Jackson about 4 weeks after surgery.
You can see the skin is still shaved,
but notice how healthy he looks!
There are difficulties, however none of them were a problem, and the 24 hour care he needed at the start has now dwindled right down.
You will find your girl might be very tired for around 6 months after the operation. That's fine. She will learn to sleep on her side to keep the stoma open, however I had some little long bags made (similar to the long tubes that people put across their doorways to stop draughts) filled with uncooked rice, and nicely covered. I have them scattered around the house so Jackson can lie on this stomach and he rests his chin on them, keeps his stoma clear.
I purchased a nebuliser, which I don't use now, however it was invaluable for the first 8 weeks after the operation. I filled it with hot water so a warm mist came out of it, and I kept his stoma and lungs moist by applying it several times during the day and night.
I had little hankerchief neck ties made up initially to prevent cold air going straight into the trachea (caused it to seize up a bit) and also prevented dust etc going in.
I warmed his food, as I found cold meat had the same effect as cold air.
I put vitamin e oil on the site several times daily to keep the stoma surrounds clean and moist, and used baby wipes.
I found his stoma was blocking up with mucous - I went to my vet and he put Jackson on Mucodine tablets ... they break the mucous down to a watery substance, and over night most of my workload was reduced - and the mucous became a watery substance and he could clear himself easily.
I purchased a pram with cross country type wheels (a Silver Chair from the UK) so he never missed out on going for walks with the others during the first 6 months, and I could take him everywhere with me as the buggy folded easily into the car.
Jackson in his red racing buggy
with his son Andre
You CAN NOT really leave them unattended - as they need their stoma checking - unless you can get the Mucodine (it's not a veterinary only prescription, you can get it over the counter) as it breaks down the mucous that WILL plug up the hole.
Two years later ... no need for neckties anymore. Cold food, cold air, no longer a problem. I can leave him unattended for several hours. I have boxes of tissues around the house, and I warm flannel him daily around the area to keep it spotless. I do think his lungs are a bit more full of debris than they normally would be, so he gets a bit tired a bit more quickly than my other pugs, but that's fine.
Naturally NO SWIMMING and be careful when you bathe them.
He is happy, healthy, you wouldn't see the tracheostomy unless he lifted his head up high and you were looking for it. I am eternally grateful to my surgeon for giving me back my boy. He no longer needs the buggy either, though he did love it!! He thought he was the King Pin.
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