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Archive for the ‘Levi’ Category

Tuesday, September 23, 1014…
Tues. up at 4 AM. On the road at 6 with Levi and his mom Hawk. Destination? Univ. of MO Vet Hospital. Goal? Take care of the 1/2″ opening along Levi’s upper rt. wolf tooth that is allowing stuff into his nasal cavity, look at 2 discolored teeth to see if they are dead, see if the upper rt. top wolf tooth has survived the accident damage, and a major league dental. Levi was like a back-flipping circus performer, “Open door, woo-hoo road trip, yaa-hoo, gitty up let’s go, yeah…vacation day, whoop whoop…”. Me, “Levi, you have no idea what your day might look like. Settle down.” He didn’t care what I thought…he was H A P P Y…! We get to the Univ. and he’s ready to bomb out of the pickup. He knows where he is at, yes we’ve pee’d on this bush before, and he was like a draft horse pullin’ a heavy, bogged down sled as he headed across the parking lot to the door. The receptionist, “Levi, Levi…look at you, you are so H A P P Y…you look wonderful!” She looks at me and is amazed at how good he looks, so handsome, athletic, bright, shiny, handsome. Me, “Yes, he’s thrilled to be roading around today. He has no clue!” One of Levi’s new students comes out to greet him and get him checked in. Oddly though, Levi was not sure of her and gave her the “stern look”. Levi rarely knows a stranger so this was odd. I had to tell him, “Levi, hey, no. She’s fine.” Levi’s main doc came in and Levi remembered him, wiggled, but he was also a bit cold to Dr. Meadows. They decided to ignore Levi and just talk about the day, the anticipated problems they theorized from the fotos that I had posted for them a couple of months ago, and anticipated surgery procedures that Levi would go through today. Levi was not going with them out the back door. I had to tell him, “Levi…go on…be H A P P Y.” Off they went. I had planned to just wait in the lobby until 4 PM or so. As I stared at the clock and wrestled with being away from home, I started out the door for home. I’m calving and my AI calves began arriving on Sunday night and the pace of the calves hitting the ground was going to pick up speed. I got to the sidewalk, turned around, went back in and told the reception gals, “I’ve decided to go back home and not sit and wait for Levi. I’m calving and I really need to go home.” They looked at me like I was nuts to leave Levi and go all the way back home “for calving”. I assured them that Levi was in good hands and I’d keep my cell phone close. They called the docs and apparently the docs were a tad confused, but they came to the conclusion that it would be okay. Gosh. I felt terrible. Like “bad mom”. Hawk and I get home, get Ducchess and Bandit, and off we go. Heading to the worst pastures with the most brush 1st. All was well at all locations the night before at 7. I don’t know why I anticipate fixing problems instead of anticipating all to be just fine. Well, I do know why…because I’ve been there before…you leave home and all hell breaks loose. Sometimes, just the mere thought of “going somewhere” will create havoc in the pasture. You can stay home 24x7x365 and all is well and the second you think you can sneak away, things will be fine…well, guess what! My pasture crew and I did 14 hrs. of work in 4. We flushed a few cows out of the brush that were prep’d to calve in the solitude of the tweeting birds, under canopies of cedars, and heading them to less secluded places, shut the gates as we went along. 4 pastures & places later we had things as good as we could get it. Calves were coming, other cows were starting, and I was feeling better about having decided to come home. In between the heavy checks, we did the evening feed/water/cleaning at the cowdog kennels. They got the short version of out and about and were a little puzzled but I assured them a little play time was better than no play time. Long about 2 I headed back N for Levi. 3:30 the Dr. Meadows was explaining to me that all went well with Levi. The teeth we thought were bad were actually good. But they found 2 other teeth that had to be taken out due to serious abscessing. The hole into Levi’s nasal cavity was clipped and sewn shut. They were just amazed at how Levi had come out on the positive side off his accident…and in just 10 months was looking so good and back to work. The back to work part was hard for them to fathom though. They figured Levi would be retired and would never even want to go back to working cattle. Should have told them about the penning of “Hammer Down”. They brought Levi out to me and that H A P P Y prancing cowdog was H A P P Y no more. Nada H A P P Y. He was groaning and wanting the hell outta that place. Out the door at a snail’s pace, down the steps, across the parking lot, to the pickup…groaning. Ears down, head down, sad, eye’s bugging out. I had to pick him up to get in the back seat of the pickup. He stepped on mom Hawk, she growled and gruffed him for stepping on her in her air space. He stumbled to the window and sat there…weaving in pain, moaning and groaning. All the way home, moaning & groaning. We wuz not H A P P Y no mo. Pain meds down the hatch Levi. He moaned until midnight when I finally tossed in the towel or passed out from being tired. What a dang day. But Levi has been released from the Univ. docs. He’s good to go as far as they are concerned. He’s a miracle dog and a part of the permanent teaching classes and continuing education courses for vet students and practicing veterinarians. Doc Meadows classifies Levi as, “A miracle. A celebrity around here.” A 1st in the arena of facial reconstruction at a level no one in the textbook world has ever written about…until Doc Meadows and the surgery team at the vet hospital and the newborn team at the U’s doctor hospital. All is well Levi. All is well. This morning (Wed.) he’s moaning but he was in the lead at 6 when I turned he, Hawk, Ducchess, Bandit, Sly, Martin and Liza out to “go potty”. Levi will stay home for a couple of weeks to heal up again and then he will be back on the payroll. ~All is Well #hangintreecowdogs #tammyscowdogs
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Dr. Meadows here are a few photos of the surgery place where the stitches obviously did not hold during the healing process. This “place” goes up along his wolf tooth into the nasal cavity via the soft palate hole that was covered during the second surgery procedure of pulling the left cheek towards the center, the right cheek towards the center and overlaying the edges onto the soft tissue graft that served as the blood supply to each cheek’s contribution to the covering of the hole in his soft palate. I found this last week when I checked his teeth and noticed some fescue seeds along the gum line of the wolf tooth. I used my finger to remove the seeds and noticed that the spot was actually packed with seeds, red and sore to the touch. I got a nasal canula with some chlor-hex:H2O mix, gently flushed the seeds down and out of what I thought was probably just a shallow pocket. However, it was with the flushing that I discovered the assumed shallow pocket was actually open clear into the nasal cavity. The chlor-hex came out his nose and he was also swallowing. So. the nasal cavity flushes to the throat and the nose…which is good. But, my concern is that with seeds or whatever making their way into this hole to the nasal cavity then there could be migration of seeds/trash to his lungs or becoming lodged and creating abscesses or migrating foreign object problems. For example, I’ve had cowdogs get seeds from cheat grass or needle and thread grass lodged in their inner mouth cheeks or throat and migrate into other layers of tissue and create some real painful, infected, abscessed problems. Take a look and I’ll call to see which Dr. needs to take a look at this. I’d hope you could take care of it.

FYI…the last photo which shows my full thumbnail. Dr. Meadows…if you look closely, you can see next to the wolf tooth a “stitch pulled” mark…and on upward towards my thumb more little stitch scars.

Hangin’ Tree Cowdog Levi…Tammy’s Cowdogs…Missouri.

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I created a category for Levi and have his accident and recovery journey listed there for those who want to follow his ordeal from the day of the accident. If you look under “Categories” you will find “Levi”. Thank you to all of you for your prayers and concerns over Levi. I appreciate the thoughts and I know Levi does too.

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After 4 months and 9 days, Hawk and I are moving back home and bringing Levi with us. We have spent since Dec. 18th at my mom’s with Levi housed in the utility room so that he could have 24×7 care. The last few weeks, Levi is no longer on medications, is eating softened dry food now and going along on daily work routine stuff. I have not told my mom yet. She is going to miss us (I think). And I will miss being around my mom too. We don’t live far apart but she’s enjoyed having the extended visitors. Got my basement all picked up, mopped the floor, washing Hawk’s bed, will wash Levi’s bed. Guess we are all on our own again. Feels a little weird. It was some kind of winter. Kudo’s to Levi for wearing that cone in the 40+ mph wind in the -35F weather. I’m tellin’ ya…he’s a trooper for all he’s been through. Good thing we had Gorilla tape to mend his cone. It did not take much to make it blast a crack when it was -35. Time to put all of Levi’s medical stuff away. He’s a lucky fella.
Shelly Barnett Gift...Fri. Apr. 26, 2014 007

Hum…the news of moving was received a little coldy. “Levi can still stay and come in,” said his Gma.

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Levi is doing great. Putting from 6-10 miles a day on him…he’s logged a couple hundred miles in the past 3 weeks. He’s looking like a cowdog again. I told the doc he’s looking manly again and not like a sleek girl. He laughed. I took my 1st peek into his mouth last night. It looks amazing. Still have 2 little ulcerated areas from the surgery where they took supporting tissue to place over the hole. And the extensive row of stitches at the front seam are still intact. Which is unbelievable but good. He is eating softened dry dogfood the past 2 weeks. Takes about 2 hrs. a day off my care schedule for him now that he is on regular food. He has some sinus damage that is mending. He is bothered at night with drainage from his ears, sinuses and goes into a head swinging fit. But this has been going on since bringing him home from the initial surgery. It is getting better and the cerebral swelling is less. It is amazing how he has come through this. He’s enjoyed being out checking pastures and going along. I know he would tell all of you, “Thank you for caring about me!” I sure am grateful for all the prayers. It is clear that prayer is a powerful thing. Here are a few photos this AM of his mouth. ~Amen

PS – his new nickname is “Tight Lip”. Since his rt. and left upper cheeks were moved a little to the inside during the palate hole closure surgery #2, he doesn’t have the loose, regular cheek room on his upper mid cheeks…hence, I call him Tight Lips!

Cowdog Levi Successful Surgery Results...Thurs. Apr. 24, 2014 004

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It is Wednesday AM, the day after Levi’s surgery to remove the dead palate bone (see Sunday’s pictures in a post below this post) and here is the look into his mouth. I just fed him again at 10 AM, let him outside to go blow his nose, do his personal business, back in and I flushed out his nose and nasal passages with a chlorhex solution. His spirits are good, the pain is being managed with Tramadol. He is doing really good. You can find dozens of photos of Levi’s journey to healing by scrolling back through the posts. From shattered to wired, casted, to mending ’til now. Three weeks from now we go back to attempt a new palate hole closure procedure. Levi has been going to the University of Missouri Vet Teaching Hospital in Columbia, MO. A big thank you to Dr. Meadows, his staff and students and now Dr. Mann and Levi’s newest student “Charlie”. ~Go Levi

Wed. Feb. 26, 2014...Morning after dead palate bone removed.

Wed. Feb. 26, 2014…Morning after dead palate bone removed.


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Written Sunday,February 23, 2014, 8:38 PM…
Well, 6 AM Monday morning and Cowdog Levi gets the, “Load up”. We are taking his mom Ms. Hawk with us. Destination = Univ. of MO Vet Hospital and a visit with the surgeon team headed up by the soft palate specialist. A few weeks ago the dental doc team removed 3 upper right teeth to pull the skin/flap over Levi’s palate hole. The stitching did not hold and the tension on the hard palate bone was so great that it caused some additional bone death. The little tiny round holes you see in these photos are from the suturing that held the longest. The hard palate bone ended up dying (so to speak) and will have to be cut back some to the point of where the bone is still living and viable. But, given the fact that his palate, nasal cavities, main artery, and bridge of his nose/face was completely destroyed and nothing but itty bitty splinter pieces…I’d say he has done well and is one very lucky dog. I am taking MommyDog Hawk along in the event that she might be a donor candidate for soft tissue grafting for Levi’s upper soft palate. We have a few options and no clue at this point what our next step is. But Levi and I have enjoyed several days of no new surgery. We shall see what tomorrow holds. His spirits are good and he’s been a very patient patient. It sounds like another long day. ~Finger’s x’d all goes well.

~~Update – Monday Evening…
Little message in my box just now…Jeremiah 29:11-13 – For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. ~Had to leave Levi behind. I sure hope these words came today as an intentional guide for Levi and me. He was happy to head out and “very unhappy when I left him”. Hard 4 both of us. Our next few -> several months are going to be tedious & difficult…it appears.

~~Cowdog Levi…Back Home!~~
Updated Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 8:43 PM

Went late this afternoon and picked up Levi. He was ready to get out of the Teaching Hospital. All in all I was ecstatic with the news from the doc. Levi is being prep’d for the next round of surgery. He had to have 3 teeth taken out of the upper left jaw. Removing these teeth will allow for a flap of tissue/skin (if you will) to be used to pull to the right to help cover the hole in his palate. 3 teeth on the upper right were taken out a few weeks ago and an attempt was made to use that flap to cover the palate hole. It is a long stretch and the tension was too great and the palate bone that was sewn to did not hold. The reason the hard palate bone did not hold was that it was a piece and completely dead and detached from living bone. And, as it turns out that was wonderful news. The dead bone was dead for some time and the tissue around and close to it has healed in great shape. So the soft tissue doc simply pulled and removed the dead bone. The x-rays show about 1/2 or a little more of the palate pieces have healed back to form bone and just the front part (in yesterday’s photos) was dead. Taking the dead bone pieces out was a little painful, but great news that all the healing occurring so far in the nasal cavity/cavities is good. Perfect! So, Levi is in pain with the 3 extractions and the little bit of surgery on the palate. But, all in all, I am happy…very happy. As it turns out, his home care has contributed a great deal to his healing so fast. The area has been kept clean enough to allow healing and to not have hardly any down time for infection or negative things occurring. Lord knows that is truly a miracle…given that Levi’s face was destroyed, crushed and nearly ripped off. I was really bummed and sad driving home yesterday…leaving him there, the less than hopeful initial discussions. Today, whole new ball game. 3 weeks of healing from removing the 3 teeth today. Then back to take a crack at taking the right and left skin/flaps to close the hole in the palate. Eating tonight was a bad experience so we had to go back to “milk, Ensure and crushed Tramadol”. The food smoothie from the blender did not work. It hurt once the puree got into the nasal cavity. So, we put it in a bowl to save for later. Milk+Ensure+Tramadol is what’s for dinner and breakfast and lunch! Sleeping like a baby now. Levi’s soft tissue doc is consulting with a pediatric soft tissue/dental doc at the Medical School. Pretty neat to have vets and people docs consulting with each other on Levi. Palates are palates. ~Way to Go Levi!

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