on previous times; it doesnt' matter how "rotten" they are (easy to crunch), either, or how wet.

She will eventually eat them, if I hand feed each one to her holding it against her nose or lips and waiting for her to take it, but if I just have them in the bowl (which is a mesh that lets the liquid water pass thru to be absorbed by a folded towel, so she doesnt' get any puddles to drink and aspirate), she either ignores them (very unusual) or puts her chin or nose on them and just lays there. :( Normally she'd be as (or more!) enthusiastic about the icecubes as the food! But not presently.


I did find that if I make them not with plain water, but with powdered milk, and a little bit of sugar and a dash of salt, she's convinced they are icecream and will eat them with just a little encouragement, getting them from the bowl by herself most of the time. So that's an improvement, and she's staying hydrated just fine now.



The swollen area has gone down from it's original, but is still present, and her shoulder still hurts her, apparently not as bad as yesterday just at the moment. She's not whimpering so far tonight about it, or today since breakfast meds, but before that she was doing so a fair bit, and wandering around the house bumping into things while I was still asleep, according to Raine, who tried to keep Tiny comfy as much as possible.


I'm up posting this now (typing it between times of following TIny around) because while Tiny had been napping for the last 3-1/2 hours or so, off and on, now she's back to the wandering stage, getting up (with some difficulty, but by herself, no whimpers), wandering around, then coming back to lay down for a minute or two, then getting up and wandering again. I'm guessing it's from pain, because it's not a normal thing for her, and she's peeing and pooping fine on her usual schedule, and she doesn't "hunt" a spot for that while she's wandering outside, she's just wandering, and even that is mostly in the house itself.

I'm going to close the door with them in here in the bedroom, once I post this, so she will have to do all her wandering in here with me and Yogi, and hopefully will lay down and rest, if not sleep, to let herself heal up.

If I have to I can have her stay in a crate in the bedroom with me and Yogi to rest, but as she's doing that almost the whole day while we're up at work, I'd feel bad for her if she has to just lay around *all* the time in it. :(

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:43 pm

Tiny didn't stop wandering other than for a few minutes here and htere, so I didn't gget muhc sleep; maybe 2-3 hours in bits nad peices.

yOgi got tired of veing stepped on so he slept up by my head on the bed after a wheil.

her temp is down ot normal again (100.4f closeenough) so I guess whatever infection she mght have had is gone on it's own.

now she's just hurting which she'll just get past over time; the weahter probably isn't helping any.

Gb appears to work about the same as the novox so far, it's hard to tell since she hurts so much right now anyway, especially in that shoulder.


Eating stil mostyl normal though brekafast was interrutped from some noise outside and she hasnt yet wanted it since investigaing. Mabye for lunch. she still eats the "icecream" icecubes not as much the normal ones. still wants to just slurp up water instead but as usual can't give more than a spoonful or two without risk of aspration (no different than normal).

still taking her work today, since she's still obstinate and tries to do things she can't completely do on her own right now like get up on the couch, or get down; even with the wide steps I made she still has enough trouble maneuvering that she can get stuck. She also gets lots when wandering somtimes gets trapped in a corner or behind something.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am

Eventually we figured out the Novox was slightly better than the Gabapentin, but unfortuantely Tiny's arthritis is still flared up, and she isn't reacting to the Tramadol anymore, just hte Novox, and it's not enough. The rescue is trying to get hte vets to give her Metacam, as it helps another one of theirs that is worse off than Tiny, but we havent' heard anything back yet about it.

Aside from taking away her pain, I'm really hoping we can help her be more normal before Yogi's laid up when they try to fix up his knee...not sure how well I can help both of them at once, especially since I'll be having to take them both to work, and that will require building a wider "crate" for the back of the trike so Tiny can turn around in it, and so I can reach in from the top/sides to help her up and down, too. (I also have to do this for Yogi's trailer, so I can help him in and out of it in a body harness I also still have to make for him, kinda like Tiny's).

No news yet on when Yogi's surgery will be scheduled, either. I start vacation a week from today, on the housefire anniversary day. Still hoping that it can happen during that week, so I can be right there to help him all day for the first few days afterward. (in addition to the bajillion other things I have to get done that week).

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:22 am

I think it was last week or the week before, that I had to start using this wheelchair for Tiny again, as she was having trouble walking around, with her back legs being too weak to hold her up.
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At first, what feels like months ago but is really only a few weeks at most, she just had troulbe getting up, which happened before when she hurt too much in her hips, but this time the piankillers didn't fix it, and it continued getting worse. So at first I could just lift her back end and she'd get up and walk around mostly normal, and occasionally she could get up on her own. Lifting her hurt me, but as it was only momentary I could deal with it.

Then as it progressed, in the last couple weeks or so, she couldnt' stay up without some help holding her up all the time, or she'd lose balance or the left hip would go out, etc. That wasnt' as easy as the other, but not so hard I couldn't do it whenever she needed it, for however long she wanted to walk around.
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But in the last week, several days, whatever it was (too tired to remember for sure), she's reached the point where she can't move her own back legs with any strength at all. I can feel her pull back if I pull on her paws, or push back if I push on them, but only a teensy bit. So I tried very hard to continue holding her up whenver she needed it, but I just coudln't keep doing it as I was getting weaker and hurting more doing it; my hands and elbows couldnt' do that *and* walk around all day at work with the cane, too (lifting and stocking and facing, etc.).

At home wasnt' so bad, cuz we could just stop and sit for a while whenever I coudln't continue. But at work I only have a very limited time on break to get her out and potty-walked, etc., and she can't be left home because she's too obstinate and will get herself hurt trying to do things she can't.

Another issue is that along with her legs, she's lost voluntary control of bladder and butt--it doesn't just leak out all the time, it only comes out when she's full and ready to go normally, but she can't stop it now, so it will come out ready or not. :/ Presently using towels/etc for that, under her, working out a collection box or bag to put behind her on whichever chair she's in. Also working out "diapers" to use for her, made from towels most likely, cuz it costs way too much for disposable human or doggie versions.



So I had to start using the chair for her at work (and home). But there are many improvements to it I have wanted to make for her, that I still haven't, because she hasnt' needed it for so long....


The main thing is that the body support (old seat canvas) isn't right for her, but to make it right I'd have to cut the folding stuff out of the chair and put supports for the chair frame only across the bottom, so she has a place for her chest to go when the support sags to her shape...the folding supports are int eh way of that rght now.


Anwyay, thats a lot of work to do and would leave the chair unsuable until it was complete, and if ti didnt' work out I'd have to be able to undo it back to the way ti was...not sure I could.

So I would need to makea whole new chair to fix this sisue..thankflly I have msot of the parts in another chari already, and bike parts and stuff to make up the rest.

However, I didnt' wanna make a nother huge heavy monstrosity bu rather something light and small and much easier to get on and off of her, preferably something I could leave the frame on her when she's in teh crate at work, and just snap the wheels on to take her out, though that probably woudlnt' work for her comfort.


So I have been pondering this new version for several days, considering what stuff I ahve and what I need to make, to see what I could build without buying anything new (cuz, budget = zero).
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I ahve seen various doggie wheelchairs made by companies, and figured I should probably do something similar in basic layout as it obviously works, but found a lot of DIY stuff in the last couple days too.

One I found is actually what I was considering with the new full-size chair:

http://www.ohiodanerescue.com/care/wheelchair.htm

I'd never seen anyone else convert a regular wheelchair before, though I was sure I was not the first to do it, I thought it might be the first documented on teh web...definitely not, though. :oops:


Anyway, (again), I found several good DIY pages, that while they do't have "plans" per se, they show enough to let me know that what I was gong to do should work fine.


I've been spending the last two days playign wth the parts I ahve, and figuring out what will fit where and what I can bolt to gether, clamp, or have to weld.
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most of today was spent asembling and testing, fitting on TIny, disassembling, adjusting, cutting, assemling, testing, fitting, et cetc etc, with a break for lunch and later for dinner but otherwise just going at that most of the day. Tiny napped between test fittings, mstly , with iceincube/thirstywater sessions as often as she'd take them.

THere was a LOT Of wind, 30-35MPH+ gusts and at least 10-15 steady; you can see the billowing of the "awning" covering. It was still warm out in the sun, though didn't even hit 80F today, so I moved the trike/trailer out of the shed/awning so I coudl work there with Tiny
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(as there are still a lot of squished mulberries on the bakc porch area I'd usually use; too messy and no time to clean it up).
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I put Yogi's hat on to keep his black head from being so hot in the sun, as he prefers to lay in the sun right now.
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It doesn't always stay on very well.
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Some various iterations of test fits, ideas, etc:
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Eventually found a pretty good fit, though I am still working out the harness to hold it in place. Gonna have to cut up some old small dog harnesses and use their parts to maek the chest harness, and gotta weld on some clips on the top rail to hold up her hips.
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At this point Yogi was pretty worn out from coming out to check on us and going in to hide from the wind, so he compromised and "hid" in the open crate on the trailer:
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The one thing I still have to do is drill holes to bolt the wheel mount plates to the frame, and to cut and reweld the front shoulder frame so ti fits behind her shoulders, rather than over them, cuz the way she walks in it (often pushing bakwards instead of walking forwards, cuz she's obstinate), ends up pushign it against the back of her neck, and then she thinks she is supposed to lay down..... then massive confusion ensues as I triy to get her up and going, or out of the harness, etc. :(


But we're "close", adn she can at least walk around with it a little, which should improve cuz she WANTS to wlak around, just can't. she dragged her butt around for a while but it hurts her shouldners too much so she finally stopped doing that a fe days back I think git was. Once she ahs wheels she'll probably feel a lot better and not just want to lay around adn nap so much.
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But...I don't think the back legs are coming bakc to normal ever again, or the other stuff, so she's gonna have to go with me to work on a permanent basis...however long she lasts.


She's still Tiny, though, and still there, so utnil she gives up, I won't. :)
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ErnestoA
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by ErnestoA » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:14 pm

I finally got the laptop to fire up. Every piece of electronic storage I own got fried a few months ago but the hd in the laptop was the only one that was salvageable. I lost every pic, the books, my music, designs, drawings, all research, etc. After a format though, was able to get the laptop running smooth on linux....for now at least :)

It looks like you're doing everything you can do for Tiny, which is awesome. The only thing I can suggest is some kind of stirrups for her back legs so she can use what strength she does have, and maybe build some back up. The only other advice I have is regarding medication but we've been over that. White coats sell poison. yadayada... I don't think I'd move my legs or worry about where I relieved myself if I was on that stuff, and I know because I've tried that exact stuff. Having joint issues myself, I highly recommend lots of dietary turmeric daily, with a touch of black pepper for bioavailability, as much cayenne as you can get in her, a few short dips in very cold water per day, chapparral and arnica/hemp or coconut oil compress on the lower spine, cbd oil pills/balm, stretching.... buncha hippie stuff but it's keeping me semi ambulatory. Fo-ti is another one that I used to help Wilbur get another year or so out of his most recent cycle of 4d dogness. He went through about six stages of the rear end giving out, then coming back and being able to run around again in that last year and we played a slow game of fetch the day before he decided to become a spirit dog again for a while.

I really wanted to make it down for your vacation but have been busier than ever and closer to having a real home base than ever too. My old truck is just barely road worthy but if I can make a few trips back and forth to the land, and get my bus towed/driven over to it, I can start building guitars and ebikes/trikes again and will be able to build/fix stuff to make money to get tires and the other things the big truck needs to be reliable and safe. I'm really pushing my body to get things done before the somewhat oppressive summer heat sets in. I wish my truck didn't need 6 $350 tires! Its other qualities outweigh the expensive tire inconvenience though and they'll be the last tires I ever have to buy. I might not have to buy them though so hopefully, they will manifest through gift economy and I can come down soon.

It looks like Yogi loves the hat! Give those poochies a hug from me!

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun May 01, 2016 1:31 am

:cry: Tiny no longer needs these wheelchairs or anything else; she's running around on the other side of the rainbow bridge now, probably playing with Hachi, Nana, Loki, Fred, Bonnie, Lady, Lucky, Reckless, and all the others before them. :|



Yesterday morning, though she ate just like her new normal (not as enthusiastically as before all this started, but eating all of her food and cleaning the spoon, bowl, and bib-towel too) she was feeling worse than usual, had very very stinky gas and diarrhea, (had had some blood in it the day before, but not after the one time), and having trouble walking without stumbling (with me holding her back end up completely, using the harness we always use).

Wasn't using the wheelchair cuz I had been finishing up altering and re-fitting it to her to help her with the whole backwards-walking thing she kept doing with it, to try to help her not do that, and the latest fitting wasnt' working out.

So we were walking, not far from it, when she stumbled and fell, pushing backwards and taking me with her. I landed beside and behind her, but she landed on her left hip/leg. She gave no sign of owie, or problem, other than her usual surprise at gravity, but when I helped her up her left back leg didn't look like it hung the same as usual. I thought it might be the harness cuz it doesnt' always stay in the right place when she's not hanging from it, and put her back down on the other side.

But instead of a harness problem, I found her femur was snapped in two right in the middle, and her leg already swelling up. She didn't even react at all to any of my probing, which meant the paralysis was getting a lot worse, too, progressing very quickly from only around three-ish weeks ago needing help to get up, to a couple weeks ago being unable to stand on her own at all but still trying to help me help her up, to a few days after that being unable to do anything with her legs, but still feeling them, to not even always reacting to them, to this.

And somewhere in the last couple weeks losing voluntary bowel and bladder control, but still aware of needing to go, but in the last few days not always even feeling that, and it would just come out. She still had some control over her tail, but I don't think she could feel it very well over most of it (only if I tried to move it, not at the skin/fur).

She's also been hurting more and more, even with the increase in painkillers, because to walk around even supported in the wheelchair she still has to put more pressure and use her front legs more, when the worst arthritis and pain for her is right between her shoulders, on the inside "spokes" of the spine, between her lungs.


Anyway, I called Jacque at the rescue and as soon as she could she came over to see her, so we could see about the vet...but Tiny's leg was even worse then, and I think she was also in shock. After some phone calls, and discussion with the vet, and each other, and others at the rescue, it became pretty clear Tiny didn't have any options left--she was not going to recover from this.

(Tiny waiting for her to arrive, in the front room until her gas got so bad we had to go out front to wait)
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Surgery to fix the femur and surrounding tissue damage was as likely to kill her as help her, during the surgery itself--same with amputation instead of adding a plate and pins. Even if she made it thru that, she could be facing months of painful recovery for the plate/pins, and the chance of failure/rejection was not small because of her age and other problems. Keep in mind that a femur isn't normally weak enough to break from a very small fall like she had, and must be weakened very badly from something else, which could even be bone cancer.

Since she apparently couldn't even feel the break/etc., she would probably be unaware of any internal problems with any fix until they became bad enough to see externally somehow (fever from infection, swelling from bleeding, etc), and if they got that bad there might not be any fixing that; she'd be just suffering more, and having pointlessly suffered all of the rest up to that point.

Also, if (more likely when) the plate failed, she'd have to have ti taken out, and she'd be left with the still-broken femur, which could and probably would still damage her leg from the inside since we all know she's so obstinate and stubborn that she'd still try to do things on her own, and without feeling it wouldn't evne know she was hurting herself. Unless she was tranquilized constantly whenever I could not actually be right there with her every moment (like when I'm working or napping, which is what passes for sleep these days most of the time), she'd end up hurting or even killing herself (if the femur cut the femoral artery, for instance).

Same with amputation, though the recovery time might be shorter (a couple of months), the risks were no smaller, though some were different.

She might not even have lived that long, with the progressive paralysis...when that happens this fast it can get to her diaphragm, preventing breathing...and it could be pretty bad for her even before that.


The hardest part...was that the rescue and the vets left the decision up to me: we could go ahead and try fixing her leg up...or we could help her out of her pain now.

I swore a year ago when this whole mess with the Myasthenia Gravis and MegaEsophagus started that I wouldn't give up on Tiny until she gave up herself...but to put her thru all that, when in all likelihood she'd just be hurting more every day, and able to do or be herself less and less....

I tried to convince myself to fix her up anyway...but eventually, I realized it's just selfish of me...that *I* didnt' want to lose her, but that I think if she could be offered the choice, and understand it, that she would choose to stop hurting.

So I made that choice for her...as much as I hated it and loathed myself for it, and as much as it hurt me it would mean she wouldn't anymore.

We did it here, in the backyard with Yogi there beside us, with a place the rescue has used before, with Raine (my sibling that is staying with us), and one friend who has had to do this a few years ago, for his dog at his home, for similar reasons. I'd called some others who knew Tiny, to let them know and give them the chance to come see her a last time, but only two besides Steve even responded--one had to stay at work to close the store, so he coudln't be there until at best a half hour after it was over, and the other had stuff already setup with other people that she couldn't cancel, and was too far away to get here and then go back there in time, and might not even have been able to make it here before they arrived anyway.

Raine took some pictures (the elongated ones that don't have funny colorations).

So Tiny, Yogi, Raine, Steve, and I waited for them to arrive, feeding Tiny and Yogi their favorite noms, letting Tiny slurp up as much water as she wanted to (since obviously even if she aspirated it it wouldn't matter now), rather than having to eat icecubes like usual. Was about 3 hours; we knew they could arrive anytime in the last two of that, but by the time they got there Tiny was ready; I think her leg had swollen so much at that point (from internal bleeding, possibly) that she was feeling pain from it's effects even if not directly. She had also completely lost bowel and bladder control by then, and stuff was just coming out in dribbles pretty often (with quite a bit of extremely-horrible-smelling gas every few minutes, so I think something else was wrong, too, that we couldnt' otherwise tell about, as she's never smelled like that before even at her worst).



She went peacefully; you could feel how the pain went away at the
first step (painkiller/sedation injection), and she was easy and ok about the rest. I don't remember much except her, and Yogi who was right there with us, though I had to hold his harness so he wouldn't eat anybody, trying to protect Tiny and me; he settled down after a while after they got here, and we had to wait for that before they could start, but I still couldn't let go of his harness cuz he didnt' trust strangers in his yard.

Raine took some video of Tiny having some noms and ice cream while we waited for them to show up (which was around 9pm), and I will post those for you to see as soon as I get them from her.

Steve helped me start Tiny's grave, but was himself too exhausted to finish, so I did the best I could until I was so exhausted I couldn't move anymore, and put Tiny in the crate on the trailer so cats/etc wouldn't "disturb" her, and went to bed with Yogi till I could get up and finish, finally getting her buried (right next to Hachi, who I lost in the fire) this morning, just as it sprinkled some.

I coudln't dig very deep; it was around a foot or so average when I had to stop last night, and I only managed to a bit more than double that, before I simply couldn't dig any more. Not wanting to experience what Tiny would be like after another day of trying to get this deeper, and without anyone else that could or would help, I simply buried her in it anyway, and planted some lantana on top.

Yogi doesn't want to be anywhere near it so far, but as stuff progresses I will have to keep an eye on him--while he has shown no digging inclination before, he does like really stinky things, and I don't want to experience what might happen because of that.

Below are some pictures of Tiny (and Yogi and I) before the end. After it is uploaded there will also be a link to a vid of Tiny having some of her last noms. Below the images will be a spoiler link to other images you may not wish to see, from afterward.
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This is me with Yogi resting in my lap and Tiny next to me on my left, after it was done, and after I got most of my crying out the first time around (there has been a lot more of that in bouts in the bit-more-than-a-day since then, and will probably be a lot more to come).
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This is her grave, before the rain today (it's a lot muddier now).
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[spoiler="Warning: the images hidden below may be very disturbing, so don't click on this unless you're sure you want to see them."]
All of these are after Tiny died. Some people might not want to see these, so I left them "hidden" the only way the forum has to do it; they're in another post somewhere else and just linked here, as the forum can't spoiler-ize an actual image. :(
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/downl ... ?id=192651
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https://endless-sphere.com/forums/downl ... ?id=192670[/spoiler]



These are some pics of improvements I'd just made to the wheelchair the previous few days, including a head rest and an icecube bowl. I'd replaced the hanging crossstrap for her hip support clip with a bicycle handlebar and stem holding the clip instead, better height and adjustment and more sollid so no slippage. I'd also moved the folding stuff down to teh bottom as non-foldable bolted together, which widened the chair and gave her more room but I didn't get pics of that or some other stuff I did; probably won't bother now, as it doesn't matter anymore, and I don't really remember it all now with intervening events.
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.

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dogman dan
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by dogman dan » Sun May 01, 2016 5:20 am

I'm crying for Tiny as I type this, She saved your life. Those St Bernards are lifesavers.

You did so much for her in return, and she deserved it. She didn't want to leave you either, but she finally had to.

We outlive our dogs. Some can never get another for an entire life. It's so hard. But if I know you at all, you will grieve plenty, but have the strength to rescue another dog. It helps a lot you have Yogi, his turn to save your life.

I'm so proud of you, all you did for tiny. I thought it might her time for the shot quite some time ago, but you persisted, because you could see she was not ready to leave you.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by fourbanger » Sun May 01, 2016 11:00 am

All dogs go to heaven.

I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend.

Condolences,

V.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by The fingers » Sun May 01, 2016 12:06 pm

Our prayers go up for you AW. Your faithful friend and your love for one another has touched our hearts profoundly, and we mourn your loss together with you. :cry:
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by bigmoose » Sun May 01, 2016 3:52 pm

dogman dan wrote:...I'm so proud of you, all you did for tiny....
You are likely the most compassionate man I know Amber. The creativity, diligence and love that you put into Tiny's chair is without words to describe it. You both took care of each other very well. All the best, Dave
"Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God..." all the best, Dave

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun May 01, 2016 5:55 pm

thank you all. i just wish it had been enough to do what i did but it wasnt.

i don't know that i am different from how others would be if they were in this situation, where there is no one else to do these things, just me, and someone has to do them.



yogi is still looking around for her when we play. he will grab a stick and start tugowar with me but then when tiny doesn't run upa nd grab it too after a few seconds he starts to look around and then lets go to go find her.

when he cant' find her he just lays down in the kitchen.

he's not really interested in much, isnt' even going out and barking at cars and trucks that drive by except occasionally, and even then not chasing them along the fence.

i'm not really wanting a new addition, but i think yogi needs one and maybe it would help me too, so i sent a message to jacque at the rescue about it, no respnse yet cuz she is probably still greiving too, since tiny was a very special dog to her and others there.

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amberwolf
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun May 01, 2016 6:00 pm

i'm stil not ready for her to be gone. not that any of us ever are, but i thought we had a lot more time, weeks at least, maybe months...i still can't believe something as simple as a broken bone could mean the end, evne though i understand ita ll it's like those poeple that fall fof the subway platform and get stuck betwen train and platform; theyr'e still allive and perfectly fine mentally/etc, still all themselvbes, except they are already dead because the instant they are removed from the pressure hodling themi there they will die and nothing at all can be done about it, doomed and impossible to save, unbelievably cuz if they're still alive and all there then surely they coudl be saved, but they can't, and neither could she.

if she'd been hit by a car or just keeled over ors omething it would be totally different...but like this, i'm still in shock i guess.


this morning at breakfast time i started to put stuff in the blender for tiny again like i did yesterday. i need to put the thing away so i don't keep doing that to myself. oh, and a day or so before tiny broke her leg the blender broke a blade off, and if i didnt' spoonfeed her with less than halfa tablespoonful at a time then i woldn't have seen the broken steel blade in the food and she might've ended up dying on her own very painfully and messily before she actually did.


raine had asked me not long before that what i wanted for my birthday which was satruday, the day after tiny died, and i had thought about asking for a new blade assembly for the blender but it still worked ok even with only three of four blades. i'm glad i hadn't asked for it cuz if i had then it would've been a waste since i don't need it now and when it arrived itd've just been one more thing to set my tears off again, as if there werent' enough already.

maybe it was a sign or portent when the blade broke that i wouldn't be needing it much longer anyway. don't really believe in that sort of thng but the coincidence is a little ahrd to ignore, along with all the difficulties in trying to adapt her old chair to her new conditions and trying to make a new chair that would work better than teh old one, etc.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun May 01, 2016 8:28 pm

and last year when tiny got so sick with teh mg, my old nightmares went away, about the housefire and subsequent events, but they have now come back, becuse my brain doesnt' have tiny to worry over anymore so it went back to what it worried about before.

i'd thougth they were overwith completely but i guess they just got paused while more important things had to be dealt with.

so now i have the old ones back, plsu new ones about all the doubts about tiny and what i could've done differently at every single point along her life that might've changed things, even though it's unlikley anythign would've been any different for her in the end.


work called and asked if i needed any extra time off, and i thought about it for a while today and decided to stay off the next couple days mostly cuz my back hurts from the digging and the dragging and lifting and lowering of her, as there was no one else to help with it.

migth be better to just go back to work right away as far as my mind and heart goes but my back probably can't do the lifting/etc needed for the stocking we have to do on mon/tues so i'd probably end up at the register and standing there with all that time to think about things would be worse than being at home whre at least i can do stuff if i want to or not if i don't and yogi is right here if i need him or if he needs me.

i know things will get bettter but it doesnt' feel like it yet.

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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by erik_m » Sun May 01, 2016 10:19 pm

I am truly sorry for your loss. You made a tremendous effort to give Tiny the best life that she could have. I hope that you can find peace and enjoy Yogi and any new dogs that you will probably get one day.

Tiny was very blessed to have such a dear friend. God bless you.


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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by amberwolf » Sun May 01, 2016 10:32 pm

and forgot pic of new memorial doggie toy found godowill saturday when out with bill trying not to just mope around
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collection
tiny - hachi - nana - lady
hafnvit found right ones for all th edogs and have lost some toys somewhere
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by oatnet » Mon May 02, 2016 7:39 pm

I am so sorry for your loss Amber. :cry:

Recognizing when it is time to let our friends go is both the hardest, and kindest, thing we can do. You and Tiny are in my thoughts, especially over the next few days.

-JD
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Hwy89
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Re: Tiny's Wheelchair Project

Post by Hwy89 » Mon May 02, 2016 10:39 pm

So sorry AW, it is never easy but you did the best thing for Tiny. She was lucky to have found a friend as caring as you. Dogs and horses never live long enough or maybe we just live too long. The only thing I know for sure is that loving an animal makes a better man.

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