AMALA Salukis




Zahrah continues to heal beautifully.
We are very proud!
10 April: Today is Zahrah's 7th birthday. She is happy. She is healthy. And, by request, she has an update: I've had several people ask me how Zahrah is and how her recovery has been. I am delighted to say that Zahrah has carte blanche from her veterinarian to do anything she wants to do, and is happy to do anything she's able! While her hock isn't picture perfect, it is straight, it is mobile, and it is very functional. Zahrah celebrated her recovery last weekend, with a playdate at the home of her betrothed: Boss, Shalom's Burst of Speed LCM. Zahrah and Boss had a terrific time, tearing around the yard, chasing and playing, running, leaping and dancing, skimming over logs and whizzing past trees and fences... It was so beautiful to see my girl -- who we'd hoped would simply have use of her leg after her trauma -- in full flight with the dog who will father her babies. I cannot think of a better pairing than these two, and could not possibly be more proud of Zahrah and her will and drive. This girl has so much heart!
21 January: Our first follow-up of the new year! It's 20 weeks since Zahrah broke her leg, and she is outstanding! Dr. Bob Jackson says she looks great and is doing great, and has no present concerns. He is very happy with her progress and commented again on what a great patient she's been. We have no additional radiographs or follow-ups in the near future, and Zahrah is free to be Zahrah. She is moving quite well now, with no discomfort and little disruption to her gait. Zah!rah!rah!

3 December: An excellent visit with the vet! Zahrah continues to improve at a remarkable rate! While her leg could use some aesthetic improvement, we are very pleased with her movement and usage. Zahrah is encouraged to use her leg more and more, but has not been cleared for take off: all playing needs to remain solo for now... Our next visit will be late in January 2002.


19 November: Had a brief telephone chat with Zahrah's vet, who is encouraged by our verbal report. Our next follow-up will be 3 December!

12 November: It's ten weeks to the day since Zahrah's injury. For the first time in 70 days, Zahrah is free of all wrapping and support. Her leg may not be the loveliest anyone has ever seen right now, but it certainly looks beautiful to me!

Zahrah had a wonderful meeting with her vet. He is very pleased with her progress and performance, and felt it's time she uses her unencumbered leg. Zahrah seemed a bit puzzled by not having to stay on the steel table, and waited for Bob to bring out the scissors and wrap and tape -- as always! Her initial disappointment over the lack of "attention" was quickly replaced by the urge to prance in the exam room and an attempt to bound out of the hospital. Much to Zahrah's chagrin, there will be no "bounding" to her heart's content: she still needs to take it easy, especially with the leg unprotected!

We follow up by phone next week, and will see Bob again in three weeks. A four-legged Zahrah is a wonderful Zahrah! And a four-legged Zahrah gets to go on walks once again.

5 November: Well, tonight was the night for Zahrah's follow-up radiograph, nine weeks after the injury occured. What a beautiful film! Despite the apparent curvature on the injured leg, the bone is healing nice and straight. Bob says he is "very encouraged" by how things look. Hook and screws are in place, bone is closing up nicely, no demineralization -- we're ready to leash up and take walks!

Zahrah's leg is still wrapped, more for peace of mind than anything else, but she's not shy about using it these days. She greeted the assistants at the hospital by surfing the reception counter. Needless to say, they are charmed.......

29 October: Time does fly! It's been eight weeks since Zahrah suffered a fractured left rear leg. And for the first time since, there isn't something stiff and sturdy immobilizing that leg... Zahrah had another fantastic follow-up with Bob, who is very encouraged by her attitude, her movement, her use of the leg, and how the leg appears. Gone are the cotton batting and heavy padding. Gone is the "stem to stern" leg wrap. Zahrah is now sporting good old-fashioned bandages, to give the leg some support while she continues to rehabilitate. She must be feeling significantly lighter! Zahrah has been a model patient and all-around terrific sport during her ordeal. A week from tonight, we go back for radiographs. I do hope that the inside looks as improved as the outside.

Thank you again for your support and concern for Zahrah. She still has far to go, but you've made the road much more bearable.

20 October: Another follow-up visit, another "remarkable" from Dr. Bob Jackson. Zahrah progresses remarkably and continues to be a terrific patient. Her wrap was shortened and bulked up a bit, with minimal swelling to Zahrah's foot. After this visit, she used all legs right away. She's pushing the seven-week mark and doing better than anyone expected. Zah!rah!rah!

8 October: Five weeks since Zahrah's injury, and things are looking very good. We met with her vet tonight, who proclaimed her progress "really remarkable". He's happy with how her leg looks and how she feels. He's very pleased by how little muscle mass she's lost in her upper leg. Zahrah was a bit stressed by tonight's visit; she's had enough and wants this over. (Oh, if she only knew!) She's out of the plaster now. In place of the cast is a very firm, yet flexible, foam wrap. She needs to use her leg, and this wrap allows stability and mobility. Now, if only Zahrah would realize this...

Zahrah is a bit uncomfortable tonight, without the additional support of the cast. She's resting on the bed, but isn't as chipper as after other visits. We'll keep an eye on the toes, but I suspect she'll be feeling much better by morning. No word yet as to how long she'll be in wrappings, but as long as she uses her leg, Bob sees a continued strong recovery.

Call me "cautious, but relieved"!

1 October: It's been four weeks since Zahrah's horrible injury. Tonight's follow-up went very well!

Zahrah is in terrific spirits and looking very healthy. Bob popped her up on the table, unwrapped her leg, and was VERY pleased by what he saw: the leg is a bit swollen yet and has lost muscle tone, but is very straight and healing beautifully. Zahrah is doing much better than he'd expected. Her leg is rewrapped, using only one half of the cast, for lateral support. He wants her to start using the leg more. The repaired joint is very tender, but mobile. If this week goes well, Zahrah may be done with her cast and into a bulkier, padded wrap next Monday. She was noticeably more upbeat as soon as Bob finished this wrap. Once she was back on terra firma, she wagged like mad and kept testing her "new" leg. Her toes/foot are completely exposed, and she should be able to use them -- and most of her leg -- fairly well. She concluded this visit with a stop for more creamed spinach. It works.

Thank you for your continued good thoughts. And a very special "thank you" to all at the Eastern Regional who expressed their concern for Zahrah to Dawn and "Uncle" Kevin.

22 September: We had an unscheduled visit with the vet today, but it was good. Zahrah's toes were very swollen this morning. Off we go! Nothing serious. The underwrap tightened and constricted the toes. Off come the bandaging, cast, and underwrap. "She's looking really good." There is virtually no swelling remaining, and the leg is very clean. Bob moved her leg around a bit, with no problems.

Out come new wrap, tape, the same cast and.........cotton batting! (Zahrah looked at him funny at this point; the batting looks like the "lambie" she sleeps on!) The leg is wrapped in a combination of underwrap and batting, to add bulk under the cast -and- cushion and pad her leg from constriction. She's wrapped higher up this time (to prevent tape rubs) and has even freer toes, with cushioning above so the cast doesn't cut into them.

Zahrah is resting very comfortably, with normal toes and a belly full of breakfast that included macaroni and cheese. (It has amazing restorative powers.)

Zahrah is doing very well. Our next visit is in 10 days. We're getting there!

Thank you for your support and niceties during the longest two+ weeks of Zahrah's life. We appreciate the concern and thoughfulness.

17 September: And I quote: "She looks pretty spectacular."

Zahrah had her second follow-up this evening, 12 days after surgery on her left hind leg. Bob is very impressed! Her leg was unwrapped, the cast removed, staples removed, the leg manipulated: it looks clean and healthy, with minimal swelling. All toes are the "right" size, things are looking great. She's doing better than he expected.

The leg is re-wrapped and in the cast, with all four toes and most of her foot free. She looks and obviously feels great -- we couldn't be more pleased by her progress! Zahrah saw several dogs in the parking lot as we left the practice, and happily barked her disapproval at their non-Saluki origins. We follow up with Bob again next Monday at 7pm.

Zahrah is in outstanding spirits, trying to figure out how to "dinner dance" and counter-surf on one leg. This is highly discouraged. She's putting her foot down sometimes, and using it to balance herself while outside, which is fine. She is still "cave dwelling", but is cozy, comforted and quiet. This is highly encouraged!

Thank you for your continued correspondence, good thoughts and cards. They're working.

10 September: Tonight was Zahrah's first follow-up visit. Bob is extremely encouraged and pleased by her progress and attitude! The "blown up" toes are normal again. Her leg was unwrapped and her cast completely removed for the check up. Her leg is now a pinkish-red bruised color, no longer the awful purple. There's very little swelling. I was surprised to see the leg looking so well already, as was Bob. The staples at the incision were removed. The leg was wrapped, the cast replaced, and wrapped again. It's hard to believe it's been a week since the nightmare began! Zahrah handled things like the trouper she is, although I'm a bit sore from bracing her -- she's every bit as strong on three legs as on four!

Zahrah will remain on her antibiotics until at least Monday, when we see Bob for our next follow up. I am delighted by her progress. She's been a model patient, coming out for food and "outside", then going right back to rest when done. She's resting comfortably, with classical music, and Dusty in front of her crate. I'm very proud of lovely lady Zahrah. (And Dusty, of course.)

8 September: Zahrah had a slightly difficult night, but did well overall; I'm proud of her! She wasn't interested in breakfast, but did take her antibiotic-and-cheese sandwich without fuss. She's drinking lots of water when out of her "cave". Zahrah looked very good this morning, but by early afternoon had developed tremendous swelling in her toes. Off to visit Dr. Bob! Nothing threatening, but rather than leaving the edema to subside in time (risking Zahrah biting at the area if uncomfortable), the two middle toes (which looked like small plums) were drained. The toes went back to near-normal size quickly. Re-wrap lower leg, confirm Monday's follow-up -- home we go! Zahrah is resting nicely this evening. Apparently, Boston Market creamed spinach has healing properties...

A bittersweet post script: Zahrah came into season today.

7 September: ZAHRAH IS HOME! Zahrah was cleared for home convalescence at 5:30 this evening. She pranced out of the hospital, as well as a being may prance on three legs. She is home, tired, has her Dusty again, and seems relieved... Now, we travel a long, slow, deliberate road. Zahrah is brave, strong, willful, beautiful and intelligent. She/we will get through this! Her doctor is VERY pleased by her progress. Zahrah received her cast this afternoon. It was cut off and reapplied, allowing ease in removal if needed. It incorporates striking, acid green vet wrap. Surgery was complicated by the unexpected vertical fracture, with a wire hook inserted to help anchor that bone. This hook will have to come out at a later date. Whether or not the two screws will be permanent remains to be seen. Zahrah ate a nice dinner and is perking up well. She's in her "Greyhound" crate, with lambskins and cushy bed. She was pleased to see the crate, and moved right in. We'll visit Bob on Monday, barring unforeseen complications over the weekend.

Zahrah looks very good. We are very pleased!

6 September: Zahrah came through last night's surgery very well, and is in fairly good spirits: she's been drinking and nibbling at food, went on a short walk with Bob without problems, and has even appeared happy. Her foot is very swollen, both from the initial trauma and the surgery, so she is unable to be casted until the swelling goes down. If all goes very well, she may have her cast on Friday, and will likely be released from the hospital on Saturday. I will see her Friday afternoon, and we will discuss what happens next. I am relieved that today's phone conversation was so upbeat, after finding out last night how much worse her injury was than originally determined... I miss Zahrah terribly, and look forward to having her home where she can begin recuperation in familiar surroundings and love.

Please continue to think positive, healing, strong thoughts for dear Zahrah. (And for Dusty, who misses her very much.)

5 September: Zahrah was injured during coursing practice on Labor Day. Our best guess is that she hit a hole or very soft spot in the ground while racing up a grade. Her veterinarian, Bob Jackson, spent several hours repairing her leg. Her large talus bone (left rear leg) was broken both horizontally and vertically, and the middle talus bone was fractured and dislocated. Two screws and a wire hook are holding things together. Zahrah will be in a cast for four weeks (at this estimation), and in a tissue wrap for another four to six weeks. Knowing Zahrah, it will be an effort keeping her quiet for over a month; she will be under mandatory crate rest until further notice. Bob compared this injury to that of a race horse, and noted that her leg was quite a mess: she is bruised black from the upper point of the injury almost to her toes. The injury doesn't involve arterial areas, but does involve areas with many ligaments and tendons. He said to me, "If I didn't know you and know Zahrah, I wouldn't think it was possible that a dog did this much damage running" and mentioned that it looked more like an injury from a car accident. The slab fracture in the one talus bone is notable in racing Greyhounds. (Giving some "precedent" to this injury in sighthounds.) Only time will tell how well Zahrah will heal, and whether she will be functional, or merely gorgeous again. It is likely that she is now retired from the show ring. I'm grateful that she made it through the surgery; all else is minor. Zahrah will remain in the hospital for two or three days, so Bob can monitor her leg and the enormous swelling involved. For those breathlessly anticipating the breeding of Zahrah to Boss, it will happen, but not until next year. Breeding now would cause extensive bone demineralization, and would impede healing. Zahrah comes first, period.

Thank you for your support, your calls, your kindness, your concern... We're honored to have friends like you, and wish you and your precious canine companions very well. Please, continue writing and holding Zahrah in your thoughts. This means so much to us.