A Gus a Bus BLOG
Our sweet big, white puppy Gus is in a life threatening situation right now. In January 2009, we took Gus to our local vet and then to the best veterinary orthopedic surgeon in the world. He had been limping and it was getting worse. Turns out he had an ACL injury and needed TPLO surgery on his right rear knee. All the vets thought the surgery would be an easy one and he would recover in eight weeks.
Immediately after his first surgery, he started limping on his LEFT back leg! We took Gus back to the surgeon and low and behold...he had not only reinjured his right knee but had pulled his left hip out of socket.... he would need surgery on both legs. At this point, we had taken Gus to Texas A&M where our surgeon was on the teaching staff. They performed surgery on both legs and three days later he had torn out both fixatures. He would need to have surgery again...... We were told that they would attempt to repair the right knee first, but if there was not enough good bone left to repair....there were no more options and he would have to be put down.
Obviously heartbroken and scared....we visited him before his February 24 surgery and prayed that he would make it through the surgery. We loved him and talked to him and got him to eat some of his favorite treats (his appetite had not been good). After five hours of surgery, we received the call....GUS HAD MADE IT THROUGH THE SURGERY! We could breathe again....they didn't repair his left hip because of the length of the surgery....more to come on that.
Updates to come....the main thing is....we get to see him again on Saturday..February 28....we weren't so sure we would ever see him again. Thanks to all that prayed and had him in their thoughts.
Late April 2009.....
Update on Gus...our boy has made it through his left hip surgery (that's a total of FIVE surgeries) and has been making huge strides in physical therapy. Below is a picture of him in his hoist...he is completely off of it now! He is walking on four legs and has come home on "furlough" two weekends in a row! He loves coming home, but I think he likes to get back to his friends in Aggieland too. We think he should get a degree based upon the amount of "tuition" he has paid!! Way to go Gussie!
Mid May 2009...
Gus has been home for two weeks now! He is going to physical therapy with Sandra Hudson in Austin and is bravely making progress ...he does underwater treadmill work and Sandra uses laser and ultrasound as well! He'll be going twice a week for the next few weeks! What a brave big white puppy!
Early June 2009
Gus has regressed a bit....not sure why. We have decided to work with a mobile rehab specialist, Deborah Carroll so that he can have more frequent sessions. Bless his heart, he continues to work hard and we continue to be optimistic that he will have a successful rehabilitation! Deborah created a swing/sling for him on the front porch so that he can stand, assisted for massage and icedowns....see picture!
Early July 2009
Gus's test results are back and it's good and bad news....some neurological damage, but also some metabolic causes for his back legs problem. We are continuing his rehab twice a week and about to have more blood tests done to see if anything metabolic can be corrected. He's having persistent diarrhea.....but in between his appetite is back now that he's off the antibiotics. His attitude is great and he's still our Gussie.
Late August 2009
Gus is doing better! Thanks to Dr. Witsberger and Dr. Fitzgerald his diarrhea is over...turned out he needed Fortiflora once a day to correct the damage left over from all the heavy duty antibiotics he had taken for so long. So, now his appetite is back in a big way and he is gaining some weight back! Still using his two wheeler wheelchair and we're going to use back leg splints to see if this helps correct the knuckling problem. High hopes for success...Deborah Carroll is seeing him once a week now and uses the laser therapy on both legs. Evaluating his pain level to see if he needs any pain medication....more to come on that! Gussie gets to come upstairs to sleep with us on Saturday nights...he is ecstatic about this development! And Jerry, well not so much..he has to carry him up!
Gus, sweet brave Gus, is continuing to improve. He is still working with Deborah Carroll, his mobile rehab speciialist...he always scoots to the door to greet her! Gus's right leg is just about weight-bearing ...just need to get the left leg (the one with the FHO surgery) to start improving to help balance his attempts to stand up. His attitude is incredible....always cheerful and wanting to play with Tuffy, still loves going out to the backyard to explore. Gus is on two fairly new pain medications....so we're ready to intensify his daily workouts. He has gained almost all his weight back and all of his glorious coat is back as well.
Well, it's been a year since Gus's first surgery...the right knee surgery that started our journey. In some ways it seems longer than a year...and in some ways shorter. Gus enjoyed the holidays..we had our family out for Christmas Eve and Gus was the primary entertainment, especially for our grand-nieces Shelby and Elle. The new pain medications seem to help him move around more easily. He continues his rehab and we are still confident that Gus WILL walk on his own again..for right now he's happy and well and as always....brave.
I've been recovering from ankle surgery earler this year....sorry for not updating. Gus is doing fine! His middle name should be "Scooter" now! He has figured out his best way to get around and can now go outside, front and back, using ramps....all my himself! He still wears a walkabout harness so we can assist him when needed. He is bright, alert and always ready to play. We'll update with pictures soon. Gus continues to be an inspiration to friends, family and me.....one can be physically challenged and still make a comeback to be a very important and vital part of the family.
Welcome to Brenda Knoll of Lost Pines Mobile Grooming....as a new member of Team Gus, she is in charge of making Gus even more beautiful and comfortable! She has gone above & beyond to bathe him in her customized grooming van and he LOVES it! That white hair goes "a flying". Gus is continuing to do well...still on a couple of medications but that's to be expected. He gets around most of the time w/out his walkabout rear harness...Jerry assists with the"wheelbarrow" method when needed!! And..he has decided that he does NOT want to use his wheelchair...he gets around better with his own method!!
Gus has perfected getting out the front door, down the ramps to the front yard for "business" trips...all on his own. Only does it when Jerry is not available for assistance to the back yard. He's fast too!!
Gus meets everyone that comes to our front door...our first line of defense, I suppose! Dr. Guynn visited him last week and he welcomed her and then realized that a blood test was coming up..he did a quick 180 degree turn and was off to his "cave" in the dining room...alas, he was caught! He loves Dr. Guynn...just not the needle!
Dr. Guynn had suggested that we start Gus on a supplement...Glucosamine, Choindroitin, MSM...not only has it helped his pain level...but I started using the human version...and it helped my ankle tremendously!! On advice from my back surgeon, we both added ASU (avocado, soybean,etc)...we'll see how that works! Gus is moving better and I saw him lift his right leg to inspect his "goods" the other day....that's the leg he pushes off with when scooting, pooping, peeing, etc, etc.......I hadn't seen him do that since before his surgery!
Gus continues to improve his mobility with the supplement schedule he is now on. He has improved so much that because of his "rapid" moving around, he has irritated his back double dewclaws and has been put on antibiotics. It hasn't seemed to slow him down much!! After letting him out in the front house/barn area, he scooted over to the well house (about 150 feet away!!) and was grinning about his "adventure" all day! Of course, then...he had to come back all that way and that wasn't as much fun...hopefully lesson learned??? See pic below.
Gorgeous Gus is doing just GREAT!! He is finally over his dewclaw problem. Jerry put in a new carpet grass backyard and Gus loves to scoot around the entire yard...have to go looking for him!! Gus has had several visitors recently...including some very small little children that just love him and he loves them back...as big as he is, he never licks or pushes ...just some slobber damage at times. Gus's brother Brodie vacationed with us at the farm...see new pic below. Everyone loves Gussie!
Meet Gus's new best friend...our great-niece Shelby...see pic below! Gussie loves children...they are just the right size to hug! Gus's dewclaw problem is back...Dr. Gwynn was here and re-bandaged the foot and he is now on antibiotics and antifungal medication. He's not too happy about the whole situation...but a few heart to heart conversations with Jerry are lifting his spirits. What a dog! What a hubby!
Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m., we discovered that our place was on fire! Our first priority was our animals. We immediately loaded up our dogs in one vehicle....Jerry picked Gus up like he was a 5 pound Chihuahua instead of his 130 pound self and set him on the back seat. He stayed in that same position for the 40 minute drive to our daughter's house. Jerry stayed with the donkeys to make sure they were ok..they were blessed. Our house and barn survived intact....all surrounding buildings, decks, fences, trees...gone. We were VERY lucky...and Gus was the happiest to return the very next day!
SEE CHRISTMAS PICS BELOW...2011
Gus had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to a real great 2012! He loves his new bigger back yard...we took his advice and expanded the fence when we rebuilt it after the fire! Now he's all over the place!! Looking forward to the new pool (another rebuilding process) and sunning himself on the new deck!! Gus's adventures include a trip to the barn one morning...check out the sign in the pic below.
Now that the swimming pool is rebuilt in the back yard...Gus has a brand new ramp to his new grass! He's always had a ramp to the front yard, but Jerry always had to help him down to the back. Problem is...Gus doesn't like it much!! We had a standoff yesterday...I won, but he's been giving me nasty looks all day!! Gotta love him!!
Gus is enjoying his updated backyard with the pool and is getting used to his new ramp. He had his nails done the other day by his friend and professional groomer Brenda Knoll. They get along great and Gus includes her in his circle of trusted friends (us too!). She comes to visit us...there are FIVE of our four pawed family members!! See Gus by the pool picture below.
Gus loves the cooler weather! He is from the Great Pyrenees mountains you know!! Gus will hang out in the backyard...one day we couldn't find him..panic...then...look at the picture below to the right...can you find the missing dog in this picture!! Disabled....hah!!
Gus has decided that he wants to be an outside dog...well part of the time anyway! He goes out and will move from spot to spot and when he decides to come in....up the ramp to the back door and barks like "I NEED to be let in PLEASE!!" Gus rules the roost!
Gus is now spending up to 6 hours a day in the backyard protecting his family (barking at anything that moves!). Good thing our neighbors have dogs and love listening to donkeys bray!!
April 16, 2013
Our beloved Gus passed away today. We will love him forever and he will always protect us which he always did. Our tears are streaming, but we know that he is strong and running on four legs in Heaven...and we will see him again one day. Love you Gussie...more than anything.
Thanks to Deborah Carroll....Gus's rehab specialist Thanks also to Bastrop Veterinary Hospital for their ongoing assistance with Gus's overall health and pain management. Thanks to Dr. Cheryl Fitzgerald.... Friend and Gus team member Brenda Knoll with Lost Pines Mobile Grooming keeps his toes looking, and feeling great!
Kudos to Dr. Tige Witsberger at Texas A&M ! We couldn't have done any of this for Gus without all these folks' help...and it means the world to us!