Author: Jake Pasternak

Meet Dr. Brian Collins, Captain in the Army Reserves!

Helping Hands Military Veterinarian

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we would like to feature Dr. Brian Collins, a Captain in the United States Army Reserves. Dr. Collins has been with Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care since November 2015. He began his military service in 1998. He was in the Navy from 1998 through 2003 and was serving in Washington D.C. during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. After his tour in the Navy, he attended Iowa State University and graduated from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. While he started his veterinary career working with large animals, he transitioned into the primary small animal veterinarian at his clinic in Iowa. Dr. Collins joined the U.S. Army Reserves in November of 2013. He serves as a Veterinary Field Officer with the 949th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services unit. His wife, Dr. Jodi Collins DVM, serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves as well. His strong interest in veterinary surgery and dental care brought him to Helping Hands where he has become a valued part of the team. When he and his wife are not serving their country or helping animals, they spend their time with their beautiful daughter Emery. We are very proud of Dr. Brian’s military service.
Helping Hands works with many of the Military Base Veterinary doctors in the tri-state area to help the pets’ of Military Families get the care they need. We offer a 10% discount when a military I.D. is shown. We know how important it is that a beloved pet is there to greet Mom or Dad when they arrive home from deployment. We would like to take the time this Veterans’ Day to say thank you to Dr. Brian, his wife, and all who have served and continue to serve our country!

Military Family

Captain Brian and Captain Jodi Collins!

Spending the Day in RVA while Fido gets Pet Surgery or Pet Dental Care at Helping Hands?

day in RVA pet surgery and pet dental care at Helping Hands

20 THINGS TO DO IN RICHMOND WHEN YOU VISIT HELPING HANDS FOR PET SURGERY OR PET DENTAL CARE

1. Visit our neighbor, James River Distillery, to take a tour and taste their gins, rum and vodka.

2. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) has the largest collection of Faberge Eggs outside of Russia. (opening October 22nd)

patio-best-cafe VMFA pet surgery at helping hands

VMFA Patio and Sculpture Garden

3. Take a bike tour with Richmond Rides, touring Richmond’s culinary hotspot – Church Hill.

4. Hike the downtown 1.8 mile Belle Isle loop to enjoy the Falls of the James River.

5. The best shopping experience in Richmond is at Carytown, including spice, cupcake, chocolate & toy shops as well as many restaurants.

6. Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place for two U.S. Presidents (Monroe & Tyler) and for the former President of the Confederacy – Jefferson Davis.

7. Enjoy nature at Maymont Park or Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

8. Tour the Virginia State Capitol – completed in 1788 and is the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.

at Virginia State Capitol while at helping hands for pet surgery

The Virginia State Capitol

9. Take in a matinee ($7.50) at the nearby (about 1 mile) Bow Tie Cinemas.

10. Children will love the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Science Museum of Virginia.

11. To learn more about the Holocaust, visit the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

12. If you enjoy hunting or fishing, there is a Cabelas in Short Pump and a Bass Pro Shop just north of Richmond.

13. For beer fans, Stone Brewing just opened their East Coast operation and tasting room just past Shockoe Bottom and Church Hill.

at the patio at stone brewing while at helping hands for pet surgery

Chilly enjoys the patio at Stone Brewing

14. Visit the Poe Museum to learn more about Edgar Allen Poe’s time in Richmond in the early 19th century.

15. Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death” speech at the nearby St. John’s Church.

16. Take a Treetop Zoofari at the Richmond Metro Zoo and see Richmond’s own snow leopard cubs.

at the richmond metro zoo while at helping hands for pet surgery

Cubs at the Richmond Metro Zoo

17. The American Civil War Center at Tredegar interprets the war from the Union, Confederate and African American Perspectives.

18. Up for a long walk? Take the Richmond Liberty Trail, a 6.2 mile self-guided loop through downtown Richmond & 15 historic landmarks.

19. Consider adopting a pet from our neighbor, the Richmond SPCA. (opens at noon)

20. If you are interested in African American History, no trip to Richmond would be complete without a visit to the Black History Museum and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.

The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

All of the above recommendations are covered in the Visitors Guide to Richmond. Please Google the items in bold for more information.

Are You Interested in Volunteering for the Day in RVA?

Many of our clients who travel to Helping Hands for pet surgery or pet dental care ask us about volunteer opportunities. There are many ways you can volunteer your time for the day, but most do require planning.

One of Jake and Chilly’s favorite places is the Richmond Ronald McDonald House. They are a wonderful organization that helps families who have children receiving medical care in the Richmond area. You can go to their website to learn more about their mission and how you may be able to help for the day.

http://www.rmhc-richmond.org/about-us/

http://www.rmhc-richmond.org/get-involved/

ronaldmcdonaldhouse

The Richmond Ronald McDonald House

 

Another great organization that helps children is Noah’s Children. They are affiliated with St. Mary’s Hospital and provide pediatric palliative and hospice care. They have what they call DIAD volunteer opportunities (Done-In-A-Day). Although at this time there are no DIAD events listed on their calendar, you could reach out to them and express your interest and availability.

http://www.noahschildren.org/volunteer-opportunities/

 

NC logo 293-348

 

The closest place to volunteer would be next door with our neighbors at Feed More, the Central Virginia Food Bank. As with the others, you would have to arrange in advance. Another way you can help them is to donate a food item. The following is a list of their most needed items:

*peanut butter     *canned chicken or tuna

*low sodium veggies     *fruit packed in juice

*spaghetti sauce (no glass please)     *whole grain snacks

*canned or dried beans     *hot or cold cereal

They do great work and Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care is honored to share the block with them.

https://feedmore.org/volunteer

Feed More 1

The most comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities can be found at Hands on Greater Richmond. They are a clearing house for all kinds of opportunities in the Richmond area. They also have opportunities for Teens (13-17) and Youth (under 13) if you are traveling with your family.

https://www.handsonrva.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Search_Page

HandsOn_RICHMOND_Horizontal_colorWe love our Helping Hands clients and hope this post is helpful to those of you who would love to volunteer for the day in RVA!

Traveling to Helping Hands for Pet Surgery or Pet Dental Care?

New Hotel Relationships!
Many of you who travel to use us for pet surgery and pet dental care know that the Quality Inn at 3300 West Broad Street has been sold.
We used to have a special rate at the Quality Inn if you mentioned Helping Hands. We are happy to report we have sourced two alternate pet-friendly hotels that are happy to work with us.
The first is The Fairfield Inn and Suites (Marriott) at 9937 Mayland Dr Richmond VA 23233. If you mention Helping Hands the rate before taxes is $92.00. 804-545-4200 fairfieldinn.com/ricfi
That includes:
Deluxe breakfast with hot and cold options
Business Center
In-room high speed internet access
Fitness Center
Outdoor pool
Parking

Pet friendly hotel for Helping Hands clients traveling for pet surgery and pet dental care

Pet friendly hotel for
Helping Hands clients traveling for pet surgery and pet dental care

The second option is The Red Roof Inn at 4350 Commerce Road Richmond VA 23234. It is right off of 95 at Exit 69. If you mention Helping Hands and provide the VP#621485 when making your reservation you will get a 20% discount (putting the room somewhere between $50 and $60 before taxes). Be sure to request a pet-friendly room. WiFi and parking are included. 804-271-7240 redroofinn.com

Chilly approves the Red Roof Inn for Helping Hands clients traveling for pet surgery and pet dental care

Chilly approves the Red Roof Inn for Helping Hands clients traveling for pet surgery and pet dental care

We are so very grateful for the many clients who travel to Richmond to use our services. More and more of our clients are turning the trip into a Veterinary Vacation. As we say at Helping Hands…medical tourism is not just for humans anymore! #medicaltourismforpets

Ally Morasco…our own Helping Hands 9/11 Patriot

Jackie and Ally the therapy dog in NYCAlly Certified 9/11 Therapy Dog 10 years later 9/11 Therapy Dog and Patriot Ally Morasco

My certified therapy dog Ally was only 3 when the skies erupted in chaos. We all felt the impact of the moment from coast to coast. We as a country felt vulnerable, unable to even calculate or imagine the magnitude or loss of life. Footage of planes crashing into buildings, people covered in blood and dust as they ran from the scenes of the attacks and the faces of our fellow countrymen, blank eyed and in shock were etched into our minds as they wandered looking for help.

As a people, some raised their flags higher showing their support and some lowered them to half-mast to honor those lost. Most though, just shook their heads knowing that the foundation of our country had just been shaken to its core. It was not the buildings we cried for, but the souls who were lost and even worse…the grieving souls left behind.

Within days of the tragedy we got the call asking for certified therapy dogs for the Pentagon Family Assistance Center. Ally was a trained therapy dog ready to perform her patriotic duty.

Even on our journey from Richmond to Crystal City where the PFAC (Pentagon Family Assistance Center) had been set up, Ally started doing her job. Those who traveled regularly to D.C. and back for work were traumatized by the events and found comfort in Ally’s dark brown eyes and kind expression. In a way those train rides into the city were the warm up for what was about to come. The military had set us up on the second floor next to the chaplains. I was told that when the families would arrive, the first thing they wanted to know was ‘where are the dogs’ and the second was ‘where are the chaplains’. I cannot remember their names, but I will never forget their faces. The faces of loved ones left behind, parents, grandparents, husbands and wives. And then there were the children… their eyes looked disturbingly similar to the eyes I saw on the television every time I tuned into the news. Eyes that were blank, conveying the loss and sadness of a young life forever changed.

Dogs have something they freely give that no person ever can. They bestow upon us the gifts of unconditional love and complete understanding. They keep our secrets and their coats can soak up more tears than any gadget you find on QVC. That is exactly what Ally the therapy dog did for the several weeks I chauffeured her to and from the Pentagon Family Assistance Center in those bleak weeks following 9/11. Although eventually those grieving had to find a way to go on and adjust to a ‘new normal’, Ally steadfastly held the secrets and grief of the many people she comforted in the line of duty.

Like so many of us, 9/11 changed Ally too. During her long days of therapy dog service at the PFAC, I know every time someone hugged her or leaned into her and shed their tears on her fur while she gave them comfort…she took away some of their pain. I also know she safely carried that pain deep within her heart. Post 9/11 her eyes would sometimes be heavy with a knowing look. Her soul was now filled with more than thoughts of tennis balls and milk bones. She knew the pain of losing a child, a spouse and a parent. It was as if she had traded some of her happiness to carry the burden of someone else’s sadness. She served her country during its darkest days and has rightfully been recognized as a true American Patriot.

Ally was honored for her service 10 years after 9/11 at a ceremony in New Jersey. People from all over the world came to meet the few remaining dogs who had in one way or another been instrumental following the attacks. They were honored as the heroes and healers they were, gifted with treats, hugs and words of accolade. Ally was there to accept her proper acknowledgment and I was honored to be at the end of her leash. That was the last 9/11 event I chaperoned her to before her passing at the ripe old age of 14.

This is the story of Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care co-founder Jacqueline Morasco and her beloved golden retriever Ally. Ally’s daughter, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter continue her legacy of service. All who are touched by Jackie and her girls are truly blessed.

Certified Therapy Dogs continue Ally's legacy

http://pentagonmemorial.org/

http://www.9-11memorialgarden.org/commemorative-911-pin/

Pet Friendly Patios in Richmond for Traveling Companion Animals

carytown burgers and fries

Below is a list of pet friendly patios in Richmond (RVA) for our clients who come from out of town for pet surgery or pet dentals. If you’ve had a great day in RVA while waiting for your pet shout out to us on Social media and let us know!
If we have missed a favorite of yours, let us know and we will add it to the list!

City Diner B L 6am-2:30pm (a real hometown favorite!)

City Diner - Inside

Senator (and potential Vice President) Tim Kaine enjoys eating at City Diner on a regular basis.

Can Can Brasserie Carytown B L D 7am-9pm

Can Can - Carytown

Can Can – Carytown

Sheppard Street Tavern-formerly ‘Caliente’ L D 11:30am-2am

**See Caliente on Man vs. Food!

Sheppard Street Tavern formerly known as Caliente

Sheppard Street Tavern formerly known as Caliente

 

Boulevard Burger and Brew L D 11am-Midnight/closed Mondays (while the main patio is not dog friendly, there is a side area where dogs are welcome)

Boulevard Burgers and Brew

Boulevard Burgers and Brew

En Su Boca L D 11am-11pm

En Su Boca

En Su Boca

ZAAM Fresh Korean Grill Carytown L D (the main patio is not dog friendly but they have a special section where dogs are welcome)

ZZaam

ZZaam

Gus’ Sports Bar & Grill L D 11am-2am

Gus's Bar and Grill

Gus’s Bar and Grill

Lalo’s Cocina L D 11am-10pm

Lalos concina

Lalo’s cocina

The Savory Grain L-11-2 D-4-10 (Veronica’s personal favorite!)

The Savory Grain

The Savory Grain

Buz and Ned’s Real BBQ L D 11am-10pm (as seen on Throwdown w/Bobby Flay)

Buz and Neds Real Barbecue

Buz and Neds Real Barbecue

Burger Bach Carytown L D 11am-10pm

Burger Bach Carytown

Burger Bach Carytown

Carytown Burger and Fries L D 11am-10pm (the rumor is they will serve the dogs before their owners!)

Carytown Burger and Fries

Carytown Burger and Fries

Fresca on Addison Vegetarian L 11am-4pm (closed Sun and Mon)/(Jake’s favorite of all the pet friendly patios!)

Fresca on Addison

Fresca on Addison

The Historic Franklin Inn L D 11am-11pm

Franklin Inn

Franklin Inn

 

The Grill at Libbie and Patterson B L D 8am-11pm

The Grill at Libbie and Patterson

The Grill at Libbie and Patterson

 

Ipanema L D 11am-11pm in the heart of VCU

Ipanema

Ipanema

Casa Del Barco  L D 11:30am-close (Sunday open at 10:00am)

Casa Del Barco on the canal at 320 S. 12th Street

Casa Del Barco on the canal at 320 S. 12th Street

Dog ACL Repair – Pickles’ Story

Dog ACL Repair - Pickles Smiling

Meet Pickles

Pickles was rescued as a puppy in 2003 from the Humane Society in Topeka, Kansas. He is a happy-go-lucky guy and always looks for interactions with other animals or people. Through our many adventures, Pickles has enjoyed an active lifestyle. He has always enjoyed running, playing, and hiking with his family.  Little did Pickles know a dog ACL repair was in his future!

Pickles is an Active Dog

Pickles is an Active Dog

 

Realizing Dog ACL Repair Was Needed

After many years of his highly active lifestyle, Pickles began to show pain in his right knee, often limping especially after playing. After a visit to a veterinarian, he was put on an anti-inflammatory medication to treat his knee. However, Pickles was determined not to slow down and subsequently ended up tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.  This is technically a CCL in dogs – cranial cruciate ligament, because dogs walk on four legs instead of two. We had a prior great experience with Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care for prior affordable pet dental care. We knew of the quality services offered and that this is where Pickles would need to go to get the caring attention he needed.

Veterinary Surgery for a Dog ACL Repair – Notes from Dr. Lori Pasternak:

Pickles came to Helping Hands in December 2015 as a result of an torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament.   There are a few different ways to repair an ACL tear (TPLO & TTA to name a few), but at Helping Hands we only perform the most affordable way called the lateral suture technique. We simply replace the torn ligament with a new one. We get calls with lots of questions and confusion about dog ACL surgery options. To better inform our potential clients we produced a short video to explain the different procedures:

VIDEO – Torn ACL in Dogs – $995 Surgery to Repair the Cranial Cruciate Ligament

On average, we repair a dozen or more torn ACLs in dogs in a week. Sadly, it is a common injury in pets and people. But the good news is… if your pet behaves during recovery, they will walk/run a pain free life like Pickles is now enjoying.

Look at that Cute Face!

Look at that Cute Face!

After Pickles’ Dog ACL Repair

Pickles had a very successful surgery and the folks at Helping Hands were very accommodating in providing us with the resources to make sure his recovery was successful, even going to the point of contacting us directly to check on him! The comprehensiveness of the care provided by Helping Hands enabled our Pickles to make a full recovery. We would not consider taking Pickles, or our other fur baby, anywhere else but Helping Hands for surgery or dental work.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON OUR SURGERY FOR A TORN ACL IN DOGS – $995

CLICK HERE REQUEST A DOG ACL REPAIR APPOINTMENT

 

Dog Leg Amputation – Miss Jack

Miss Jack’s Story

The short version is that Jack showed up outside my door Christmas Eve 2011 when I was living in Sierra Leone. My house had been broken into and I had asked my landlord for more security and this was the result: 

When she was two months old, she was badly injured when she was pushed off a third story balcony by my neighbors. There’s only one vet in Sierra Leone and we weren’t able to repair her leg, but she healed well enough to begin using the leg and coped well for two years. 

Miss Jack at Beach

During the summer of 2014, it was clear that her leg was causing her too much pain and I started to see specialists to figure out how to help her, but as a recent college graduate working at a nonprofit, figuring out how to afford the surgery scared me. I happened to run into a dog on a walk that summer who had just had her leg amputated at Helping Hands and her person couldn’t say enough good things about the quality of care. I researched and discussed with my primary vet and set an appointment. 

These pictures are from just after the surgery – you can see how happy she is. The relief from the pain was immediate and she healed beautifully. 

Miss Jack after dog leg amputation surgery at Helping Hands Veterinary Care

Veterinary Surgery for a Dog Leg Amputation – Notes from Dr. Lori Pasternak:

Miss Jack suffered a fracture in her left elbow while living in Africa. Surgical treatment was not available and she was crate rested until it healed.  Her owners kindly adopted her and brought her home to America. Once in America, her lameness continued to worsen and the poorly healed elbow posed a very difficult if not impossible challenge to repair. The fracture involved the elbow joint and had healed abnormally. The owners opted to have the leg amputated to quickly alleviate her pain. Dogs and cats do very well on three legs (check out our amputation video to see for yourself). Miss Jack was back and better than ever quickly after her amputation surgery. She is one lucky dog to be given a chance for a pain free life. She doesn’t care about only having three legs as long as there is no more pain.

Miss Jack 18 Months Later

Here she is a year and a half later, as regal as can be. The only (temporary) loss was that she could no longer shake her paw on command, but she quickly figured out how to offer her right paw instead.

Miss Jack 18 months after leg amputation surgery at Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care

Miss Jack 18 months after leg amputation surgery at Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care

Tylers Tales – A Dog Living With Cancer

Tyler Too

Tyler Too’s Story

Tyler Too, a Boston Terrier, has devoted her life to caring for others.  As a therapy dog, she loves to visit hospitals and nursing homes— bringing smiles to everyone she meets.  But five years ago, this sweet dog became the patient when she was diagnosed with cancer.  Thanks to wonderful care by her veterinarians, including veterinary surgery at Helping Hands, today Tyler is strong and healthy. Now, she continues to help others with her very own website – Tylers-Tales.com – a special place for children with cancer and other serious medical conditions.  Tyler shares her experiences and feelings coping with cancer—offering hope, encouragement and even more smiles. (Wait until you see Tyler wearing her wigs!)

Veterinary Surgery to Remove Growths from Tyler Too – Notes from Dr. Lori Pasternak:

Tyler Too has been to Helping Hands on several occasions as he continues to grow lumps and bumps. Some have been benign and a few have been diagnosed as mast cell cancer.  Mast cells are responsible for allergic reactions in the body. Like when you get a bug bite and a bump forms then quickly goes away. That is the mast cells acting normally. When mast cell become cancerous, they form the lump and then keep on growing and do not go away. They can form anywhere in the body, but mast cells prefer the skin, which makes them easier to remove. Occasionally they will shrink, then regrow, so if you see a lump on your dog that grows, shrinks, then grows again, it is likely a mast cell cancer. Please have any lump or bump checked out right away by your regular veterinarian. The smaller it is when you have it removed, the easier for your pet and will be less expensive. Also the sooner it is removed, the less chance it will have to spread to other parts of the skin. There are many forms of skin cancer and mast cell cancer is only one type. Sadly, there is still no cure for cancer, but Tyler Too keeps on truckin’.

Tyler Too Blonde Wig

Since Tyler Too knows chemotherapy can lead to hair loss, he tries on a blonde wig.

Note from Tyler’s Person – Susan

I was heartsick and terrified when I learned Tyler had cancer.  But writing Tylers-Tales has been my therapy.  This little dog has brought so much joy to our family.  I am grateful for every day that she has been with us – and to Helping Hands for giving us many more years of enjoying her.

Dog Gall Bladder Surgery – Maxx’s Story

Maxx on table in exam room

 Maxx is not Feeling Well

Our story begins on New Year’s Eve, when I returned home from work to find that Maxx had thrown up a couple times. Being the proud papa of 3 fur babies, a sick pup was nothing new. My partner and I initially thought he had just eaten something that upset his stomach. We made Maxx some rice but noticed that he wasn’t eating which is sort of a surprise because he eats just about anything. It wasn’t till the next day that we realized he only got sick after drinking water. So we gave him ice cubes which he would lick like a popsicle without getting sick. He still didn’t have an appetite nor was he his normal spunky self but he was moving around, keeping the ice down and was even going out on lead to potty. So we got online knowing that our vets office would be closed for the holiday.
Based on the symptoms and what we were able to mark off the list, we felt that something was making him nauseous. We opted to give him a small dose of over-the-counter anti-nausea medicine thinking this would settle his stomach. Which it did but after another day with no appetite, we were really worried. That evening, Maxx drank some water and ended up vomiting. This time it was full of bile, stunk and was very dark.

Visiting the Veterinarian

We immediately headed out to the nearest 24hr emergency vet. He was obviously dehydrated so they recommended fluids and several tests. They wanted to keep him overnight so we agreed and left them with nearly $3000 for the services they thought he would need based on initial exam. After the specialist came in the next day and reviewed the lab results, x-rays, ultrasound and I’m not sure what all else, they reported that fluid was building up in Maxx’s gall bladder. It had not ruptured, they didn’t know what had happened and couldn’t explain why but if we paid another $4000 his gall bladder could be removed.
Problem solved, I think not. Maxx responded well to the antibiotics, fluids and anti-nausea meds. We ended up bringing him home after 2 days as he was able to eat solid food – all be it moist. We continued our search while he was at the clinic. Checking the web based on the details we had and the test results. We also had them faxed to our local vet and checked with others in the area. The answer was the same everywhere.
All the vets agreed that the gall bladder should be removed but many did not perform this procedure. If they did, it was just as expensive if not more. Then we found Helping Hands and booked an appointment to come in that week. From our initial phone call, they made us feel at ease. They even provided information on a hotel which offer a special rate. Oh did I forget to mention, we live in Atlanta, GA and Helping Hands is over 8 hours away. The reviews and articles we had read about them were very positive and they offered the procedure at a price that we could afford. Even with travel expense, the cost was far less.

Incision Site After Gall Bladder Surgery for Maxx

Incision Site After Gall Bladder Surgery for Maxx

Removing Maxx’s Gall Bladder – Notes From Dr. Lori Pasternak:

Maxx was diagnosed by ultrasound as having a biliary mucocele. This is when the digestive fluids supplied by the gall bladder become thickened and cannot easily be passed into the intestines to aid in digestion. The thickened liquid forms a sticky ball within the gall bladder. The treatment is to simply remove the gall bladder which is why Maxx ended up at Helping Hands. Dogs can easily live without their gall bladder just like humans. Rarely do they need a special diet since their diet is consistent, unlike ours.

 

Maxx’s Recovery from Surgery

We picked Maxx up from surgery and brought him back to the hotel where we stayed another night so that he could have some additional time to rest before traveling home. I have fashioned him a sterile area by laying plastic sheeting over the floor. Then topping with clean towels & sheets (brought from home). Then I placed his cleaned crate with fresh linens on top. He was eating baby food, drinking water and going potty before the end of the night.
Though slow and mostly relaxed, he was able to walk but we kept activity to a minimum and crated him for sleeping that night. Maxx woke up with quite an appetite and was ready to go potty, we continued feeding him baby food and began mixing low fat moist dog food. Later that day, we made the journey home. He was a trooper and even got a bit of his usual spunk back when we met some travelers at the rest stop.
We brought him home and kept him separated from the other dogs in a similar set up as the hotel. Gradually weaned him off the baby food and onto just moist and then a combination of moist and dry. We are currently feeding him a mostly dry diet but have changed his food to a lower fat kibble with occasional moist food. Maxx was ready to walk every day.
We did follow up with our local vet for post-operative exams and lab work. He has continued to improve and is really back to his old self but better. So hard to believe that I was just spoon feeding him worried if he would make it through the night two months ago. We thank Dr Lori and the amazing staff at Helping Hands. Maxx is a part of our family and if it weren’t for them I’m not sure what we would have done.

Update – Three Months Post-Surgery

Maxx has bounced right back to leader of the pack. He is running, jumping, playing and seems so happy. He has a great appetite and all his #’s are back in line. We’re actually getting ready for the lake here and he’s ready to go for a swim.