Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chilli´s Story

Folks have been asking lately how is Chilli doing. I know I kept very quiet about this special boy over the summer and I held my breath lately, but now, now I have a whole story to share! :)

As some of you know, in mid March Chilli sustained a severe injury in a freak accident when he got hit by a car, at the area where we were working and living away from home for the winter season. 
It makes me shiver to go back down the memory lane of that moment, the day and the next few days that followed. It was only due to a huge luck and someone watching over our boy, that he did  not lose his life and it has taken me a while to be able to share his story and pictures.

My first prayer and hope was to not lose Chilli. The fact that he did not sustain any internal bleeding, organ rapture or millions of other life threatening injuries was a Miracle.

The next wish I had was for Chilli to not lose his hing leg, which was fractured, a tendon broken and a joint partially cut off, all in one ugly open wound, so not losing that leg was a miracle to wish for, which also came true.

You can imagine how it feels when you get the news that there are no internal injuries, no internal bleeding, no ruptured liver or kidneys or spleen, etc. and that your boy will live!

And when he comes back from surgery and you see his face and both you and him are so happy and relieved to see each other again.

Anyhow. My next wish was for Chilli to be able to do what he loves the most again. That is being a sled dog. No one was able to give us that answer, and I don´t blame them. Only time, loads of patience and loads of TLC was going to tell us eventually. 

So we began the process of TLC. Lots of TLC and twice daily changing his bandage. And waiting for improvements. And I am not very good at waiting, without doing something. 

The fracture was not possible to fixate in a cast, due to the large open wound and stitched up tendon.  There was also a risk of infection of the wound and the vets were not sure about the joint, as a lot of dirt from the road got into it. So all we really could do was just keep patiently changing his bandage and preventing Chilli from moving too much. And that was not an easy job to do with a husky, especially of his energetic nature.

We did an X-ray after a few weeks and there was a very little improvement visible. The broken bone was not showing signs of healing and the vets suggested to maybe put it in a cast, once the open wound heals completely.

One thing I could do was to support Chilli and speed up his recovery nutritionally.

We began with more balanced raw diet with less kibble in it. Lots of tripe to add essential enzymes that help healing process. Double doze of kelp and Islandic sea corrals, turmeric, antioxidants, probiotics, glucosamine, MSM, herbs for liver detox and boosting the body to heal. 

The next X - ray showed callus formation over the fractured area, which was finally a great news! We discussed with the vets, that the bone healing process is taking rather longer, so again patience was the best advice. 
This was already almost 6 weeks after the accident and should have been almost healed by then, but given the circumstances that Chilli´s leg was supported only via bandages, it was understandable that it takes longer. 
However, the vets were not sure if the bone would now heal into the extend that Chilli could return to his athletic life.

I am super grateful for the enormous effort our handlers and Jachym have shown in carrying and super carefully taking Chilli to potty. He was full of beans by then, wanting to run and jump around, but somehow we managed to get him to carry his leg most of the time up in the air and hop around on three, but as time went by, he started gentle using the foot again, still in bandages, though.

This was the phase with lots of REIKI healing, Bach Flower Therapy (I wish I had used it for him much earlier on!) and continuous large doses of sea corrals in his diet, to provide balanced natural forms of minerals, vital for the bone reparation. 

From hoping around on three legs for such a long time Chilli´s body was a bit sore and it was important to do gentle massages and more REIKI healing on his body, as his muscles were starting to get out of balance visibly. 

There was a set back with a period of trying to use the leg more often and that being painful, so I was quite nervous about it, but decided not to think about "what will be". I focused from one day to the next and by the end of June, Chilli changed his house dog status and moved into the kennel with a wooden floor and no obstacles.
He also started longer walks and we focused on different surface and terrain - rocky trails, water, sand on the lake side, the lawn on our garden. But all of this under control on a leash. Every time I wanted to take him of the leash to give him a free movement, my intuition told me not to do it. 

At the beginning of August, Chilli was walked three times a day, also at the dog yard, which is very bumpy with holes and we moved him to a kennel with an outside run attached to it. This kennel has a wooden ramp to get to the outside run, and the run itself has holes that the dogs dug out and all sorts of uneven surface. Chilli passed another test. 

Then we started adding speed - running with Chilli, still preventing him from making sudden turn arounds, etc. By now, he´s been already jumping up and down in his kennel, when he got excited about someting, and his leg was not complaining.

And one day I finally felt he is ready to run free. After a month of running around the yard with the other dogs, chasing each other and playing, the final test was waiting.

And here it is -- Chilli did a 5km run with the yearling team just about a week ago! He is pictured on the right side, infront of the wheel dogs. Although the picture is not the best, you can see him smile and wag his tail. He ran and worked full power, no signs of limping, no painful reaction after palpation and test bending the leg. 

This was the happiest moment for both of us!

I must confess that there was a period of time I had to fight off some negative thoughts about Chilli never returning to mushing. It was a very long road to recovery and when I get to think of that horrific mid March day, when we almost lost our precious boy, when he nearly lost his leg, I am once and for all finally able to sigh with relief. The boy is back in business and as happy and cheerful as he always used to be.

I have already namely thanked everyone involved before, but if you are reading this, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your help - the vets, nurses, our friends, handlers, family - we couldn´t have done it without your help, support and kindness!



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