February 24, 2011 @12:10amDad's Little Buddy, Copper
Copper... a tenacious terrier mix! He is believed to be a cross between a Jack Russell terrier, a beagle and possibly have a little Red Heeler thrown in there just to mix it all up. Copper came to us as a wanderer.US Hwy 82 is a long road that stretches from Texarkana all the way into west Texas. Where this pup came from is anyone's guess. I say pup, but he was full grown when he joined the gang. It is believed he was born in 1997, as his age was estimated at about 2 years old when he came to live with us in September 1999.
He was always ready to go for rides, and still is. There is a truck stop east of town. It is often wondered if he belonged to a truck driver. He was stray for a while before coming to live with us. We ran an ad, but no one claimed him. He also liked to climb and escape the fenced in yard; hence, the reason the 6 foot chain link fence has another foot of wire at the top making it look like a prison.
When he arrived, he attached himself to my dad. He loved my dad and would go for rides with him. He became Dad's dog... sleeping right beside him, following him around. The first dog that seemed to claim Dad and be just Dad's since Dad was a kid. Dad loved him so much.
A lot has changed since then. Dad passed away. Copper still misses him.When Dad's brother, who resembled Dad, use to come for visits, he'd jump on the couch, lays down beside him and place his head on his lap. He doesn't get up until it's time to go. It's too bad we can't explain things to them; so, they can understand. Copper doesn't get around as well either. Long gone are the days of jumping that six foot fence. A crippling front knee joint has stopped most of his running days, as well. He had gained a lot of weight due to a hypothyroid problem which is being treated with meds, his eyes are a little cloudy, his muzzle is turning white, and he can no longer get on the couch on his own. He still gets excited to see everyone come home, and he still loves to go for a ride.
btw, he was 52 pounds before starting meds for hypothyroidism. He is down to 40 pounds.
When we come home, he greets us with a shrilling trill noise at the door. For those of you who have seen the old Star Trek series "The Trouble with Tribbles", you know what trilling sound I mean. He sounds like that.
It is sooo cute!
******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******February 24, 2011 @ 12:36am
The Reason for this Chip In
Recently, about February 12 & 13, Copper began having a lot of problems with his hind legs.
He has fatty deposits, which is common with overweight dogs & overweight dogs who have lost a lot of weight, in his left hind leg. We thought the fatty deposits were hindering his ability to stand and walk.
We were wrong.
Instead, after taking him to the vet for an exam to confirm our suspicion, the vet told us both legs have problems, but the right hind leg is his biggest problem. He has bad crepidation in both knees of his hind legs. They are so bad that x-rays appear to show bits of bone that have fractured off and are basically floating within his knee joint.
Our vet said, if his knees did not receive some form of help, a decision would eventually have to be made to possibly euthanize him.
I do not believe in euthanization; so, I am trying to do everything I can for him. Currently, that means, I am having to follow him around while he attempts to walk. When his legs can't make it, they collapse under him; I, then, pick him back up. He tries to walk a little further, and we do it all over again. When he has to go outside to go potty, I have to take him and stay with him in case his knees give out while he is doing his business.
Our vet said she did not think Copper was a good candidate for surgery, which is one way to handle the situation. She suggested to search the Internet for braces for his hind legs which are made for dogs with ACL injuries. I found very few offering these braces, 2 to be exact.
When I contacted these companies I found the braces were not even close to anything I could afford.
The braces, called stifle braces, cost $595 - $750 PER LEG.
A cast would have to be made of Copper's legs for them to make the braces, as they are custom made for each dog.
Before Dad passed away from complications of Agent Orange, which he was exposed to in Viet Nam, I promised him I would take care of his little buddy.
******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******March 3, 2011 @ 2:02am
I want to take a minute to let everyone know Chip-In says it allows PayPal and checks/direct deposit for donations. I do not know if this is still true, as when I tried to set this up, it would not give me the option for anything other than PayPal.
If you would like to donate, but have a problem using PayPal, please leave a comment on my blog http://paws4critters.blogspot.com/2011/03/leg-braces-4-copper.html
I should be able to contact you by clicking your name.
My apologies for the inconvenience. I hope, if you are financially able, you can donate even a small amount to Copper; so, he might be able to live the rest of his life in the least amount of pain and human assistance as possible.
If you have stumbled upon this page or were led to it from the many links that have been posted around the web, please feel free to re-post it wherever you think it might be of interest.
Many thanks from me, Copper and I am sure, Dad!
******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******March 11, 2011 @ 6:56pm
Having a Bad Day
Today, Copper has been having a somewhat bad day.
He has been in some pain when I pick him up to carry him to go outside to potty since last night.
He also has been not really wanting his breakfast. It is possible he has an upset/nauseous stomach.
He is on Carprofen (generic Rimadyl) 25 mg 2x/day. Carprofen can have a negative effect on the stomach making him nauseous. He is on a 1/2 tablet of Zantac 75 1x/day, for nauseousness for his other meds.
I called the vet's office today to see if he can have the Zantac more often. They called me back to let me know he can have the other 1/2 tablet late at night to help curb his nauseousness in the morning.
To help control the nauseousness, we may need to cut back on the amount of Carprofen he is getting, which may leave him in more pain.
Copper still wants to be mobile, as he is constantly trying to get around the house and the yard when outside. He will struggle to walk and drag his bottom & legs just to follow me around.
Hard to watch, but he is still fighting to have an active life.
The last post on Copper's Chip In page is the same as the post I made here titled "Mourning a Member of the Critter Gang".