Yesterday the surgical vet removed the splint on Trooper's left hind leg, broken by a bite from a much larger dog a few days before Thanksgiving. The X-rays show that it's healing, the vet said, but it'll take four more weeks of limited activity before he's allowed to resume a normal life. Trooper will need to come back Feb. 4 for another X-ray.
If he doesn't put the surgical leg down and walk on it within four days, the vet said, call him.
Fortunately, as soon as we got home Trooper started walking on all fours—so long as it is at a slow march. His normal terrier gait is a fast trot, and when he hustles into one—we have to minimize that for a while—he canters on three legs, favoring the fourth.
We're confident that he'll soon gain strength and ambulate normally.
Unfortunately, he's still in the Cone of Shame. He wants to lick the leg, itchy from all that time in a covered splint, and his saliva would make the itch worse as well as the skin raw over the steel pins holding the bone together.
As soon as he stops trying to get at the leg, I think we'll be able to remove the cone—and he'll look more like his normal shaggy Wookiee self. We'll then be able to take him to the groomer for a long-needed bath and haircut.
Soon after that he ought to be able to resume his service-dog duties. He doesn't seem to have forgotten them, at least the phone alert. Whenever the phone rings he trots to me and puts his paws on my person. And whenever Debby comes in from outside, he lets me know in the same fashion. I think the retraining will not be difficult.